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Locate Font Files

Include the right fonts with your files

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Digital font files can appear in many places on a computer but there are specific default folders for installed fonts on both Windows and Macintosh computers.
When sending digital files for commercial printing you need to include the right font files. But which files are the right files? Often filenames for fonts are cryptic, at best. For Type 1 fonts the two files are located in different folders. Here is how to manually locate your fonts to ensure you include the right fonts (and all files) with each project.

Windows TrueType/OpenType Fonts

  • The default location for installed TrueType or OpenType fonts under Windows 95 and above is Windows/Fonts although actual files may be anywhere.

     

  • Go to your Windows/Fonts folder (My Computer > Control Panel > Fonts). Select View | Details. You'll see the font names in one column and the actual file name in another.

     

  • The icon for TrueType fonts is a dog-eared page with two overlapping Ts. The icon for OpenType fonts shows an O.

     

  • For installed fonts that have only a shortcut to the font in your Windows Fonts folder (the icon will have a little arrow in the corner), right click on the font name and select Properties to find the path to the actual file.

     

  • In directories/folders other than the Windows Font folder the Details View won't show you the font name, only the filename. You can doubleclick a file to view the name of the font.

     

  • All Windows TrueType fonts have an extension of .ttf. OpenType fonts have an extension of .ttf or .otf.

Windows Type 1 Fonts

  • The default location for Type 1 fonts is the psfonts and psfonts/pfm directories but they can be located anywhere.

     

  • Use Adobe Type Manager (ATM) or other font management software to locate both of the needed files for a Type 1 (PostScript) font.

     

  • With ATM open highlight a font name in the Fonts window then choose File | Properties.

     

  • A pop-up windows displays the complete path to two files.

     

  • Each Windows Type 1 font will have a .pfm (Printer Font Metrics, your screen font) and a .pfb (Printer Font Binary, your printer font) file.

     

  • The icon for both the .pfb and .pfm files is a dog-eared page with a lower case script "a" (for Adobe).

Macintosh TrueType/OpenType Fonts

  • The default location for all fonts in System 7.1 and later is the Fonts folder inside the System folder. For Mac OS X look in the Fonts folder of the Library folder.

     

  • For a system older than 7.1 your TrueType fonts and bitmaps would be in your System file.

     

  • There is only one file for each TrueType or OpenType font.

     

  • A TrueType file icon appears as a dog-eared page with three letter "A"s in progressively larger sizes. The filename does not include a point size.

Macintosh Type 1 Fonts

  • The default location for all fonts in System 7.1 and later is the Fonts folder inside the System folder.

     

  • In System 7.0 and 7.0.1 the PostScript outline files are in the Extensions folder and the bitmaps are in the System file.

     

  • For System 6, PostScript outline files are in the System Folder.

     

  • The bitmap font icon appears as a dog-eared page with the letter "A." Each bitmap filename includes a point size (Times 10, for example). All the bitmap files for a font are in a suitcase (in the Fonts folder under System 7.1 or later).

     

  • The outline file icon appears as a letter "A" in front of horizontal lines. Most Type 1 outline files are named using the first five characters of the font name, followed by the first three characters of each style (HelveBol=Helvetica Bold, TimesBolIta=Times Bold Italic). An outline filename does not include a point size.

     

  • Be sure you send both the bitmap (screen) suitcase and outline (printer) file for each Type 1 font.

Save time and frustration by ensuring that you always include all the right fonts with your files that you send out for printing.

 

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