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Re: PDF reader for Groff output

From: Damian McGuckin
Subject: Re: PDF reader for Groff output
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2022 04:02:59 +1000 (AEST)

Hi Deri,

On Sat, 9 Jul 2022, Deri wrote:

Looking at your bad-sqrt.pdf you can see that ghostscript has embedded the two Times-Roman fonts, but not the symbol font. This means that whichever viewer you use needs to find a useable symbol font itself, since it is not embedded.

That is my understanding too.

In my case it has found a suitable font as s050000l.pfb. I suspect your windows desktop has access to a suitable font, but your linux desktop does not.

On Linux, this font lives, well until up to at least CentOS 7.6 in


Not sure where it lives on your system. I just checked a CentOS 7.6 system and my backups from a CentOS 6.6 system and that file indeed is definitely there. Unfortunately, on CentOS 7.9, this directory does not even exist.

You may find you need to install the urw-fonts package, something like:-

# yum install urw-base35-fonts

This is already installed on the CentOS 7.9.system, or at least the CentOS 7.9 variant thereof. A quick 'rpm -qa' says that the following packages are installed on this system.


Which should let okular/evince find the symbol font.

None of those packages seem to contain any 'pfb' files therein, so neither 'okular' nor 'evince' can find what they need to find because it does not exist.

There are certainly no .pfb files in those


installation (although there were in the older 'urw-fonts' package which no longer exists in CentOS 7.9.

After they have been installed you can build groff by using:-


On the configure command.#

Similarly, as there are no .pfb files in that directory, configure complains when I tried that earlier, i.e. yesterday (Saturday my time).

I attach a version using -T pdf -P-e which has all the fonts embedded which should look Ok in all viewers.

Yes, I forced that with a 'pdfSetting' to ps2pdf14 but that is not the
real answer.

I have no idea what package under CentOS 7.9 installs those Type1 fonts in


if indeed any package does. I believe there is a fundamental problem with the CentOS package under 7.9 but I am happy to be proven wrong.

According to '', it thinhs this Type1 directory is in


which has a homepage at

Under CentOS 7.6 (which we run on another of our servers which is about to
be upgraded to 7.9 sadly), this directory does indeed exist. So '' is correct. However, with the move to


under CentOS 7.9, that directory has disappeared. I note also that the directory mentioned on the site has disappeared too.

I think this missing directory is seen is a similar 2019 bug reported in ImageMagick:

Mind you, no solution has been posted for that.

Later today, I might grab that CentOS 7.6 Type1 directory and copy it directly to CentOS 7.9 and see if that fixes the problem. But it is 3am here in Oz so I might wait until my brain is properly awake to try that.

Thanks for your insoightful comments Deri. They have at least moved me closer to a possible solution. My guess is that somebody decided in 2017 that Type1 fonts are no longer necessary anymore.

I also noted a common theme on the web of an aversion to Type1 fonts. Why are people against Type1 fonts or am I behind the times?

Mind you, the Ghostscript build on CentOS 7.9 has lost any ability to display under the Gnome desktop as well. My attempts to rebuild 'gs' from source with support for x11fonts unsuccessful also. So maybe we are all living in a world of reduced functionality.

Regrds - Damian

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