Font management - Mac vs. Windows

Macmann

Well-known member
Our IT department is pushing our large format division to migrate from Macs to Windows 10 workstations. In my experience, the biggest challenge will be fonts.

The Adobe applications seem to run the same on both platforms but we are always battling customer-supplied fonts. We are currently using Universal Type Client for font management and the Creative Cloud font feature on occasion.

What are other members of the Print Planet using? Have any of you moved from Mac to Windows? What were the challenges? Pitfalls? Benefits? We have years-old customer font folders that just plain work on the Mac but give us fits in Windows.

Short of requiring our clients to outline their fonts, are there ways to get through this? Even those clients who are savvy enough to supply print-ready PDFs often forget bleeds, or their files need editing before going to press.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 

PricelineNegotiator

Well-known member
I've been in your situation before. What worked for me was to export all the fonts between the Macs into one big folder, and to assess how to deal with the Type 1 Postscript fonts that obviously don't work on PC. You might have to buy 2-3 families of fonts. The MyFonts Monotype subscription is great, along with Adobe Fonts. Just make one big folder of fonts apart from the subscription services and have your workstations pull from that and see what problems you are still facing. Don't put the fonts inside of a customer folder, that's not a good workflow.
 

Macmann

Well-known member
Thanks, PricelineNegotiator.

When you say you exported the fonts, how did you accomplish that? Is there a utility or app you used? Why do you not like separating fonts by customer?
 

michaelejahn

Well-known member
Perhaps I am confused ( and you need to work with native design app files in your market ) but do you really need fonts ? You really have customers who send files in wrong and you cant get back to them and ask them to fix them and send in a PDF/X file ?

And people actually outline fonts still ?
 

Repro_Pro

Well-known member
This utility may the right tool for the conversion:
 

Macmann

Well-known member
Thanks Repro_Pro. I will forward your suggestion to our Specialty Graphics division.
Have you used it?
 

Repro_Pro

Well-known member
We bought the set of FontLab apps many years ago and they performed great.
There was a learning curve, which I didn't personally take, but conversions were done successfully.
They would be my first choice for any professional font related issue.
 

PricelineNegotiator

Well-known member
Thanks, PricelineNegotiator.

When you say you exported the fonts, how did you accomplish that? Is there a utility or app you used? Why do you not like separating fonts by customer?
You can use the fontbook app that is natively on Mac to accomplish this. It lists all of the fonts installed on the computer, and there is an export menu.
 
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EEM

Member
The native macOS app Font Book does a reasonable job of font management, if you do not have extremely serious font management issues. It allows you to create as many font libraries as you wish that you can activate/deactivate to avoid font conflicts. To create a Library you do not need to instal/copy any fonts on any User/System folder. They can be activated from wherever they are. However, sometimes Font Book's error reporting feature is unhelpful/unclear.

A year or two back, I have test driven all major font management tools in a quest to find the best one and realised that it depends more on your overall workflow than any feature set offered. BTW, I found the Extensis Suitcase Fusion the most flexible in terms of workarounds for the font problems that may come our way. Extensis Suitcase has been around since 90's anyway.

If you are used to work mostly on Macs then IMHO you should not switch to an all-Windows workflow. If we were not a macOS-only environment then we would have just one Windows workstation to resolve the issues that required Windows. Although, Adobe and Microsoft have been collaborating for ages on a so-called OpenType technology, Windows is still at least ten years behind, in terms of font management good practices.

Meanwhile, I hope this link will resolve most of your font management problems on macOS (God bless Kurt Lang):

Font Management in macOS
 

Macmann

Well-known member
EEM thank you for your thoughtful and in-depth reply! My experiences mirrored yours in many respects. At a previous workplace, we too kept a Windows workstation to get through Windows issues. I've used Suitcase since the '90s as well. I will forward your response to my coworkers in the Specialty print division.
Thanks again!
 
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I have worked for a large number of sites as I do temporary cover (fits in with my life unlike a permanent position) and have seen management make choices that are questionable at the least to insane at the worst. If everybody sends you PDFs with embedded fonts then it does not matter, but not everybody does that. For some inexplicable reason clients send in all sorts of documents (I use the term loosely). If that is your experience then you need both or more platforms.
The most insane management decision was to do away with one software package when almost all their clients used another and sent in native files.
To add insult to injury they then told their clients they had to change if they wanted to continue using this print company
Yes they no longer exist.
 

narseman

Active member
Perhaps I am confused ( and you need to work with native design app files in your market ) but do you really need fonts ? You really have customers who send files in wrong and you cant get back to them and ask them to fix them and send in a PDF/X file ?

And people actually outline fonts still ?
Trying to get the salespeople to go back to the client is worse than pulling teeth.
Sometimes we struggle for hours on some stupid pdf issue, when we finally say we MUST go back to client.. then get a new file in 20 mins., fixed... it's frustrating. Sales don't want to "bother" the client.
 

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