Font: broken on purpose, or just broken?

Richmilnix's picture

I'm doing layout for a client at their office, where they have a Windows terminal running Adobe apps & Quark 6. The laser prints of the newsletter I've been putting together look fine, but in trying to print a PDF of the 8-page Quark doc, I'm getting a document in which everything's in place except for one font, which doesn't print at all.

Now, full disclosure: this is a font that I know perfectly well is expensive, and was surprised to find on their terminal (Neutraface - first version, all iterations [I think] ). It seems most likely to me that another part-timer left it behind as he whizzed through. So it won't surprise or disappoint me if I have to work around it (though boy, it does look snazzy). I don't understand Quark's behavior, though.

Quark doesn't stop me to tell me that there's a conflicting permission bit, and it doesn't put another font in its place – it just leaves blank space. Is this how "permission bits" work - that you can use the font for quick in & out stuff, bathroom signs, no problem, but it won't spin down to your actual workflow?

The other reason I'm surprised is that I took the project home last weekend and worked on it on my Mac, and generated a PDF (to send to them) that looked fine. At home I'm running Adobe CS2, with Acrobat 8.1.1; at this office they're running CS3.

So if it sounds like I'm just trolling for an explanation of how font companies are starting to protect themselves, that's not coincidental.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Some foundries do manipulate the bits. AFAIK and I've worked plenty with House fonts, you can embed their fonts. I've done so myself. Their EULA allows it as well. (The new EULA more explicitly allows it.)

Have you tried exporting from Quark as a .PS file and running that through Distiller? I know of a situation where I had to do that. But, it was a PS font so I'm not sure if the problem is the same.

Werfer's picture

No, permission bits do not work that way - if the bit is not set, then you get an error message. This sounds more like a bug either in the font or in the PDF generating program. I have seen some wild things happening during PDF generation, so my guess would be the latter...

Richmilnix's picture

I'm glad to hear you both say so.As I say, none of the workarounds is painful – I can substitute another modern sans, or write the PDF at home – but I was wondering if this was how a restricted font was supposed to work (because if so, it seemed treacherous).

Thanks for your input.

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