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Old 12-02-2006, 01:28 PM   #1
michelen
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Default Converting Postscript Fonts to PC Format

We work in a mixed environment. Until recently, we were receiving MSWord docs from the PC-based editorial department, and doing all page layout work in the Design/Production department using Macs.

We have changed our workflow to make it more efficient. Editors are now expected to "drop" their own stories into InDesign templates. The pages then go to Design, then back to edit for copyedit changes. In the end, they come to me for prepress. I had my doubts at first, but this is actually working quite well and saving a lot of time.

The one problem, as you can guess, was fonts. Someone here mentioned FontLab's Transtype font conversion program, so I decided to check it out.

I converted our entire postscript font library to PC format--and it worked almost perfectly. I was truly amazed at how simple the program was to use, and how well it worked. It took me an hour or so to convert our thousands of fonts. I tested them pretty extensively, sending InDesign files back and forth between platforms, and so far, I have not encountered any problems.

Eventually, we plan to invest in the entire Adobe Font Folio package in OpenType format. But until we do, this was a very cost-effective solution to the problem. We bought the "Pro" version for $179. There is an "SE" version for $99. The Pro version allows conversion between formats, i.e. Mac Type 1 to Windows OpenType.

Just thought you might be interested in my experience with this software.

Regards,
Michele
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Old 12-02-2006, 04:50 PM   #2
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Very interesting — thanks for keeping us up to date.

   
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Old 12-02-2006, 05:50 PM   #3
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KT,

Heh, heh, I spoke too soon.

More testing has revealed a problem.

San Serif fonts that use the term "oblique" are not translating correctly. I get a font that is called "oblique" but the font that shows up on screen and prints is roman. Grr. The odd thing is that these fonts show up correctly in InDesign's WYSIWYG font menu.

When I view, say, Franklin Gothic Oblique in ATMs Font Preview feature, it says the font name is "Franklin Gothic Italic" which you and I know does not exist. It points to the correct font file, and the font file has the correct name.

All of this testing has managed to get my Windows XP PC all confused. Go figure

I imagine there is some setting in Transtype Pro I need to use to fix this problem. I'll report back on the quality of their technical support.

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Michele
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Old 12-02-2006, 10:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michelen View Post
More testing has revealed a problem.

San Serif fonts that use the term "oblique" are not translating correctly. I get a font that is called "oblique" but the font that shows up on screen and prints is roman. Grr. The odd thing is that these fonts show up correctly in InDesign's WYSIWYG font menu.

When I view, say, Franklin Gothic Oblique in ATMs Font Preview feature, it says the font name is "Franklin Gothic Italic" which you and I know does not exist. It points to the correct font file, and the font file has the correct name.
I'm by no means a fonts expert, but I suspect this could be a problem with the names table in the font. You could try and load them into FontForge - I found it's pretty strict about what is, and is not, correct in the names table.

   
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Old 12-03-2006, 06:38 AM   #5
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Michele:

Quote:
it says the font name is "Franklin Gothic Italic" which you and I know does not exist
No, but Franklin Gothic Book Italic and Franklin Gothic Medium Italic exist: I have them both as TTF fonts on my computer, as they were both supplied with an earlier version of FrameMaker. Funnily enough, the fonts that are supplied now with FrameMaker are Adobe OTF fonts, but I am unable to delete the older Franklin Gothic fonts in the WinNT/Fonts folder.

I too gave TransType Pro 2, which I have used successfully to make TTF fonts out of OTF fonts; I also tried it with the few Type 1 fonts that I have, and it didn't work on all of them. The fonts that didn't convert seemed to belong to the families with more than four members. Modern Adobe OTF fonts do not suffer from this problem, since Adobe has taken great care with its font names.

   
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Old 12-12-2006, 10:55 PM   #6
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I tried converting my Futura family. None of the italic/oblique font converted correctly. I contacted FontLab tech support--several times. No response. I am miffed. I am asking for a refund. Not my $$, company $$. Now I have to explain it to them. Strangely enough, when I tested the demo, it converted these fonts correctly. Go figure.

I guess we have to pony up $5,000 for the Adobe Font Folio Opentype collection. Except that the new redesign doesn't use Adobe fonts. It uses something called "The Sans" and "The Serif." I *wish* designers weren't allowed to load their own fonts.

Stay tuned.
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Old 12-13-2006, 05:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by michelen View Post
I tried converting my Futura family. None of the italic/oblique font converted correctly. I contacted FontLab tech support--several times. No response. I am miffed. I am asking for a refund. Not my $$, company $$. Now I have to explain it to them. Strangely enough, when I tested the demo, it converted these fonts correctly. Go figure.

I guess we have to pony up $5,000 for the Adobe Font Folio Opentype collection. Except that the new redesign doesn't use Adobe fonts. It uses something called "The Sans" and "The Serif." I *wish* designers weren't allowed to load their own fonts.

Stay tuned.
I would be miffed too, and I am a little surprised that the FontLab people were not more responsive, especially when the demo did the job correctly. You’d think that would interest them.

TheSans and TheSerif were designed by Luc(as) de Groot of FontFabrik, part of the Thesis family, and so far as I know there are no Adobe fonts that come close to their range and complexity. These fonts were really hot a few years ago. TheSerif looks somewhat like PMN Caecelia.

The Thesis fonts are sold in the U.S. by FontShop USA, btw, but I do not see the licensing terms at the web site. Not sure whether they are embeddable.

   
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Old 12-13-2006, 07:14 AM   #8
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I tried converting my Futura family. None of the italic/oblique font converted correctly
I assume that the Futura family you have is pretty big, and that it is in Type 1. You are almost bound to get failures, because of name clashes. If it is important to you to have TrueType or Open Type Futura, why don't you just buy the Futura family from Adobe? That will, at the most, cost a few hundred dollars. And if you want TTF files, the OTF set from Adobe will convert completely to TTF.

The instructions for use do emphasize the importance of correct naming if the family has more than four members.

   
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Old 12-13-2006, 08:32 PM   #9
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Sorry - I am not taking time to read the entie thread
but, if you are using InDesign -
why not just put the PC fonts into the MAC InDesign font folder
and use the PC fonts themselves?
I never convert fonts between platforms anymore (for years now)
just stick them in there and use them.
Same with Illustrator.

MSD
------

We work in a mixed environment. Until recently, we were receiving MSWord docs from the PC-based editorial department, and doing all page layout work in the Design/Production department using Macs.
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michelen View Post
San Serif fonts that use the term "oblique" are not translating correctly. I get a font that is called "oblique" but the font that shows up on screen and prints is roman. Grr. The odd thing is that these fonts show up correctly in InDesign's WYSIWYG font menu.
A tool to fix such font name/style issues in Type 1 PC fonts is "ABF Rename".

Freeware. http://fontworker.freeservers.com/

It can deal with big folders of fonts, but less confusing to put one family at a time into a folder. It makes backups, which you can delete if all is well.
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