Creative Suite Font Installation & Conflicts – Survey

I would like to get your feedback (by March 3rd) on different options for font installation by Adobe applications, such as the Creative Suite and many of its components.

For Creative Suite 3 and many of its component applications, we created a single font installer and set of fonts that is used by many of our applications. Additional fonts may be installed separately by the application. We expect to use a similar approach going forwards. (One change we made in CS3 was to have the shared installer put the fonts in a standard system location instead of an Adobe-specific location.)

What we’re concerned about is overwrite behavior. Up to and including the CS3 applications, we have always blindly overwritten any identically-named font files with the versions in the installer. Usually this results in newer fonts being installed over older ones. On some occasions, this could have some kind of compatibility impact. We expect noticeable document reflow to be very rare, but doubtless it will happen in some cases.

We’re particularly interested in this right now because we updated virtually all Adobe fonts last fall, after the CS3 versions shipped. The changes were pretty minor, but some will increase compatibility with future applications, and others could cause reflow in some cases.

To give one example, we enabled support for arbitrary fractions such as 13/79 in several typefaces, such as Chaparral Pro. If a user had applied fraction formatting globally, normal numbers would end up getting superscripted, and certain combinations that might be intended in some other way would get treated as fractions, and numbers by themselves would get superscripted. So Of course, Adobe’s User Guide for OpenType fonts specifically advises against global usage of fractions or superiors formatting, but one has to assume a few people will do it.

We have two possible behaviors for the future. In both cases, the installer checks for duplicates, and if any of the fonts being installed match fonts already in the install location but are a different version, either the old or new duplicates are moved to a new location, and a readme file is created on your desktop with the details. (If there’s no conflict, there’s no readme.)

Note that all behaviors in question are for Adobe applications which can be licensed as part of the Creative Suite. They do not apply to large font collections such as Font Folio, as these do not have installers.

Click Here to take the survey about font installation.

3 Responses

  1. My biggest problem is with older Greek fonts not working correctly inside Adobe In-Design (CS3). The fonts work in other Adobe products, but not In-Design. Have no idea of the reason for the problem.[Without more details, I don’t know either. I suspect that the fonts might not have a proper Unicode encoding for Greek, but use a single-byte encoding, possibly a bogus one. But I’d need more info and probably to actually look at a font to be sure. – T]

  2. Narrml says:

    Thanks, Thomas, for asking in this way. A good path to help with the installer crises.Kind regards…

  3. Michael J Kormendy says:

    “One change we made in CS3 was to have the shared installer put the fonts in a standard system location instead of an Adobe-specific location.”Which folder is this exactly then?[On Mac is /Library/Fonts, on Windows is C:WindowsFonts — MS]

Comments are closed.

Thomas Phinney

Adobe type alumnus (1997–2008), now VP at FontLab, also helped create WebINK at Extensis. Lives in Portland (OR), enjoys board games, movies, and loves spicy food.

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