Bug#533138: /usr/bin/evince: evince renders fonts terribly when a pdf also includes embedded fonts

Jem Atahan jematahan at gmail.com
Mon Jun 15 07:06:20 UTC 2009

Package: evince
Version: 2.24.2-2
File: /usr/bin/evince
Severity: important

*** Please type your report below this line ***

I am not sure this is logged in the right place, it might belong against
poppler. I can't see any duplicate bugs, but apologies if so, I don't know
what I am doing.

So, many PDFs render fine for me, but some produce terribly blocky text. I
don't have any examples that I can redistribute, but any journal article
downloaded from www.jstor.org seems to exhibit the problem.

I have have done some research to try and figure out what is going on. The
following bug reports against ubuntu and arch-linux seem to repeat what I
see, and suggest it is to do with a conflict between application
anti-aliasing and freetype autohinting when pdfs include embedded fonts, and
that some packages (poppler derived) don't use fontconfig and so a simple
dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig-config is not enough. See:


A patch is suggested in the ubuntu thread (against poppler) that disables
freetype autohinting at compile time. I have not tried applying and
recompiling for a range of reasons not worth exploring. It is as follows:

--- poppler-0.6.4/splash/SplashFTFont.cc.-hinting    2008-01-21
22:59:14.000000000 +0300
+++ poppler-0.6.4/splash/SplashFTFont.cc    2008-12-18 17:21:04.000000000
@@ -180,7 +180,7 @@

   // if we have the FT2 bytecode interpreter, autohinting won't be used
+#if 0
   if (FT_Load_Glyph(ff->face, gid,
             aa ? FT_LOAD_NO_BITMAP : FT_LOAD_DEFAULT)) {
     return gFalse;

Does this mean anything to anyone?


-- System Information:
Debian Release: squeeze/sid
  APT prefers unstable
  APT policy: (990, 'unstable'), (1, 'experimental')
Architecture: i386 (i686)

Kernel: Linux (PREEMPT)
Locale: LANG=en_AU.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=en_AU.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/bash

Versions of packages evince depends on:
ii  gconf2                 2.26.2-1          GNOME configuration database
ii  gnome-icon-theme       2.26.0-1          GNOME Desktop icon theme
ii  libatk1.0-0            1.26.0-1          The ATK accessibility toolkit
ii  libc6                  2.9-14            GNU C Library: Shared libraries
ii  libcairo2              1.8.6-2+b1        The Cairo 2D vector graphics
ii  libdbus-1-3            1.2.14-2          simple interprocess messaging
ii  libdbus-glib-1-2       0.80-4            simple interprocess messaging
ii  libdjvulibre21         3.5.21-3          Runtime support for the DjVu
ii  libfontconfig1         2.6.0-4           generic font configuration
ii  libfreetype6           2.3.9-5           FreeType 2 font engine, shared
ii  libgcc1                1:4.4.0-6         GCC support library
ii  libgconf2-4            2.26.2-1          GNOME configuration database
ii  libglade2-0            1:2.6.4-1         library to load .glade files at
ii  libglib2.0-0           2.20.3-1          The GLib library of C routines
ii  libgnome-keyring0      2.26.1-1          GNOME keyring services library
ii  libgtk2.0-0            2.16.2-1          The GTK+ graphical user
ii  libice6                2:1.0.5-1         X11 Inter-Client Exchange
ii  libkpathsea4           2007.dfsg.2-5     TeX Live: path search library
ii  libpango1.0-0          1.24.2-1          Layout and rendering of
ii  libpoppler-glib4       0.10.4-3          PDF rendering library
ii  libsm6                 2:1.1.0-2         X11 Session Management library
ii  libspectre1            0.2.2.ds-1+b1     Library for rendering
Postscript d
ii  libstdc++6             4.4.0-6           The GNU Standard C++ Library v3
ii  libtiff4               3.8.2-11          Tag Image File Format (TIFF)
ii  libx11-6               2:1.2.1-1         X11 client-side library
ii  libxml2                2.7.3.dfsg-1      GNOME XML library
ii  shared-mime-info       0.60-2            FreeDesktop.org shared MIME
ii  zlib1g                 1: compression library - runtime

Versions of packages evince recommends:
ii  dbus-x11                      1.2.14-2   simple interprocess messaging
ii  gvfs                          1.2.3-1    userspace virtual filesystem -

Versions of packages evince suggests:
ii  nautilus                      2.26.3-1   file manager and graphical
shell f
pn  poppler-data                  <none>     (no description available)
pn  unrar                         <none>     (no description available)

-- no debconf information
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