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The R.E.D. Method: A Simple Solution To Manage Your Files During The Demise Of PostScript Type 1 Fonts

Have you noticed anything different in Photoshop lately? Although the text of your project may look okay, as soon as you attempt to edit, you may get a pop-up telling you that the font for one or more text layers is missing.

Photoshop-Missing-Fonts-Error-img-D

More than likely, you’re receiving this pop-up message because the font in question is a PostScript Type 1 font, which Adobe has started to phase out of its creative applications and will end support for completely by January of 2023.

As you dig deeper into the end of support for PostScript fonts, it may come as a surprise just how many PostScript fonts your company uses—they’re in everything, from client work to internal documentation. The prospect of trying to manage all these fonts is enough to make anyone’s head spin.

Creative professionals will need to assess how their documents will be impacted and how best to manage that impact. In our recent webinar “Planning For The Demise Of PostScript Fonts,” we laid out one such method, which we call the R.E.D. Method, which stands for Replace, Embed, or Discard.

What Is The R.E.D. Method?

Once you’ve designed an action plan that works best for your business and audited your documents for Adobe’s PostScript fonts, you can organize your files into three categories: documents where you’ll replace the fonts, documents where you’ll embed the fonts, or documents that you’ll discard altogether. Let’s break each of these steps down even further.

1. Replace

For documents that are in regular circulation, are used as templates for future documents, or projects that are in process, you’ll want to swap out your Adobe PostScript font for an OpenType or TrueType font. Font management tools like those from Extensis can make that task easy with features like QuickMatch, which (as the name implies) matches your current PostScript font to an OpenType or TrueType font in your collection. Sometimes these tools can find the exact same font you’re already using but in the preferred format. Other times they can find replacements that have many of the same design features as the current PostScript font so that you don’t throw off your design.

Use Cases

  • You’re working on a live project and realize it’s using a PostScript font. The fonts need to be replaced before Adobe drops support or it could affect your deadlines when they stop working mid-project.
  • A client asks you to make a correction to an older document containing PostScript fonts. You’ll need to replace the existing font in addition to making the edit.
2. Embed

You may find you have documents in your DAM that don’t require updates, but that you reference occasionally or need a hard copy of from time to time. In this case, you can embed the PostScript fonts and then download the document as a print-ready PDF file. This is like taking a snapshot of a document and archiving it.

So, what do you do with the source files? Since these are the kind of documents you likely won’t edit again, it’s worth considering whether you can now delete the source files.

Use Cases

  • You have work that was for a client (or clients) you no longer work with, but you’d still like to output the product on occasion.
  • You have documents using PostScript fonts and you can’t find a suitable replacement for the font. You decide to embed the font so you can continue to output the project without having to update the fonts.
3. Discard

Throughout this process you may discover that your DAM has become a bit cluttered. This, then, is a perfect time to channel your inner Marie Kondo and toss out any files that no longer spark joy.

If you don’t have it in yourself to part with these documents, then it’s a good idea to at least separate them from your everyday files (and embed the font, as in the previous step) so they don’t cause trouble.

Use Cases

  • You have old pieces that are no longer relevant to your line of work or creative output nor provide creative inspiration. You know you won’t need to refer to them again.
  • You’ve kept pieces that you imagine might be useful someday but haven’t been touched in over 10 years and you can’t think of a reason to dust them off.
  • Your fileserver is getting low on disk space. Rather than spending more on storage, you decide to purge your server of old jobs, particularly the ones that are using PostScript fonts.

But First, How Will You Find Your PostScript Fonts?

The R.E.D. Method is just one step in managing your PostScript fonts in the wake of Adobe’s end-of-support announcement. There are a couple of critical steps you’ll need to complete before you implement the R.E.D. Method in your own DAM.

Your business situation will determine how you use and manage your PostScript fonts. The outcome of your audit will be different from others' audits because of your unique business needs and objectives.

In order to execute the R.E.D. Method, you also need to understand how many Adobe PostScript fonts you have in use, where they’re all kept, and who has access to them.In our blog, “The Hidden Risks of Font Licensing Mistakes”, we note that, based on our research, the average creative professional’s font library contains upwards of 4500 fonts. For many companies, fonts are kept in various places all over the company’s servers, cloud, and inboxes.

The R.E.D. Method can help you simplify your process when it comes to managing the end-of-support for PostScript fonts, and with Connect Fonts you can execute the R.E.D. Method with a few simple clicks. Quickly identify, collect, and organize all Type 1 fonts, isolate them from the rest of your library, then use QuickMatch to replace them in active documents. Start a free 15-day trial of Connect Fonts today.

We’re here with you every step of the way. If you want to find out the latest about the demise of PostScript fonts, as well as hear from font management experts about how best to manage your own font collection, visit our PostScript resource hub now. We’ll continue to update this web page as we learn more.