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Author Topic: Broken bullets transforming Chinese DITA files to PDF  (Read 3649 times)
rde
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Posts: 8


« on: May 19, 2011, 07:39:09 PM »

I'm using XMetal Author Enterprise 6.0.

When we transform into PDFs our DITA files that have been translated into Chinese, the bullets appear as squares with Xs through them. Has anyone else run across this problem and found a solution? We do not have a similar problem when transforming into PDFs our DITA files that have been translated into Japanese.

Thanks,
Rick
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Derek Read
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2011, 01:07:44 AM »

When you say "bullets" are you talking about the character used to prefix items in a list in the PDF, transformed from the DITA <ul> or <ol> elements? Something else?
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rde
Member

Posts: 8


« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2011, 11:44:29 AM »

By bullets I mean the characters used to prefix items in a list in the PDF, transformed from the DITA <ul> elements. I have a PNG file that shows an example of the problem, but I couldn't figure out how to attach the file. In any case a bullet appears as a rectangle with an X inside it.

Also, our Chinese translators tell us that commas and other punctuation is missing from the Chinese PDFs, although I imagine if we can figure out the bullet problem, the punctuation problem would likely go away.

Thanks,
Rick
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Derek Read
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2011, 01:06:42 PM »

To me this sounds like a RenderX XEP font configuration issue. Chinese fonts need to be embedded in the PDF and so that must have been done by you or for you already.

Perhaps some specific characters do not have glyphs in the fonts that were chosen and so they do not appear. Or perhaps RenderX was not configured to identify certain characters as being "Chinese" (I could see that being the case for punctuation, perhaps the "fullwidth" forms). At the same time there is no guarantee that a particular font will use a glyph for a character that looks similar to what you expect it to be (that is up to the font designer). The font being embedded in this case might in fact draw your "bullet" character as a "square with x in it".

If you can figure out which font is being embedded then you could check to see which glyph is displayed for all of these various characters. One way to do that is to add the characters to a new file in Notepad and then adjust the font settings there, or you could use the Windows Character Map tool (charmap.exe). To narrow the list down you can check the properties of the PDF and look at the list of fonts (Adobe Reader exposes "properties" on a the right click context menu, your PDF reader may not expose it or you might access it differently).

You can also check the RenderX XEP configuration file here:
<renderx install path>\xep.xml

In the XMetaL Author Enterprise 6.0 installation RenderX XEP is here:
%appdata%\SoftQuad\XMetaL Shared\renderx

A similar issue is discussed here:
http://forums.xmetal.com/index.php/topic,545.0.html
...specifically this portion of that posting: http://forums.xmetal.com/index.php/topic,545.msg1749.html#msg1749
(probably good to read the whole thing anyway)

This might also be of use:
http://forums.xmetal.com/index.php/topic,968.0.html

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sgrayson
Member

Posts: 11


« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2011, 02:36:31 PM »

Thanks, Derek. The one link you sent fixed the missing commas (extend the character set, as noted in the forum post you put a link to) and it gave me an idea to to fix the other.

To fix the missing bullets, you have to use a different character set. So I found the value for the bullet character, then added a Symbol charset section and added the Bullet character to it. Like this:

 <alphabet char-set="Symbol">
        <character-set>
            <!-- Bullet -->
            <character>&#8226;</character>
        </character-set>
    </alphabet>

And voila! Bullets in the Chinese PDF.

Thanks for your help and direction, Derek! You're a great help!

Steve
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