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
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
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
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
On 28 Aug 2005, 18:01.