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?

2 Answers 2


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">
    <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).

  • Are you recommending that I just disregard the giant DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE warning at the top?
    – ændrük
    Jun 2, 2011 at 19:32
  • 1
    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.
    – mhmhmhmh
    Jun 2, 2011 at 19:51
  • Thanks, this is just what I needed. I chose to use alias to keep it simple. ~/fonts.conf.
    – ændrük
    Jun 8, 2011 at 14:52
  • 1
    In the latest versions of Ubuntu, you can also do this through the GUI if you are using font-manager. In the Font Manager app there's a button in the bottom left for font preferences, and this brings up a menu which has "Alias Editor". You can edit font aliases in there. This gets written out to ~/.config/font-manager/conf.d/XX-aliases.conf.
    – ovolve
    Aug 5, 2016 at 17:45

Maybe you’ll need to install MS Core Fonts.

sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts
  • 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, 2011 at 11:49
  • 1
    Better to use the real thing, as ‘near equivalents’ don't cut it in publishing.
    – scruss
    Feb 27, 2015 at 12:14

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