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Fonts used in InDesign not recognized by Illustrator

Community Beginner ,
Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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I'm using fonts in InDesign that I've licensed from Creative Cloud. They work fine in InDesign but when I save them as PDFs so I can open them in Illustrator, the fonts are missing and the app refuses to recognize them even though I know they are installed. I've verified I'm signed into Creative Cloud and the fonts are licensed. The fonts also work if I create a new document in Illustrator. It just refuses to recognize the same font if it originates from InDesign. If I export the InDesign document to an EPS file, the font is recognized no problem, but it's extremely tedious for my workflow to create intermediary files just because Adobe products aren't actually compatible with each other. Why is it so difficult to work between applications all from Adobe???

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Community Expert ,
Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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This would be highly unusual if you're using Typekit/Adobe Fonts which are part of your Creative Cloud subscription, and I don't recall hearing this before. I've never experienced it myself.

We need more information: What operating system? What version of Indesign? What version of Illustrator? Exactly which Adobe fonts are you using?

Please provide screen captures which document what you're talking about, and/or access to the files ( you could post them on Creative Cloud or on another service like Dropbox, and provide links).

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Community Expert ,
Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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Actually, it would make more sense to post this in the Adobe Fonts website which deals with those fonts and cross-application issues:

Adobe Fonts (formerly Typekit)

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 1803 OS Build 17134.648. InDesign CC 14.0.1 x64. Illustrator CC 23.0.2 64-bit. Futura PT.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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It seems that this is a fairly common problem a quick Google search on how to open InDesign documents in Illustrator yielded the advice to convert it to an EPS file because they stated Illustrator often doesn't recognize the fonts if you save as a PDF. Seems especially maddening considering I got the fonts directly from Adobe to avoid compatibility issues...

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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Here is the article:

"BUT, sometimes Illustrator throws a wobbly and substitutes the fonts for no good reason."

How to convert an Indesign file to an Illustrator (.ai) file – Illustration Stuff

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Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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That article is unreliable! I've just put a comment onto its response thread.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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Please note that Adobe Illustrator is not, repeat is not, repeat yet again is not a general purpose PDF file editor. The only PDF files that can be safely edited in Adobe Illustrator are PDF files that are saved from Adobe Illustrator itself using the “retain editability” option. Opening a PDF file exported from InDesign in Illustrator is not supported by Adobe. You can expect that there may be changes in the fonts, conversions of fonts to outlines, text relayout, color space changes, and more “issues” with your workflow.

There is nothing unexpected in what is happening here! The problem is that you are attempting to use Illustrator in a non-supported workflow.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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Then what is the suggested workflow?

I have to create hundreds of illustrations using the DataMerge from InDesign because text and graphics are being imported from Excel generated CSVs - no choice on the matter. I need to perform further editing of some of those illustrations in Illustrator because InDesign does not support those edits. I then "Place" those final AI images back in my final page layout, which is a different InDesign document. I've been using this workflow for over 10 years. It used to work fine in CS4 and CS5, but with each successive product release it seems to get more and more difficult...

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Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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Whatever graphics you are bringing into InDesign using data merge should be edited in Illustrator before being brought into InDesign.

And FWIW, workflow of editing PDF from InDesign in Illustrator was never officially supported by Adobe. We have warned about this for many years now on these forums and elsewhere. Sorry!

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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That's not possible as the final composite illustration needs edits, not the source files from the Data Merge. So the real problem is that DataMerge outputs results that Adobe does not support any further edits to. I understand the logic behind the standard workflow - Photoshop - Illustrator - InDesign. With that schema DataMerge should really be an Illustrator feature, but it's not so I'm just SOL. Thanks. I'll just use the technique in that unreliable article because it was much more useful for solving real life problems that graphics professional need to deal with...

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Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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If you are saving as EPS and bringing the EPS into Illustrator, there are similar issues to those of bringing PDF into Illustrator. Illustrator is not a general purpose EPS file editor either.The only EPS files that Illustrator fully supports editing of are those saved from Illustrator! And even EPS files with fonts embedded may have font recognition issues in Illustrator. It's just that EPS has a much more restricted graphics capability than either InDesign or Illustrator. Saving EPS out of InDesign loses ICC color management, transparency, etc.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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Look I didn't come here to argue what is officially supported and not supported. I have a job to do and just need to get this done. I have InDesign generated documents that need to be further edited in Illustrator. The reverse is not possible. Period. Is there ANY file format or procedure I can use as a workaround that will yield somewhat reliable results? Or is your answer no?

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Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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See my next response. That should solve your problem of further edits after data merge. We are not trying to argue about anything but rather, properly set your expectations in terms of reliable end-to-end workflow.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 09, 2023 Nov 09, 2023

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Everyone is missing the point.  The FONTS are not reading.  I have experienced the same issue. 
I used ACUMIN PRO CONDENDSED in a report, using both Illustrator and Indesign.  When I am placing my exported table into Illustrator ACUMIN PRO CONDENDSED SemiBold and Medium error in Illustrator.  These are adobe cloud fonts.   Whether I use the font in AI, PSD, ID... they should all cross platform. 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 09, 2023 Nov 09, 2023

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This is an old thread and may or may not bring you any answers you need. A fresh thread with exactly the problems you're seeing, on what app versions and what platform/OS, might be more productive.


┋┊ InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): A Professional Guide, v3.0 ┊ (Amazon) ┊┋

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Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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By the way, you don't have to use Data Merge to immediately produce a PDF file. You could merge to a new InDesign document and do the edits of the content in InDesign prior to exporting PDF. Why wouldn't that work?

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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I need to apply effects like drop shadow and 3D extrude & bevel that are not available in InDesign.

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Drop shadow and bevel effects are available in InDesign, but not 3D extrude. Sorry!

What you might be able to do in Acrobat Pro DC is to enter the edit tool, select the particular graphic object that needs augmentation, and try to edit that in Illustrator from within Acrobat. That is more likely to work since it doesn't involve multiple color spaces and text.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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Guide ,
Mar 29, 2019 Mar 29, 2019

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Illustrator does have data merge capability, although I have not tried it.

Merge data to create data-driven graphics through templates and variables in Illustrator

If Dov's suggestion to use Acrobat to edit an object in a PDF doesn't work (the size and position may change), the safest way would probably be to open the PDF in Illustrator (you can close your eyes for a moment Dov) then delete everything from the file except the object you want to edit*, then save it as a new (Illustrator editable) PDF. Finally place this new PDF into InDesign on top of the old object and delete the old object.

*A quick way to do this is to select the object and move it to a new layer, then delete the original layer.

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