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ktinkel
03-03-2005, 01:30 PM
It has been nearly two years since Adobe released its entire font library in OpenType format.

According to a note (http://www.linotype.com/18142/alookback-doc.html?PHPSESSID=85258174d2360a5122158a0e450fc2f 7) from Linotype’s TypoTechnica 2005 conference (held last month at the St Bride Printing Library in London), Adobe will stop distributing fonts in its original PostScript format by the end of this year.

This news came from Adobe’s David Lemon, in his comments after receiving the first Linotype Font Technology Award for his decades of work in the company’s type group. (Congrats, David!)

terrie
03-03-2005, 02:47 PM
How interesting...what does that bode for other font houses do you think?

Terrie

ktinkel
03-03-2005, 02:54 PM
How interesting...what does that bode for other font houses do you think?I have no idea. Few of them have quite the investment in OpenType development as Adobe, of course. But if it takes off in a serious way, so will they all, at some point.

The interesting news about XPress 7 — that it will have a completely new OpenType-friendly type engine based on Unicode — may be a clue to how the wind is blowing (or not, of course).

terrie
03-03-2005, 03:15 PM
>>kt: But if it takes off in a serious way, so will they all, at some point.

Yeah...writing on the wall sort of thing...

Terrie

tphinney
03-06-2005, 07:56 PM
It's great to see David getting some public recognition for his immense contribution to type technology in managing first Adobe's font production team during the OpenType transition, and now the entire type department. Perhaps I've been the most public face of Adobe's OpenType development in the last few years, but David is its heart and soul. He is a very smart, highly dedicated and intensely principled man. I was delighted to have him as my manager for 6 1/2 years, and I am even more pleased to be able to call him my friend.

As for discontinuing Type 1 sales, we've been mentioning that it is coming for quite a while, just to get people ready for the idea. We have not yet announced exact timing. However, we have also been very careful to emphasize that we will continue to support Type 1 fonts for quite a few years to come.

That being said, if I were buying new fonts today, I'd buy them in OpenType rather than Type 1, unless I had some very specific and very strong reason to do otherwise.

Regards,

T

Thomas Phinney
Program Manager
Fonts & Core Technologies
Adobe Systems

tphinney
03-06-2005, 08:05 PM
I have no idea. Few of them have quite the investment in OpenType development as Adobe, of course. But if it takes off in a serious way, so will they all, at some point.

Urm. it already happened. OpenType took off. There are something like 8000 OpenType fonts available today, only about 30% being from Adobe. Adobe's own font sales are at least 90% OpenType. Every one of the big type foundries agrees that OpenType is where the industry is headed.

As recently as two years ago, it was still something that could be debated. I remember a year ago, when I realized that we had made it, won the war to get a new font format successfully mainstream. That was when I knew about as much as is public now about OpenType support from type foundries and OS and application developers. The events of the past year have only strengthened that conclusion in my mind.

That being said, of course there's a massive installed base of older fonts, and Type 1 is not going to disappear overnight. Service bureaus and printers can be stodgy and slow to adapt to new trends like this, but even there we've seen a real shift over the last year or so.

Cheers,

T

JVegVT
03-08-2005, 07:32 PM
Do OpenType fonts install under Linux? Linux is Unicode aware and many applications can use very large character sets in Unicode fonts. To install a Type 1 font in Linux, you need the PFB file and the AFM file. Linux also handles TrueType fonts. I don't know anything about what comes with an OpenType font.
--Judy M.

tphinney
03-08-2005, 07:43 PM
I don't know if OpenType is supported at the system level by a basic vanilla Linux installation (not one of the branded distributions). Certainly there are common Linux applications that work with OpenType (most by using FreeType), but that's a different question.

T

Michael Rowley
03-09-2005, 09:14 AM
Thomas:

'unless I had some very specific and very strong reason to do otherwise'

Wouldn't possession of the 'ordinary' set (roman, italic, bold, and possibly bold italic) be considered a strong reason for getting the additional 'expert' Type 1 fonts? Open Type is splendid, but not always an economic substitute, quite apart from the fact that many layout programs (including Adobe's) do not yet support all Open Type features.

tphinney
03-09-2005, 10:21 AM
Probably not a strong reason in my book, but "it depends" is the sensible answer.

In part, I think it depends on which apps and features you need. No application supports "all" OpenType features, but that isn't necessary for glyph access (witness the glyph palette), and there are some features that are going to be present in vanishingly few fonts.

InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop all support a big set of OpenType features that includes all the ones widely used in western-language fonts. Plus, those features are easier to use than expert set and other supplemental fonts, and don't corrupt the underlying document text. So I think anybody who is working in the Creative Suite would be making a major mistake buying Type 1 fonts - even Type 1 Expert Set fonts when they have the base font already.

Of course, FrameMaker and the now-discontinued PageMaker don't support any of OpenType's typographic features. Nor does QuarkXPress, until the future version 7.

In part, it depends on how long the buyer expects the new fonts to continue to work in all their environments and be widely supported. We wouldn't be planning on discontinuing sales of Type 1 if we couldn't see ahead to the end of life for the format. At some point in the foreseeable future, some key player other than Adobe is going to stop supporting Type 1 as well as they do OpenType.

For example, as one hypothetical but high-impact scenario, Apple and Microsoft have never been enthusiastic supporters of Type 1, and OpenType is a much more palatable technology to them. Either one of them could drop system support in some future OS version. At such a time, we would want our customers to feel like we've been advising them well and preparing them for such an eventuality.

T

Michael Rowley
03-09-2005, 01:50 PM
Thomas:

'Of course, FrameMaker and the now-discontinued PageMaker don't support any of OpenType's typographic features'

Both are still being advertised by Adobe though, for 'business publishing'. That's quite a lot of publishing. Aren't the people that do it expected to use ligatures, small capitals, and non-lining numerals? None of these are usually available to users of FrameMaker and Ventura, PageMaker and Quark, so the simplest practical alternative to using InDesign is to use the expert fonts from Adobe (available as Type 1 fonts) and the corresponding Open Type fonts. I have two Open Type font families (Utopia & Minion) that I was obliged to supplement by their respective Type 1 expert sets; I did find out how I could get access to any of the glyphs in the Open Type fonts in Word, but only by making use of duplicates in the private use area.

Microsoft and Apple may well prefer TrueType fonts or the newer OT fonts, but Microsoft at least has a fairly good reputation for backwards compatibility, and although support for alternative glyphs will be a possible feature of future systems, I can't see MS dropping the support for Type 1 fonts, which has been available as an 'add-on' (ATM) since Windows 3 and of course is incorprated in Windows NT5.

JVegVT
03-09-2005, 09:33 PM
My distro uses FreeType. Does that mean I could install an OpenType font and it would be usable? Does an OpenType font come with a PFB and an AFM? Sorry to display my ignorance so publicly!
--Judy M.

Michael Rowley
03-10-2005, 12:36 PM
Judy:

'Does an OpenType font come with a PFB and an AFM?'

An OT font has just the one file, like a TT font. That seem to apply even if it's a 'Type 1' flavoured OT font (which I think every Adobe OT font is).

What's a distro?

dominic
03-10-2005, 01:47 PM
Michael, in case you aren't aware, Charles Hedrick (a FrameMaker user) wrote a free utility that creates OT expert and small caps fonts from an OT font containing those glyphs. A Ventura user, Gabor Deak Jahn, expanded this utility to let users specify exactly which glyphs that wanted remapped. You can get it at:

http://www.tramontana.co.hu/ventura/software/software.html

If the font licence allows, you can then use it and not have to buy separate Type 1 expert and small caps sets anymore if you have the OT font already. You can also create a font that has OS figures as standard instead of lining figures so that you don't have to tag each number in FM or Ventura.

Michael Rowley
03-10-2005, 02:57 PM
Dominic:

'in case you aren't aware'

I certainly wasn't aware of the utilities you mention! Thank you very much.

About a year ago I wanted to make decent PDFs from some Word documents, and I thought that OT fonts would be the answer. I was using Word 9 at the time, and someone in the forum (Ron Smith?) showed me how to write a macro that would enable me to insert single glyphs, but this involved using the PUA, which made the macro only suitable for fonts that had the same glyphs at the same places in the PUA.

Michael Rowley
03-10-2005, 04:31 PM
Dominic:

Correction! I had got Charles Hedrick's Web site bookmarked and had downloaded his utility for creating special fonts from OT fonts. I hadn't got very far with it—I think there was something wrong with the downloaded files. I have downloaded Jahn's utility now.

The interesting thing about Thomas P.'s comment on FrameMaker is that he doesn't seem to think that it will ever be able to let you choose alternative glyphs.

Shane Stanley
03-10-2005, 05:12 PM
InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop all support a big set of OpenType features that includes all the ones widely used in western-language fonts. Plus, those features are easier to use than expert set and other supplemental fonts

Up to a point. Try doing a lot of work in, say, Illustrator, using fractions and Dingbats versus the "old" way of re-mapped fonts. The old method was much more efficient for entry, once you remembered what mapped to what.

It's not OpenType's fault, but it seems to me that entering "extra" characters is a right pain. I'm not sure what the solution is, short of new keyboard keys.

Shane

dominic
03-10-2005, 06:42 PM
Bearing in mind that this is not an FM forum (and that speculation on its future is already well covered in those forums), I'd just make the point that I believe OpenType is going to pose a real challenge to such older publishing apps. As people come to regard large character sets and easy access to alternates as standard, those apps that don't support OT will suffer in comparison. It's one thing when everyone has to suffer with expert and small caps sets and edited fonts with extra diacritics, but quite another when the competition is offering all that in one simple package. I get the impression that FM is in a particularly bad position because its code is so old. I'm no programmer, but it may be that rewriting FM to accept OT and Unicode may be tantamount to writing a whole new program. In that case, given Adobe already has a well regraded publishing program (InDesign), it may make more sense to just add FM's features to ID.

Corel Ventura also lacks OT support, but it could be expected that it will get Draw's OT features grafted on in the future, in the way that it's had Draw's print engine added previously (assuming, of course, that Corel continues with Ventura).

Then there are those other, small market apps like Ready Set Go, PagePlus, and RagTime. Of those, I think only PagePlus currently supports OT.

And it will be interesting to see what will happen to XPress Passport when XPress 7 comes out.

Dominic

PS. Gabor's version of the OT utility is quite straightforward and comes with instructions. I think the main thing to watch out for is not trying to move glyphs that are not actually present in the font you're editing!

JVegVT
03-13-2005, 06:16 PM
>> An OT font has just the one file, like a TT font. >>

I don't think that would work with current Linux distros. There is probably some support in the works, but I'm not an insider on development. I'll do a Google search and see what I can come up with.

>> What's a distro? >>

A Linux distribution, such as Red Hat, Mandrake, SuSE, Slackware, VectorLinux, Knoppix, Linspire, Xandros, VectorLinux, and many more. They all have the Linux kernel plus added programs, the X Window system that enables a graphical interface, desktop environments such as KDE, Gnome, XFce, and many others, an installation routine that installs the distro, a shell (think MS-DOS under Windows), utilities, and various programs. Some distros are geared toward a corporate environment, some toward SOHO users, some toward home users. Some are bleeding edge, others are more conservative, sticking with the tried and true.

You can find descriptions of most distros here:
http://www.distrowatch.com
--Judy M.

Michael Rowley
03-14-2005, 08:47 AM
Judy:

‘I don't think that would work with current Linux distros’

I don't think that can be true, since OT fonts are not exactly new, and the files are very similar to TT files. About the only thing that is different about the T1 flavour is that it gives third order descriptions of the curves, whereas the TT flavour has second-order descripthions. But I don't pay any attention to the magazine articles on Linux, except that I noticed some time ago that one of them pointed out that dealing with fonts is something that Unix was always good at.

I gathered that ‘distro’ might be American for distributor, but I didn't know that it was used to mean ‘Linux packager’. Thanks for that.

JVegVT
03-14-2005, 03:41 PM
I don't think that can be true, since OT fonts are not exactly new, and the files are very similar to TT files. About the only thing that is different about the T1 flavour is that it gives third order descriptions of the curves, whereas the TT flavour has second-order descripthions.
You're right. I did a little Google search and OpenType can be supported under Linux. I don't know the details, having no PostScript-flavored OpenType fonts to experiment with.

>> I gathered that ‘distro’ might be American for distributor, but I didn't know that it was used to mean ‘Linux packager’. <<

It's short for "distribution" rather than "distributor." A minor point. It's also not American, but a term used in any English-speaking country. Linux is very international.
--Judy M.

Michael Rowley
03-14-2005, 03:53 PM
Judy:

'OpenType can be supported under Linux'

And under FreeFont 2; I was rather curious myself, and also looked at the Web. However, you might find that OpenType is 'supported' as many Windows and Mac applications understand the word, viz you can get access to all the glyphs if you know their codepoints, but only InDesign etc. (and Quark 7, when it comes) offer all the alternative glyphs that are available.

Gerry Kowarsky
03-17-2005, 02:11 PM
Gabor's version of the OT utility is quite straightforward and comes with instructions. I think the main thing to watch out for is not trying to move glyphs that are not actually present in the font you're editing!

Gabor's version is a big advance over the original, but neither version allowed me subset fonts that do not follow the naming conventions assumed by the utility. ACaslon Pro, AGaramond Pro, and AJenson Pro all derailed the utility. Also, I remember running into a problem with another font (can't remember which) where the glyph numbering is nonstandard because of an inserted alternate glyph.

tphinney
03-23-2005, 06:50 PM
I think Michael means "FreeType" rather than FreeFont. FreeType is an open source font rendering module that Unix/Linux apps can use if they wish.

Besides InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop both have very good OpenType support. Illustrator's is pretty much on a par with InDesign's only with a better UI, while Photoshop has everything but the glyph palette.

Cheers,

T

tphinney
03-23-2005, 06:55 PM
Well, OpenType fractions are a joy to use, IF the font supports the fractions you need (and some support completely arbitrary fractions, which is great).

But dingbats are a real pain the posterior, and I don't know a really good workaround. I was having lunch today with the group product manager for InDesign and GoLive, and he asked me about this very question....

ElyseC
03-23-2005, 07:46 PM
Besides InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop both have very good OpenType support. Illustrator's is pretty much on a par with InDesign's only with a better UI, while Photoshop has everything but the glyph palette.Sorry, I'm probably looking right at the menu command to call it up, but I just can't find the glyph palette in AI. Where is it?

tphinney
03-23-2005, 11:16 PM
It's new in Illustrator CS. What version are you running?

Michael Rowley
03-24-2005, 07:38 AM
Thomas:

'I think Michael means "FreeType" rather than FreeFont'

Yes: put it down to lapsus calami, though in truth I obviously can't hold a new name for longer than 5 min. FreeType v. 2.

ElyseC
03-24-2005, 12:45 PM
It's new in Illustrator CS. What version are you running?CS. "About..." says it's 11.0.0. So where do I look? I suppose it's right in front of my nose...

EDIT: Oh for crying out loud. It is right there under Window > Type > Glyphs! Nevermind. <sheepish g>

tphinney
03-24-2005, 02:31 PM
Glad you found it! <g>

T