How do I get Mathematica to display correctly?
This document explains the steps required to solve the problem in
which common symbols are not displaying correctly in the Mathematica
window, when running on Llama but displaying on your Windows desktop,
under Hummingbird Exceed. A typical example might be where the square
brackets '[' and ']' display as '@' and 'D' respectively.
Using Mathematica via the Exceed X server requires installation of
fonts on the PC running Exceed. In the spirit of Windows, it's
impossible to write a simple script that achieves this and the only
(documented) procedure involves manually navigating numerous obscure
dialog boxes. The following instructions describe the full
This works. Don't get creative and think up new names for directories,
you'll just make a mistake, and end up spending more time on it than
you really need to. Trust me, I speak from experience!
The options mentioned here are the ones you may need to change. You
will navigate through several dialogs, each with many options, many of
which are not obvious, nor are they explained well in the Exceed
documentation. Use the default values, unless otherwise specified.
First check whether the fonts are already installed, by running
Mathematica (on llama, type "mathematica" - all lower case). It will
issue a warning if the fonts are missing. Quit Mathematica.
and extract it to C:\TEMP\MATH (e.g., using WinZip).
- Create the directory
Run Exceed's Xconfig from
"Start | Programs | Hummingbird Connectivity 7.00 | Exceed |
Xconfig". You will be asked for a password. I believe this is one you
specified when you installed Exceed.
- Double click the "Fonts" icon.
Installing the fonts consists of three steps: first, we compile the
*.pcf files into Exceed's format; second, we add the fonts to the
database; third, we check that everything went according to plan.
- Choose Compile Fonts...
- In "Directories", choose C:\TEMP\MATH\PCF
- In "List Files of Type", choose "PCF Files"
- Click "Select All"
- [Others recommend doing this:
In "Output Font Directory", choose c:\program
From my experience, you might just want to go with the default
C:\documents and settings\all users\application
allows other users on the same Windows machine to benefit from your
work. If this folder doesn't exist, xconfig may complain. Create the
folder, and try again.
- Click Compile
- Click Done
You're finished compiling the fonts. Take a look in the output
directory, you should have one new file for each of the original *.pcf
files you started with. Now, we need to add the directory to the font database.
- When asked whether to add the directory to the font database,
choose Yes. If xconfig doesn't ask you, just choose "Font Database...",
- For Font Directory, give the name of the output directory used to
compile the fonts.
- In the "File Name (*.fdb)" edit box, enter "Mathematica".
- Set Status to "keep".
- Click OK to close the "Add Font Directory " dialog box
- Click Close to close the "Compile Fonts" dialog box
- Choose "Font Database"
- Disable "Automatic Font Substitution " (if it is enabled)
- Click "Rebuild Database", click "Yes" on the dialog that asks if
you're sure, then "Done".
- Click "OK"
- Close Xconfig
Finally, we check that it went according to plan
- In the "Font Database" window, scroll down to the bottom of the
font list, you should see one called "mathematica" (names are always
converted to lower case in this list).
- Double-clicking on it should
bring up a "Font List" window, showing all the fonts in that
- Double-click on one of the fonts, you should get a new window,
listing all the characters. You should see recognizable mathematical
symbols there. (Greek and Hebrew letters, set theory symbols, etc.)
- Click OK to close the "Font List" dialog.
- For better performance, you want to move mathematica closer to the
top, below "100dpi" and "75dpi" (don't worry if you're missing one of
these), but above "misc". These fonts are searched in order from the
top down, so having "mathematica" close to the top improves the
response of the Mathematica notebook interface.
- Click OK to close the"Font Database" dialog.
Restart Exceed. [Others speak of this as if it were optional. In
my experience, this seems to be a crucial step.]
This document based on an original ("Using Mathematica fonts in
Hummingbird Exceed") by Eran Tromer, with corrections by Ariel Elbaz,
and on material from Hummingbird's website ("Compiling unix
*.pcf/*.bdf fonts on PC"). Additional help provided by the tech
support team at Hummingbird.
Additions/modifications for Roth Lab's Llama cluster by Frank Gibbons, 2002.