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FAQ: Why does SVG data with Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, or Hebrew fonts display incorrectly with Internet Explorer 9, 10, and 11?

Question

Why does SVG data with Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, or Hebrew fonts display incorrectly with Internet Explorer 9, 10, and 11?

Answer

ArcGIS Desktop 10, ArcGIS Server 10, and earlier Esri products had the ability to publish data containing multilingual text in SVG format. This data displayed as expected in Internet Explorer 8 while using the Adobe plugin. This was possible because ArcGIS 10 was embedding fonts via a proprietary format defined by Adobe to display multilingual text strings.

Adobe dropped support for their plugins a long time ago; thus, with ArcGIS 10.1, Esri has moved to a more standard approach to embed font and glyph data that is in full compliance with the latest SVG specifications. While Internet Explorer has started supporting the SVG format (see the following Internet Explorer blog post), Internet Explorer does not support the Altglyph element for embedding and decoding correctly (see this Microsoft Developer Network link). This means that data containing Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, or Hebrew text published with current ArcGIS software does not display correctly in Internet Explorer 9, 10, and 11.

Note:
Published SVG format data with Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, or Hebrew text displays correctly with Google Chrome and Firefox browsers.