Some Fonts Won't Download To Printer

shelzer
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I'm trying to print with certain TrueType fonts and despite using the "Download as TrueType" or "Download as SoftFont" settings the font downloads as a bitmap. While the text is not rendered as a graphic,  each character is a bitmap and can't be scaled. Some fonts, such as Arial, Times New Roman and Courier New do download as fully scalable TrueType fonts. But other fonts (e.g. Miriam) will only download as bitmaps for the specific point-size specified.
Why would the printer drivers convert the outline into a bitmap for these fonts?

When I capture the print stream (by changing the printer's port to FILE) I can view the printer code (which is PCL) to see what's going on. There's a font header which indicates how the font is downloaded. For most cases (Arial, Courier etc.)  the header is in "Format 15" for TrueTypes, which is what I want. Sometimes (for fonts like Miriam) the header is in "Format 20" for "Resolution-Specified Bitmapped Font" which is bad. What makes Miriam different than Arial and the rest?

Note I'm using PCL compatible (not PostScript) drivers only.

(I suspect that something in these fonts are incompatible with how printers scale fonts, and thus the driver converts the outlines to bitmaps.)

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I don't know the answer to your question, so I thought I'd try it on my system (Windows 7 Pro 64-bit).

But (using either Word 2007 or WordPad) I can't even get these applications to render any text using the Miriam, or Miriam Fixed, fonts.
i.e. select some simple text ("12345"), select font Miriam from the drop down-box, but the selected text doesn't change, and the selected font name reverts to whatever font was originally used!
So I can't see what my print driver would produce.
What application did you use, and how did you manage to select the font?

As an aside, it appears that Miriam is an OpenType font (containing TrueType outlines), much like Arial, but it contains Hebrew characters as well as the standard ASCII characters.

But why does it matter about the format the font is downloaded in anyway?
The only reason I can think of is to enable you (via FILE:) to 'capture' PCL equivalents of the original TrueType font(s) for use elsewhere - and (for most fonts), doing this would almost certainly contravene the licence restrictions.

In particular, the Miriam font allows "Editable Embedding"; the licence text states:
"You may use this font to display and print content as permitted by the license terms for the product in which this font is included. You may only (i) embed this font in content as permitted by the embedding restrictions included in this font; and (ii) temporarily download this font to a printer or other output device to help print content."
For what it's worth, I eventually managed to generate some text using the "Miriam" font, using the "Character Map" utility, then copied and pasted this into a Word 2007 document.

The document contains two lines, each containing the text:
ABCDE12345¿
the last character being the 'new shekel' symbol, at codepoint U+20AA.
The first line uses the Calibri font, the second line uses the Miriam font.

I then 'printed' this to file, using the built-in PCL5 driver for my LJ1320 printer.

Analysis (attached) of the print file shows:

(a) Calibri font:
Downloaded as format 15 (Truetype Scalable), type 2 (Bound; PC-8).
Using code-points 32 -> 43 (0x20 -> 0x2B)

Note that the code-points of the original text (i.e. 0x41, 0x42, etc.) are NOT used in the downloaded font - this is because of the 'font obfuscation' methods used within the driver, to make it more difficult to circumvent font licence restrictions.

(b) Miriam font:
Downloaded as format 16 (Universal), type 3 (Bound; 16-bit).
Using code-points 8448 -> 8458 (0x1020 -> 0x210A)
The text is printed using these 16 bit codes, having selected "Text Parsing Method" 21 (1|2-byte Asian 7bit)

(c) Tahoma font:
Downloaded as format 15 (Truetype Scalable), type 2 (Bound; PC-8).
Using code-point 32 (0x20)
Single character downloaded (to print a space) - probably a blank line I'd left in the document?
MiriamSample-01.prn-analysis.txt
... and here is the print file (disguised with an extra .TXT extension as E-E doesn't accept .PRN files).
MiriamSample-01.prn.txt
>> What makes Miriam different than Arial and the rest?

I still don't know.

Can you give examples of other fonts which your driver treats the same way that it treats Miriam, so that we can see if any pattern emerges?

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