NOTA: this article is not an Adobe publication, and carries no guarantees of accuracy. This article may be subject to change at any time.
The print agent needs to firstly know the page codes necessary for interpreting the bytes representing the characters you want to print. This can sometimes be dependant on the print agent, sometimes it depends on the system.
NOTE: The Print Agent manual 5.6 specifies: The use of Thai, Hebrew, and Arabic with Output Designer and Central is neither certified nor supported by Adobe.
Additionally, some characters from Baltic languages cannot be accessed because the glyphs are not supported by Central. Check that the correct symbol sets are in use, that the appropriate fonts are installed on the machine, and that the locale/encoding scheme is supported by the machine.
If you cannot provide UTF-8 data (the encoding jfmerge expects by default), you need to specify the encoding. For example WinLatin-1 is short-handed to “5”. To do this, use either:
-assprocessing option, e.g.
^symbolsetdynamic command in the DAT data, e.g.
Remember that ^symbolset can be called anywhere in the data, even in the preamble. If you are having issues with data that exists in the preamble, try insterting ^symbolset 108 at the top of the custom preable. If you’re having problems with characters from your data, check whether it contains erroneous ^symbolset comands.
If you are mixing several files with different symbol sets (for example, using the
^file command), use the
This is generally sufficient for printing in Germanic, Nordic and Latin-based languages. Greek and Cyrillic require special fonts to be loaded, as do certain extended characters, and so a soft font cartridge may be required.
Check your fields
First thing to check is that the field that is to display special characters has been set up correctly. If you tell the field that you will give it Latin-based symbols (W1 encoding, such as “a”, or “ê”), but then pass it something else (such as Greek or Cyrillic text), you won’t get the results expected at all…!
- Double-click the text field
- Click the Font button in the top right
- Ensure you have selected the correct font and symbol set
- Click OK, and OK again
So far so good. But you may not have the appropriate font, or your font was perhaps not available in the correct symbol set. That’s when you need to create a Soft Font Cartridge
Creating a soft font cartridge
- Open Output Designer 5.x
- Go to menu File > Presentment targets…
- Select the Presentment target to add fonts to
- Click the button Font Setup…
- Select TrueType or Type 1 Fonts tab as appropriate
- Check that the font directory selected is correct so as to populate the list of fonts
- Check that the appropriate symbol set has been selected (list to the right) – W1 is for standard Latin and derivatives, CYR is for Cyrillic, etc
- Check that the appropriate Font Storage is selected (ref Designer Help topics accessible from menu Help > section Permanent soft fonts/Download options)
- Select all instances of the font you wish to use.
- Give this soft font cartridge a name – it will be displayed in the Font Cartridges tab
- Click Create soft font
- Go to the Font Cartridge tab and select your new soft font cartridge
- Click OK
The Font Cartridges tab shows what soft font cartridges are available.
The highlighted ones are the ones that are effectively available for use.
For example, if adding Verdana, it is likely the required files will be verdana.ttf, verdanab.ttf, verdanai.ttf for regular, bold and italic Verdana, respectively.
You can also include other fonts in the cartridge to identify sets of fonts.
Important: you will need to add the soft font cartridge to every presentment target you intend to use with your design template.
Incorporate the cartridge in MDF for use with Central Output Server
- Go to menu File > Compile…
- Select the option “Embed soft fonts in template”
- Click OK
Force font data to be sent to the printer
- Add the
-ajutfnooption to your processing options
- if using Test presentment… then this must be done under Menu Tools > Options… : Test presentment : Print options
- if using Central this can be done via Control Center, or in the ^job line of the data files
Enabling UTF-8 on Linux/UNIX/*NIX systems
Some systems don’t support certain encodings out of the box.
Check that the locale is installed on the unit by running:
$> locale -a
This will list all locales. The locale name is case-sensitive. If the locale is not present, it must be installed by the system administrator.
Once the locale is installed: to make a system-wide change of the LANG variable so that daemons etc may see the change, use:
$> chlang EN_US.UTF-8
The change takes effect at the next session login (so for system services this generally means that the machine needs reboot)
If that command is not available, manually set the
$LANG environment variable to
Problems with Greek characters Delta and Omega
Greek characters delta and omega sometimes do not appear at all in the page. To work around this issue:
- Open jetkeys.ini from <Install path>\Adobe\Output Designer\Config
- Go to the section headed by the comment “
; MS Code Page 1253 (Greek) to Unicode UCS-2 and vice versa“
- Under the subsection labelled [Translate 63 to 102], add the following:
- Under the subsection labelled [Translate 102 to 63], add the following:
- Save jetkeys.ini and re-process your document.