OpenType "Flavors" (Compact Font Format and TrueType)

A cross-platform font file format jointly developed by Adobe and Microsoft, OpenType is an extension of the TrueType sfnt format that can now support OpenType CFF font data and new typographic features. OpenType fonts containing OpenType CFF outlines have an .otf file name suffix, while those with TrueType outlines may have a .otf, .ttf or .ttc file name suffix. OpenType fonts with OpenType CFF outlines use the “Compact Font Format” or CFF to store those outlines. In Windows 2000, XP, and Vista, one can double-click on an OpenType font to get a sample sheet that indicates what kind of outlines the font file has.
In general, both "flavors" of OpenType are equally supported in Adobe applications and in the PostScript language. Because both flavors share the same structures for multi-lingual support and advanced OpenType layout features, it is usually easy for applications and operating systems to support both flavors equally well. This document is primarily about technical issues around installing and using OpenType CFF fonts.


Windows Issues

Some fonts do not appear in application font menus (style linking):
A family of fonts appears to be installed. Some of the installed fonts from the family, but not all, appear in the font menu. Specifically, some of the weights are missing, and all of the italic fonts. The problem typically occurs in some applications (e.g. Microsoft Word, Adobe PageMaker, QuarkXPress) but not others (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign).
The other "missing" fonts are accessible by using the bold and italic style buttons in each application. There are two ways to tell which fonts are linked to which.
  1. Use the Adobe Web site. Go to, and navigate to the font package that contains the fonts in question. Click on the specific font in the package to get to the Web page that shows the full character set for that font. Click the "More Info" tab. Towards the bottom of the column, the "Windows/PC Menu Name" is listed. This shows both how the font is listed in the menu of Windows applications, and which additional style buttons are needed to access the font.
  2. Navigate to where the "missing" fonts are installed on your computer, and double-click on each. The sample window that comes up has the name of the font in large letters at the top. Two lines below this is an entry that says "Typeface name"; this is the name that shows in the font menu.
Additional Information:
Style-linking is used with fonts of all formats in standard Windows applications. Most Windows applications only show the "base font" of any style-linked group in their font menus. The additional style-linked fonts won't show up separately in the font menu of these applications.
Being able to directly pick the style-linked fonts (the bold and italic) is possible in only a few Windows applications, specifically ones that bypass the operating system for their font-handling (including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign). In typical Windows applications, there is no way other than the style link to access the style-linked fonts. They don't show up in the menu on their own. If you want to get to the fonts that can be accessed by the bold and italic buttons in these applications, the only way to access them is by use of these "stylings"; there is no alternative.
People who are used to the Mac OS (or applications which allow direct access to style-linked fonts) often incorrectly: (1) expect that you can always "directly pick" even a style-linked bold or italic font from a font menu in any application; and (2) believe there is something wrong or inferior with using fonts via style links.
Using style links does have the limitation that in most applications, if no actual style-linked font exists, the Windows OS will provide a simulated approximation, with no warning that your "base font" is simply being slanted or double-struck to approximate italics or bold. Without close inspection (by zooming in or printing out), it can be difficult to tell the difference on screen. As long as there is a style link, and the linked font is available, the real, style-linked font will be used in the document and in print.
This issue applies equally to OpenType, PostScript Type 1 and TrueType fonts on Windows.
Fonts do not map correctly in documents transferred from Mac OS to Windows:
When documents are created in some Mac OS applications are opened in the Windows version of the application, incorrect fonts are displayed. Even though the same fonts are installed on Windows, the Windows version of the application doesn't recognize that the same font is installed. The problem occurs in common Windows applications such as Microsoft Word, Adobe PageMaker and QuarkXPress (but not Illustrator, Photoshop or InDesign).
This is another aspect of the style linking issue described above. To avoid the problem, whenever possible the Mac OS user must select the base font and use the style links to access style-linked fonts, rather than selecting the style-linked fonts (bold or italic) directly from the font menu.
Most of the information in the style linking section applies for the user on the Mac OS as well, it's just Mac users also have the option of directly selecting the fonts. However, for certain applications, if someone is creating Mac documents that will also be used on Windows, they must use the style links when available, or the Windows version of the application will not be able to correctly identify the font used.
This issue applies equally to OpenType, PostScript Type 1 and TrueType fonts on Windows.


Mac OS Issues

Mac OS & fonts losing OpenType icon:
Under certain conditions, OpenType fonts may lose their distinctive icon. In most circumstances, this does not cause problems with the functioning of the fonts. However, one known issue is that fonts put in an Adobe application's own fonts folder or the fonts folder at Applications Support: Adobe may not be recognized by Adobe applications that normally support use of such folders.
Mac OS X:
Rebuild the Launch Services preference files. Note that doing this may cause you to lose customized changes you have previously made (for example, in the Show Info window).
  1. Drag the files LSApplications, LSClaimedTypes and LSSchemes to your desktop from the /Library/Preferences folder of your Home directory.
  2. Restart the computer. The Mac OS should recreate the three files.
Additional Information:
Adobe packages its OpenType fonts so that they will get the correct icon when unpacked. In OS 8 and 9, the file Type and Creator codes are used in conjunction with the Mac OS Desktop DB file to assign correct icons to files. If the Type and Creator codes are incorrect or missing, or the Desktop DB is corrupt or damaged, icons may not display properly. Additionally, moving OpenType fonts from other operating systems, such as Windows or Unix, may damage or eliminate the Mac OS resource fork, which contains the Type and Creator codes, and custom icons. The standard OpenType icon is seen from the Type "sfnt" and the Creator "ATMC".
Mac OS X can use either Type and Creator codes, or file extensions, to determine file types and icons to use. This information is stored in the LS (Launch Services) preference files.
TrueType Flavored OpenType fonts
TrueType flavored OpenType fonts (.ttf) are generally not supported prior to Mac OS X. Some select Adobe applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign can use these fonts if they are placed in a "Fonts" folder located inside the main application folder. All applications running on OS X (outside of the Classic environment) can use the fonts.
Mac OS X, current issues:
Kerning in ATSUI applications:
Applications that use the Apple Type Services for Unicode Imaging (ATSUI) engine (e.g. Keynote and Pages) fail to use the kerning values in many OpenType fonts. Adobe is working with Apple to try to address this.
Style-linking in carbon/native applications:
As noted below, this problem was originally fixed in 10.2.3, but apparently re-appeared in 10.4. This issue is fixed in Mac OS X 10.4.9.
Kerning in cocoa applications:
In Mac OS X up to (at least) 10.2.4, the native support in Mac OS X does not include support for kerning information in OpenType CFF and Type 1 fonts. This means that OS X cocoa applications which rely on the OS to provide kerning information (rather than directly reading the OpenType font) see the font as having no kerning pairs.
Optical variants in OS X Font Palette:
Some Mac OS X applications use the new "Font Palette" to choose fonts, as an alternative to traditional font menus. In such applications, with families which offer variant fonts of different optical sizes, such as Display, Subhead and Caption, the "Regular" font may not appear in the Font Palette. This occurs in Mac OS X up to 10.2.8. It has been fixed in Mac OS X 10.3 and above.
Mac OS X, issues fixed in 10.2.3, 10.4.9:
Style-linking in carbon/native applications:

The native OpenType OTF support in Mac OS X did not initially include support for style links between OTF fonts. This means that OS X native or carbon applications which relied on the OS to provide style linking information will treat the fonts as having no style links. Therefore bold and italic style buttons will either not work or will create synthesized styles (smeared or slanted) instead of accessing the correct font. This can have side effects: opening or importing a document authored on an earlier OS with OpenType OTF fonts using style links may result in the correct font not being found. Workaround: For applications using Adobe's common font engine, such as InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator, one can work around this problem by putting the fonts in the application's fonts folder or in the application support:Adobe:Fonts folder. This issue was fixed in Mac OS X 10.2.3 to 10.3.9, reappeared in 10.4.0 and is again fixed in 10.4.9. Mac OS X 10.2.2 supports style links, but they may yield incorrect/unexpected results.
Mac OS X, issues fixed in 10.2:
Kerning in carbon/native applications:
In Mac OS X 10.0 and 10.1, the native OpenType OTF support in Mac OS X did not include support for kerning information in the font. This meant that OS X native or carbon applications which rely on the OS to provide kerning information (rather than directly reading the OpenType font) would see the font as having no kerning pairs. This issue did not affect any Adobe applications using Adobe's common font engine, such as InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Also unaffected were any applications which are not yet carbonized, such as PageMaker and FrameMaker. This issue is fixed in Mac OS X 10.2.
Non-ASCII characters in carbon QuickDraw applications:
In Mac OS X 10.0 and 10.1, the native OpenType OTF support in Mac OS X had incorrect on-screen display of some non-ASCII characters in carbonized QuickDraw applications. Non-ASCII characters are those encoded at 128-255 in MacRoman encoding, accessed via option or option-shift key combinations. In applications which are carbonized, and still use QuickDraw for on-screen display (rather than ATSUI or Adobe's common font engine), some of these characters display as different characters or as undefined. Despite the display problem, the characters do print correctly, to both PostScript and non PostScript devices. This issue is fixed in Mac OS X 10.2.


Symbolic and "Pi" fonts

Although OpenType fonts from Adobe are compatible with virtually all recent applications, operating systems, and output devices, Adobe’s symbol or “pi” fonts in OpenType format use code points in Unicode that are not part of the basic, standard Windows and Mac character sets. (Unicode is a platform-independent character encoding standard that maps each character in a font to a unique value that is used to access that character.) As a result, the pi and symbol characters in OpenType fonts are not accessible in most applications from normal keyboards. For more information on these issues consult the pi font info PDF.


Inconsistent Fractions in OpenType-savvy applications

OpenType fonts from Adobe typically have one of three levels of fraction support:
  1. basic
  2. numerators/denominators (often with extensive prebuilt fractions)
  3. arbitrary fractions
Fonts in the first category generally have only the 1/2, 1/4 and 3/4 fractions. For these fonts, using the OpenType fraction layout feature can help access these fractions but no others.
Fonts in the second category tend to have thirds and eighths fractions as well as the basic three. For these fonts, one can use the OpenType numerator and denominator features to access the numerators and denominators, and either feature will turn a slash character into a fraction bar.
Later in the development of OpenType, somebody figured out how to do "arbitrary" fractions, creating the third category. Using the same set of glyphs as fonts in category 2, simply turning on the OT "fractions" can make any fraction at all, even things like 1,023.2/14,077.
When Adobe has had occasion to revise existing "category 2" fonts, we have updated them to "category 3" to support arbitrary fractions. As of mid-2008, we believe we have updated all such fonts. Note that newer OpenType fonts such as Garamond Premier Pro, Arno Pro, and Hypatia Sans Pro include additional punctuation glyphs (period, comma, space, left and right parens) in their fraction feature to accommodate languages that use different numerical delimiters.
Note that turning on fraction formatting in category 3 fonts can also affect numbers and punctuation that aren't fractions, so one needs to be careful to apply fraction formatting to only the fractions themselves. Even when using fonts where this is not a problem, one might later change fonts, or use a newer version of a font; therefore Adobe strongly recommends that users adhere to this practice even when using fonts for which globally applying fractions formatting does not cause immediate problems.


Polytonic Greek behavior

Some OpenType Pro fonts from Adobe such as Minion Pro, Garamond Premier Pro, Arno Pro, and Hypatia Sans Pro contain a full set of polytonic (ancient) Greek glyphs. The expected behavior in both OpenType and non-OpenType savvy applications is as follows:
  • Marking forms of UpperCase are the default.
  • In an all cap setting, in an all small caps setting, and in cap/small cap settings, all glyphs lose their marks, except Iota (and Iota SC) with a dieresis and Upsilon (and Upsilon SC) with a dieresis. This means that Iotadieresistonos, Iotadieresisacute, Iotadieresistilde, and Iotadieresisgrave lose every mark but the dieresis; the same is true for Upsilon.
  • Non-marking Caps and Small Caps can be overridden in some fonts (Garamond Premier Pro and Arno Pro) by a Stylistic Set which will make all marks visible. Both Garamond Premier Pro and Arno Pro are based on old designs and for those we have historical references of periods when Greek UpperCase and Small Cap settings were marked.
The initial release of Garamond Premier Pro has non-marking UpperCase forms as the default behavior in non-OpenType savvy applications. Also, versions of Minion Pro up to 2.015 do not contain the more complex marking/non-marking behavior present in Garamond Premier Pro and Arno Pro (all forms are marking only). This behavior may be added in a future release.


Application Compatibility and Historical Issues

If you are using the latest version of ATM Light, or an operating system, such as Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, or Mac OS X (with native applications) which has native OpenType support, OpenType CFF fonts should work with virtually all your existing applications. However, some applications which perform some or all of the font-handling normally done by the operating system may need to be updated in order to recognize and render OpenType CFF fonts (see below).
Application-specific issues (alphabetical by application):
AutoCAD (Windows):
Only supports TrueType fonts and does not show OpenType CFF or Type 1 fonts in its font menu listings.
CorelDraw 9, 10, 11, & X3 (Windows):
For some OpenType CFF font families, CorelDraw 9, 10, 11 & X3 for Windows fail to show certain weights in the font menu. Typically, a base font and its style-linked bold are handled correctly, while additional weights which should appear separately in the CorelDraw font menu do not appear at all. For example, if the regular and the bold are style-linked, the semibold fonts might not appear in CorelDraw's font menu.
Corel Ventura 8 (Windows):
For some OpenType CFF font families, Corel Ventura 8 for Windows fails to print certain weights. These appear to be the same cases listed for CorelDraw above.
Corel WordPerfect 9 (Windows):
For some OpenType CFF font families, Corel WordPerfect 9 for Windows displays the fonts with extremely irregular spacing. Depending on the printer and driver, this may or may not affect printed output. These may be the same cases listed for CorelDraw above.
FrameMaker® 6.0 (Windows):
If the menu name of an OpenType font contains accented characters, (for example Orgánica GMM Semiserif) FrameMaker 6.0 for Windows does not correctly recognize these characters and may display the font name incorrectly in the menu. Note that the font still works correctly. FrameMaker for Windows will also show an error message when opening a Macintosh FrameMaker document using such a font, but the font will display and print correctly.
Freehand 10 (Mac OS X):
Freehand 10 fails to print on OS X when a OpenType CFF font contains a large number of glyphs (approximately 1100+). Workaround: use Freehand 8 or 9, or run Freehand 10 under OS 9.
For many style-linked fonts, if they are accessed directly on the font menu in Freehand 10, they may look correct on screen, but they will not print correctly. This applies only to fonts that are also accessible via a bold or italic style link. Workaround: pick any base-style face from the font menu, but pick any italic or bold styled face using the style popup on the text menu in order to get the correct font in print.
Freehand 8 (Windows):
Freehand 8 prints OpenType CFF fonts as Courier to PostScript printers, but prints correctly to non PostScript printers. This occurs only with the Windows version.
Microsoft Excel 2000 & Excel XP (Windows 2000 and Windows XP):
When using the Windows Character Map accessory to copy/paste many common math or Greek characters, Excel 2000 will substitute generic versions of these characters. Excel 97, Word 97, Word 2000, Office 2003 and Office 2007 do not have this problem.
Microsoft Visio (Windows):
Only supports TrueType fonts and does not show OpenType CFF or Type 1 fonts in its font menu listings.
Microsoft Windows Character Map (Windows 2000/XP/Vista):
The Windows Character Map shows blank spaces or bullets for all undefined characters in an OpenType CFF font, instead of just omitting them and additionally displays glyphs for a number of Eastern and Indic languages that are not present in the fonts. This can make it more difficult to identify what characters a font supports, because considerable scrolling through the character map may be required.
Additionally, although almost all characters may be selected from the character map and pasted correctly into Unicode applications (such as Microsoft Office), the f ligatures at FB00-FB04 may only display in TrueType fonts. Even though an OpenType CFF font is selected, the ligature may display in the closest available TrueType or OpenType .ttf font instead. This appears to be no longer the case in Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista and Office 2003/2007 (i.e. the correct glyphs paste).
Microsoft Word® 2000 & XP (Windows NT/2000/XP):
Microsoft Word's "Insert Symbol" function does not recognize OpenType CFF fonts as having extended character sets, but only shows the current codepage.
Microsoft Word X (Mac OS X):
Microsoft Word X may not save OpenType OTF fonts in style definitions. If you define a style using an OpenType font, the font defined in the style may revert to Times when you save the style. This is fixed in the 10.1.2 and later updates to Word X.
Microsoft Word X (Mac OS X):
Some OpenType Pro fonts may not type into a Word document correctly. This is occurring most noticeably with Pro fonts that have CE glyphs and sort at the bottom of Word's type menu. When you place the text cursor into the middle of a word or at the end of a line that is already formatted as an OpenType Pro font, the formatting of the word changes to the default MS Word font. When you place the cursor at the end of a line of text and begin typing, all subsequent text will be formatted in the default MS Word font. WorkAround: this can often be fixed by going into Word's Preferences, under Edit options and deselecting "Match Font with Keyboard".
PageMaker 7.x (Windows):
PageMaker 7.x prints some recent OpenType CFF fonts (Arno Pro and Hypatia Sans Pro) as Courier to PostScript printers, but prints correctly to non PostScript printers.
QuarkXPress 6.x (Mac OS X):
Users of QuarkXPress® 6.x may receive an error message with some OpenType fonts when printing, that the font "may be corrupt and may be substituted with Courier"; simply click OK and proceed. Generally, the font still outputs correctly. One possible workaround to avoid the warning is provided by Quark at
Quark Xpress 6.5 (Mac OS X 10.4.x):
Users of Quark Xpress 6.5 in Mac OS X 10.4.x may notice that at certain zoom levels, onscreen spacing of OpenType fonts appears erratic. Zoom levels that are increments of 10 (100%, 110%, 120%, etc.) appear correctly, but other values that are not increments of 10 (162%, 123%, etc.) may display uneven or erratic letterspacing. This does not affect printed output.
Suitcase 10 (Mac OS):
Extensis Suitcase 10 can only activate OpenType fonts when running under Mac OS X, and only for carbon or native applications (not Classic applications). If running under Mac OS 8 or 9 (not Classic), use ATM Deluxe instead of Suitcase.


Technical Support

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