Upgraded to Snow Leopard and CS6...Why So Many Unsupported Fonts?
February 12, 2013 10:23 AM   Subscribe

After switching to a different (and recently upgraded) Mac at work, FontDoctor is finding bushels of "Unsupported Fonts." We're talking big name fonts, too: some of my NeutraText weights, a bunch of Futura and Helveticas, Times CY, and many others. When I try to add the unsupported fonts to a set in Suitcase, the problem pops up as "Missing Printer File." Is there a reason that upgrading from 10.5 to Snow Leopard would have rendered so many fonts unusable? Did I transfer over the wrong font files or something? How the heck are the fonts working on one Mac, but not the other?

Other variables: I do have both Fontbook and Suitcase Fusion 4 installed, but although people have reported issues from having two different font management software, it doesn't seem like that's what's happening here. I also cleared the font cache, and ran a permissions verify, and restarted. All that good stuff.
posted by redsparkler to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best solution I know is to convert your older, problematic fonts to Opentype. There are various apps out there that can do this with varying success. Note that fonts can be corrupted in different ways, so that it would work with 10.5 but not 10.6, and might not convert under any circumstances.

Consider FontXChange. I had to deal with this about 2 years ago, and it was very helpful.

Fontbook and Suitcase issue: if you never use or open Fontbook, Suitcase plays nice in my experience. Also, frequently check for updates of Suitcase - it really helps.
posted by chambers at 10:43 AM on February 12, 2013

Fontbook and Suitcase Fusion function well together, they basically ignore each other.

Accounts that have been moved from Mac to Mac may have some older unsupported bitmap fonts and some Postscript fonts that have orphaned their printer font.

All sorts of reasons this can happen... The most important thing to think about is what do you need to work with your current projects... and then, what should your future look like?

The ideal future would be Suitcase Fusion 4 full of OpenType fonts organized and checked for corruption.

FontXchange (and others) can convert old Bitmap and Postscript pairs to Opentype or Truetype, but you need all of the parts present to turn an old thing into a new thing.

Will your converted Times CY Postscript font be identical to the native Opentype Times CY from Adobe? short answer is in form mostly yes, but you may be missing some characters (native OpenType fonts often have expanded character sets) AND your Times CY will have a different font ID than the native Times CY.

If you work alone or your work flow is sharing font sets... it's usually ok... if you are sharing files with someone in another workflow and don't use collected fonts... it gets messy.
posted by bobdow at 11:54 AM on February 12, 2013

Which version of Snow Leopard did you upgrade to? If it's anything below 10.6.8, you should apply that update. Apple introduced changes to how the system handles postscript fonts in Snow Leopard and subsequently had to issue a patch for 10.6. That patch was rolled-in to 10.6.8.

Also, there's not good reason to run both Font Book and Suitcase Fusion. I'm a graphic artist and easily manage hundreds of fonts using only Font Book. I'd ditch Suitcase and never look back.

I also wouldn't convert fonts to different formats. Sometimes it works perfectly, other times there are problems. I have a wide collection of fonts in postscript, open type, and true type and they do just fine in Snow Leopard.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:20 PM on February 12, 2013

Response by poster: I'm not very informed in regards to Mac version names, sorry. We're actually running 10.8.2: Mountain Lion.

As far as Suitcase goes; I'm not entirely seeing the point, and it seems like I'd be fine with just Fontbook.

It would be nice to standardize the fonts across workstations for our three designers; we're still in the middle of the upgrade, but I'm anticipating other folks will have the same issues, so Fontxchange seems like a good idea. I'm especially enthused by their sweet "crossgrade" deal for folks who already bought Fontdoctor: Only 49.99!
posted by redsparkler at 12:42 PM on February 12, 2013

"Missing printer file" means that you have a PostScript font and you're missing one of the two files necessary. One file has the bitmaps for screen display, the other (printer file) has the vector data. You need both files to make the fonts work in a modern system.

Chambers’ suggestion to go OpenType is a good one, as that's the most modern and least problematic format. Conversion, though, is probably not the best solution because it doesn't always work like it should — and, of course, you still need the printer file. The best thing to do is contact the foundry (from whom I assume you licensed the fonts) and ask for updated the files or an upgrade path to OpenType.
posted by Typographica at 12:50 PM on February 12, 2013

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