I just had the problem to create a VF page that renders as a pdf and outputs polish text. The only font that supports polish characters is Arial Unicode MS but with this font, I can't output bold or italic, the renderer simply ignores it. The other fonts work as expected but there the special characters are missing.

Anyone out there who found a workaround to format the text in bold/italic with Arial Unicode MS?

  • 1
    Are you using custom CSS and do you have an <apex:pageMessages id="messages"> tag on your page? I've found that if anything goes wrong while processing a page, it can cause all sorts of other formatting problems. For the special characters, have you tried using their c-map numbers in order to get them to display? As a final thought, are the fonts installed on the machine you're using to view the PDF?? I don't know if they always get embedded in SF's PDF generator which is an option one can set with Acrobat Distiller.
    – crmprogdev
    Mar 26, 2013 at 21:32
  • I ran across this post today and wondered if you'd seen it. Perhaps it might provide some insight into your problem and lead to a possible solution.
    – crmprogdev
    Mar 29, 2013 at 14:50

3 Answers 3


After version 27, users have to add applyBodyTag="false" to render double-byte PDF as usual.

<apex:page ... renderAs="pdf" **applyBodyTag="false"**>

ref: http://www.salesforce.com/us/developer/docs/pages/Content/pages_quick_start_renderas_pdf.htm


Relaying my findings from the more recent question: visualforce page as PDF - unicode font bold characters

According to Flying Saucer PDF Generator and Unicode you need a special variant build of Flying Saucer to:

generate the appropriate PDF commands to emulate bold and italics when a style calls for it but no matching font can be found.

From the Features of this Release:

Added font emulation for bold and italics variations when there is no direct support in the font files themselves. Fonts like Microsoft's Arial Unicode MS only come in one version: plain text. In order to have bold, italics and bold+italics the font must be modified on-the-fly by the PDF display software.

So, unless Salesforce were using a variation of Flying Saucer or switch to another PDF renderer it won't be possible.

As per the comment by Oleksiy, voting for the idea Arial Unicode MS - Bold in PDF may help in the long run.


Do you have your CSS styling wrapped in <head> </head>? Normally, this wrapper isn't needed for Visualforce, but I've found it necessary to have my CSS classes work when rendering as a PDF.

My PDF Template

            <style type="text/css" media="print">
                @page {
                    margin: 0.1in;


  • That makes no impact. I have outputText in my pdf page and I add inline styles to it. For example, I add red color and font-weight 800, without renderas="pdf" text is red and bold, but as pdf it is red only Apr 14, 2016 at 18:32
  • Inline styles always work. Whenever I make PDFs, I have <apex:page applyBodyTag="false" applyHtmlTag="false" ...> and manually add the <html> and <body> tags. Then I put my CSS Classes in a <head>. Apr 14, 2016 at 18:34
  • But in this case issue is with font only. I have the same issue - salesforce.stackexchange.com/questions/118055/… Apr 14, 2016 at 18:37

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