note this is probably a duplicate, in fact I'm sure it must be a duplicate, but I can't find it anywhere. There are questions about font rendering or incorrect fonts in evince, but as far as I can tell, not the specific case I am referring to here.

It seems that evince does not handle display fonts well. If I open a PDF in Acroread (or whatever the PDF reader from Adobe is called nowadays), it looks fine, but when I open the same PDF in Evince, the results look horrible. Here is a comparison:

enter image description here

(Evince is the lower sample)

Does anyone know how to force Evince to display the fonts correctly or, as an alternative, suggest a better alternative to Evince? Overall I like Evince because it is fast and secure (it doesn't execute embedded JavaScript which appears to be the most commonly spread vulnerabilities from the interwebs lately), but I'm happy to consider alternatives.

  • Those look like different fonts. Can you try with a PDF that contains embedded fonts, or install the fonts that are being used in that PDF?
    – muru
    Jun 17, 2014 at 3:46
  • @muru It happens on all PDFs, so either the fonts are installed (thus accessible by Acroread) or they are embedded already. Besides, it was the same PDF viewed on the same system. The only difference was the reader.
    – post-hoc
    Jun 17, 2014 at 4:24
  • Yes, but what I am trying to track down is this: does Acrobat have a different set of fonts, or otherwise selects fonts differently. I strongly doubt the PDFs you have tested have embedded fonts. This way, we can pin down if this is a font display problem (a bug) or a selection/availability problem.
    – muru
    Jun 17, 2014 at 4:37
  • Could you upload a small sample file and post it here by editing your answer? That would help us tremendously in identifying the issue and/or confirming that we are dealing with a bug. Jun 17, 2014 at 4:38

1 Answer 1


A few years late, but considering I'm having this issue and this was the initial post to pop up on my searches, I figured why not.

I, and others, have this issue. It's apparently been around for awhile. evince doesn't render some of the fonts appropriately.

You can check to see if the fonts are embedded within your pdf document and then fix it with ghostscript.

I found an article on stackoverflow that explains it in pretty good detail. It's enough to work off of. Most of the fonts are most likely in your system already (they were installed on my system).

I also happened to find a slackware tutorial post that went in to similar detail.

Technically, and ultimately, though, its just how evince renders the pdf file. I can load my pdf files using different apps and I've noticed each one renders in a unique way.

The only one I've come across that renders it properly is Adobe's Acrobat Reader. I've tested this on multiple systems and devices using all sorts of pdf apps from OSS to Proprietary.

I still use evince regardless and sadly I don't have the time right now to play with the source to figure out why this happens. Maybe I, or some one else, will fix it one day. You never know. It is OSS.

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