[Bug 1164177] fontconfig does not properly match Helvetica

bugzilla at redhat.com bugzilla at redhat.com
Mon Nov 17 10:36:04 UTC 2014


--- Comment #3 from Matt Hirsch <matthew.hirsch at gmail.com> ---

Thanks for your explanation. I'm certainly not an expert on fonts or
fontconfig, but it does seem like there might be a bug here. The font, as it
comes from Adobe has the following fields set under "TTF Names" (according to

Copyright: (copyright text)
Family: Helvetica Narrow
Styles (SubFamily): Regular
UniqueID: Helvetica Narrow:44711
Fullname: Helvetica-Narrow
Version: 003.001
Preferred Family: Helvetica
Preferred Styles: Narrow

I don't know if there is a standard for how these should be formally
interprited. As they are written they make sense to me: this font is the
"Regular" style for the narrow version of Helvetica. There are also bold, etc.
styles of Narrow. fc-match is taking the style (apparently) from both the
"Preferred Styles" field and the "Styles (SubFamily)" field and treating them
the same way. For complex font families like Helvetica I can see why this
causes problems.

Further, I have no alias on my system mapping Helvetica-Narrow to Helvetica, as
you said. It would seem fc-match is getting that from the "Preferred Family"
field. I can edit the font with fontforge to resolve both of those problems,
but I don't think that's the right solution. We shouldn't ask everyone in
Fedora to manually edit (or create fontconfig rules for) very standard fonts
like Helvetica.

The bug I linked from launchpad would seem to indicate that Ubuntu is patching
fontconfig to solve this problem.

Again, thanks for your consideration. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts,
and perhaps re-open the bug?

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