Thursday, May 13, 2021

Adobe Discontinuing PostScript Type 1 Font Support

Glenn Fleishman:

Developed by Adobe way back in the early 1980s, PostScript Type 1 fonts—a way of encoding vector-based type designs into a particular file format—will lose full support in Adobe Photoshop this year, and gradually disappear from other Adobe products by 2023 as well as from other companies’ products. If you have a long history in design or using a Mac, you might find yourself unable to use some old type standbys you didn’t realize relied on outdated technology.


And, remarkably, existing PDF and EPS files that contain the older font format won’t curdle in storage. Adobe says embedded fonts will continue to display and print correctly in those file types. The only issue that will arise over time is if you wanted to open them to edit the contents after Adobe or other companies have removed Type 1 font interaction.


Adobe offered two methods of creating fonts in the mid-1980s, which were obscurely labeled after their internal specifications: Type 1 and Type 3. Adobe initially reserved Type 1 for itself, and published the Type 3 specification for general use. While Type 3 could do almost anything Type 1 could and a lot more it couldn’t, it lacked a feature calling “hinting” that allowed PostScript to render the vector curves and lines of a font effectively at lower resolutions.


You can find your Type 1 fonts in two ways in macOS: via the Finder and the Font Book app.

Update (2021-05-19): See also: Hacker News.

Update (2023-02-21): Christopher Slye (via Hacker News):

This month, Adobe is shipping several application updates which remove support for the original PostScript font format known as Type 1. Whether this change affects you or not depends quite a lot on how far back you and your work go. If some of your work dates back 20 years, some potential problems are lurking around the corner.


2 Comments RSS · Twitter

Yes, it's been decades that we've help onto these Type 1 fonts, but I thought they'd live on forever. I guess there comes a time when all things must pass. At least those "Type 42" fonts have more life left in them :)

Tom in Germany

Thanks for the heads-up!
I dearly hope there will be some clean way for me to convert all the Type 1 fonts that I have purchased in the past ~30 decades …

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