'Symbol' font in OpenOffice.org does not work

Mikko Huhtala mhuhtala at abo.fi
Thu Nov 13 22:01:21 UTC 2003

Bill Murray writes:
>   Hi Mikko,
>           I do not have THIS problem, but OO symbol font is indeed
> a major problem for me, in a scientific environment.
> This may be because I have the MS-core fonts installed?
> Have you tried a global replacement of symbol with open-symbol?
> (tools->options->Fonts)

I use Microsoft core web fonts, and as far as I can tell, having them
installed does not have any effect. I tried OOo 1.1 in Fedora both
with and without the MS core fonts, and Symbol never works (my set of
MS fonts does not include a Symbol font, it is comes with OOo or
Fedora as far as I can tell). 'Symbol' does work on Red Hat 9 with MS
fonts installed.

So to reiterate: starting OOo just after completing Fedora
installation in a system with no changes to the configuration,
inserting 'special characters' using the 'Symbol' font does not work.

I have tried to avoid 'Open Symbol' as much as possible, since it does
not seem to export correctly either to a PDF file or to MS Word doc
format. What you see on OOo is not what you get in other
formats. Greek characters come out garbled or disappear, both on RH 9
and Fedora. What works is 'Symbol' on Red Hat 9.

Is there any documentation on the OpenOffice font/character encoding
system somewhere (short of reading the source)? I haven't been able to
find anything. Another problem is that even on RH 9, where 'Symbol'
mostly works, the characters sometimes disappear in PDF output even
when they look ok in OOo. E.g. two places in a document seemingly have
the same font settings, one looks ok in PDF and in the other place
Symbols disappear. Cutting and pasting fixes this problem. I haven't
checked the XML in these cases, but I suspect that this effect is
because of some redundant / incorrect XML tags being left behind from
earlier editing commands. The messy XML renders ok in OOo, but breaks
in PDF output. I have looked at the XML that OOo produces because of
things unrelated to thing problem, and it aint pretty. E.g. making a
piece of text bold, then returning it back to the default style leaves
behind redundant tags, and these sort of things accumulate to a mess
if the document is edited back and forth many times by different


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