LibreOffice 3.6: Fixing Font Selection Problems

This may not be a LibreOffice problem, but that’s where it shows up: the font selection dialog won’t display fonts with nonstandard Style names. There is, of course, no documentation anywhere (that I can find, anyway) on what Style names are permitted, so you discover this only when a font style that’s properly installed and accessible by other programs (like, say, Inkscape or Scribus) doesn’t render properly and doesn’t appear in the list.

In Xubuntu 12.10, LibreOffice can’t handle the American Typewriter font style called Medium, which is what I’ve been using for the return address field on my (very few, these days) mail envelopes. Over the years, various versions of OpenOffice and LibreOffice have alternately accepted and rejected the Medium style, so this isn’t exactly a regression. It is, however, Yet Another Annoyance.

The solution, hinted at in that thread, involves using FontForge to rename the offending Style to, say, Regular, then saving the font. It’s actually the Weight property, hidden in Element → Font Info → PS Names tab. In this case, I changed the word “Medium” in the Fontname, Name for Humans, and Weight fields to “Regular”, which also updates the values in the TTF Names tab.

I save the modified font files in ~/.local/share/fonts using TrueType format, just to be sure I don’t confuse them with the original Postscript version in /usr/share/fonts/custom, delete the original, and then run fc-cache -v -f to update the caches. This surely isn’t the cleanest way to make it happen and almost certainly isn’t allowed by the Adobe EULA I agreed to, back when I actually bought the fonts, but so it goes.

And then It Just Works…

LibreOffice vs American Typewriter font
LibreOffice vs American Typewriter font