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Is there any practical solution for standardizing the display of fonts across Mac, Linux, and Windows platforms? I work in a small office that uses Windows, Mac, and Linux. We mostly use Openoffice, but we also use Powerpoint (only on Mac and Windows).

However, even with custom fonts we've created and installed on all our machines, we've found that both Openoffice and Powerpoint render the fonts slightly differently on different platforms, which makes cross-platform collaboration very painful, as one person might design a Word document or presentation, send it to someone on a different platform, and find it looks slightly out-of-whack.

Is there any way to fix this while maintaining a cross platform environment?

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Ultimately, the answer is "No." What is it that you're doing that you expect this level of fidelity across platforms? What's worse is that many users (particularly on Macs IME) are very vocal about their font rendering. Forcing something they see as sub-standard could be worse than the alternatives. If you really want pixel-perfect fidelity between systems, your only real option is raster images, like TIFF or PNG. Of course, they have the distinct disadvantage of being non-editable. – afrazier Jul 15 '11 at 15:49

Not trivially. Although FreeType runs on all three platforms, application developers have decided to use the native font rendering engine on each platform. Making them use FreeType would require at the very least rebuilding the software to use it instead of the native font engine, assuming support for FreeType is built into the software in the first place.

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+1 - But this only works in cases where the software can be rebuilt. This isn't the case with programs like Office. What's worse is that now you get different results with the same program if you send the file to someone outside of the office. – afrazier Jul 15 '11 at 15:46

Well, if you are willing to completely replace your document production stack there is always LaTeX.

Many people in my field (particle physics) use LaTeX for all or nearly all of their document production needs.

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But the WYSIWYG editors tend to suffer the same fate. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jul 15 '11 at 22:10
LaTeX is not a WYSIWYG editor. It's a markup language that can produce consistent results across varying platforms. – MikeyB Jun 12 '13 at 5:58

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