2011 note: Most references on this page to 'OpenOffice.org' have been updated to 'LibreOffice', to reflect the 2010 fork.

Migrating fonts from StarOffice to LibreOffice (formerly OpenOffice.org):

A small tip with a big benefit:
Install StarOffice 5.2. Then zip up the 'share\samples\en' subdirectory. Store in on an external backup for safe keeping. Then remove SO 5.2 and install LibreOffice. Unzip the zip file under the LibreOffice subdirectory. Ta, Ta! You have the samples, icons, bitmaps, sound bytes,

(95 MB). (Sept. 2004 addition: Gone from that site. Search elsewhere, and see alternate source below.) This is the free-of-charge Star Office 5.2 Linux-i386 binary archive (self-installing) that Sun withdrew from public access, when the no-longer-free-of-charge 6.0 release replaced it. People who don't yet have copies of SO 5.2 might want to grab that file, before someone asks linuxberg.com to remove it. Why? Because the general public never had the right to redistribute SO 5.2 (even though downloads were free of charge from authorised sites).

Also, downloadable file "so-5_2-ga-bin-linux-en.bin.gz" at: http://alge.anart.no/ftp/pub/Office/StarOffice/ (Sept. 2004 comment: Still there.)

Font problems after second start. This is a problem with the font cache.

------- Additional Comments From David Young 2002-05-02 10:14 PDT -------

Deleting <openoffice>/user/psprint/pspfontcache from my user installation worked for the next run. I couldn't find <openoffice>/share/psprint/pspfontcache, though, and the next runs reverted back to the original problem. I did find a fontmetric directory as well as psprint.conf file in the -net installation directories.

------- Additional Comments From Christof Pintaske 2002-05-03 00:38 PDT -------

Known issue. We are preparing a fix. It's not necessary to modify the soffice script. Just do a rm pspfontcache touch pspfontcache chmod 444 pspfontcache in the user/psprint directory of a user installation or in the share/psprint directory otherwise.

------- Additional Comments From Christof Pintaske 2002-05-03 01:33 PDT -------

Most solutions must be equivalent by nature of the bug. Have you made a network installation (installing with -net or /net parameter) and later on a user installation? I just want to make sure that we are really talking about the same problem: Please try my suggested solution. Have a look in both places:

and apply the "rm -f xxx; touch xxx; chmod 444 xxx" stuff.

By the way, do you have the RedHat 7.2 latin-2 fonts in the fontpath? Check with "xset -q" for /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/latin2/Type1 or with "chkfontpath" (or with "/usr/sbin/chkfontpath") for the mentioned directory.

From: Paolo Alexis Falcone (pfalcone@free.net.ph)
To: plug@lists.q-linux.com
Cc: ph-linux-newbie@lists.q-linux.com
Subject: [plug] anti-aliasing fix in OOo 1.0
Date: Fri, 17 May 2002 00:19:09 +0800

I once had a problem in OpenOffice.org regarding font anti-aliasing (" would be transformed to ? as well as minus signs become ? instead of dashes) and got a solution to this problem (thanks to the OpenOffice.org people for contributing this fix):

1. Check the user config directory. In Debian, it's .openoffice; if you didn't change any setting most probably it's in the OpenOffice.org1.0 directory. In particular, look for the pspfontcache file in the user/psprint directory of the local user config.

2. Erase all contents of the font cache.

3. Make the font cache only readable.

I'm not sure if this has any side effects (so far printing on paper, as well as seeing the document on-screen is... though I still need to check if it has any effect on printing to postscript or pdf). --

Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 09:44:15 +0100
To: ilug@linux.ie
Subject: Re: [ILUG] OpenOffice font oddity
From: caolan@csn.ul.ie (Caolan McNamara)

On Tue, May 21, 2002 at 01:40:25 +0000, Robert Brown wrote:

> Is it just me or is anyone having a problem with the microsoft Arial
> fonts in OpenOffice.org 1.0? No matter what I do they are always in
> bold, is this perculiar to my SuSE 8 system or is it something to do
> with Microsoft's fonts?

More than likely it's http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=4366. But, if not, then run through the "Font Troubleshooting" guide at http://gsl.openoffice.org/servlets/ProjectDocumentList.

I.e., the solution is likely...

...in the user/psprint directory of a user installation or in the share/psprint directory otherwise.

rm pspfontcache
touch pspfontcache
chmod 444 pspfontcache

Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 15:54:02 +0100
To: ilug@linux.ie
Subject: Re: [ILUG] OpenOffice font oddity
From: caolan@csn.ul.ie (Caolan McNamara)

On Tue, May 21, 2002 at 03:43:43 +0000, Robert Brown wrote:

> Although I can now get bold and normal Arial typefaces, they still
> look a bit odd in LibreOffice (a bit thick), but, since it affects only
> Arial and no other font, I'll put it down to sonething to do with
> Microsoft not making its fonts all that compatible.

More than likely looking too thick is http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=2613 . There's some poxy potential patent thing. LibreOffice has Freetype statically linked to it, and that version of Freetype was compiled without byte-hinting. The other fonts look OK probably because of their embedded bitmaps for extra nifty quality at certain fixed sizes.

Rick Moen explains: Patent issues here: http://freetype.sourceforge.net/patents.html

In short, in order to avoid infringing three recently-disclosed Apple patents (granted in the USA) on TrueType byte-hinting, LibreOffice binaries are statically compiled with a copy of the FreeType library libvcl that has been set to exclude byte-hinting. Thus, while other applications may use an infringing local version of the same library (making some fonts, such as Microsoft Arial, look better), the LibreOffice-compiled binaries do not.

Apple's patents will expire on May 18, 2009 (US patents 5,155,805 and 5,159,668) and May 28, 2012 (US patent 5,325,479) -- but other techniques for optimising fonts are being phased in that skirt all known patents. Unfortunately, many popular fonts still use the Apple-patented technique to optimise screen bitmaps at small point sizes.

Here is a general troubleshooting guide for font-related issues in LibreOffice: http://www.openoffice.org/FAQs/fontguide.html

From: John Allman (allmanj@houseofireland.com)
To: ilug@linux.ie
Subject: Re: [ILUG] Fonts in LibreOffice
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2003 18:01:59 +0000

This might help: http://www.aerospacesoftware.com/OOo_fonts_howto.html
I seem to remember somebody talking about recompiling? maybe something to do with "hints". (I know virtually nothing about fonts.)


2012 addendum: Dramatic further improvements are possible if you recompile FreeType with the infinality.net patches: http://www.infinality.net/blog/infinality-freetype-patches/