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Problem with Arabic fonts

Community Beginner ,
Nov 10, 2023 Nov 10, 2023

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Hello,

I'm having problems with Arabic fonts in the current InDesign version.

 

I have many Arabic documents created in Indesign CS4 ME (Middle East edition), and all of them work correctly.
However, when I open these documents in Indesign 2024 with Arabic language capabilities, all the Arabic characters are displayed as squares although I'm using the same font. I cannot find any setting that would help with resolving this problem.

 

I will really appreciate your support.

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Community Expert , Nov 12, 2023 Nov 12, 2023

So I believe the issue have been resolved. I just have to be careful as the previous version of Indesign did some default substitution and I need to adjust this manually, which is a bad news for me.

 

In which case, I have good news! When I face similar challenges - usually opening up very old Pagemaker or InDesign files full of Lao or Khmer or something along those lines - I like to use GREP Styles to apply appropriate complex-script fonts. You can do it with a normal GREP Find/Change query a

...

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Community Expert ,
Nov 11, 2023 Nov 11, 2023

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Did you install the ME version of InDesign? 

https://helpx.adobe.com/ie/indesign/kb/access-install-hebrew-arabic-indesign-illustrator-CC.html

 

Another thing to try is to reinstall the font.
I'd start by uninstalling the font. 

Clear the font cache.

Then reinstall the font.

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 11, 2023 Nov 11, 2023

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Thank you for the hint. However, the required font is not installed in the system. It is available in the Document Fonts folder of the project. The Latin characters are displayed correctly, but Arabic not. When I use the same font in Indesign CS4 ME everything is working like a charme.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 11, 2023 Nov 11, 2023

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Are you using the Adobe World Ready Paragraph Composer? This is necessary for Arabic.

 

Screenshot 2023-11-11 at 4.50.38 AM.png

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 11, 2023 Nov 11, 2023

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Yes, the Adobe World Ready Paragraph Composer is set to on.

All the functionalities of ME edition are available.

If I change the text to any Adobe Arabic font, everything looks correct, but the font I want to use is not working, although it looks perfectly in Indesign CS4 ME. Same font, the same document, but the result is completely different in CS4 ME and CC ME. I'm trying to understand why as I would like to switch to the new version of Indesign.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 11, 2023 Nov 11, 2023

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Did you check, if the Arabic Font is not a T1 font, as those are not supported anymore?

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Community Expert ,
Nov 11, 2023 Nov 11, 2023

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What type of font is the one that's not working? PostScript Type 1, or TrueType, or OpenType?

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Community Expert ,
Nov 11, 2023 Nov 11, 2023

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You could try installing the fonts from the fonts folder might work better. 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 11, 2023 Nov 11, 2023

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These are OTF fonts, I also tried to install them in Indesign's Font folder, but it does not change anything.

 

Benton Sans WGL Book.otf
Benton Sans WGL Extra Light_0.otf

Benton Sans Light.otf
Benton Sans WGL Bold.otf

The Latin characters work correctly, but the Abic not:

 

janu18895212_0-1699719850464.png

 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 11, 2023 Nov 11, 2023

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Was the text originally with an older font written where the Arabic  Glyphs were on other places?

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 11, 2023 Nov 11, 2023

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This is the same place of the document opened in old version of Adobe (CS4). I'm not changing anything:

janu18895212_0-1699723484051.png

 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 11, 2023 Nov 11, 2023

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I think that you'd need to figure out how your text is set up in CS4ME before trying to open it in CC. In particular, you'd need to know what was going on with your fonts. Benton Sans WGL explicitly doesn't have any Arabic characters in it; the WGL is the Windows Glyph List, and it's completely free of Arabic glyphs. You can look at the complete glyph complement for Benton Sans WGL here; there aren't any Arabic glyphs. So there must be some other font in use in your screenshot.

 

Is there any chance that you have a plugin like World Tools Pro installed in CS4? It allowed the user to make a composite font, where you could connect a Latin-script font and an Arabic-script font so that if you selected the composite font in the dropdown, it'd apply the font appropriate for the script. That is what this seems to be to me, but it's quite unlikely that you'd be unaware of it if you'd done that yourself. DId you inherit these documents from another designer, or are you the original designer?

 

Can you post a small sample INDD? We wouldn't need much, just as much as you posted in your screenshot. 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 12, 2023 Nov 12, 2023

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Thank you for your detailed reply.

 

Some of the documents are created originally by me from scratch, and some others are delivered by our customers. Our task is to organize the translation and typesetting, and we have been doing it without any problems for about 15 years, using CS4. Still, now I would like to use the newer Indesign version, and we have a lot of issues when we open some previously created docs.

 

It has also come to my mind that CS4 somehow substitutes the missing characters, even though I'm not intentionally using any special plug-in for this. This is just a "standard" CS4 ME version.  I thought conversion from CS4 ME to the current CC would go smoothly without any additional tasks needed. Also, I have walked through all the settings in CS4, and I do not see any font substitution option. Moreover, I see that the "Highlight substituted fonts" option is on, so I'm guessing CS4 should highlight all the Arabic characters, which does not happen.

 

On the other hand, when I'm trying to change the font in CC, I see a warning "Missing Glyph protection has occurred. The new font could not be applied to all selected text.". When I change the font to any typical Arabic typeface, the Arabic text appears correctly., so it is now clear some substitution takes place in CS4, but I cannot figure out where it is set. 

 

To check this, I exported the document to PDF and I edited it in Acrobat to check the font name used for the Arabic characters. It seems CS4 automatically uses the default font "WinSoft Pro" (Winsoft Pro is the company that upgraded the Indesign with the right-to-left capabilities as they weren't offered by Adobe as standard): 

 

janu18895212_0-1699780377419.png

 

So I believe the issue have been resolved. I just have to be careful as the previous version of Indesign did some default substitution and I need to adjust this manually, which is a bad news for me.

 

Lat but not least, I really appreciate your support.

 

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 12, 2023 Nov 12, 2023

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So I believe the issue have been resolved. I just have to be careful as the previous version of Indesign did some default substitution and I need to adjust this manually, which is a bad news for me.

 

In which case, I have good news! When I face similar challenges - usually opening up very old Pagemaker or InDesign files full of Lao or Khmer or something along those lines - I like to use GREP Styles to apply appropriate complex-script fonts. You can do it with a normal GREP Find/Change query as well, but since I try to use paragraph styles, I find it faster and easier to do in the paragraph style. In fact, when I open up old files and fix the complex script stuff with a few style adjustments, I like to fire off an email to my retired coworker and say "Hey, remember when you made fun of me for wasting time on obsessive paragraph styling back in 2002? Well, I just updated eight thousand pages of legal documents, in twenty languages...  took me ten minutes!" 

 

So: if you have carefully groomed paragraph styles in your CS4 documents that are all set up with Benton Sans, you should make some character styles that only apply Winsoft Pro (or some other Arabic-supporting font of your choice). Then in the Paragraph Style, you can set up a GREP style that will apply that Character Style only to Arabic text or numbers, with the following query:

[\x{0600}-\x{06ff}|\x{0750}-\x{077f}|\x{fb50}-\x{fc3f}|\x{fe70}-\x{fefc}]+

Alternately, you can use the same query in the GREP tab of the Find/Change window, if you don't want to modify the paragraph styles. Those numbers in the curly brackets are Unicode values, so you can look up Unicode numbers for various types of character and exclude or include them in the search. This might require some fine-tuning on your part; Indic-Arabic numerals and punctuation are included, but I don't remember if parentheses and brackets and other such bidirectional punctuation are also included in this query.  That said, it should significantly reduce your workload of manual font-wrangling. If you need help tweaking the query for your purposes, just come back to this thread and we can figure out what needs to be included or excluded.

 

When I change the font to any typical Arabic typeface, the Arabic text appears correctly., so it is now clear some substitution takes place in CS4, but I cannot figure out where it is set. 


I don't think I was ever a user of Winsoft products - I much preferred World Tools Pro, as it gave me tools for handling CJK languages as well as RTL languages - but I do seem to recall from time spent in their time-limited demo that there was a setting buried somewhere that could change the default complex-script font. I also seem to recall a conversation with a designer in Lahore about how buying ScribeDOOR from Winsoft was helping her update old CS5ME documents, but sadly I don't recall any of the details. 

 

Anyhow, best of luck, and don't hesitate to come back with more questions. 

 

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