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Font style linking

What's covered

Font style links

Font names and style links

Font fauxing

Large type families in Windows

Windows fonts and partial families

Font substitution

Font style links

Windows applications select fonts differently than applications on a Macintosh OS. These differences may cause it to appear as if fonts are missing or cause font substitution when you transfer documents from a Macintosh to a Windows computer.

Although fonts are accessed differently on different platforms, you can use font name style links to access your fonts on both platforms and to avoid font-matching problems.

Font names and style links

A typical Windows application allows you to apply a maximum of four styles to a typeface: regular, bold, italic, and bold italic. Typically, you select the regular style from the font menu (for example, when you choose Book Antiqua from the font menu, you see the typeface Book Antiqua regular), and you select bold or italic styles by clicking a bold or italic button or by using a keyboard shortcut within the application (for example, to specify Book Antiqua Bold, you select Book Antiqua from the font menu, and then apply the bold style by clicking on a bold button).

This process of specifying a particular font (for example, Book Antiqua Bold) by selecting a related font (for example, Book Antiqua) and applying a style to that font is called font style linking.

Many applications on the Macintosh platform, in contrast to Windows, list all the styles for a typeface within the font menu. For example, a type family like Book Antiqua appears in the font menu as Book Antiqua, Book Antiqua Bold, Book Antiqua Italic, and Book Antiqua Bold Italic.

If you use a Macintosh, this functionality gives you two ways to specify a particular typeface: you can either directly select the typeface from the font menu, or you can select the regular version of the typeface from the font menu and then use style linking by applying bold or italic to the regular face with a style button or keyboard shortcut. Either method gives you the font you need.

Font fauxing

If a particular typeface style is not installed on the computer, and you attempt to specify that typeface style using style linking (for example, you do not have Book Antiqua Italic installed on your computer, but you select Book Antiqua Regular and then apply an italic style), you may get unsatisfactory results. Depending on the application you are using, you will either see the regular typeface or you will see a fake version of the italic font created by the application. For example, some applications attempt to fake an italic font by skewing the regular typeface. This process of manufacturing a fake version of a bold or italic font is sometimes referred to as font fauxing. Note that these faux bold or italic styles may not print as they appear onscreen, especially to PostScript printers.

Macintosh users have a simple method for avoiding this problem: always specify a typeface from the font menu and never rely on style linking. Since a typeface appears in the font menu only if it is installed, this method prevents accidental font fauxing. Windows users do not have this option and must use style linking to specify bold or italic font faces on Windows. If you use Windows, the only way to prevent font fauxing is to make sure that all the typefaces you use are properly installed and that you only use bold and italic styling when bold and italic styles exist (not all fonts have style-linked bold or italic).

Large type families in Windows

The Windows limitation of requiring style linking with a bold button or keyboard shortcut can be problematic when you use a font family that offers more weights than just regular and bold.

For example, the OpenType font family Futura Std offers weights of Light, Book, Medium, Heavy, Bold and Extra Bold. Obviously one Bold button is not enough to specify all these weights. When all these typefaces are installed on a Windows computer, the Light, Book, Medium and Extra Bold typefaces appear in application font menus. The weights of Heavy and Bold do not appear in the font menu; you must access these typefaces using style linking. Futura Std Heavy is specified by selecting Futura Std Medium from the font menu and then applying the bold style. Futura Std Bold is specified by selecting Futura Std Book from the font menu and then applying the bold style.

Adobe provides complete descriptions of the typefaces that appear in Windows font menus and the typefaces that require the use of bold or italic style linking. For OpenType fonts, you can find this information on the Adobe Type Library web pages for each individual typeface. The stye link information is listed at the bottom of the More Info tab. For Type 1 fonts, you can find this information in the Readme file included with the font.

For a complete list of all Adobe OpenType and Type 1 fonts and instructions for accessing them from the Windows and Macintosh font menus, visit the Adobe website at http://store.adobe.com/type/pdfs/Type1-2-OpenType.pdf .

Windows fonts and partial families

If you have only one typeface style from a family available (such as bold or italic), that's the font you will see when you specify the family. For example, if Trajan Pro Bold is the only Trajan Pro font installed, that's the font you will see when you select Trajan Pro in a typical Windows application. Therefore, you should either always install entire style-linked groups within a font family, or, if you cannot install the entire style-linked group, you should apply the appropriate style button. Thus, for the Trajan Pro Bold example above, you should click the bold button even though Trajan Pro Bold is already displayed. This step won't change the appearance of the font in your document, but if the document is later opened in a application with access to Trajan Pro Regular, the correct bold font will still be used for the text.

Font substitution

Because of the differences in the way fonts are specified on Macintosh and Windows operating systems, some Windows applications are unable to recognize the fonts used in a document created on a Macintosh. For example, in Adobe PageMaker, you can specify a font on a Macintosh by selecting it from the font menu. However, the font may not be recognized when that document is opened in a Windows version of PageMaker if that particular font must be specified by selecting a different font and applying a bold or italic style. Specifically, if you choose the Type 1 font Futura Heavy on the Macintosh by selecting it from the font menu, and then you move that document to a Windows computer, the Windows application might not recognize that the specified font, Futura Heavy, is the equivalent of the font Futura Medium with a bold style applied to it.

If you are working on a Macintosh and expect that the text that you are formatting may be opened on a Windows computer, you can avoid font substitution problems by specifying the typeface using style linking, the same way you would in Windows. This method allows the Windows application to find a matching font, if one is available, when the file is opened on that platform.


Related Documents

Document 328508
Last edited - 02/22/2006

 

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