[cairo] [poppler] Printing with poppler on Windows

Peter Åstrand astrand at cendio.se
Wed May 7 02:24:20 PDT 2008

(Entire thread available from 

On Thu, 7 Feb 2008, Jonathan Kew wrote:

> >The first step is trying to build the existing tools for Windows, using
> >our MinGW cross compile environment. I've basically succeeded, though it
> >was a lot of work:
> >
> >* Build libxml2
> >* Build Freetype
> >* Build Fontconfig
> >* Build Cairo
> >* Build poppler
> >
> >Are all these dependencies really necessary? Does Freetype/Fontconfig work
> >well on Windows?
> Freetype works well. You can skip building it yourself by getting a pre-built
> version if you like; that's what I've done lately, and it's working well for
> me (using a GnuWin32 installation of FT).
> Fontconfig works but is rather "foreign". If you build poppler with MSVC, it
> looks like it avoids Fontconfig in favor of native Windows APIs.
> Unfortunately, the config doesn't currently do this for MinGW builds.

I've decided to make another try at this now. It's not going well. As I 
understand it, Freetype is a hard dependency for Poppler on Windows, but 
Fontconfig is not. So, the plan is to leave out Fontconfig. But, Cairo 
doesn't let me build with Freetype but not Fontconfig:

checking for cairo's FreeType font backend...
checking for FONTCONFIG... no
checking whether cairo's FreeType font backend could be enabled... no 
(requires fontconfig)
configure: error: requested FreeType font backend could not be enabled

Any ideas? 

In general, using Poppler+Freetype+Cairo+Pixman seems like a quite complex 
combination, just for the task of printing a PDF to GDI. For example, 
Cairo seems to have built in support for using the Win32 font system 
instead of Freetype, but unfortunately this path is not possible with 
Poppler, as it requires Freetype. But perhaps I'm underestimating how 
difficult this task really is. 

Peter Åstrand		ThinLinc Chief Developer
Cendio AB		http://www.cendio.se
Wallenbergs gata 4
583 30 Linköping	Phone: +46-13-21 46 00

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