12 April, 2010

Fonts not displaying or printing correctly

Ever have a Word (or other) document given you by someone else, and it didn't display the fonts correctly? Perhaps they sent you a PDF or image of the file, and it displayed correctly there, but not in the file that you want to now update.

The first thing to check is to make sure you have the same fonts on your system. An easy check is to look at the font list in your application. For example, if you're supposed to display Frutiger 45 Light, but its not in the list, then it's likely not installed. If you don't have the font, and can get access to it, Microsoft has a process for installing it to your Windows machine.

In some cases, you may have the font, but it still doesn't display correctly nor is it in the list of fonts in your application. This is likely due to the original file being created on a Mac. It may even occur in some applications, such as Word or QuarkXpress, but not in others, such as Photoshop. The reason is that Windows uses style-linking, while the Mac used different fonts.

If you go to c:\windows\fonts\ and look at the font that is installed, but not working, you should see the typeface name used to create the font. The typeface name will be in your list of fonts in the application. For example, the properties for Frutiger 65 Bold uses a typeface of Frutiger 45 Light.
To correct existing documents, highlight the text that references the non-displaying font (e.g. Frutiger 65 Bold) and then select the typeface you found defined in the font (e.g. Frutiger 45 Light) followed by applying any modifications, such as bold.

To keep this from occurring, have the creators of the source documents on the Mac only use base fonts (i.e. Frutiger 45 Light and Frutiger 55 Roman).

Look in the Windows Issues section of the file on OpenType(R) fonts from Adobe to learn more.

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