When you try to integrate iRerport into your Java application’s reporting system, you might run into a problem figuring out how to implement utf-8 based languages with the generated PDF report file.
Characters will be replaced by void, or question marks ????.
Here’s how I solved it:

Go to Preferences (Options for windows users) –>
Fonts Tab –>
Click on Install Font

Arabic and UTF-8 with iReport
You can browse your fonts folder in:
Mac: MacintoshHD –> Library –> Fonts
Windows: Windows –> Fonts
After selecting your true type font .ttf
You can also select the Bold, Italic, Bold Italic files of your chosen font (if you have it).
Incase of having issues with Arabic reports, font Arial did the trick for me.

Arabic and UTF-8 with iReport

The most important thing is to notice the highlighted area in the screen shot, where I selected PDF Encoding: Identity-H (Unicode with horizontal writing) and checked the Embed this font in the PDF document.
You have your font set, now go back to your report, and select your static text or text fields, and from the properties panel change the font to your newly added one.
You’ll notice your new font highly at first of your fonts drop down.

This method was tested using Jaspersoft iReport Designer 3.7.6, and all the above of course applies to the NetBeans plugin.