Are you populating the description and/or license fields in your OpenType fonts?

Si_Daniels's picture

A question for type designers and foundries. Are you populating the description and/or license fields in your OpenType fonts?

We're investigating a new bug that limits these fields to 5,000 characters (edit: regardless of encoding). Need to determine if this limit is unrealistic.

Cheers, Si

blank's picture


blokland's picture

At DTL we use both (most of the common stuff like NameID 13 is pasted in batch in the UFM files). Especially for NameID 10, but also for NameID 13 a limit of 5000 characters seems far from problematic to me; for instance our license description is currently 909 characters long.

dezcom's picture

In my license area, I just site a website link to the posted EULA. I don't think 5,000 limit would be a problem for me.


Megami's picture

On all my fonts I just provide the links to my website EULAs. Seems much easier to me.

j.hadley's picture

Of course! :-)

Our current License Description text comes in at around 750. Font Description fields vary considerably in length but I'd have to imagine we're still well under 5000.

Just to clarify: is it 5000 *characters* or 5000 *bytes* (2500 UTF-16 characters)??

Si_Daniels's picture

Thanks for the responses so far. Very helpful.

>Just to clarify: is it 5000 *characters* or 5000 *bytes* (2500 UTF-16 characters)??

As far as I'm aware it's 10KB, ie 5000 characters. But haven't had absolute confirmation on that.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Joshua Darden has the entire EULA in his fonts. (I randomly happened upon this the other day. And no I don't have a EULA festish.)

dezcom's picture

"...And no I don’t have a EULA festish.)"

A ya, sure, we know :-)


paragraph's picture

Just a link in my case as well.

John Hudson's picture

It depends what our clients want, but yes quite often we include full license text and sometimes quite lengthy descriptions.

Mark Simonson's picture

I've put the full EULA in some of my recent fonts, but I'm having second thoughts because of the issue of web fonts. Including the entire EULA can add a substantial amount to the file size. I'm thinking a link might be more practical.

blokland's picture

In our case the description is just an abstract referring to the EULA that came with the font and especially pointing out that the user should have read the license and agrees with its content. Personally I think this is somewhat more useful than only a link or a very lengthy text when font info shows up, like for instance in Font Book.

Nick Shinn's picture

I just put a link to the EULA pdf.

.00's picture

Our standard EULA is approx 19,000 characters, but we only put the link to our license in the font header.

Still very cold here.


gaultney's picture

The SIL Open Font License is around 4600 chars, so is probably safe. We do expect people to put the full OFL license in their fonts. It seems to me that having the complete 'rules of use' (EULA) in the font itself would increase the chances that users actually follow them. And that would be a good thing, right?

There is already a license URL field that gives a link to an external EULA, so the main license field seems like it should be used for that purpose - to show the complete license. Although it does not affect OFL-licensed fonts, you probably need to fix the bug, or potentially face a vendor who wants to have their full EULA in the font (which should be their right) and can't, and accusing MS of not giving them the right to properly communicate their EULA. :-)


Si_Daniels's picture

Thanks everyone,

Victor, the bug seems to affect at least one version of Gentium. The team is investigating.

Cheers, Si

Thomas Phinney's picture

What if the EULA is stored in both MacRoman and Win Unicode? Would that mean one has half as many characters to play with before hitting the limit? Would other localizations also add up (possibly again doubled if they are stored in multiple formats)?


Si_Daniels's picture

The limit is per entry - its not cumulative.

Cheers, Si

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