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I'm creating a generator for PDF documents in Ruby. When I include Chinese, Japanese and Cyrillic characters, they are displayed incorrectly.

It seems that when I'm generating the font I need to specify what font the text should be rendered with. Now this isn't the issue, but the fact that my documents will include all different possible chars that gTLD supports.


  • Do you know any font for generating PDF documents that will include as many as possible chars (Asian, Europe, Symbols, …) – ideally all chars that gTLD supports.

  • When the client opens this document – is the PDF including my font in the PDF file, so when other computers open it, the font will be present? Is this by default? Or do I need to enforce this functionality?

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closed as off topic by slhck, Oliver Salzburg, iglvzx, Not Kyle stop stalking me, Journeyman Geek Jul 21 '12 at 0:10

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thx for edit @slhck, looks better – equivalent8 Jun 18 '12 at 11:54
this question answered, just for complicity my problem was with Prawn gem generating pdf with several charset, my final solution on that:… – equivalent8 Jun 19 '12 at 8:59
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Do you know any font … that will include as many as possible chars (Asian, Europe, Symbols ..)

Search for pan-unicode fonts. The most widely distributed font with a large character set is probably Microsoft's "Arial Unicode".

Ideally all chars that gTLD supports.

I suspect that gTLD supports the whole of Unicode. There is no single font that supports the whole of Unicode.

Is pdf including my font in pdf file

I think this depends on what tools you use to produce the PDF and what options you select when doing so.

Is this by default standard? Or I need to ensure/force this functionality

I think you need to ensure this happens if you need special fonts embedded. The PDF standard specifies some standard fonts but these are probably not useful for wide Unicode coverage.

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thanx, helped me. The way I did it I specify fall-back fonts in pdf and just use several fonts – equivalent8 Jun 19 '12 at 8:16

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