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Frequently Asked Questions
Adobe Font Licensing

This FAQ was designed to encompass the commonly asked questions surrounding the use of fonts licensed from Adobe. The information below is divided into the following categories: Font Software Licensing, Font Embedding, OpenType font format and Japanese OpenType.

Font Software Licensing

Generally, font software is copyrightable. The font software licensing agreement, also known as the end user license agreement or EULA, is a legally binding contract. If you make an unauthorized copy of font software, you lay yourself and your organization open to severe penalties and criminal proceedings. Even though you can distribute a document that requires a given font to other people, you can only give them a copy of the font you used if they already have a license to use that font and you have confirmed that such a license exists.

What is font software licensing?
When you purchase a font you do not obtain ownership to the font per se. You are actually paying for a license to use the font on a specific number of computers by a specific number of users. What most users do not realize is that when they purchase a license to use font software they cannot freely copy and distribute the font software. Even if a company purchased font software for use by the entire department, a single font license only allows for the font to be used on up to five computers for retail licenses and one computer for fonts bundled with Adobe applications. If you plan on using the font on more than the licensed number of computers then additional licenses must be purchased. For more details on how to purchase additional licenses please visit: www.adobe.com/type/browser/legal/main.html.
Why is it important to properly license a font?
From a legal standpoint, companies and individuals that comply with the licensing terms are protecting themselves from legal liability. From an ethical standpoint, companies and individuals are supporting and protecting the rights of the font designers, trademark owners, and font software owners.
What is Adobe's Font Licensing policy and what does it allow me to do?
The purchase of a license for a retail font package from Adobe entitles the customer to install the font software on a specific permitted number of computers and printers for viewing, creating, authoring, and printing documents or files. If you purchase an Adobe Software Application that includes fonts, then the number of computers licensed per purchase is one (1). Similarly, the number of permanent downloads to a printer per purchase of the application software is one (1). However, if you purchase a retail font package, then you are allowed to use the typeface on up to five (5) computers, but you are still restricted to one (1) permanent download to a printer.
Why is there a difference between the font bundle license and the standard retail font package license?
Bundled fonts in retail products such as Adobe Illustrator software have been specially priced for use on a single computer. Moreover, applications themselves are only licensed to a single computer, so it is consistent to license fonts bundled with them in the same manner.
How is the license for Adobe Font Folio different from the standard retail font license?
The Font Folio license is different from the standard retail font license in two ways:
  1. The Font Folio license allows you to use the fonts on up to twenty (20) computers (or ten (10) computers if buying the special version of the product), as opposed to five (5), and
  2. You can permanently download the fonts contained in Font Folio to two (2) printers, as opposed to one (1) printer with the standard retail font license.
What if I need more than the permitted number of licensed uses in the standard retail font license, the font bundle license, or the Font Folio license? And, what if I do not purchase license extensions but exceed the permitted number of use?
You may purchase license extensions so that your use will remain in compliance with the license terms. (For more information on license extensions, customers should visit www.adobe.com/type/browser/legal/main.html. If you decide not to purchase a license extension for the number of uses that go beyond the permitted number, you are then in breach of the End User License Agreement and run the risk of being sued both civilly and criminally.
Anti-piracy campaigns are heating up in North America. Groups like the Business Software Alliance are aggressively working to put together cases against companies that are out of compliance with both their font and application software licenses. If you would like to find out more information on the Business Software Alliance please visit: www.bsa.org.
Can I install fonts or use fonts on a network?
The license agreement permits you to copy a font to a single file server, on a single local area network, for the purpose of either downloading the font for permanent installation on a computer; OR to activate and use the font over the local area network, provided the font is not used on more than the permitted number of computers. The license agreement prohibits any use of the fonts outside of your internal network or by any unlicensed user.
Can fonts be used by someone outside of my network, such as in a web-hosted service?
You may not use the fonts on any Internet or web-hosted service outside of your internal network. You may use the fonts as part of a hosted service in your internal network, provided that no external users can access the fonts, all users accessing the service have a license for the fonts and you do not exceed the permitted number of computers.
Can I purchase a separate license to use the fonts on an external network?
Can I purchase a separate license to use the fonts on an external network? Adobe does not currently offer a font license for use outside of your internal network. Certain other Adobe products (such as InDesign Server) may allow limited use of some Adobe Original fonts in a server configuration outside of an internal network. A separate license must be purchased for such other Adobe products.
What is the difference between a computer-based license and a printer-based license and can I convert one to the other?
Historically, fonts had to be installed in printers that were connected to computers, so the retail font license originally reflected the number of printers on which a font could be used. However, fonts are now installed primarily on computer hard drives and are dynamically downloaded to a printer when printing. As a result, the retail font license sets out the number of computers on which the retail font can be used. In order to accommodate those rare occasions where fonts need to be installed on a printer, Adobe grants a "five and one" license: five computers and one printer.
What is Adobe's policy with respect to service bureaus?
You are allowed to give your font files to a service bureau along with a print job, IF AND ONLY IF, the service bureau already owns a valid license for that specific font. You are not allowed to give fonts to service bureaus that do not already own a valid license for that specific font even if it is only to print your job and the service bureau promises to give it back or delete it when the job is finished. Additionally, because fonts are licensed for use with in a single company, you may not include the service bureau under one of the five permitted uses in the license. If a service bureau does not own a valid license for the font software, you may you may only supply a PDF file or PostScript file with embedded fonts to the service bureau.
Can I convert the font software into a different format or modify font software that I have licensed?
Adobe's license agreement allows you to convert or modify the Adobe Font Software so long as the converted software is subject to the same terms and conditions in the license agreement as the original font. This means you can use the converted software for your own customary and internal business use, but you may not redistribute, resell, or transfer this converted or modified font software to anyone beyond the scope of your license for the original font software. Also you must consider the installation of the converted software as one permitted use on a computer. This is important because of the limited number of uses per license agreement. If your license agreement only permits one (1) use, then you may use either the original font software or the modified font software (but not both) on one computer.
Can I customize a font using font manipulation software?
You are allowed to use font manipulation software to modify the font software to produce "derivatives" of fonts licensed from Adobe, as long as you use the derivatives in accordance with the same licensing terms that accompany the original fonts. For example, you can use Macromedia Fontographer or Pyrus FontLab to customize an Adobe Font for individual usage, but you are not permitted to distribute, sell, or give away, the derivative work, and the derivative work counts as one of the permitted number of uses.
What is the accepted scope of modification and use of independent consultants, hired by companies, to localize or customize font software?
A consultant may solicit their services to companies who have legitimately licensed copies of Adobe font software. The work product of the consultant must remain with the company. The consultant cannot (i) take or keep a copy of the company's original, localized, or customized version of the font software, or (ii) distribute any original, localized or customized versions of the font software.

 

Font Embedding

When licensing fonts, you should be mindful of the font embedding permissions. For all fonts, including PostScript Type 1, TrueType, and OpenType, embedding rights are granted or prohibited in an end user license agreement. For more information on embedding please see the embedding information at www.adobe.com/type/browser/legal/main.html. In addition, some font formats, such as TrueType and OpenType, allow for embedding information (or "bits") to be included in the actual font software. These bits provide information to the application product utilizing the font regarding whether the font may not be embedded at all, embedded for printing and viewing, for printing, viewing, and editing, or for installation on a computer that receives a document with the font embedded.

What is font embedding?
Font embedding is a process by which fonts used in the creation of a given document, are incorporated within, and travel with, the document. When a document with an embedded font is viewed, the viewer sees the document exactly as the creator intended the document to be seen. The formatting and stylized design of the document are retained.
Can I embed fonts into a document?
All fonts licensed from Adobe allow embedding in electronic files. However, you will have to refer to the EULA and the list at www.adobe.com/type/browser/legal/main.html to determine what level of embedding is allowed. You should not rely solely on the embedding permission in the font file. All Adobe licensed fonts permit embedding for the print and view. Some fonts in the Adobe Type Library may also be embedded for editing or forms fill in purposes. All Adobe Original fonts can be embedded for printing, viewing, and editing. See www.adobe.com/type/browser/legal/embeddingeula.html for a list of which Adobe licensed fonts are licensed for print and view embedding only, and which are also licensed for editable embedding. Fonts licensed for print and view embedding only may not be used for editing or forms fill in. Before you buy any font, consider how fonts will be used within your organization, and invest only in fonts that offer the level of embedding that your organization needs.
Can I edit a PDF using the fonts that are embedded in the PDF?
You may edit documents with embedded fonts only if:
  1. the fonts embedded in the PDF allow editable embedding, and/or;
  2. the fonts embedded in the PDF are separately licensed for and installed on the computer performing the editing.

 

OpenType Fonts

OpenType is a true cross-platform font file format developed jointly by Adobe and Microsoft that supports the Unicode encoding standard. This new format has the ability to support widely expanded character sets and layout features, which provide richer linguistic support and advanced typographic control. For more information on the OpenType format please go to http://www.adobe.com/in/type/opentype/.

Why did Adobe introduce another format?
The OpenType format offers outstanding benefits to users: better document portability via a true cross-platform font file format, Unicode encoding, rich linguistic support with the capacity to support over 65,000 glyphs, powerful typographic capabilities for highend publishing, and simplified font management requirements. OpenType fonts are best suited for meeting the demand for complex script handling and high quality topography in today's global publishing and communication environment.
What is significant about cross-platform compatibility?
Cross-platform compatibility means that a single font file works on both Macintosh and Windows computers. An OpenType font uses a single font file for all its outline, metric, and bitmap data, making file management simpler. The OpenType format allows you to move font files back and forth between the Macintosh and Windows platforms with noticeable improvement in cross-platform document portability.
How has the character set been expanded in an OpenType font?
OpenType fonts make multilingual typography easier by including multiple language character sets in one font. All Adobe fonts in the OpenType format include the standard range of Latin characters used in the Western world, and several international characters, including the "estimated", litre, and euro currency symbols. Adobe's fonts in the OpenType format also add a full range of accented characters to support central and eastern European languages.
What does it mean to have a "PRO" font designation after the typeface name?
The "Pro" suffix after a trademarked typeface is used to denote several things: that it is an OpenType font, that the font contains an expanded character set, including support for central European languages, and the font may support additional GPOS and GSUB features as defined in the OpenType specification. OpenType Pro fonts may also include support for Greek and Cyrillic languages.
What are the system requirements for the OpenType font products produced by Adobe?
Mac OS 8.6 through 9.x, Mac OS X Classic and Native Windows 95/98/ME, Windows NT 4, Windows 2000, and Windows XP
How is OpenType compatible with other applications?
While most Macintosh and Windows applications are compatible with a basic character set in OpenType fonts via ATM Light or native operating system support, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop® are the first Adobe applications to provide advanced OpenType feature support. Other Adobe applications are expected to follow suit in the future. For additional application specific information please see the OpenType Readme, that can be located at http://www.adobe.com/type/browser/OTReadMe.html.
What is the difference between Font Folio OpenType Edition and Font Folio 9?
Font Folio OpenType Edition is the complete Adobe Type Library in OpenType format. Font Folio 9 is the complete Adobe Type Library in Type 1 format.
What is "OpenType"?
OpenType® is a new cross-platform font file format developed jointly by Adobe and Microsoft. Adobe has converted the entire Adobe Type Library into this format and now offers thousands of OpenType fonts. Font Folio OpenType Edition is the complete Adobe Type Library in OpenType format. The two main benefits of the OpenType format are its cross-platform compatibility (the same font file works on Macintosh and Windows computers), and its ability to support widely expanded character sets and layout features, which provide richer linguistic support and advanced typographic control.
What is "Type 1"?
Type 1 is the name of the worldwide standard for digital font software that is based on the page description language, PostScript. It was first developed by Adobe Systems, a leader in the design and manufacture of Type 1 software. Font Folio 9 is the complete Adobe Type Library in the Type 1 format.
What is "TrueType"?
The TrueType format was developed by Microsoft Corporation and Apple Computer. TrueType-based OpenType fonts have a .ttf file name suffix.
In general, what does the Adobe font end user license agreement (EULA) allow?
The Adobe font EULA allows a user to - PLEASE SEE ATTACHED FAQ FOR FONT LICENSING>>>
Is Adobe Type Manager (ATM) software needed for OpenType rasterization?
ATM Light version 4.6 is needed if you are running Mac OS 8.6 through 9.x including Mac OS X Classic. ATM Light version 4.1 is needed if you are running Windows 95/98/ME or Windows NT 4. You can download a free copy of ATM Light from Adobe's web site at: http://www.adobe.com. ATM Light is not needed if you are running Mac OS X Native, Windows 2000, or Windows XP. Rasterization for both Type 1 and OpenType is natively provided by the operating systems in Mac OS X, Windows 2000, and Windows XP.
Which operating systems provide native support for OpenType format?
Mac OS X provides native support for OpenType fonts and does not require ATM Light for use with native and carbon applications. Applications running in Classic mode in Mac OS X still require ATM Light. Windows 2000 and Windows XP provide native support for OpenType fonts and do not require ATM Light or the Adobe PS printer driver. Without native support you will need to download ATM Light and the Adobe PS Printer Driver, both available as free downloads from www.adobe.com.
What is Unicode?
Unicode is a multibyte, platform independent encoding standard developed by the Unicode Consortium, a non-profit organization established to develop, extend, and promote the Unicode Standard. Unicode specifies the representation of text in modern software products and standards. It provides a unique number for every character, no matter what the platform, no matter what the program, no matter what the language. For more information on Unicode, please see the official Unicode web site at: http://www.unicode.org/standard/WhatIsUnicode.html.
Can OpenType fonts be used in non-Adobe applications?
Non-Adobe applications will be able to get the basic OpenType format support through ATM Light or the operating system. These applications should handle OpenType fonts the same as TrueType or Type 1 fonts. However, supporting the advanced typographic features in an OpenType font will require additional work by the software developers.
With Adobe moving to OpenType what will happen to PostScript Type 1 fonts?
Current PostScript Type 1 fonts will continue to work with all current Adobe and third party applications, as well as current output devices. Because of the large investment Adobe customers have made in the Type 1 format, there are no plans to discontinue support for Type 1 in any Adobe products or technologies. Technical support for the Type 1 format will also continue to be available.
Has Adobe stopped selling Type 1 versions of the Adobe Type Library?
No. Adobe continues to offer Type 1 versions of all of the fonts in the Adobe Type Library ("ATL") both online via adobe.com and through shrink-wrapped products. However it is likely that Adobe will stop selling Type 1 versions of the ATL in the near future.

 

Japanese OpenType Font FAQ

What is OpenType?
OpenType is a new cross-platform font file format developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and Microsoft. Based on the Unicode standard, the OpenType format is an extension of the TrueType SFNT format that can now support PostScript font data and new typographic features. Unless otherwise indicated, the OpenType fonts referred to in this document are Japanese font products produced by Adobe in the OpenType format.
What is Unicode?
Unicode is an encoding standard developed by the Unicode Consortium, a non-profit organization established to develop, extend and promote the use of the Unicode Standard. Unicode specifies the representation of text in modern software products and standards. It provides a unique number for every character, no matter what the platform, no matter what the program, no matter what the language. For more information on Unicode, please go to the official Unicode web site at http://www.unicode.org/standard/WhatIsUnicode.html.
Why did Adobe introduce "another" font format?
The OpenType format offers outstanding benefits to users: cross-platform font file format, Unicode encoding, rich linguistic support with the capacity to support over 65,000 glyphs, powerful typographic capabilities for high-end publishing, and simplified font management requirements. OpenType fonts are best suited for meeting the demand for complex script handling and high quality typography in today's global publishing and communication environment.
Do OpenType fonts use PostScript outlines?
To date, OpenType fonts produced by Adobe all contain PostScript outlines. However, Adobe supports the business strategy for both PostScript-based and TrueType-based OpenType format. PostScript-based OpenType fonts use an .otf file name suffix, whereas OpenType fonts with TrueType outline data use a .ttf or a .ttc file name suffix.
What are the system requirements for the OpenType font products produced by Adobe?
  • Macintosh: Mac OS 8.6 through 9.x, Mac OS X (Classic and Native)
  • Windows: Windows 95/98/ME, Windows NT 4, Windows 2000, Windows XP
Is Adobe Type Manager (ATM) software needed for OpenType rasterization?
ATM Light version 4.6 is needed if you are running Mac OS 8.6 through 9.x. including Mac OS X Classic. ATM Light version 4.1 is needed if you are running Windows 95/98/ME or Windows NT 4. You can download a free copy of ATM Light from Adobe's web site at: http://www.adobe.com/products/atmlight/. ATM Light is not needed if you are running Mac OS X (Native), Windows 2000 or Windows XP. Rasterization for both Type 1 and OpenType is natively provided by the operating systems in Mac OS X, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
How do you install OpenType fonts produced by Adobe?
  • Mac OS 8.6 through 9.x, including Mac OS X Classic, simply drag and drop the font file into your System's fonts folder.
  • On Mac OS X Native, because fonts can be accessed by (a) any user or (b) a specific user, you need to choose which location you want to install your fonts to. You can drag and drop the OpenType font files into either of the following locations:
    1. <VolumeName>/Library/Fonts/ (Note: you must be logged on as an "Administrator" to place fonts in this location.
    2. <VolumeName>/Users/<username>/Library/Fonts/Windows:
  • On Windows 95/98/ME, Windows NT 4, use the ATM application to add the fonts. On Windows 2000 and XP, use the Fonts Control Panel to add the fonts, or drag the font files to the /Windows/fonts folder. Please refer to the OpenType User Guide for detailed installation instructions. The OpenType User Guide can be downloaded from Adobe's web site: http://www.adobe.com/in/type/opentype/.
Are OpenType fonts copy-protected?
No. OpenType fonts produced by Adobe do not have installation or run-time copy protection. Additionally, they allow PDF embedding, and outline access by applications and host-based RIPs. All OpenType fonts can be printed to output devices of any resolution. OpenType fonts licensed from Adobe are subject to a one-computer End User License Agreement (EULA) that allows for their installation on one computer.
What are the differences between "Standard" and "Pro" OpenType fonts?
These two flavors of Japanese OpenType fonts differ in the number of glyphs and in the richness of their advanced typographic features. OpenType "Standard" Japanese fonts produced by Adobe are based on the Adobe-Japan1-3 character collection, which includes up to 9,354 glyphs. OpenType "Pro" Japanese fonts produced by Adobe are based on the Adobe-Japan1-4 character collection, which includes up to 15,444 glyphs.
How can I access the additional glyphs in a Pro font?
You can access the glyphs:
  • By turning on OpenType features in Adobe InDesign software or by using the InDesign glyph palette to select specific glyphs
  • By using Unicode-savvy input methods to access all encoded glyphs
How many glyphs in a Standard font have Unicode encoding?
8,175 glyphs in a Standard font are encoded with unique Unicode values.
How many glyphs in a Pro font have Unicode encoding?
9,772 glyphs in a Pro font are encoded with unique Unicode values.
How can I access glyphs that are not encoded in Unicode?
You can access those glyphs that do not have Unicode encoding values, as well as those that do through input methods and applications that support OpenType features. Adobe InDesign is the first Adobe application that provides extensive OpenType feature support.
What OpenType features are supported by InDesign 2.0J?
The following features are supported by InDesign 2.0J. For detailed information on the features, please refer to the InDesign 2.0J user documentation.
  • Discretionary ligatures
  • Fractions
  • Numerator/denominator
  • Superscript/subscript
  • Japanese Roman italics
  • Directional Kana forms
  • Kerning
  • Ruby
  • Japanese forms (JIS 78, JIS 83, Expert, Traditional forms)
  • All alternate forms, including variants and annotated forms
  • Proportional metrics for both horizontal and vertical writing
  • Alternate width forms
  • Vertical forms
In addition to the above features, InDesign 2.0, including the Japanese version, also supports a wide range of typographic features for Western OpenType fonts. For details on the Western OpenType feature support in InDesign software, please refer to the OpenType User Guide (for Western OpenType fonts), available at http://www.adobe.com/type/opentype.
How are OpenType fonts supported in other Adobe applications?
Adobe applications provide basic OpenType support, meaning that OpenType fonts work like any other fonts in these applications. Some Adobe applications such as Adobe Photoshop also provide Unicode font support. For example, users can input any glyph in an OpenType font that has a unique Unicode value. Adobe Photoshop software also supports some advanced OpenType typographic features including kerning and ligatures. For document exchange, we recommend using PDF to ensure that all the glyphs and layout arrangement produced with Adobe InDesign using OpenType fonts will be preserved.
If I use the glyph substitution features in Adobe Illustrator®, what happens to the alternate glyphs if I switch the sfnt-CID fonts to OpenType fonts?
Adobe Illustrator supports glyph-substitution features for sfnt-CID fonts. Although all alternate glyphs in a sfnt-CID font are also included in a Japanese OpenType font, unfortunately, at present Adobe Illustrator software does not yet support any OpenType glyph substitution features. As a result, alternate glyphs will be replaced with standard glyphs when switching sfnt-CID fonts to OpenType fonts in Adobe Illustrator.
Can you use OpenType fonts in non-Adobe applications?
Non-Adobe applications will be able to get the basic OpenType format support through ATM Light or the OS. In other words, these applications should handle OpenType fonts the same as TrueType or Type 1 fonts. However, supporting the advanced typographic features in an OpenType font will require additional work by the software developers.
How are the OpenType Pro fonts that are bundled with Mac OS X different from the OpenType Pro fonts produced by Adobe?
The OpenType fonts bundled with Apple's Mac OS X may contain additional glyphs beyond the 15,444 glyphs that Adobe-produced OpenType Pro fonts contain. In addition, Apple's OpenType fonts may also contain additional feature tables that are specific to the MacOS. Adobe's OpenType fonts do not contain platform-specific features in order to achieve true cross-platform and document portability.
What happens if I create a document with Apple-produced OpenType fonts and then I switch to Adobe-produced OpenType fonts?
Unfortunately, if you use any of the additional Apple glyphs that are not in the Adobeproduced OpenType fonts, font switching between the two may cause certain characters not to appear correctly. We recommend that end users avoid switching fonts when creating documents using those additional Apple glyphs.
How can I achieve best cross-platform document portability?
The ingredients for achieving best cross-platform document portability are:
  • OpenType fonts
  • Operating Systems with Unicode support (OS X, Windows 2000, Windows XP)
  • Applications that offer Unicode support and cross-platform feature support (Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop,etc.)
What do I need to know if I already have CID, OCF fonts?
Co-existence: You can use OpenType fonts in documents that also contain CID or OCF fonts.
  • Character support: Because OpenType fonts contain glyph collections that are superset of what is in CID or OCF fonts, you may switch fonts from CID or OCF to OpenType and all characters will appear. But switching from OpenType to CID or OCF may cause certain characters to not appear correctly.
  • Document reflow: Because OpenType fonts contain additional features are not available in CID or OCF fonts, changing fonts from CID or OCF to OpenType may cause document reflow. OpenType fonts have different font names that should enable users and applications to treat them as "new" or "different" fonts despite the existence of their close "relatives."
Will Adobe release OpenType printer fonts?
No. There will not be any printer version of the OpenType fonts produced by Adobe. Printing of OpenType fonts can be handled by a variety of mechanisms including the following.
  • ATM/font rasterizer sending bitmaps for printing
  • Application sending font outlines with a job
  • PostScript driver incrementally downloading the fonts
  • PDF printing with font embedding
  • Host-based RIP directly accessing the fonts
How does OpenType print without printer resident fonts?
  1. PostScript output devices
    • Many applications, including Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Word can output outlines to PostScript printers using OpenType fonts on a host computer. This is done either through applications that include font outline data with a print job, or through a PostScript driver dynamically downloading the outlines at print time.
    • Some applications may choose to send bitmap data to the PostScript printers instead of downloading outlines. OpenType fonts produced by Adobe do not have any resolution restriction built in the fonts, and ATM Light does not impose any rasterization resolution restriction on OpenType fonts. Therefore bitmap printing should also yield full fidelity output.
  2. Other output devices:
    • ATM Light or PostScript font support engines in OS X, Windows 2000 and XP will rasterize OpenType fonts and send bitmaps to printers that do not utilize PostScript RIPs. Some applications may impose a resolution limit on the bitmap image to control the output file size.
Can you print OpenType fonts to printers with CID or OCF fonts already installed on the RIPs?
Yes, you can print OpenType fonts to any output devices, including printers with CID or OCF pre-installed or downloaded. However, the CID or OCF printer fonts will not be used for OpenType font output. This is because the OpenType fonts are treated as different fonts with different menu and PostScript names. Please note that printer fonts are not necessary for outputting OpenType fonts.