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At 09:59 03/10/2018 +0000, Gary Collins wrote:
I don't *think* a replacement font is happening - though i'm no expert. I can start a new text document which starts with liberation serif and enter u+a723 followed by alt+x and get the character ok. So unless font substitution occurs automatically, transparently and with absolutely no indication, with LO searching all loaded fonts until it finds one with the character...... maybe it does that, but it would seem to me to be undesirable because what if more than one loaded font had the character, on what basis would the choice be made? Surely, that's something the document author ought to decide. But how would the author know that a replacement was necessary at all? Or maybe it's different in windows and ubuntu?

This is fairly easy to understand if you remember that word processor document files (and similar) generally do not contain fonts at all. Yes: really! Instead, they just contain the *names* (and perhaps more details) of required fonts. The required glyphs from any fonts for *all* characters in your document are provided at the viewing or printing end, either from the same font, another font with the same name, another font with a similar name, or perhaps a suitably similar font - serif for serif, sans for sans, and so on. This is one reason why such documents often do not appear identical when displayed or printed on any other computer.

(As I explained to you privately) if you look for a character in Special Character..., you will see a glyph only if it exists in that font. But if you paste material in, surely you will see font substitution in action? Just try changing the font of any unusual characters you have as well as more common characters; you may see a visible difference in what happens as a result of any necessary substitution.

It seems to me that this substitution needs to happen for all word processor and similar documents, so must happen also in all operating systems. I think you can see this if you unpack an Open Document Format document file and observe the font indications.

Remember also that if you send word processor documents to others, you are relying on font availability and substitution at the far end to display what you require. If your characters are sufficiently unusual, it is just possible that any receiving system may not have a font that includes them. This is where PDFs come in, since they are different, incorporating subsets of required fonts. That's one of the facets that makes them "P" (for "Portable").

I trust this helps.

Brian Barker

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