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Document 269

Fonts preview but don't print correctly

Version: 3.0 - Scientific WorkPlace & Scientific Word


The fonts in my document preview just fine, but when I print, certain characters appear as small boxes or don't appear at all.


The symptoms suggest that the problem is with your Windows print driver. If a symbol or character typeset previews correctly, but does not print correctly, then your Windows screen driver is correctly handling the characters, which are bound to have Unicode values greater than 255 in the font in use, but your Windows print driver is not. Unfortunately, although Microsoft claims that Windows 95 correctly displays Unicode characters, many printer hardware manufacturers have Windows drivers that don't fully support this Windows 95 feature.


There are several possible solutions to the problem.

  • Find a driver for your printer that works correctly. Updated drivers are often posted on the manufacturer's web site. In many cases, we've found that drivers for other printer models from the same manufacturer will work, but this is a matter of experimentation.

  • Switch to a printer with a driver that is known to be good. We realize this is a drastic solution, but some manufacturers are doing an excellent job with their drivers. We've found that Windows NT drivers are much better than Windows 95 drivers, because Windows NT absolutely requires Unicode compliance.

  • Switch to a TeX Previewer that doesn't use Unicode. Unicode is used in the new TrueTeX previewer because it allows the support of new features in packages such as Omega—this includes support for all languages, include Chinese, Japanese, etc. Unicode is the only viable solution here. The older 16-bit TrueTeX previewer (the one in Version 2.5) doesn't use Unicode, nor does the public domain MikTeX previewer.

  • Try finding a setting on the Windows print driver control panel that downloads all fonts to the printer using bitmaps. This takes the Windows print driver out of the loop and uses the screen driver to rasterize the fonts instead. We can't give specific instructions here because every printer driver setup is different.

Revised 06/11/02

This document was created with Scientific WorkPlace.

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