Justification changes when setting a type 1 font vs. setting in the otf version of the same font

Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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I work primarily in a proprietary typeface created by a first-rate foundry/designer. The designer has assured me that character widths (with a few known exceptions) are identical in the original type 1 font and the recent otf version. Nonetheless, when we simply swap in the new version of our font (otf) for the old (type 1) font, hyphenation changes substantially. Without changing H&J settings, Indesign squeezes fully justified otf settings substantially more than it does the type 1 settings. Our H&Js permit moderate glyph scaling (99 to 101%), character spacing (-1 to +1%), and our word spacing (75–93–115) is not extreme.

Is this a known issue? I've worked in Indesign more or less since it was released, and this problem hasn't occured in the past. I’m guessing and hoping that I’m missing a simple explanation and solution. The rebreaking is a nightmare for proofreading as well as for our credibility with clients who assume that such changes may signal other inexplicable “errors.”

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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Thanks for reporting this.

Did you also try to convert the font, just as a test, with TransType 4 ?

https://www.fontlab.com/font-converter/transtype/

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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Thank you. No, I haven't. Are you suggesting that I convert the original type 1 font to otf using that converter simply as a test to provide you with additional info about what's happening? Because of the structure of our documents and of the frequent use of small caps, os figures, etc., simply converting our rather idiosyncratic Type 1 fonts to otf wouldn't work as a longterm solution. In any case, I'll give it a try.

 

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Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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Thank you.

I did a test conversion with TransType 4 and the the tighter setting occurs again.

The files that we are converting were created about a year ago in a slightly earlier version of Indesign, and we have now upgraded all files to Indesign 16.1. Maybe the issue is somehow affected by the upgrade? It is interesting, as I noted to Dov Isaacs, below, that once the new justification is established by swapping in the OTF font, the spacing changes persist even when we revert to the old, Type1, font.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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> The files that we are converting were created about a year ago in a slightly earlier version of Indesign, and we have now upgraded all files to Indesign 16.1

 

This may well be the problem. In years past it was quite common for version upgrades to make changes to ID's type engine which would cause text to reflow in any story you touched when opening a legacy file in a newer version.

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In this case, the OpenType version of the font clearly doesn't have the same metrics as the original Type 1 font.

 

One possible explanation would be if the OpenType version provided to you is an OpenType TTF (TrueType, quadratic outlines) version of the font as opposed to the OpenType CFF (Bezier curves similar to the older Type 1 fonts). The “units per em” are different between those two flavours of OpenType fonts and due to rounding, the metrics can be different enough, especially on long runs of text, to yield different line breaks and especially hyphenation.

 

If you start with a Type 1 font, always replace same with an OpenType CFF font to really minimize any differences.

 

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

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Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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Thank you Dov. I will contact the designer right now to ask that question. Is there a way that I can look at the otf file code to determine that myself?

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Regrettably, you cannot count on the file suffix to necessarily provide the truth. The convention is that OpenType TTF fonts have a .ttf suffix and OpenType CFF fonts have a .otf suffix. Regrettably, that convention is not always obeyed.

 

Under Windows, from the Font Control Panel, double click on the file icon. If the font preview says PostScript Outlines (really a misnomer since TrueType fonts as Type 42 fonts are indeed “PostScript fonts”), the font is an OpenType CFF font. Otherwise, the font is either a TrueType or an OpenType TTF font.

 

Under MacOS, check the font properties using FontBook. The description as either OpenType PostScript or OpenType TrueType is pretty clear (OpenType PostScript should really be OpenType CFF).

 

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

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Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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Thank you Dov.

Fontbook states that all the new fonts of our typeface are OpenType Postscript.

The first response to my post, above, suggested converting an original Type1 to OpenType using TransType 4. I’ll give that a go on the chance that, for some reason, the foundry’s translation introduced a metrics glitch.

 

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That makes sense. Not only character widths may have changed, but also pair kerning.

 

Make sure that the EULA for the Type 1 font doesn't prohibit such format conversions (some EULAs do specifically legally prohibit any format conversions).

 

Good luck.

 

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

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Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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Again thank you.

Another surprising quirk of this issue is that when I change the document in question back to the original Type1 font, the setting retains the tighter setting that takes effect when the Type1 is initially changed to OTF.

That suggests to me that InDesign creates some kind of related file to expedite page refresh--overriding whatever the slight differences might be between our old and new fonts.

 

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Most interesting and useful clue! (And no, InDesign does not create “some kind of related file to expedite page refresh …”

 

When was the last time you edited this particular InDesign document using the Type 1 font?

 

Over the years, there have been a few changes to InDesign's text layout engine that were known to yield changes in line breaks and hyphenation. The changes only occurred if you actually edited the text in the frame. (The changes occurred between major InDesign releases, not “dot” releases!)

 

Assuming this is the case, the problem has nothing to do with differences between the Type 1 and OpenType CFF font, but rather the layout engine between releases in which the text was edited.

 

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

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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I am curious to know which font it is…

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