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Old 06-27-2008, 01:55 PM   #1
Aren Tyr
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Mobipocket default font?

Hi

I realise that iRex are currently rewriting the mobipocket viewer from scratch, but in the meantime, is there no way to change the default font for the mobipocket viewer? I struggle to understand why they released the viewer with just one font, or at the very least, why they chose to go with a Sans Serif font as default since I'm sure the overwhelming majority of us much prefer to read books in a Serif font. It would have been nice if they could have released a micro update just for this issue to tide us all over till the new software release comes out.

I noticed someone had put up a font switcher (and suggestions the Serif font wasn't very good), but all I want to do is change the default font from the current "Arial" style font to "Times", for example. That's it.

Surely it can't be that hard?

Thanks for any responses in advance.

Apart from this small irritating issue (which basically means I try to reformat all my books as customised PDFs instead), I am loving my new Iliad.

(Incidentally, I thought I had the above issue sorted, by instead using FBReader to view (unencrypted) mobipocket files, since I'd altered the default font to Times. Unfortunately, though they now looked fantastic, I was incredibly disappointed by how SLOW FBReader was compared to the standard mobipocket viewer. Pages seem to take about 5-6 seconds as opposed to probably less than a second with the standard viewer.)
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Old 06-27-2008, 02:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aren Tyr View Post
(Incidentally, I thought I had the above issue sorted, by instead using FBReader to view (unencrypted) mobipocket files, since I'd altered the default font to Times. Unfortunately, though they now looked fantastic, I was incredibly disappointed by how SLOW FBReader was compared to the standard mobipocket viewer. Pages seem to take about 5-6 seconds as opposed to probably less than a second with the standard viewer.)
I assume you (like me) are using FBReader 0.8.4, because of its flexibility. The 0.8.14 version is significantly faster, but it does not have menus. It is possible to setup 0.8.14 as a replacement for MobiPocket Reader for DRM-free files, but it is complicated. See Update Settings for FBReader 0.8.14. You would need to modify the registry support and put all your DRM-free .prc files in individual .zip files, and in addition you would update ui.xml to use the "Times" font.

I have found that it is relatively difficult to unwind from 0.8.14 back to 0.8.4, and your 0.8.4 files may get deleted when you switch to 0.8.14. So at a minimum you should make a copy of _local/home/.FBReader on your Desktop computer. These will also give you clues about what to add to the 0.8.14 ui.xml, e.g. for your favorite font.
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Old 06-27-2008, 03:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aren Tyr View Post
Hi

I realise that iRex are currently rewriting the mobipocket viewer from scratch, but in the meantime, is there no way to change the default font for the mobipocket viewer? I struggle to understand why they released the viewer with just one font, or at the very least, why they chose to go with a Sans Serif font as default since I'm sure the overwhelming majority of us much prefer to read books in a Serif font. It would have been nice if they could have released a micro update just for this issue to tide us all over till the new software release comes out.

I noticed someone had put up a font switcher (and suggestions the Serif font wasn't very good), but all I want to do is change the default font from the current "Arial" style font to "Times", for example. That's it.

Surely it can't be that hard?
Unfortunately, the only thing you can do is switch between the included Sans Serif font and the Serif one. It's not a problem with the Mobipocket viewer, it's a problem with the Java JVM that the viewer is running on top of. iRex used the "Tao-Group" JVM on the iLiad to run the Mobipocket viewer, and that JVM does not supply a way to install/register additional fonts. If I remember correctly, the company that makes the JVM is out of business so there aren't going to be any updates for it.

Hopefully iRex's new framework will get rid of that problem.
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:21 PM   #4
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It is not so difficult to change the default font for the mobipocket viewer.
Copy the /home/intent/rofs_target.bin file from your iLiad to your desktop.
And rename it into rofs_target.zip and unzip it.

Now, the fonts are specified in the /ave/font/store.map file.
Open the store.map file with your text editor and modify it, rezip the files into rofs_target.zip and rename it into rofs_target.bin.
This modified rofs_target.bin is what you need.

Last edited by wagnerian; 06-27-2008 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 06-29-2008, 08:02 PM   #5
Aren Tyr
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Solution found!

Hello

Thanks for the replies.

Quote:
See Update Settings for FBReader 0.8.14. You would need to modify the registry support and put all your DRM-free .prc files in individual .zip files, and in addition you would update ui.xml to use the "Times" font.
Wallcraft, this is actually exactly what I did, and I got it all successfully working.

However, it was precisely this setup that I was describing in my initial post as being far, far, too slow. Far slower than the inbuilt mobipocket viewer.

Wagnerian, thank you for the hint in the right direction. I have been playing all evening and now have full proper Serif font support in the native viewer, all in the superb Times New Roman font!



So how did I do it?

It is a little bit of an ugly hack, but here's how:

1. I made copies of, then opened up the respective Times New Roman, Times New Roman Bold, Times New Roman Italic, and Times New Roman Bold Italic fonts in a font editor (I used FontCreator 5.6, available on a 30 day free trial) and altered all the font metadata to precisely match the same metadata in the original Bitstream Vera fonts already installed on the Iliad.
2. I renamed the altered fonts to precisely the same filename as the respective Iliad versions.
3. I copied them across overwriting the original Iliad font files (I obviously made a full backup of all the original Iliad fonts as well, to be on the safe side).

Nothing else has changed, the Mobipocket viewer just uses the new font files instead

Looks so much nicer - no more horrible Sans Serif font.

With this trick you can use whatever font you want, just make sure that it is a "full", proper font family in TTF format, with all the available variants. I imagine "Times" on Linux systems would be a good nearly identical option too.

Last edited by Aren Tyr; 06-29-2008 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 06-29-2008, 08:48 PM   #6
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Mobipocket now looks great!

Screenshot attached showing how my native Mobipocket viewer default font now looks on a silly little Mobipocket file I produced. Looks great and is nice and fast.

This is Times New Roman. As I mentioned in my previous post, in theory you can use whatever decent TTF font you want.

In my case, after editing the various Times New Roman fonts metadata to precisely match the Iliad Bitstream Vera fonts metadata, I then simply renamed the fonts to the same filename as their corresponding Iliad font; i.e. Vera.ttf, VeraBd.ttf, VeraIt.ttf, and VeraBdIt.ttf respectively, and then copied across.

I would quite happily post up the files together with the script I wrote so that anyone on the forum here can achieve the same little hack on your Iliad, except I suspect the copyright on the Times New Roman font prevents me doing so.

What I can do, if people would like, is put up a little bundle tomorrow based around the "Liberation" font package, which is a more or less a GPL licensed equivalent font to Times New Roman, so anyone who wants a good serif font (as opposed to the ugly Bitstream Serif font) for Mobipocket need simply run the script and no longer have to put up with reading everything in "Arial" or "Ugly" style
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aren Tyr View Post
What I can do, if people would like, is put up a little bundle tomorrow based around the "Liberation" font package, which is a more or less a GPL licensed equivalent font to Times New Roman, so anyone who wants a good serif font (as opposed to the ugly Bitstream Serif font) for Mobipocket need simply run the script and no longer have to put up with reading everything in "Arial" or "Ugly" style
Yes, I would like. Be happy if you will copy the original files in the bundle, I've killed my old files :-(
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Old 07-02-2008, 06:25 AM   #8
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I would be gratefull for your package. I hate the default font, but i love mobi because of the dictionary support.
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:39 AM   #9
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I believe that the "Georgia" font - which is the font I personally always use for reading with - is also freely copyable and redistributable.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:50 AM   #10
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I believe that the "Georgia" font - which is the font I personally always use for reading with - is also freely copyable and redistributable.
It is free to use, but can't be redistributed except in its original form see Core fonts for the Web, which includes Georgia.
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:10 PM   #11
Aren Tyr
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Hello everyone

I will put up some packages (fonts + simple script) when I get some time this weekend based on whatever nice, free GPL fonts I can find.

I'll also put up a "restoration package" based around the original factory installed Iliad fonts in case you have messed things up and lost the original fonts and wish to restore them.

Aren.
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Old 07-25-2008, 12:56 PM   #12
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Hi all.
I'm very interested in these files Aren... I tried to do the font replacement by myself but something went worng... and on restarting the iLiad the "icon toolbar" appeared displaced to the very down botton of the screen.

I used Georgia instead of times as replacement font... but I suppose that fonts used really don't matters at all.

If you could share with us your "rebuilded" font set I'll be very pleased.
Thanks a lot in advance.
Best regards.
b..
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:52 PM   #13
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Mobipocket font switcher alpha - help needed

I created an installer package for switching the Mobipocket font to the nice and readable Liberation Serif font. But this is my first shell script, so I need someone with ssh acces to test it for me before releasing it to the public, as I would not want to brick anyones illiad.

Would this script work with the .ttf files in the script directory?

Quote:
#!/bin/sh
export scriptdir=`/usr/bin/dirname "$0"`
cd "$scriptdir"
rm /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf-western-default/Vera.ttf
cp Vera.ttf /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf-western-default/
rm /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf-western-default/VeraBd.ttf
cp VeraBd.ttf /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf-western-default/
rm /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf-western-default/VeraIt.ttf
cp VeraIt.ttf /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf-western-default/
rm /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf-western-default/VeraBI.ttf
cp VeraBI.ttf /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf-western-default/
I am attaching a preliminary version of the installer for testing purposes, please use it only if you have ssh, or feel confident that you can restore your illiad if things don't work out.

Thanks
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drago View Post
Would this script work with the .ttf files in the script directory?
This worked for me. I was able to switch to Liberation Serif and then back to Vera Sans. I am not a fan of the result though (see the attached screenshots), I would like a darker font. Compare these to Mobipocket Font Switcher #19.
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Old 10-03-2008, 03:49 AM   #15
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Here is an updated version with a few additional fonts for testing purposes. There are two semibold fonts, I find these to be more readable than the regular version, I think this has to do with the fact that the e-ink screen is a bit gray.
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