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https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/FOP-2728?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=16089037#comment-16089037
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Glenn Adams commented on FOP-2728:
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The reason I suggest a really simple FO input file for testing presentation is 
because that is the real input of FOP. All XSLT processing is just noise that 
makes it difficult to test and understand the formatting semantics of FOP 
processing.

I haven't tested any Farsi fonts. You might try the Arabic fonts mentioned in 
the link I provided above.

> Persian (Farsi) output problem with FOP
> ---------------------------------------
>
>                 Key: FOP-2728
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/FOP-2728
>             Project: FOP
>          Issue Type: Bug
>          Components: renderer/pdf
>    Affects Versions: 2.1
>         Environment: Ubuntu 16.04 with xmlto 0.0.28
>            Reporter: Navid Emami
>              Labels: drupal
>         Attachments: mkebooks.sh, pdf-farsi.xsl, sample-output-final.zip, 
> sample-output.zip
>
>
> We are having trouble making Persian (Farsi) language output with FOP.
> We are using the *xmlto* script with the --with-fop option to convert a 
> DocBook file to PDF using FOP, which uses XSLT to first make a FO file, and 
> then FOP to convert to PDF. We used the --noclean option to capture the 
> intermediate FO XML file.
> We have verified that the Persian (Farsi) characters are readable in the 
> DocBook and FO files. However, when we generate the PDF, the output is not 
> readable. There are both _joined_ and _separated_ letters in Persian (Farsi) 
> language but the output in PDF format has just separated ones.
> Note that there are some font issues in the PDF output as well -- missing 
> glyphs -- those show as # characters, and are in the chapter/section 
> headings. However, the main body of the text has no # characters, and it 
> still has this problem.
> *Attachments:*
> * sample-output.zip contains small.docbook, small.fo, small.epub and 
> small.pdf. The final output of PDF should be similar to EPUB.
> * sample-output-full.zip contains guide.epub and guide.pdf which are the 
> complete documents but with wrong rendering of characters in PDF.



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