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A particular PDF I have uses a non-embedded font named "TimesNRMT" that is not installed on my system. Instead of substituting the font with a similar one such as Times New Roman, Document Viewer is inappropriately choosing to use some sans-serif font, which makes the text nearly unreadable:


How can I override this choice of font substitution?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

Create a rule in your .fonts.conf file. If it's not in your home folder, create it. Here's a full example of a .fonts.conf file:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">

  <match target="pattern" name="family" >
    <test name="family" qual="any" >
    <edit name="family" mode="assign" binding="same">
      <string>Times New Roman</string>


If you already have the file, just paste in the part enclosed by the match tags.

If you're using Font Manager the file is in a different place(~/.config/font-manager/local.conf).

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Are you recommending that I just disregard the giant DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE warning at the top? – ændrük Jun 2 '11 at 19:32
Not really, I've done similar substitutions in my local .fonts.conf. I'm editing my answer. Silly of me to think it's obvious which file I was talking about. Sorry. – miloshadzic Jun 2 '11 at 19:51
Thanks, this is just what I needed. I chose to use alias to keep it simple. ~/fonts.conf. – ændrük Jun 8 '11 at 14:52

Maybe you’ll need to install MS Core Fonts.

sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts
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A better option would be to install Red Hat's Liberation fonts, which are near equivalents of popular Microsoft fonts, and substitute them as susggested by miloshadzic. – BZ1 Jun 6 '11 at 11:49
Better to use the real thing, as ‘near equivalents’ don't cut it in publishing. – scruss Feb 27 '15 at 12:14

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