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Fonts Options, Requirements & Potential Issues

Original article from PrintUI located here.

In addition to a standard set of fonts available for use by any template, PrintUI supports uploading custom fonts to the system. Each client's fonts are specific to their account and will not conflict with other clients' fonts. Fonts can be managed directly within the InDesign panel. To manage your fonts, click on the Fonts tab. The panel allows for three font related actions:

1. Upload Font Allows you to select a font file to be uploaded to the PrintUI cloud for use with the system. As soon as it's uploaded, it can be used in templates.

2. Remove Font Allows for the removal of a previously uploaded font. Be very careful with the use of this action. If the font has been used by a template, the template will no longer render correctly once the font has been removed.

3. Download Font Allows for downloading of a font previously uploaded to the system for use on your local machine.

Please read the following guidelines for uploading and using custom fonts:

1. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct license to be using your fonts on the system. Generally, font developers require a license which allows embedding the fonts as well as a special server license.

2. Only Windows Truetype and OpenType fonts are supported. Postscript fonts, pre Mac OSX Truetype fonts, Mac "dfont" Truetype fonts, Multiple Master fonts and the like are all not supported. If you use one of these fonts in your document it should fail preflight.

Other restrictions:

1. Only true OpenType small caps are supported. Faux small caps will be converted to 100% size.

2. Text frame first baseline offset must be set to "Ascent". 

One handy trick for adding to the fonts available in a template without having to add them to your base set is to put a text frame on the pasteboard, out of the way, then set some text in every "extra" font you'd like to include in the list.

Some common problems to watch for in regards to fonts:

  • Mixing TrueType and OpenType fonts for the same font family. InDesign gets confused when you do this. All fonts in a single font family (“Arial” is an example of a font family) should all be either OTF or TTF.

  • Using the Arial Black font in your template. InDesign gets confused.

  • Using bad fonts, such as really old Postscript fonts that have been converted into OTF or TTF format. Many times the font information embedded in the font is incorrect.

  • The best solution to font problems is to obtain a complete family of fonts all at one time and in OpenType format. Using the PrintUI panel in InDesign, be sure to delete all of the old versions of the fonts before uploading the new ones.

  • Using bullets from fonts that have non-standard glyph encoding. Many Wingdings and Dingbats style fonts have this problem. Instead, you should select a bullet character from a font that does use standard encodings. For example, Adobe’s Minion Pro font has a small bullet glyph at Unicode 2022 and a large square bullet glyph at Unicode 23F9. Use a font utility to view which glyphs are available in your particular font.

  • If issues persist with a TTF font family, it can help to convert it to OTF, and remove the TTF family from your computer. You can use the following online conversion tool: https://onlinefontconverter.com/ 
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