April 21, 2006

ASK MORDY: The Find Font Dialog

Hey everyone! I'm back and ready to answer some more questions -- these came from Eric.

I've been switching over to utilizing opentype fonts in my projects. So I'm having to find and replace the old PS or TT to the new OT styles, and I'm using the Type > Find Font dialog to make these changes. I also have a lot of fonts open. So a coupla things:

1. All those check boxes in the bottom in the "Included in List:" whadda they all mean? CID? Standard?


All of those checkboxes at the bottom of the Find Font dialog are just there to confuse you :)

Actually, if your document contains a lot of different fonts, unchecking some of the boxes will limit the results you see in the Find Font dialog, making it easier to make font choices and changes. I would assume that most would leave them all checked, but if you really want to know what all of these are:

OpenType: OpenType fonts are the latest and greatest in font technology. The format is an open standard and is unicode compliant (which is more important than most people might think). OpenType fonts can contain up to 65,000 glyphs inside of them and can take advantage of "automatic glyph replacement" technology in programs like InDesign and Illustrator. The OpenType palette in Illustrator allows you to tap into some of the great features found in OpenType fonts. In general, Adobe OpenType fonts will end in the letters "Std" for Standard or "Pro" which indicates the font contains extended character sets and features. OpenType fonts are also cross-platform compatible and are a single font file (both the printer and the screen fonts are embedded in the file).

Type 1: The "old" font standard, Type 1 fonts revolutionized typesetting. Type 1 fonts are PostScript-based and are not unicode compliant (and therefore prone to character substitution). PostScript fonts are made up of two separate files (printer and screen files) and are limited to a maximum of 256 glyphs per font.

TrueType: Originally developed to "overtake" Adobe's Type 1 PostScript font standard, TrueType fonts are made of a single font file. Myth states that TrueType fonts are a big no-no when used in Prepress workflows, although just about any modern RIP can handle them with no issue.

Roman: Roman here doesn't mean "not italic" as in the face. Roman here instead refers to the language or character set. Fonts that use alphanumeric characters are "roman" fonts.

CID: CID fonts are basically the "opposite" of roman fonts. CID is short for "Character IDentifier". CID fonts were developed for Far East markets and languages such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (what Adobe often refers to as "CJK"). CID fonts are usually several fonts "sewn" together as many Asian fonts contain far more than 256 glyphs (the limit with PostScript Type 1 fonts). The use of OpenType fonts and something called "Composite fonts" (only available when using Asian text features) have replaced much of the need for CID fonts these days.

Multiple Master: Multiple Master fonts are a special "flavor" of Type 1 PostScript and were originally developed to allow designers to interactively scale fonts on horizontal or vertical axes. This would give a great amount of control to designers to customize a font as needed, but the need for such kind of control never really materialized. The features available in OpenType fonts are far more important to designers. Adobe has stopped making Multiple Master fonts for some time now.

Standard: I'm not 100% sure on this, but Standard fonts seem to be those fonts that are considered "standard" fonts that are installed and used by the operating system.


2. How come all the fonts aren't alphabetical!?!?!?! ARGH!!!! Why is my Adobe Jenson Pro appearing inbetween my Helvetica Neue's?

Excellent question. I can tell you why, but I can't guarantee you'll be happy with the answer. Fonts appear in the upper portion of the Find Font dialog according to the stacking order in which they first appear in the document. Fonts that are higher in the object hierarchy appear towards the top of the list. I'm not aware of any way to change this.

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Chris said...

How can I start making my fonts?