UNIX Fonts and Oracle Report server: a never ending nightmare


Posted by Hafed | Posted in Forms, oracle | Posted on 09-10-2008

One of the more frustating experience you can have when migrating to Oracle Forms 10g is the fonts problem.
In Oracle Forms 6i, users are generally standardized on Windows and in this way, they have access to the usual fonts such as Arial, Times Roman, Courrier and Courrier New. When printing reports, either direct or through a PDF, the same fonts are used as is and the output is a true copy of the rdf.

However, on 10g and if the server is UNIX-based, then a whole number of issues will arise. The first one is due to the fact that the usual Windows fonts are no longer available on UNIX. Second, the fonts on UNIX are quite limited and in this case  fonts  such as Arial are outputted as Helvetica (in reports server terminology, this is refered to as subsetting, embedding etc.).

Now, if you really want to have the same fonts you have in your RDF, then you need to install those fonts on UNIX.  This is where it becomes quite nightmarish. In our case, we were able to get either Arial bold or Arial Italic but not both at the same time, at least for the time being.

To solve this font problem, We are  following these Metalink notes:
NOTE:261879.1 Configuration Script to add Common Windows Fonts to Unix 9i, 10g R1 and 10g R2 Reports Server
NOTE:272063.1 Using Reports PDF Subsetting, Font Size and Styles Bold, Italic, Bold-Italic Are Ignored
NOTE:419045.1 Italics are Reversed and No Bolding of Arial Font on Sun 64-bit

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Comments (5)


You have written an excellent note which is really to the point.
Excellent Effort.


Thanks for your share, it Works!!!
I just move the Oracle reports from Windows to Linux, but all test done, and fine. but suddenly the font size changes into bigger. With font solution all reports become normal again.

I came across this document you wrote back in Nov 2008 (Oracle Reports 10g Setup
Network printing (from Oracle Forms
dedicated printers)
We are in exact same situation but only differnece is we are on SOALRIS SPARC 10 and I am still using UNIX queue(thinking of putting on Windows Print Server). I am using hp5000 driver and when I print with Letter as defaultpagesize, region, dimension, Imageablearea it seems to be fine but when I change the defaults to Tabloid i.e, 11×17 it doesn’t print. Can you throw some some light on what I am missing.


@Sridhar: make sure the parameters for Tabloid are taken into account by the driver. Most likely, you will have to edit the driver and add it there.

Hi Hafed

I want to install Unicode font on Linux box and use them in Oracle Forms & Reports 10g. You mentioned few metalink note IDs in your post but I don’t have access to metalink.

Can you be kind enough to send me steps / notes at my email ID.



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