Enabling Symbol font for Mozilla on Windows

Nifty Automatic Fixing Program

To accomplish both the fixes described below, run the automatic Wfontfix program on any Win32 system, which you can do if you like by simply clicking on this link with IE. It is expected to work for most installations, but your mileage may differ, and you use it at your own risk. You can also have the source to it if you care. Once it is successfully run, restart Mozilla, and the symbol font should be available.
Running Wfontfix a second time will reverse the encoding change back. Let us know if you find any problems. If it does not work, then either you have to download it and give it the full file and path of the link that is used to run Mozilla (which is normally on the desktop) or you have to do the fix by hand.

Understanding why this is necessary

If you want to know all the messy details about why this adjustment is necessary, read about it in the appropriate section of the TtH manual. There was an endless debate between the people that said Mozilla should support the symbol font in its default configuration because that is a valuable ability and standards lawyers who said no, because they believe that support violates the HTML standard. So far, the obstructionists have prevailed.

Fixing By Hand

The encoding of fonts for Mozilla is determined by a file called fontEncoding.properties which resides in the directory Mozilla\res\fonts. By default its full path is
\Program Files\mozilla.org\Mozilla\res\fonts\fontEncoding.properties
This file contains the line:
encoding.symbol.ttf = Adobe-Symbol-Encoding
It must be changed to read
encoding.symbol.ttf = windows-1252
Then when Mozilla is restarted the symbol font will be enabled.
This minor adjustment will likely ruffle the feathers of the HTML standards hawks. However, this same file already contains compatibility definitions of just this type. At the bottom, the line
encoding.wingdings.ttf = windows-1252
serves exactly the same purpose of enabling the wingdings font. So this fix is merely another example of a compatibility adjustment of the type that is already included in the default Mozilla install.


Unfortunately, despite recommendations to the contrary, the MathML style sheet unnecessarily lists Symbol ahead of Times in the mathematics fonts section. When the above steps enable the use of the symbol font for standard encoding documents, it also causes MathML to use it in preference to Times. The symptom of this problem is that all the latin characters are turned into greek. Therefore if you want to view MathML documents as well as HTML with symbols, you need to edit the file mathml.css normally found at
\Program Files\mozilla.org\Mozilla\res\mathml.css.
Find the line that starts
  font-family: CMSY10, Symbol, Times ...
and reverse the order of the Symbol and Times fonts thus:
  font-family: CMSY10, Times, Symbol ...
Both these adjustments are done by the Wfontfix program; so if it succeeds, you don't have to do anything by hand.

File translated from TEX by TTHgold, version 3.70.
On 28 Aug 2005, 18:01.