12.1 Overview of the Font Model

Oracle Reports uses a new font model that supports the TTF and TTC font types on UNIX platforms. Oracle Reports uses the new font model during runtime, and it uses the old Motif toolkit during design time. The font model applies to all destination formats and supports font aliasing and font subsetting. If the REPORTS_ENHANCED_FONTHANDLING environment variable is set to NO, the old toolkit mechanism is used.

The new font model offers the following features and benefits:

  • Simplifies setup, configuration, and discovery of fonts.

  • Supports TrueType Fonts (TTF) and TrueType Collections (TTC) on UNIX.

  • Supports Unicode font subsetting in PDF on UNIX.

  • Includes a simple font lookup algorithm and an enhanced formatter.

  • Automatically recognizes new fonts.

  • Supports all character sets in PDF.

  • Provides font-related diagnostics and tracing information.

  • Supports backward-compatibility with the previous font model based on the motif toolkit.

  • Uses commonly available TTF and TTC fonts as on Windows.

  • Eliminates the need to convert TTF to AFM or TFM files.


It is recommended that you use the Windows version of Oracle Reports Builder to design reports.

12.1.1 Font Lookup

On Windows, the font lookup mechanism is simple due to the availability of printer drivers, which have the capability of uploading fonts from the system as needed. Any output from Oracle Reports running on Windows will contain fonts from either one of the following:

  • The system

  • The printer

For this reason, Oracle Reports considers both the printer and the system fonts when looking for the available fonts.

On UNIX, the fonts available for generating output are either one of the following: Font Lookup Algorithm

illustrates the process of determining the available fonts for generating report output on UNIX.

The following steps describe how Oracle Reports generates a list of the available fonts for generating output (for example, for the screen, printer, or file):

  • Oracle Reports checks whether the REPORTS_ENHANCED_FONTHANDLING environment variable is set.

  • If the variable is set, it checks whether the TTF and TTC fonts used in the layout objects are present in REPORTS_FONT_DIRECTORY.

  • If the TTF and TTC fonts are present in REPORTS_FONT_DIRECTORY, Oracle Reports uses the TTF font in calculating metrics, which prevents misalignment in the multibyte language report output.

  • If the TTF and TTC fonts are not in the REPORTS_FONT_DIRECTORY, Oracle Reports reverts to the old toolkit mechanism, which finds the nearest matching Type 1 font on the machine.


If the REPORTS_ENHANCED_FONTHANDLING variable is not set, the old motif toolkit mechanism is used.

12.1.2 Configuring the New Font Model

To configure the new font model, complete the following steps:

  1. Ensure that the REPORTS_ENHANCED_FONTHANDLING environment variable is set to yes. The default value is yes.

  2. Copy all the TTF and TTC files, which are used in the report, to the REPORTS_FONT_DIRECTORY. The default font directory is $DOMAIN_HOME/reports/fonts.

  3. Remove any unnecessary aliasing from the uifont.ali file. For example, Arial is aliased to Helvetica, by default. If your report uses the Arial font, you must remove the aliasing from the uifont.ali file.


If you choose to use the old motif toolkit, you must consider cross-platform issues and apply workaround solutions. It is recommended that you use the new font model for developing and deploying reports on UNIX.

12.1.3 Font Diagnosis and Tracing

The new font model in Oracle Reports 12c Release ( provides improved font diagnosability and tracing.

You can configure log levels for persistent loggers and active runtime loggers. Log levels allow you to limit the amount of tracing information included in your tracing output.

For example, if you set Oracle Diagnostic Logging Level (Java Level) = Trace:1 (FINE), the following font-related information is included in your log files and tracing output:

  • Name of the font directory

  • Fonts available in the font directory

  • Fonts used by objects in a paper layout that are not available in the font directory

For more information about diagnosing font issues, see Section 9.8, "Diagnosing Font Issues".