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Unicode in RMS

Unicode in RMS


In RMS versions <= 2010, three different font styles are available to choose from in the multiviewer: sans, sans-serif and monospace. Internally, RMS chooses a system font to use when displaying text using either of there styles. It chooses a font that is installed by default on each system. On Linux, the Liberation font is chosen.

The problem is that the Liberation font does not cover all alphabets in the world. I supports cyrillic (Russian) letters, but most asian alphabets (e.g.Chinese, Vietnamese) are unsupported. None of the fonts included with Red Hat Enterprise Linux seem to cover all of the most common alphabets.

In RMS 2011, it will be possible to select any installed font directly from the settings panels. For RMS 2010, three environment variables have been introduced to allow asian users to override the Liberation font.

*OIV_FONT_SANS for the sans-serif styl

*OIV_FONT_SERIF for the serif style

*OIV_FONT_MONOSPACE for the monospace style

These variables can be set manually before starting RMS from a terminal, or permanently in the user's ~/.login file. Example of changing the sans-serif font for a user which is using the tcsh shell:

setenv OIV_FONT_SANS "Nimbus Sans L"

Equivalent example for a bash user:

export OIV_FONT_SANS="Nimbus Sans L"

If you don't know what shell you are using, type echo $SHELL in a terminal window.


Fonts on Red Hat 5

The following fonts have been identified as possible options for alphabets that are not supported by Liberation on RHEL 5:

*Chinese users: The AR PL ShanHeiSun Uni and AR PL ZenKai Uni fonts included in the fonts-chinese package. It is not yet clear for us which of the three styles each of these two fonts map to.

*Vietnamese users: The Nimbus fonts included in the urw-fonts package support the Vietnamese alphabet. More specifically, the following mapping can be used:

  • Nimbus Sans L -> sans-serif (OIV_FONT_SANS variable)
  • Nimbus Roman No9 L -> serif (OIV_FONT_SERIF variable)
  • Nimbus Mono L -> monospace (OIV_FONT_MONOSPACE variable)


Viewing installed fonts

A useful tip for viewing fonts installed on the Linux system is to open the Konqueror file manager in KDE and type fonts:/ into the location bar at the top of the window. This will list all fonts available.