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Old 09-04-2009, 01:38 AM   #1
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[Problem solved] 505 vs. different font families in LRF

I have been informed of a strange thing, and verified it myself: Some time ago the PRS-505 stopped displaying non-embedded sans-serif and monospace fonts in LRF files, replacing them with a serif font. The fonts are still on the device, and at least sans-serif is definitely working fine (because it is used by the Reader's UI), but they don't work in the books themselves. I suspect it might be a regression in 1.1 firmware, as I tried some books from my early days which used to display both monospace and sans-serif just fine, but they don't anymore. Could anyone please check it out? I have a tiny test book here (it was intended to check for east-european support, but it can just as well be used for font-family tests).

Last edited by pepak; 09-29-2009 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 09-04-2009, 04:42 AM   #2
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Here are my results; left as it is displayed in Firefox, right as displayed on my reader. I only have my crappy Blackberry camera on me, so I had to put the reader into landscape mode to even make a half-decent pic.

I have the default fonts on my reader (never bothered to tweak), it appears I am missing some letters, but it displays sans just fine. I have the latest firmware for the 505 loaded.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:49 AM   #3
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Thanks for trying it out. Your images look like they should. It must be a font issue then, but what? It can't be just custom fonts, because I had had to use custom fonts to get correct letters, but for some reason with my current fonts the reader will only display serif inside books :-(
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepak View Post
It can't be just custom fonts, because I had had to use custom fonts to get correct letters
Why can't it? (no really, I'm asking)

Also, if you really want to fix it, the path seems clear: retrace your steps. Load a proper default firmware. Test. Customise your fonts again. Test. Damn that sounds tiresome
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Old 09-04-2009, 03:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acidzebra View Post
Why can't it? (no really, I'm asking)
Because I used to get proper font families with custom fonts. But those were different fonts than I use now (I used: Times New Roman/Arial/Courier New [all from Windows]. Now I use: Gentium/Droid Sans/Droid Monospace).

Quote:
Also, if you really want to fix it, the path seems clear: retrace your steps. Load a proper default firmware. Test. Customise your fonts again. Test. Damn that sounds tiresome
Not so tiresome as trying to find which font description fields I actually HAVE TO modify before the Reader stops freezing :-)

The problem is that to the best of my knowledge, all of my fonts are prepared the same way, but some work within books and some don't.
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Old 09-20-2009, 12:39 PM   #6
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Still can't figure it out. My fonts apparently work fine in the Reader (serif is self-obvious as it is used by all books unless a different font family is specifically requested; sans-serif is self-obvious because it is used by the GUI) but I just can't get them to work in books. I even tried to flash my old fonts (Windows' Times/Verdana/Courier New) which I had been using for quite a some time before switching to Gentium/Droid, and they don't work anymore! In the books, that is - they do work fine in the GUI, just like my current fonts do. I guess the next step is getting older Calibre from my archives and checking if it works with it.
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:35 PM   #7
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I wonder: Could anyone try my fonts on their Reader, if they render the test book in different families? The fonts are freeware and all are already modified to work with PRS-505 - you can see that in the menu. It works fine even if you use the "change fonts without flashing" hack (if you don't want to flash your reader permanently). Unfortunately, I don't seem to be able to get those fonts working inside books - they all render using the serif font :-(

Links:
Gentium font (serif - use file tt0011m_.ttf).
Droid fonts (sans serif and monospace - use file tt0003m_.ttf and tt0419m_.ttf).
Test book (2KB)
Permanently flashing fonts
Temporary font replacement (reverts to flashed fonts upon reboot).

Thanks for any help. I hope I will be able to figure out why I can't get proper font families, even with fonts which used to work for me before (I used the Windows' Times New Roman, Verdana and Courier; sadly, I can't post those because of copyright on them).
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:59 AM   #8
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More findings:

- I did some testing with more Readers and older versions of Calibre (libprs500, even), which leads me to conclusion that the problem is font-related, not reader-related or Calibre-related

- The whole problem is probably related to the way the Reader treats "missing letters": If a character is not available in a sans/mono family, the Reader will attempt to replace it with the same character in serif family. This can be easily shown when you flash unicode serif font and non-unicode sans and mono - unicode characters will be displayed in serif regardless of what style the paragraph is in.

- As far as the unicode fonts supplied with PRSCustomizer are concerned, serif and sans works fine but mono doesn't work at all - all of its characters get replaced by their serif counterparts (try to flash unicode-unicode-unicode and compare it to unicode-unicode-default on my test book above).

- Basically, now I have to figure out the difference between e.g. unicode mono and default mono of PRSCustomizer. Hopefully that will reveal what's needed for a font to display correctly in the Reader.
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:03 PM   #9
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[Problem solved] 505 vs. different font families in LRF

Turns out several information sources, including *VERY* detailed guide on changing default Reader fonts and PRS Customizer itself are partially incorrect: It is a widely accepted fact that fonts to be integrated into Sony Readers need to have their "font family" tag modified, but it turns out that it is not enough - proper "font family" will make the Reader recognize a font and use it in menu, but it will not use it inside a book unless

a) that font is a serif font (0011), or

b) "full font name" is also modified. Serif font can be left alone because it works even with uncorrected full font name, but sans-serif font requires "Swis721 BT Roman" full-font-name, and monospace font requires "Courier10 BT Roman".

Curiously enough, PRS Customizer's unicode fonts have a proper full-font-name for sans-serif font but invalid for monospace font.
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