FONTS--TRUE WEIGHTS OR FAKE?
Since last month, I've had a question via an email from the web site, regarding fonts and how to check whether the true fonts are installed:
Q: "I am using the Baskerville BE font in a QuarkXPress document and I would like to make sure I also have the correct Bold and Bold Italic versions selected and installed when I need them. Is there an easy way to find out that the document will print with the true bold version of a font, rather than faking the bold? I'm using Quark 3.32 and articles in magazine and guides state that I should apply the actual Font (i.e. Bold Italic) but Quark doesn't show anything other than the single typeface?"
This is an interesting question, and it arises because there is a difference between the way the Mac and PC allow fonts to be selected, and it can even vary between programs on PC.
A: On the Mac, any weight of font is treated as a separate font and will appear in any font menu etc. So with say, Baskerville BE, if you have normal, bold, italic and bold italic, they would all appear in a drop down font menu as individual fonts.
On the PC (and again this can differ between programs on PC) rather than show all the font weights in the actual font menu, only the main or normal will be listed, the others have to be selected by using any style, bold or italic buttons or in QuarkXPress, the style buttons on the measurements palette. Therefore, on the PC, you have to do exactly what you're not supposed to do on the Mac! In fact, there's no other way to do this on PC XPress -- weights of the font will not appear in the lists, you can only access them via the style buttons.
Quark allows you to select the bold button on the measurements palette, even if you don't have the proper bold version installed and this is why many guides and books say to use the actual font weigh in the menus, rather than setting say Baskerville BE normal and using the style buttons on the measurements palette in XPress to select any weight. If you use the style buttons, there's no guarantee that you have the proper style font installed -- so the answer is to set it from the list - then you'll only be able to set installed fonts. The problem though, is that on the PC, you can only set the weights with the buttons!
In other PC software such as Corel or Illustrator, you can only set weights for fonts you have installed -- if there is no bold version installed, the option is greyed out in the menus and unavailable. If Quark did this, it would be impossible to set the wrong font, and you'd know you were using the proper versions.
There is a neat solution to this for Quark though -- the free Quark XTension PS Utils available to download from Quarks web site starting at: http://www.quark.com
Amongst other functions, PS Utils will list all the fonts used in your document, and match them against the actual font it'll use for printing. If the two names generally match up, you know you'll be using the proper font -- if they don't it means the proper font is not installed, and XPress will try to fake the bold etc. PS Utils also allows you to print a report listing of the fonts used in the document, and includes details such as a list of all the font files required.
For example, if you used Baskerville BE normal and bold, then used PS Utils to show the font names you'd get something like:
Windows Name: PS FontName: Baskerville BE plain Baskerville BE regular Baskerville BE bold Baskerville BE medium
This shows you that it'll use the proper version for the bold version and not try to fake it.
If on the other hand you select bold for a font that has no bold version it'll look something like:
Windows Name: PS FontName: Bell Gothic plain Bell Gothic plain Bell Gothic bold Bell Gothic plain
Here, it's clear that the bold version is going to be printed using the plain version, but will be bolded by faking.
It's also possible to check if the fonts are installed, by looking at the font list in Adobe ATM -- here all the weights are listed as individual fonts, and for Baskerville BE I get:
- Baskerville BE Regular,
- Baskerville BE Regular, BOLD
- Baskerville BE Regular, BOLDITALIC
- Baskerville BE Regular, ITALIC
(This is how it would also appear on Mac XPress's font menu, but on PC it'll just look like ‘Baskerville BE Regular' and we'd have to get the others from the style buttons or character formatting options.)
So, to briefly re-cap -- Quark allows you to select via the style buttons, weights that you don't have installed. So Mac users are guided to only set weights by selecting the actual font in the menu, as all weights are listed in Mac menus. On the PC, we only get a single version in the menus, we have to use the buttons to get the weights- so it's easier to select a font weight you don't have installed.
The answers are to look at the font lists in ATM or to use Quark's PS Utils XTension to show actual fonts that'll be used for printing.
Finally if you have the correct weight font installed, the buttons on Quark's measurement bar will select it and the right font will be used. The problems only arise when you use the buttons to select a font weight that is not installed, and for example the bold weight of the font is faked by Quark by printing the font heavier.
I welcome any comments or DTP and graphic design questions, so please email me at the email address below, and until next month, happy DTP'ing and keep the questions coming in! --Andy