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Old 11-05-2018, 07:10 PM   #1
Tesla555
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Question KOBO Wifi -- Chinese Epubs (already searched forum)

Hello everyone!

I just got this ancient Kobo Wifi for $20 in a garage sale. I know it's pretty old, but I like things simple.

I hope to read Chinese epubs as well, but every non-English character becomes ???.

I searched online and found this thread:
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=184035

I tried it with different Chinese epub files, but none is successful. Embedded Chinese font is OK in modified epub file, because I can see Chinese in "Droid Sans Fallback" font when I open the epub with my laptop (Microsoft Edge of win 10). However, when the epub file transferred to Kobo, all Chinese characters are still ???, and all English words in the text (this Chinese ebook is translated from an English book, so all English human names are retained in the text) are still in Kobo built-in fonts (serif or Sans serif).

This is where I downloaded the "Droid Sans Fallback":
https://github.com/aosp-mirror/platf...nsFallback.ttf

I did a factory mode reset as soon as I brought the Kobo home, and the firmware is 1.9.

I found myself obsessed with trying to fix this problem. I just don't understand why embedded font epub works for others but not my Kobo.

Please help! Thank you all very much!

Last edited by Tesla555; 11-08-2018 at 04:33 AM.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:36 AM   #2
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Do you just want to read? Or to produce a Chinese epub?

If you just want to read, I wouldn't mess around with embedding fonts. I don't know about the Kobo Wifi specifically, but in general, Kobo devices can use user-supplied fonts. There is a script on Mobileread called "koboify fonts" if I remember correctly, and that will help you to make sure that the font you choose will work. Then you put those font files into a /fonts directory on the device.

If the epub has a body or paragraph font specified inside, then you have to remove those styles so that you can choose your own font.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-07-2018, 04:16 PM   #3
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Hi radius!

Thank you very much for your reply.

I just want to read Chinese epub, not produce a Chinese epub.

I did some research in the forum, and Kobo devices can use user-supplied fonts, but only Kobo Touch and later models. Unfortunately, my Kobo wifi (2011) is too ancient to have this function. Actually, there is no /fonts directory on my Kobo Wifi.

Still, I did try to create /fonts directory on my Kobo, and copy a few workable ttf files (according to some post in the forum, but I couldn't find it now) into it. None of it showed up in the "Display" function.

Honestly speaking, I don't really care reading Chinese epub on my Kobo anymore. I am no engineer or coder, but I am stuck in this mindset figuring out why it worked on other Kobo Wifi in this thread (https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=184035) but not mine. I guess it is some kind of curiosity?

Thank you again, radius! This place is my last hope.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:03 PM   #4
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Create a font folder in your device and copy MS Yahei font into it. That is what I have done to my kobos.

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Old 11-08-2018, 04:32 AM   #5
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Hi ma678!

Thank you for your reply.

As you suggested, I created fonts directory on my Kobo Wifi, and copied MS Yahei font into it. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. All Chinese remain ???

Still, thank you very much.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:24 AM   #6
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Have you named the font files correctly? https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=204363 has the instructions.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:23 AM   #7
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Do you see MS Yahei on your font list? You have to select it in the book you read manually. If you don’t see the font on the list, I guess you copied the wrong file. Make sure you copy *.ttf font file. You may get the font from Windows 7.

Good luck.


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Old 11-08-2018, 11:42 PM   #8
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Hi davidfor!

Thank you very much for your reply and pointing me the font naming issue. I read the thread you suggested (https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=204363), and tried Charis SIL, Times New Roman, and Code2000 (according to this thread https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=108113) but no success at all.

However, I did notice some posts mentioned the firmware issue. I reset my Kobo Wifi to factory mode soon after I got it and the firmware is 1.9. This may be the reason why embedded Chinese epub worked in the thread (https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=184035), but not mine.

Since I read this thread (https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=230567) and others complained about firmware upgrade problem, I decided not to upgrade. Therefore, I am unable to test my hypothesis about outdated firmware prevents embedded Chinese fonts from displaying. At least my Kobo Wifi works just fine in English epubs. I have spent too much time trying to dig out possible causes, and I think this may be the time to stop.

Thank you all who read my post and gave me suggestion. I love this forum!
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:48 PM   #9
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Hi ma678!

Thank you for your reply.

I don't see MS Yahei on my font list, and it still has two choices only: serif and sans-serif. I am pretty sure I copied the right tff files. As I mentioned above, I did try some other fonts and none of them show up in my font list. I suspect firmware version may be the problem.

Still, thank you very much!
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:25 AM   #10
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One thing to make sure of: is the fonts you created in the root directory (i.e. not under another directory, especially one starting with ".") and have you named it "fonts" (not including the "" around it), all in lower case? You could be right about the firmware version, but check the directory naming 1st.
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:32 AM   #11
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Did the Kobo WiFi even support a fonts folder or was that reserved for the touch screen models?
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:50 AM   #12
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Hi, if you wan to read Chinese books, you have to put some Chinese fonts into fonts folder, if you are Chinese, you can search Baidu Tieba Kobo,the search keyword.

If you are not Chinese, I can attach some fonts, but I cannot get access to my computer at home right now, maybe later.

And I'm not sure it will work, like you said, Kobo Wifi is pretty old.
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Old 11-09-2018, 02:45 PM   #13
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Hi robko!

Thank you for your reply.

Yes, I did create the folder named exact "fonts" in the root directory. (Some thread mentioned it could not be "Fonts" because it's based on Linux system) And I am sure I named the font correctly (I double clicked the ttf file in win 10 and checked the "font name").

I'll remember this font naming principle next time I buy a new Kobo e-Reader. Thank you for the tip, robko!
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Old 11-09-2018, 02:55 PM   #14
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Hi DNSB!

Thank you for your reply. I did read a lot about Kobo Wifi doesn't support font folder and it only starts from Kobo Touch and later models in this forum. That's why I took the approach of embedding Chinese font in Chinese epub. Unfortunately, it doesn't work for me either. So my question in the first place was why it worked on other Kobo wifi devices but not mine.

Even being aware of that, I still tried font folder approach anyway. I guess I am just a fan of "exhaustion method" and felt the urge to test all possibilities.

I also found others mentioned they had similar situation in this thread: https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=112427

Thank you for your inputs, not only in this thread but also other threads because I read a lot of your posts during my research on this problem.

Last edited by Tesla555; 11-09-2018 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 11-09-2018, 03:07 PM   #15
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Hi codychan!

Thank you for your reply, and you are very kind to offer sending me some Chinese fonts.

I think Kobo Wifi doesn't support font folder and it only starts doing so after Kobo Touch. Creating Embedded Chinese font (both traditional and simplified) in epub worked for some Kobo Wifi devices, but not mine.
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