Thursday, May 21, 2009

Adobe PDF reader and Japanese fonts

Another casualty of my recent enforced ubuntu upgrade was Japanese fonts in pdf files. Adobe acroread has also moved from version 8 to version 9. When you meet Japanese in a PDF file it tells you the URL to go to to get asian font pack. Unfortunately that page only has asian fonts for acroread 8 and earlier!

The link should be:

(I'm mentioning this as it took a bit of work to discover it.)

Scroll down to the add-ons section, and it seems each language is now its own file, and the files are much bigger. (I don't know the difference between a "Font Pack" and a "Font Packs"; the files I are identical so I chose the latter.)

Unzip the bz2 file with "tar xjf FontPack910_jpn_i486-linux.tar.bz2"
Then move into the JPNKIT directory and type "./INSTALL"

The install process asks:
"Enter the location where you installed the Adobe Reader? /opt"

I didn't install it, Ubuntu did. However it seems Ubuntu is putting it in /opt!
Strange for a package-based distro to put anything there, but I accepted the /opt default and it worked. (This was different in Ubuntu 7, as I remember having to try lots of paths until I guessed the one it was after.)

Incidentally I have already got as an extra repository, but there is no acroread-fonts or similar package. Perhaps there is some legal issue (though I thought's raison d'etre was packages with legal issues).


Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks! you made my day.

j said...

Also mine! Thank you very much.

Lapinski said...

For some reason I did exactly the same thing as you suggested but my Japanese document still couldn't show the fonts.

So I did more research and found out that I needed to set the environment variable
ACRO_DISABLE_FONT_CONFIG to 1 in order to make it work.

In case you are reading this and still having problems, give that a try.

darren said...

Thanks for the various feedback (good to know people are reading :-).
A quick google on ACRO_DISABLE_FONT_CONFIG finds some people saying it is a workaround for a bug in acrobat reader 9. (I'm on version 9.1.3, and just did a quick test to confirm Japanese PDFs are currently displaying fine, without setting ACRO_DISABLE_FONT_CONFIG.)

hilmy said...

I tried to install the japanese font from the URL Adobe Reader gave me, and apparently that was the issue. I'm using Reader 9, and the font pack was for 8.1

Thanks a lot!