Still Using PostScript Type 1 Fonts? Really?
We originally posted this article in 2011 and it's even more relevant today (in 2018)!
Font issues among Creative Professionals can range from minor annoyances (Warning: Helvetica conflict at startup) to major problems that cost thousands of dollars (Oops: 10,000 books were affected by text reflow).
We work with more than 500 heavy font users and we’re confident we can fix — or explain — every font issue that’s presented to our Support Desk. However, we’ve noticed a growing font problem that has one very clear solution. Unfortunately, it’s a solution few seem eager to follow.
As Thomas Phinney from Adobe pointed out in 2005:
People expect their fonts to continue to work forever. But when thinking about Type 1 eventually going away, it’s worth keeping in mind the value that customers have gotten from their Type 1 fonts over the years. What other software do you have that you bought in the late 1980s that still works today? It’s amazing that these things have had such a long lifespan.
Of course, a lot of people don’t think of fonts as software, but that’s really what they are: little plug-ins to your system software.
If you’re experiencing ongoing font issues, especially in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, take a look at your fonts and see if they are PostScript. Most of the font issues we see today are related to using PostScript Type 1 fonts from the early to mid-1990s (15-20 years ago. A century in techno-years!)
If you can prove you own the font, it’s sometimes possible to contact the font developer and ask for a free PostScript update. This might solve the problem. If you don’t own the font then the only option is to buy new — and buy OpenType. There are many advantages to buying OpenType (see OpenType Q&A for details).
Replace your PostScript fonts with OpenType. Your workday will become more enjoyable and you'll love your fonts again. :)
UPDATE: Support for PostScript Type 1 fonts is officially gone from Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac v16. Upgrading to OpenType is the best — and only — solution.
We still use PS Type 1 fonts. They are supported by the Adobe software palette on Mac OS X. Just create a folder Fonts inside the directory /Library/Application Support/Adobe/ and restart your computer. Every PS Type 1 font (.PFB) you put in that folder is available inside InDesign, Illustrator, etc.
Thanks for your comment, Immwi. Yes, many PostScript (PS) fonts will continue to work. However, PS fonts are out-dated and not recommended in a business environment — especially when a much better and stable version (OpenType) is available.
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