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Google fonts in InDesign

Community Beginner ,
Mar 01, 2016 Mar 01, 2016

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My organization has chosen the Google font "Lato" for all materials - print and web. They appear as Truetype fonts on my PC if I package the file, but some show as OpenType when I look in InDesign's font menu. We had originally used Typekit's Lato in InDesign, but have decided to go back to the Google fonts. However, InDesign acts as if I don't have Lato fonts loaded, displaying [Lato (OTF)] in the menu. Does InDesign accept Google fonts? Are commercial printers using Google fonts? Does one have to have Creative Cloud to buy the Lato font in Typekit?

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Mar 01, 2016 Mar 01, 2016

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Taking your questions out of order (of course) ...  

Yes, there is no reason why Google fonts would not work in InDesign.

To commercial printers who receive PDF files with Google fonts embedded, it should make no difference what fonts are in the PDF file. They do print as well as other similar fonts.

You don't “buy” fonts with Typekit. A plan with Typekit provides for access to such fonts when you need them and for desktop fonts provides rights to embed the fonts in PDF, EPS, etc. But you don't get the actual font files with Typekit.

InDesign tries to distinguish between font types to avoid problems due to fonts with the same name, but different format and possibly different metrics. As such, the OpenType CFF version of Lato would be considered different from the TrueType or OpenType TrueType version of Lato. If you switched from one form to another, you would possibly need to modify the styles and/or do a search and replace to update the Lato font references to the proper version.

              - Dov

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

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 01, 2016 Mar 01, 2016

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Thank you, Dov. I've switched to the non-Typekit fonts for new documents. It seems like the search and replace is not working on our existing files that originally had Typekit Lato fonts, and I guess that's our main challenge. Is there a solution for that?

Also, when I start a new document and use only the Google fonts, they appear as two "Lato" font collections:

The first:

Light (TT)

Regular (OTF)

Bold (OTF)

Black (OTF)

Black Italic (OTF)

The second:

Hairline (TT)

Hairline Italic (TT)

Light Italic (TT)

Italic (OTF)

Bold Italic (OTF)

But if I package a file that uses all these fonts, they all have ttf extensions.

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Mar 01, 2016 Mar 01, 2016

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Just for the hell of it, I took a look at the Lato fonts I have in my archive downloaded from Google on May 31, 2015. In fact, they are all TrueType fonts although some of them have OpenType layout tables. (TrueType fonts with OpenType tables are OpenType TrueType fonts! Clear as mud?) That seems to be the source of what you are seeing. I wouldn't worry about it.

You didn't say what version of InDesign you are running, but there definitely is a means of searching for particular fonts. That having been said, if you are actually having a problem displaying and/or outputting with the correct fonts, I would go through the styles, one-by-one, and change the fonts accordingly to the ones currently installed. Note that if you know the hierarchy of your styles, this might not be so bad since if styles are based on others, the font names will propagate automatically.

        - Dov

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

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 01, 2016 Mar 01, 2016

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Thank you.

I am using InDesign CC 11.2.0.100 x64 build.

We noticed that the find/replace font problem is only in files where we used the Typekit version of Lato. We can replace other fonts just fine with the Google fonts, but it's hard to get rid of the Typekit ones.

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