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Old 12-02-2010, 06:00 PM   #1
Greenmantle
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Embedded fonts?

There has been a discussion on other threads about the Kobos ability (or lack thereof) to display "embedded fonts".

So, rather than hijack the other threads I thought I would start a new one.

I am a bit of a noob at the ebook / epub thing and I am confused about fonts.
As I understand it the Kobo has only a selection of "serif" and "sans serif" fonts and 5 font sizes. So, can someone please explain this "embedded font" thing?

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Old 12-02-2010, 11:15 PM   #2
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As I understand it the problem with embedded fonts is not entirely universal, some books with embedded fonts do work and some do not.

When it comes to books purchased from Kobo and loaded in Kobo format (only through the Kobo/Borders/etc app, not through Calibre or copied to the Kobo manually) these do not contain embedded fonts? The original Kobo's format doesn't support the embedded fonts, the new format (released on the current Kobo WiFi and the Kobo apps for iDevices) they may be supported but I'm not sure.

When it comes to ePub formatted books then again "it depends", unfortunately. The ebook publishers have different approaches they could use to format their ebooks, by one method the embedded fonts do not work, if done a different way they do work.

At this point it seems if your primary concerns with an eReader purchase are eBooks with embedded fonts, newspapers, "book collections" or a lot of display options (more fonts, sizes, adjustable margins, etc) then you ought to look at other devices on the market. If you want a fairly basic, low-cost and relatively nicely integrated ebook ecosystem (dedicated eReader device, online bookstore and smartphone+tablet software) then the Kobo is well worth investigating.

Mind you I have not tried embedded fonts so I may be wrong, I'm sure others may be able to shed more light on the situation, my information is what I have picked up second hand by reading the forums here.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:49 AM   #3
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Thanks JPenguin.
I already have a Kobo, hence why I lurk on this forum.

The discussion on the other thread(s) just caught my interest, that's all.
I downloaded the "Three Men in a Boat" epub that was mentioned and compared the Kobo to on screen via ADE and I could tell a difference in the fonts presented but I can't say that it bothered me at all.

Anyway, the discussion is interesting.
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:45 AM   #4
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My impression is that firmware follows w3c. Strict rules
might be tricky from time to time. Font has to be defined
in css and not in body definition. There was a difference
for html and xml eon ago, when I was interested on the
topic. Also, font itself has to be included.
The point is: new firmware should look for font definition
in all parts of css. Would they to that? I assume they are
aware of possibility to add new proprietary font.
Some people, like me, do not give a dime over this. Some
find it the most distracting feature. We'll see what will
happen.
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:59 PM   #5
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I did take some ePub eBooks with me on an SD card that are 100% complaint with how fonts are to be embedded. And they work with the desktop ADE. The fonts did not display with either the Kobo wifi or Kobo original. It should not be a matter of if the fonts are done this way they work and if they are done that way, they don't. The fonts were done in a correct way and they did not display.

So since the issue of embedded fonts has been brought up a number of times, why haven't they been addressed at all?
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:07 PM   #6
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Sorry I must be a bit dense but I'm not understanding this?

Is the issue that some fonts don't display (ie you get a blank bit instead of the words you were supposed to be reading) or that the fonts are changed so you don't get the differentiation between something in Font A and the next bit in Font B as it all appears in Font C which was not what the originial publisher intended?

I too have read some of the books mentioned in previous threads and can't work out what the problem is.
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
I did take some ePub eBooks with me on an SD card that are 100% complaint with how fonts are to be embedded. And they work with the desktop ADE. The fonts did not display with either the Kobo wifi or Kobo original. It should not be a matter of if the fonts are done this way they work and if they are done that way, they don't. The fonts were done in a correct way and they did not display.

So since the issue of embedded fonts has been brought up a number of times, why haven't they been addressed at all?
Probably because there are more pressing issues for the development team.

althgough I respect that this an issue for some it is a complete non issue for me and I suspect most others. The serif font seems quite readable to me not sure why imbeded fonts would be better. havign said that I dont read newspapers on my kobo only novels so If I read other types of content i might feel differently.
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:01 PM   #8
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Probably because there are more pressing issues for the development team.

althgough I respect that this an issue for some it is a complete non issue for me and I suspect most others. The serif font seems quite readable to me not sure why imbeded fonts would be better. havign said that I dont read newspapers on my kobo only novels so If I read other types of content i might feel differently.
This. ^^^^^^^

My guess is kobo has intentionally chosen to deliver specific fonts to insure an optimal experience on their eReader. As it's not a "bug" but a concious design choice, I wouldn't hold your breath about it getting "fixed".
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:07 PM   #9
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This. ^^^^^^^

My guess is kobo has intentionally chosen to deliver specific fonts to insure an optimal experience on their eReader. As it's not a "bug" but a concious design choice, I wouldn't hold your breath about it getting "fixed".
So then users of a Kobo are not allowed to have true styles and are stuck with the simulated styles. Is that really such a wise choice? It's because of the way ADE handles fonts that a lot of eBooks are coming with embedded fonts. ADE uses one font and simulates bold and italic. The italic looks awful. If the publisher has decided to make the books look better (see the Stig Larsson ePub for example) then the users of Kobo get shafted.

Last edited by JSWolf; 12-16-2010 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:08 PM   #10
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The serif font seems quite readable to me not sure why imbeded fonts would be better.
Same feeling here.

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Old 12-16-2010, 07:40 PM   #11
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So then users of a Kobo are not allowed to have true styles and are stuck with the simulated styles. Is that really such a wise choice? It's because of the way ADE handles fonts that a lot of eBooks are coming with embedded fonts. ADE uses one font and simulates bold and italic. The italic looks awful. If the publisher has decided to make the books look better (see the Stig Larsson ePub for example) then the users of Kobo get shafted.

i read three of the Stig Larsson ePubs and thought the books were great didnt give a second thought to what the font was and certainly didnt feel shafted. To be honest until I started reading your posts it didnt even occure to me that there was an issue with imbeded fonts?
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:58 PM   #12
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So then users of a Kobo are not allowed to have true styles and are stuck with the simulated styles. Is that really such a wise choice?
The really cool thing is, when you grow up, you'll be able to start your own eReader company and design one to your own specs. Until then, the rest of us will be obliviously happy with our kobos.
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:04 AM   #13
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i read three of the Stig Larsson ePubs and thought the books were great didnt give a second thought to what the font was and certainly didnt feel shafted. To be honest until I started reading your posts it didnt even occure to me that there was an issue with imbeded fonts?
I still don't know WHAT the issue is with embedded fonts!


I also read the Stig Larsson books and it seems I was too involved with the story to notice a problem with the fonts - embedded or otherwise...

I've just reopened Dragon Tattoo and it looks fine to me. What is it supposed to look like?
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:09 AM   #14
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I still don't know WHAT the issue is with embedded fonts!


I also read the Stig Larsson books and it seems I was too involved with the story to notice a problem with the fonts - embedded or otherwise...

I've just reopened Dragon Tattoo and it looks fine to me. What is it supposed to look like?
Take a look at the italics. Without the embedded font, what you'll see is a simulated italic where the letters are just tilted.
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:10 AM   #15
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The really cool thing is, when you grow up, you'll be able to start your own eReader company and design one to your own specs. Until then, the rest of us will be obliviously happy with our kobos.
I'm sorry you don't care about a major bug.
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