Activating Fonts is a nightmare – tips/tricks to get it to work?

Explorer ,
Mar 22, 2021 Mar 22, 2021

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Hello!

 

I use InDesign all day for client work. Our clients sometimes send us their own designs using Adobe fonts that have to be activated. 10 out of 10 times, InDesign does not activate all the fonts. It just sits there spinning. So I go between the Creative Cloud App, and using the browser to go to fonts, quit InDesign, activate/deactivate multiple times to try to get this to work. Somse styles will activate, others won't in the same font family. It is a huge TIME SUCK in my workflow during the day.

What is the trick to get this to work? I'm considering requiring all clients to only to use OpenType or TrueType fonts and banning all use of activated Adobe fonts.

 

InDesign 15.1.3 on Mac OS X Catalina 10.15.7

 

Thanks

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correct answers 2 Correct Answers

Adobe Community Professional , Mar 22, 2021 Mar 22, 2021
This normally happens when there is a conflict in your fonts and Adobe gets confused as to which fonts need activated and which you already have. Best to check if you have system fonts/other fons outside of the Adobe setup that conflict or are causing a problem. I have had this previously as well.

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Adobe Community Professional , Mar 22, 2021 Mar 22, 2021
...I'm considering requiring all clients to only to use OpenType or TrueType fonts and banning all use of activated Adobe fonts.By @scotw74004221   Requiring clients to use OpenType fonts exclusively would be a very good move! OpenType fonts are based on the Unicode character set, are cross-platform, and became the computer industry's standard in 2000 (yes, 21 years ago).   They come in 2 "flavors," OpenType/PostScript flavored (OTF) and OpenType/TrueType flavored (TT). There's little differen...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 22, 2021 Mar 22, 2021

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This normally happens when there is a conflict in your fonts and Adobe gets confused as to which fonts need activated and which you already have. Best to check if you have system fonts/other fons outside of the Adobe setup that conflict or are causing a problem.

I have had this previously as well.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 22, 2021 Mar 22, 2021

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quote
...I'm considering requiring all clients to only to use OpenType or TrueType fonts and banning all use of activated Adobe fonts.
By @scotw74004221

 

Requiring clients to use OpenType fonts exclusively would be a very good move! OpenType fonts are based on the Unicode character set, are cross-platform, and became the computer industry's standard in 2000 (yes, 21 years ago).

 

They come in 2 "flavors," OpenType/PostScript flavored (OTF) and OpenType/TrueType flavored (TT). There's little difference other than where their parental roots lie.

 

But old-style TrueType? Nope. Ban those!

 

FYI, the fonts from Adobe are all OpenType. The problem you're having is extremely common on these forums, so search for it and you'll find many more recommendations. As @Ian Sayers stated, it's probably due to more than one version of the font being installed on your computer, maybe in different folders, maybe with slightly different names (like Garamond (OTF) and Garamond (TT)). Or from competing font foundries or cloud font services, like Adobe vs Linotype/Fonts.com.

 

The Adobe fonts are "cloud" fonts; that is, they are installed, activated, deactivated, and synchronized by Adobe. And they are considered a "service" by manufacturers. Other cloud font services also regulate how you can use the font, such as whether you can embed it into a PDF for press or for the web, and charge an additional licensing fee for each usage for each edition of the publication.

 

We've been able to improve the situation at our studio (but not totally correct it) by taking these actions:

  1. Clean up the fonts on each workstation. Get rid of duplicates, old PS and Old TTF fonts, unless they're required for the operating system or a particular software program (none of Adobe's programs require old fonts). We literally remove the duplicates and save them in a "just in case we need them" folder on our file server.
  2. Install a good font manager--we use Font Explorer X on our Macs and PCs, not the server edition. But turn off any tool in the manager that auto-activates a font for you. Most likely it will activate the wrong font from what Adobe's cloud font service wants to use, and you can end up with the font errors you're seeing.
  3. If you are predominantly using Adobe software and the Adobe font service, then let that service install and auto-activate them. Most times, this service installs them in the correct folder where InDesign wants them. I believe that folder is hidden from us users.
  4. If you are predominantly using Adobe software but using traditionally-installed fonts instead, then use your font manager to manually activate the fonts you need for each project.
  5. Also note where desktop fonts are installed on each operating system. From Adobe's online help:
    • Windows 7 and later: Windows > Fonts
    • Mac OS X and later: System > Library > Fonts
  6. If fonts are installed in the Fonts folder within the InDesign application folder, then they will be available only to InDesign and not other programs. Generally, that's not how my studio works, so we don't put fonts in this folder because we want to use them in Illustrator and Photoshop, too. We install them in the system folders above.

 

If you've read this far down, you can get even more confused about fonts by reading this from Adobe's online help. It should thoroughly erase any hope of understanding you thought you had about fonts: https://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/help/add-your-fonts-to-creative-cloud.html and while you're at it, also read  https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/user-guide.html/indesign/using/using-fonts.ug.html

 

Take comfort knowing that you're not alone in this font hell. We customers will be here together for the long-term. The only escape we've found is to use open source fonts exclusively (no extra licensing fees for doing what you need to do with fonts) and install them the traditional way: download, install, activate and deactivate as needed. Consider https://fonts.google.com/

 

As Adobe's Dov Isaacs has said on this forum, "font is a 4-letter word that begins with "f."

 

Good luck with this. Hope that at least a byte's worth of this info helps ease your pain.

 

Bevi Chagnon | Designer & Technologist for Accessible InDesign + PDFs |
Books & Classes | PubCom

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 22, 2021 Mar 22, 2021

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This is a great full indepth report on things. Now go clean up those fonts and only use Adobe fonts going forward ! LOL

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