Symbol Fonts work in PS but not OT

Community Beginner ,
Jan 15, 2011 Jan 15, 2011

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I have been working with Adobe Font Folio (OpenType) for 4 or 5 years now, after having a Linotype library of PostScript faces which I used for at least a dozen years. My concern now is that every time I want to use a symbol font such as Carta or Sonata or even ITC Zapf Dingbats, I end up having to revert back to my PS fonts as the characters don't work with the Adobe OpenType fonts. This is a problem in all the programs I use (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, etc.), not just one. I also use Extensis Suitcase Fusion (now at version 3, but same issue with previous versions). Any thoughts on what I may be doing wrong, or reasons for this deficit with the OpenType fonts? Thank you!

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Jan 15, 2011 Jan 15, 2011

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First, let's clear up the terminology. By PS fonts, I assume you mean Type 1 fonts. In reality, not only are Type 1 fonts PostScript fonts, but so are TrueType and OpenType fonts. All are supported by Adobe PostScript.

Adobe's OpenType fonts are encoded for Unicode. Thus for any symbolic fonts, you cannot simply use regular keyboard strokes to key the characters in such symbolic fonts. You need to use either the applications' Glyph Palette or any operating system utility that lets you access characters that are not mapped to your current keyboard. You will find the same issue if you need to access any of the extended symbolic characters in any of the OpenType text fonts or even TrueType text fonts. There is nothing wrong with the fonts. Beginning over a dozen years ago, Adobe and other font foundries eliminated the practice of mapping all glyphs in all fonts to the English A-Z, a-z, and lower ASCII positions in favor of Unicode such that there is no ambiguity in terms of the intent to use a particular glyph in a document. The side effect of this, though, was that keying in such characters between much less convenient. That is why major applications began to include "glyph palette" functionality such that all Unicode characters could be accessed and placed into a document regardless of your current keyboard.

          - Dov

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

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 16, 2011 Jan 16, 2011

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Thank you, Dov! Yes, I received a similar response yesterday afternoon

from myfonts.com. Luckily, I usually use InDesign which has the glyph

palette. It's just a nuisance when I open up an old file with the Type 1

PS fonts in place and see all the rectangles with Xs through them

instead of the symbols.

I just wanted to make sure it wasn't something simpler that I was doing

wrong.

Kerry Scott Jenkins

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