Ethical/Legal/Technical - T1 to OT conversion...

jason's picture

I've been reading recent threads on this topic (eg: but have a slightly different angle on the issue. I should preface this by warning that my query is based on pure ignorance; nonetheless I'm going to ask because I want to gain some input on the topic(s) below.

I've recently brought a Mac home after living with my PC for years; I've decided to have one of each for a variety of reasons: the ability to browser-test web design work, etc. It's also more convenient/reliable for freelance print design work where most of my clients are on a Mac.

The problem is that almost my entire type library is PC Type1 (other than what came with CS).

As above, I've been trying to grasp all of the recent commentary on font conversion, but I'm going to throw the question out again.

Is it ethically/legally OK for me to convert my Type1 fonts to OT so that I can use them on both of my computers (assuming that the specific font license grants usage on at least 2 CPUs)?

If the answer to 1 is yes:
Despite the fact that OT fonts are apparently cross-platform friendly, I've recently read that there can be "issues" with transferring an OT font from PC to Mac (but not the other way around). Is this still true? Or is it only an issue when transferring OT fonts to pre-OSX Macs? And if there are still issues, what might these "issues" be?

If 1 & 2 are OK, what are the potential trouble-areas in this type of conversion (using FontLab) if I'm not planning on altering the fonts in any way (combining styles, adding/altering glyphs, etc)? I've discovered that I do have to do some tinkering with naming the font, and in a couple of cases I've had to recreate the ligature substitution rules, but is there more too it than these basic "fixes"? (Of course there is, but I'm not sure what, which is why I'm asking.)

Please forgive my ignorance on these topics, but I'd like to do something about that ignorance.

Thanks in advance for any help...

Thomas Phinney's picture

1) The legality depends on the license for your fonts. Many licenses do not permit modification, and this seems to be the increasing trend in recent years. But it's the license you got the fonts under in the first place.
Adobe's EULA specifically permits format conversion to achieve compatibility with particular hardware/software. Fonts bundled with our apps are licensed for the same number of computers as the app (that would usually be one). Adobe fonts licensed at retail are typically licensed for 5 computers.

2) Sometimes the icon and file type/creator can get lost. There's a little drag-and-drop applet you can run to fix this, if you really care. It doesn't matter at all on OS X, and I'm not sure it matters much on OS 9.

3) Naming is the biggest remaining issue. You'd have to add the Mac menu name, and the OpenType menu name (used cross-platform in OT savvy apps).



jason's picture

Here's the next issue that's popped up:

I've managed to sort out the various naming fields and have added liga subs so that the OT versions are working on both my PC and the Mac, Suitcase & InDesign are reading the fonts fine, but for some reason when I package a document from InDesign it's not including some of the OT fonts in the fonts folder.

When I preflight it recognizes and includes the fonts in the report without any apparent issue, yet certain styles of a given family are not included in the package.

Any ideas?

Thomas Phinney's picture

What version of InDesign?

It could be an issue with a combination of language support identification and an erroneous decision on the InDesign side (which we hope to correct in the future). What codepages does the font claim to support, and do these differ for different fonts in the family? For example, are some specifically supporting only codepage 1250 (eastern Europe)?

NOTE: I am going to be away on vacation for the next 17 days, with irregular access to (and time for) email and such.



jason's picture

Hi Thomas,

Thanks for your input. I've checked the trial family I've been working with and all styles list the coding as "MS Windows 1252 Latin 1" I'm not absolutely sure about this setting, so please advise if there is another setting I should be using (the whole point, remember, is to make these fonts cross-platform friendly).

This issue seems strange simply because the Preflight report lists the font in detail with the Status as OK, yet for some reason some fonts are being left out of the package - most importantly the Regular style.

I'm not sure if this is relevant/important, but below is a list of the family styles, with those not being included in the package marked with an asterisk:


I'm going to keep examining these files to see if I can find any discrepancies, but any additional suggestions would be appreciated.


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