RTF import

Subject: RTF import
From: Lukas Pietsch (pietsch@mail.uni-freiburg.de)
Date: Wed Mar 07 2001 - 15:03:05 CST

I have a (maybe rather exotic) problem with a .rtf import. I think the
fault lies partly with the app that has written the .rtf (Lotus
DumbSuit(TM) WordPro 98), but Abiword's reaction is somehow more than

The problem seems to be that WordPro's .rtf export contains some invalid
font specification. There are references to a character style whose actual
definition DumbSuit had forgotten by the time it wrote the .rtf. =(;o So
the rtf file contains \fs commands which do not refer back to any existing
\fs declarations in the rtf header.

Before I go on telling you what Abiword does, let me assure you that some
other apps, such as MSWord, can deal gracefully with this kind of invalid
input, and display the text correctly (inserting some default font,

Well, Abiword chokes. It does import the text as such, and (understandably)
displays an empty field in the font dropdown box. Also, when it saves the
imported file in .abw format I can see that all the characters are there.
Abiword just writes a <c props="..."> tag with no "font-family"
specification into its .abw file. Also, once I select the text and specify
a font manually, everything comes out fine.

But before that, the display is *really* strange. I finally found out that
it was just adding a value of 0x100 to every Unicode character in the
source text! I.e., instead of U+0041 U+0062 U+0062 U+006F U+0074 U+0074 it
was displaying U+0141 U+0162 U+0162 U+016F U+0174 U+0174.

It also keeps using this "encoding" when I type in new characters in that

I have absolutely no idea how this behaviour comes about. It's certainly
not just a question of using the wrong codepage. There is no codepage like
this. Abiword must have been requesting of the Windows GDI to create a
logical "font" with some *very* weird attributes.

Any ideas, before I feed this into Bugzilla?


Lukas Pietsch
University of Freiburg
English Department

Phone (p.) (#49) (761) 696 37 23

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