The end has come for some of the original fonts developed at the dawn of desktop publishing.
In 2019, Adobe announced the end of support for “Type 1” fonts. Photoshop will cease support for Type 1 fonts in 2021; Illustrator, InDesign, and other Adobe programs will end their Type 1 font support in January 2023.
What are Type 1 Fonts?
Type 1 fonts are among the first created by Adobe for use with their desktop publishing software in 1984. They are not supported by many modern platforms, including web browsers and mobile platforms.
In 2000, Adobe and Microsoft joined forces to create the OpenType font format, which feature cross-platform compatibility so that they appear the same on a Windows, Apple, or mobile computing device; and included extended character support for better multilingual usage and richer typographical control. Microsoft Office products haven’t recognized Type 1 fonts since at least Office 2013.
OpenType fonts have a .otf file suffix. Type 1 fonts (also known as PostScript, PS1, T1, Adobe Type 1, Multiple Master, or MM fonts) can have a .pfb, .pfm, .inf, .ofm, or .afm suffix. This advantage for brevity goes to OpenType.
What Will Happen After Type 1 Support Ends?
When support ends, Type1 fonts will no longer appear in Adobe font menus. Type1 fonts in documents created before support ended will show as missing in Adobe applications.
How do I know if I Have Type 1 Fonts on my Computer?
On a Mac: Open FontBook
- In the search bar on the upper right, click on the magnifying glass
- Choose “Kind”
- In the search bar, enter “Type 1”
- Any fonts that appear and you can select are Type 1 fonts.
On a Windows PC: Control panel > Fonts control
- Access the “Run Dialog” box using the “Windows-R” keyboard shortcut. Type “control fonts” in the box and hit “Ok”
- This will bring up the Fonts dialogue box
- Change the window view to the “Details” list option
- Right-click in the header of the list to bring up the options menu and choose “font type”
- A newly added column containing the type of font file (Type 1, TrueType, OpenType, etc.) will tell you which fonts are in danger of deactivation.
Wait… My Logo Uses A Type 1 Font!
Type 1 font data in .eps and .pdf files will not be affected. As long as you are using them for “display” or as a graphic element (i.e. if you’re placing the logo .eps file into an inDesign document to create a brochure or poster). If you open the logo file to edit it, that will trigger the same “missing font” error.
(R.C. Brayshaw & Company encourages our customers to outline their fonts in logo files. This renders the text in these logo files as another graphical element.) Alternatively, change the font to an OpenType version to keep it editable for future-proofing changes.
Once you know which fonts are Type 1, you’ll have to decide how best to proceed:
- Is an OpenType Version On-Hand? In the early days of OpenType, many font foundries offered to transition users for free or a minor fee. It’s not impossible that someone at your organization already proactively solved the issue and don’t even know it.
- Can a Font be Upgraded? If you still have access to your account with a type foundry and the foundry is still operating, they have made an OpenType replacement for your old font.
- Can a New Alternative Be Found? If you can’t purchase a new version of the original font, is a similar, updated option available? There are many sophisticated fonts out there for purchase. Google and other companies releases fonts for no-cost use. Beware of using ‘FREE’ fonts from the web, many are low quality with poor metrics and incomplete character sets. Other may have odd licensing restrictions that prevent the font from being embedded in files. Adobe Creative Cloud users have access to Adobe Fonts where a library of different fonts are available to license at no extra charge (although if a type foundry ends its relationship with Adobe Fonts, you’ll once again find yourself in the same situation).
- Is There Some Kind of Font-Conversion Tool? Type conversion isn’t a technical challenge, but it is a legal one. A simple font converter program could update a Type 1 file into an OpenType format. The conversion wouldn’t necessarily be perfect since Type 1 and OpenType have different properties and automated conversions can’t account for every subtlety, but it would likely allow your font to continue functioning. However, this sort of activity would likely violate the end-user license agreement on the font you purchased (many commercial font licenses explicitly prohibit modifying the files you supposedly own, and if you find a font conversion program through a google search or other web search engine, it will likely remind you to check your license before making the decision to convert a font). For Macs, there is FontXChange from FontGear, a paid app that converts to multiple formats.