Common questions about fonts

Why are some font styles missing from font menu ?
If you’ve installed a font family but cannot see several weights (bold, bold italic, italic, etc.) versions of the font in the font menu, the weights are likely style linked

Windows can only display a maximum of four styles (e.g., normal, bold, italic, bolditalic) per family in application font menus. Because of this limitation, many font families with for instance bold, semibold, or italic members do not appear in font menus. To access them, you must apply a style link—that is, apply the bold or italic type style to text formatted with a regular (roman) font.

For example:
Futura Std Heavy is specified by selecting Futura Std Medium from the font menu and then applying the bold style.
Futura Std Heavy Oblique – selecting Futura Std Medium Oblique from the font menu and then applying the bold style.
Futura Std Bold is specified by selecting Futura Std Book from the font menu and then applying the bold style.
Futura Std Medium Condensed is specified by selecting Futura Std Condensed Light from the font menu and then applying the bold style.
Futura Std Bold Condensed is specified by selecting Futura Std Condensed from the font menu and then applying the bold style.

Basically, the fonts that can be seen on the menu are the maximum 4 styles. The other weights need to be triggered by applying bold or italic style.
On rare occasions, Macintosh fonts may also need to be selected using style keys.

Please note, if the additional fonts (bold, italic, etc.) have not been installed, the bold and italic style keys will apply “fake bold” or “fake italic” effects, instead of setting the text in the true bold or italic font.

OpenType is a new standard for digital type fonts, developed jointly by Adobe and Microsoft. OpenType supersedes Microsoft’s TrueType Open extensions to the TrueType format. OpenType fonts can contain either PostScript (OTF CFF) or TrueType (OTF TTF) outlines in a common wrapper. An OpenType font is a single file, which can be used on both Macintosh and Windows platforms without conversion. OpenType fonts have many advantages over previous font formats because they contain more glyphs, support more languages (OpenType uses the Unicode standard for character encoding,) and support rich typographic features such as small caps, old style figures, and ligatures — all in a single font. However these features can only be accessed with Software which support OT-features such as Adobe CS suite and Quark Xpress.

What is the difference between Opentype OTF and Opentype TTF fonts ?
OpenType fonts may have the extension .OTF or .TTF, depending on the kind of outlines in the font and the creator’s desire for compatibility on systems without native OpenType support. In all cases, fonts with only CFF data (no TrueType outlines) always have an .OTF extension. Fonts containing TrueType outlines may have either .OTF or .TTF, depending on the desire for backward compatibility on older systems or with previous versions of the font.

OpenType FontFonts with file extension .otf (OT Std or OT Pro) are optimized for users who work with desktop publishing software such as Adobe® Creative Suite® or QuarkXPress®. These fonts allow advanced typographic control through special layout features like automatic contextual ligatures, Small Caps and alternate glyphs. The outline format is CFF (Compact Font Format), i. e. the fonts are PostScript-flavoured. OpenType fonts are compatible with all modern screen and print workflows.

But software like Microsoft® Office isn’t capable of accessing all the features and glyphs of these PostScript-flavoured (CFF) OpenType fonts, hence TrueType-flavoured (TTF) OpenTypes is preferred. Font format like Linotype’s Opentype COM and Fontfont’s Office Fonts belong to this category.


This will depend on the font usage terms as defined by the font foundry. Basically, select a font license based on your needs – Desktop, Web, Digital Ads, Mobile App, ePub or Server license. Generally, Desktop License is the base license to start with.

Desktop License: Desktop fonts are licensed based on the number of users.

Generally, you can install a font into your computer’s fonts folder and use it in any of your favorite applications that contain a fonts menu such as TextEdit, Microsoft Word, and Photoshop. Create and print documents, as well as static images (JPEG, TIFF, PNG), even if the images are used on the web or in a mobile app. However, certain foundries impose specific restrictions on desktop fonts use, so be sure to read the EULA (End user license agreement) carefully.

Webfont License: Licensed for use on websites in accordance with the conditions of the CSS@font face declaration. The industry standard formats for webfonts are WOFF (Web Open Font Format), and EOT (Embedded OpenType), but some webfonts also come in Web TTF. Depending on the foundry, the license may be based on certain quota of page views or estimated monthly page views.

Server/Web Server License: A server license allows you to install the font on a server that will allow the generation of items such as PDF invoices, custom business cards, or other personalized products. It is duration based.

For instance, a Monotype server license is valid for one year and is renewed each year that the font remains installed. The price is based upon the number of production servers on which the font is installed. The font can be installed on any number of development servers. A font downloaded with this license cannot be used in SaaS, where the service is the product rather that the item that is created.

e-Pub Licensing: For publications intended for Kindles, iPads or other eReaders.
One issue of a magazine requires one license, just as one electronic book requires a one-time license purchase. The license is valid for an unlimited number of copies downloaded.If you just need a font to create a cover image, purchase a desktop license.

App Licensing: App license grants you the permission to embed a font in an iOS, Android, or Windows Phone app.

Some foundries set distribution limits, which means the license allows a maximum number of app downloads. This number is not restricted to one single platform, but can be spread across any mobile platform for which your app is available.

Digital Ad Licensing: For creating dynamic and responsive HTML5 digital ads.

Please contact alt.TYPE if you have any questions regarding font licensing.


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