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I'm trying to read The Art of Assembly Language as per this answer on Stack Overflow. When I open it on my Ubuntu 12.04 box, it looks like this:

enter image description here

I haven't tested it on another machine, but this can't be intentional. What is going on, and how can I fix it?

Edit: The above screenshot is from Chrome. It look like this in Evince:

enter link description here

Still squished and hardly readable, but better. Is there anything I can do to fix it?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

The document specifies a bunch of fonts (for instance, Garamond which is the main font used in the document) but doesn't have them embedded. So your system renders it with what it considers the closest font it has. I'd consider this a malformed PDF; if you're using a font that's not widely available and don't embed it, users will have a hard time reading it.

You can install Garamond from here:

Download the file, uncompress it, and open each of the .ttf files that appear. They will open in Font Viewer. Click the "install" button to install them to your system. They will be installed for your user only, under .fonts. Once they're installed, open the document with evince which should pick up the new fonts and show the document as it was meant to be seen.

To know which fonts a document uses, open it in evince, go to File -> Properties, then to the Fonts tab. Any fonts that say "Not Embedded" are, well, not embedded, and in order for the document to render 100% accurately you'd need to have all these fonts installed on your system.

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Thanks, this solved my problem. Rather than following your instructions to install Garamond, I installed texlive-fonts-extra from the package manager. The tip to check for unembedded fonts is useful--is there any easy way to see which fonts I have installed? – Matthew Pirocchi Aug 28 '12 at 21:09

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