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Windows system fonts in client PC are not displayed in PDF report

Technote (troubleshooting)


Report author created a Report Studio report that explicitly set Windows system fonts such as 'MS Gothic', 'MS Mincho' and so on, however PDF report does NOT show these fonts in client PC even if corresponding fonts exist in client PC, while HTML report does.


The issue can be reproduced in Unix Server OS (AIX, Linux and etc). You may not see the same issue if BI server is running on Windows OS.


Cognos PDF engine does not render fonts to PDF if requested fonts are not installed in BI server machine or Cognos Configuration has not proper settings.

Note: Cognos assumes that your server has the proper license for using specific fonts set in user report and these fonts are already installed in server machine. If a requested font is not found from the location set in Cognos Configuration, Cognos report server (ReportService and BatchReportService) renders PDF files using a default font 'Andale WT' (<cognos_root>/bin or bin64/fonts/Andalewt.ttf) that has most of the Unicode characters for many languages. Default font can be customized from [Action] -> [Edit Global Configuration...] -> [General] -> [Default font].

Caution: Description in the following URL does NOT mean that Cognos PDF rendering engine can create PDF file with even any fonts if client PC side has corresponding fonts. BI server should have the fonts first and then you can choose whether to use embedding fonts for improving response time.

PDF Rendering


Unix Server OS (AIX, Linux and etc)

Diagnosing the problem

In IBM Cognos Configuration, check the below.

  1. Ensure that BI server has corresponding fonts in the physical location. [Local Configuration] -> [Environment] -> [Font Settings] -> [Physical fonts locations]
  2. To confirm the above 1, you may use search functionality as below.
    • Go to [Local Configuration] -> [Environment] -> [Font Settings] -> [Physical fonts map]
    • Click the edit button.
    • Click [Add...] button.
    • Click the edit button for [Physical Font Name].
    • Ensure that entered font paths are correct.
    • Click [Search Now] and see if required fonts are listed as search result.

Resolving the problem

In case you have the license for using fonts: Install corresponding fonts to [Physical fonts locations] set in Cognos Configuration.

In case you do NOT have the license <OR> In case font names are different between font set in report and font installed in BI server: Use alternative font using 'Physical fonts map' functionality as below.

  1. In Cognos Configuration, go to menu [Action] -> [Edit Global Configuration...] -> [Fonts] tab.
  2. Confirm that the font name you want to render is registered as Supported Font Name, and register the font name first if it does not exist.
  3. Go to [Local Configuration] -> [Environment] -> [Font Settings] -> [Physical fonts map].
  4. Click the edit button.
  5. Add mapping information ('Global Font Name' and 'Physical Font Name').
    • Global Font Name: Enter the font name registered in above 2.
    • Physical Font Name: Select the font name from the search results. Physical font will be used as an alternative for a global font.

Cross reference information
Segment Product Component Platform Version Edition
Business Intelligence & Financial Performance Management Cognos Business Intelligence Install and Config AIX, Linux 10.2 All Editions

Document information

More support for: Cognos Business Intelligence
Install and Config

Software version: 10.2

Operating system(s): AIX, Linux

Software edition: All Editions

Reference #: 1624954

Modified date: 2013-02-12