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Re: Helvetica Printer Fonts & HP 1100 (again)

Bill Moseley wrote:
[Sending again -- in hope someone can help]

I have a testing/unstable machine with CUPS and a non-postscript printer
(HP LaserJet 1100).
When I print a calendar with Jpilot the fonts are really poor quality.
The fonts look like an old dot matrix -- like it's about 50dpi.

And indeed when I create a small postscript file as shown here:

and print it with "lpr tmp.ps" the printed text is very poor quality.

Printing from other programs works fine (e.g. Mozilla, Abiword (although
in the case of Abiword the *screen* fonts look bad but it prints ok)).

Any ideas?

I think I've got an old postscript printer out in the garage.  Maybe I
should try that.  Using cups and my non-postscript printer is sure slow.


I have a similar setup here...CUPS, Debian testing/unstable, + a HP 960 printer (non-postscript). My screen and printing "helvetica" fonts are acceptable to me... definately better than "dot-matrix" quality. I agree, the printing is S L O W, but it seems to work.

As I understand it, the true "helvetica" font is not available on stock Debian installs due to licensing problems from Adobe and/or Apple. The way Debian handles this is to substitute another font...in my case it is the "verdana" fonts from the M$ TrueType" family...I think. This is done as part of setting up TrueType fonts on the system, and is done in the /etc/X11/XftConfig file...agian "I think".

I dunno exacty what your problem is. My understanding of fonts and how they are handled in Debian is poor to start off, and I am getting even more confused with the introduction of "defoma" and "pango" into the overall mix that you see in Debian testing/unstable... depending on how much of "unstable" you have installed. The best I can offer is to run down the high-points of all I have done here and see if something there helps.

1. I am using the "gimprint" printer drivers for CUPS. Dunno if this has any bearing, but the overall quality of ALL the fonts is significantly better than other packages I have experimented with, IMHO. The hpijs printer drivers are also very good, but are even slower on my system.

2. Install TrueType fonts per the KDE "anti-aliasing-howto". On my sytem this is located in /usr/share/doc/anti-aliasing-howto. The significant points here are to use the "msttcorefonts" Debian package from testing to get the fonts on your system, make the changes recommended in /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 (looks like you have done this) and in /etc/X11/fs/config, and to "upgrade" the /etc/X11/XftConfig file. The last point is where I got the font substitution statement mentioned above. It is not there in the default Debian X install. I just "cut & paste" the sample file in the anti-aliasing-howto dir into /etc/X11/XftConfig without modification after re-naming the original XftConfig file to something else.

3. Setup defoma as the font manager. You might have to install the Debian "x-ttcidfont-conf" package...dunno. I added this package as it didn't get installed automatically. You have to make a second set of changes in /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 and /etc/X11/fs/config here to accomodate the defoma paths. I see you have already done this, so I imagine this step is un-necessary.

4.  Select defoma to manage your fonts.

I also had to re-boot to get all these changes to "take". You could probably get by with just re-starting X...dunno since I haven't done it yet.

It looks like you have done a large part of this already. Maybe you can use it as sort of a "check list" and add those things you haven't done. I would be happy to share any specific config files you may want to see.

One final "caveat"... I am not a font purist! What looks horribe to you may look OK to me. An example of what you are seeing would be helpful, if you can get it... a scan perhaps?


-Don Spoon-

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