[OS X TeX] Can't see ligatures with lucida fonts in pdf files

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Thu Mar 27 14:39:56 EDT 2008

Le 27 mars 08 à 18:01, Chris Goedde a écrit :

> I'm working on my home iMac, using the lucida fonts, which I don't  
> do very often. The ligatures are missing from the pdf output, and  
> (it seems) ONLY from the pdf files. This is true for files that I  
> TeX here or for files that I TeXed yesterday on my work machine. If  
> I open up a pdf on my iMac (in Preview or TeXShop), I don't see the  
> ligatures. If I copy the exact same files to my laptop, I do see the  
> ligatures in Preview and TeXShop. This is independent of where I  
> created the pdf files---even if the file was TeXed on the iMac, the  
> ligatures don't appear on the iMac but do on the laptop.
> I wouldn't have thought this was possible. Can someone explain  
> what's happening and how to fix it or what I should look for? Both  
> machines are running 10.5.2 and MacTeX.

Once I encountered the same problem, but with Textures not TeXShop.  
The "culprit" was Microsoft Office, which installs a handful of Lucida  
fonts at the OS level. For example, Office 2008 installs in /Library/ 

Lucida Blackletter
Lucida Bright
Lucida Calligraphy
Lucida Console.ttf
Lucida Fax
Lucida Handwriting
Lucida Sans
Lucida Sans Typewriter
Lucida Sans Unicode.ttf

which duplicate some of the original Lucida Bright/NewMath fonts  
purchased from Blue Sky Research, namely the font families


Problem is, the Microsoft fonts (in TrueType format) use different  
"names" for the ligatures from those used by the BSR fonts (in LWFN  
PostScript format). When installed, the MS Lucida fonts take  
precedence over the BSR ones. Because of the ligature naming problem,  
when the MS fonts are used to view PDF documents prepared with TeX and  
the other Lucida fonts, the ligatures are not found.

Credit when credit is due: the issue was diagnosed and elucidated by  
the tech support at Blue Sky TeX Systems:

> Executive summary: there is another Lucida Bright font
> package, produced by Microsoft, which (I believe) is
> distributed with OS X, and which can be found when
> Textures asks for a Lucida Bright font.  The fonts in
> that package have unusual PostScript glyph name tables,
> e.g., the entries for 'fi' and 'fl' are instead 'uniF001'
> and 'uniF002'. This causes problems for Textures' font
> (re-)encoding, because the expected 'fi' and 'fl' glyph
> names are not present.

Remedy: use Font Book to disactivate the Microsoft Lucida fonts,  
possibly logout/in (I don't remember whether it's necessary), and  
reopen the PDF file prepared by TeX. Of course, by doing this you'll  
lose the possibility of using these fonts with GUI applications such  
as MS Office.

If that doesn't work, then the problem must lie elsewhere and be  
connected with font caches, for which a solution is provided by Onyx  
as Herb Schulz just mentioned.

Hope this works,

Bruno Voisin

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