Font naming in Windows

micthemod's picture

I know this is a somewhat age-old topic, but I couldn't find the specific answer to my question and so I am turning to Typophile:

I am trying to generate a 6-font family for a client who uses windows (regular, medium and bold weights; each with roman and italics). I have managed to get the naming issues sorted, so that each variant displays and functions in windows/office drop-down font list. However, when I open the fonts panel form the format menu, windows is producing 'bold' and 'bold italic' versions of the regular and the medium weights (I have attached a scan of the output which shows this) - but not in the bold weight.

I am generating from fontlab 5 and presume that since the Bold and Bold italic versions are working fine, that this issue is connected to 'Font is Bold/Font is italic' tick-boxes in the first page of the font info panel.

Has anyone ever experienced this/know a work-around to solve this issue?


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Typography.Guru's picture

The only way to prevent fake styles is to offer a replacement. You can link your regular with the bold and all the regulars with the italics (with the tick-boxes.) But you cannot prevent apps like Word to generate a fake bold and italic of your medium weight.

micthemod's picture

Ralf thanks for your reply.

Taking this information, I have been playing around with the settings, I think I have come up with a work-around. I would now like my fellow typophiles opinions on whether this would be acceptable/good practice:, noticing that the Bold and Bold Italic weights didn't suffer from this anomaly, I have ticked both boxes ('Font is bold' + 'Font is italic' in the font info pane) for all the variants. I have adjusted the the font naming accordingly, so that now each variant has a single typeface name and in effect displays as 6 different typeface families in the windows drop-down font list.

Although each variant still has 'regular' and 'italic' in the font styles drop-down list, selecting 'italic' has no effect and the roman is still displayed. Similarly, clicking the 'B' or 'I' buttons does not alter the appearance.

In effect, the styles have been bypassed, and each font style has been saved as a single typeface family. This forces the user to select the precise weight and/or style from the font list, and prevents accidental use of the synthesised weights and styles. The only downside that I can foresee would be the added 'effort' for users who are accustomed to utilising the 'B' and 'I' buttons (though maybe there are other issues that I have not thought of - your opinions on this aspect would be most welcome).


k.l.'s picture

Just two links:
Please also google for phrases like
   "font naming"
which should return some useful Typophile threads; I think almost all possible questions have been dealt with extensively here.

What you did is one possible solution (scheme B in the PDF). Personally I think there's nothing bad about it, and with really big families it is the only solution to achieve cross-platform compatibility. Depends how one defines this, though.
In case of your three-weights family however, you might also try to divide your family into two families on the level of the 'Family Name'
   [as 'Family Name' for]
   -- Regular
   -- Italic
   -- Bold
   -- Bold Italic
   MyFont Medium
   [as 'Family Name' for Medium and Medium Italic whose 'Style Name' now is]
   -- Regular
   -- Italic
and then tick the Italic/Bold checkbox for styles Italic, Bold and Bold Italic. Further, on the FontInfo page for OpenType-specific names, you can name your font MyFont for ALL styles ('OT Family Name'), and name the medium weights' styles Medium and Medium Italic ('OT Style Name'). This will give you a family of six weights e.g. in InDesign. And will result in two families e.g. in Word where MyFont consists of Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, while MyFont Medium consists of Regular and Italic; the latter smaller family may still result in fake bolding if people use the Bold button with MyFont Medium since there's no 'real' in this family.
Numeric weight values could be 400 for regular, 500 or 600 for medium, and 700 for bold weights.

[Edited twice or three times ...]

dezcom's picture



micthemod's picture

Thanks for all your time and assistance guys.


Thomas Phinney's picture

The problem with this approach is that it makes the font menu that much longer, and doesn't group any of the fonts in a family. I hope that you are at least keeping the name ID 16 and 17 names correct so that OT-savvy apps can see these all as one family....



micthemod's picture

I take your point about the font menu being longer, and wouldn't advise this as normal practice.

In this case, I considered it's anticipated usage as the predominant (if not exclusive) corporate font on a limited number of workstations to be a valid motive for taking this step, as well as the fact that there is only 6 fonts in the family. I appreciate this could become an issue should the client requests an expansion of the family at a later date.

I did keep the 16 & 17 names correct, and they appear as a single family in OT-savvy apps - Thanks Tom!


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