Using MacOS X fonts with OpenOffice on a MacBook Pro

Posted on Fri 12 May 2006
After more than 15 years using Microsoft Office (I started with Word 1.0 on a Macintosh SE), I decided to live without it on my new MacBook Pro.

NeoOffice, the OpenOffice port that uses the Mac's graphical system is not yet available for Intel Macs, so I installed an " community build" (read non-official) of the X11 version. Sure, the GUI isn't as polished as a regular MacOS application, but you get used to it. The major problem is that it has a very small number of ugly fonts and doesn't know the Mac's nifty fonts.

Adding the MacOS fonts to OpenOffice doesn't look common knowledge on Google but is actually quite simple, so here it is for posterity:
  • install Fondu, a set of font file conversion tools, to convert MacOS fonts to TTF fonts that X11 understands
  • open a terminal and type ({app-dir} is where your OpenOffice application lies):
    cd {app-dir}/\
    mkdir system
    cd system
    fondu /System/Library/Fonts/*
This converts all Mac system fonts in a place where OpenOffice looks up its fonts. You still miss the super-fancy ligatures of fonts like Zapfino, but you got them all!

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