I blogged on asciidoctor-fopub previously. The fonts are configured by generating XML description file. Recently I find from Apache FOP document that fop supports automatically registering fonts and discourage the use of XML description files. It shall make config custom fonts for Apache FOP less pain. So I blog it here.

The easiest approach

Newer versions of FOP support block registration as well as automatically register system fonts. To use this approach, following the steps:

  1. Add font registration directives in fop-config.xml:

      <directory>/usr/share/fonts/dejavu</directory> (1)
      <auto-detect/> (2)
    1 Add a directory of fonts, set recursive="true" to recursively scan the directory.
    2 Automatically register system fonts installed.
    If the same font is find by auto-detect and directory, the latter takes precedence.
  2. Reference font by regular name in fo-pdf.xsl:

    <xsl:template name="pickfont-sans">
      <xsl:text>DejaVu Sans, Source Han Sans CN, sans-serif</xsl:text>

The self-contained approach

One can customize the font name and its bold/italic variants by configuring directly the font tag like the original XML description file approach. But at this time, the XML description files are no longer needed. Using this approach, we can select different font for italic/bold/bolditalic variants of a single fontname, which is highly demanded for Chinese document. Here is how:

  1. Put the fonts in a directory, say $FONT_DIR

    <font-base>$FONT_DIR</font-base>   (1)
        <font embed-url="SourceHanSansSC.ttf" kerning="yes">    (2)
        <font-triplet name="SourceHanSansSC"
                      style="normal" weight="normal" />         (3)
    1 Set the base directory so we can use relative path for embed-url.
    2 Reference the font file using relative path.
    3 Set the font triplet and choose a cool name.
  2. Reference the font using SourceHanSansSC in fo-pdf.xsl.

Appendix A: Bundle fonts with asciidoctor-fopub gem

In Asciidoctor-fopub, one can do futhur by bundling fonts with the gem. The approach is a direct extension of self-contained approach above. Here are the steps:

  1. Put fonts in $REPO/src/dist/docbook-xsl/fonts.

  2. Configure fop-config.xml and fo-pdf.xsl using the above approach, but set font-base to @FONT-BASE@.

  3. Add the following lines to $REPO/fopub shell script:

    # Modify fop-config.xml to fix bundled font-path
    if [ -f "$FOP_CONFIG_XML" ]; then