I've been doing a search in Suitacse for PostScript fonts to get an idea of what's eventually going to be of no use with my Adobe suite. I've noticed that I have quite a large selection of OpenType-PS fonts. I'm assuming the PS stands for PostScript? Will these font types still be supported? Many thanks.
Yes, they will.
Magic. Thank you.
The quick answer:
Any font that Suitcase labels as ‘OpenType–PS’ is a genuine OpenType font. These font files will continue working after the Adobe applications that you use drop support for PostScript Type 1 fonts.
The more detailed answer:
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, two digital font formats became popular:
• Adobe’s PostScript Type 1;
• Apple and Microsoft’s TrueType.
Each format had its own particular advantages, and each used a slightly different mathematical approach to describing the shapes of a font’s characters.
The OpenType format was introduced in the mid-1990s with several new features:
• Unicode: a universal character encoding standard;
• Support for multiple languages with large character sets;
• Universal support for different operating systems;
• The ability to make it easy for typefoundries to convert their existing fonts into the new OpenType format.
The result was two major formats of OpenType font files: ‘OpenType CFF’ and ‘OpenType TT’. OpenType CFF (Compact Font Format) – sometimes known as ‘OpenType PS’ – are fonts that are built using PostScript font data. OpenType TT fonts are built using TrueType font data.
And that’s the basic reason why many users are so confused today about the nuances between various font files they have installed on their systems. You could have both a PostScript Type 1 font and an OpenType CFF (OpenType PS) font installed on your computer – each with exactly the same PostScript font data – and they’d both work just fine today.
But in the future: the font files in the PostScript Type 1 format will no longer be actively supported. Be assured: any font files in the OpenType CFF (OpenType PS) format that are installed on your system will continue to work. It’s just that software like Suitcase will still somehow identify those OpenType fonts as being somehow ‘PostScript’, because the font data they contain shares some of the same digital information as their PostScript Type 1 predecessors do.
I hope that answers your question. If not, please let me know.
Many thanks for the in-depth reply, Andrew. That's reassuring.
It’s a pleasure. Font standards can get esoteric and abstract quite quickly; the idea that an OpenType font can also be a PostScript font can be quite confusing.
Hopefully, the typefaces that you use regularly are all available in OpenType CFF format. If you still need to work with layouts dependent upon PostScript Type 1 fonts, you have a number of choices on how to adapt. Or not.
One simple method: keep older machines in operation for those times when you need to access or work on archival working layouts. That’s what I’ve done for years.
That means if you have an old client approach you to ask for the same work with minor alterations, you don’t have to rebuild the work from scratch to accommodate them. Just open a copy of the original file in the version of software you used to build it, make the necessary changes, and you’re done.
Keeping an older machine would certainly be a good idea.
We're also considering keeping an older version of the software on the newer machines, although I suppose this will have a limited shelf life due to ongoing operating system updates and the older software becoming incompatible.
Holding onto a set of older machines is always useful, especially if you have long-term customers and historical working files that you need to keep available.
If you’re constantly revising a working file, it makes sense to keep it up-to-date in the current stable version of the software you’re using. However, in many cases you may just need to re-use an original file as-is, or with minor updates. Opening the working files or rebuilding them in current software may take more time, or even may not be possible. That’s where older systems are very beneficial.
What does an ideal archival system look like? That differs, depending upon what you need it to do. A good example: the computer that you’re reluctant to see go when the IT department tries to replace it with a new one.
This is the type of computer that I call a ‘Known Quantity’. You’ll have used it for years. It runs most of the software you need. The operating system and applications – although not the most recent – have been thoroughly patched. You have customized all the settings you regularly use. The system works reliably, although it has has its own particular quirks. But at least you know what those quirks are, and the workarounds you need to get things done.
If you have a system like that, hold onto it for dear life. Not because you’ll be using it every day, but because it helps preserve access to your historical working files. Your current working systems are merely a window into your working life today. What’s also important is to maintain a good record of the projects and working files that you, your colleagues, and your clients have produced over the years. You never know when you may need them.
You're right, we're going to hold on to an older machine...just incase.
I'm also in the process of using one of the older MACs to compile all our fonts. The plan is to then filter out the type 1s and postscripts and see what we're left with. I'm guessing we'll need to purchase some new sets but I guess that's to be expected.