Adobe No Longer Supporting Type 1 Fonts in 2023

by | May 2, 2022

How to Prepare for the End of Type 1 Fonts

We said goodbye to Adobe Flash Player at the end of 2020, and now another change is on the horizon. In January 2023, Adobe will discontinue Type 1 fonts. You’ll no longer be able to use these fonts in design apps, but don’t panic—Graphcom is addressing solutions and planning for a smooth transition.

The discontinuation of Adobe Fonts only affects editing in Adobe Creative Cloud apps and creating native docs. Some PDF-based products, including Document Cloud applications for working with PDF files, will continue to display and work with Type 1 fonts as they have all along.

What are Type 1 fonts?

Type 1 fonts are also known as PostScript, PS1, T1, Adobe Type 1, Multiple Master, or MM. They’re a significant part of current and past documents but are now a deprecated format within the font industry. Over the years, they’ve been replaced by larger glyph sets and more robust technical possibilities of OpenType format fonts.

Introduced in 1984, Type 1 fonts were used with Adobe’s PostScript page description language and became widely used with desktop publishing software and printers that could use PostScript. In 1996, Adobe began to concentrate on the use of more versatile OpenType fonts rather than Type 1.

While the use of Type 1 fonts is still supported by some operating systems, it’s not supported in many environments crucial to modern platforms, including web browsers and mobile. This lack of support also limits their ability to support extended language character sets.

What does this affect?

After January 2023, Type 1 fonts will appear as “missing fonts” in your document, and they will not appear in the Fonts menu. There will be no way to use previously installed Type 1 fonts.

Affected Adobe file types

  • Existing .pdf and .eps files that do not have fonts embedded
  • Existing .pdf, .eps, and .ps files with embedded (subsets) that require text editing
  • Adobe InDesign: .indd, .idml
  • Adobe Illustrator: .ai
  • Adobe Photoshop: .psd (if trying to edit text layer)
  • Links to Adobe apps: Using an .indd or .ai file as a link to an Adobe application. (File types such as these do not embed fonts and will most likely require fonts when linked)

Unaffected file types 

  • Existing .pdf, .eps, or .ps exported with embedded Type 1 fonts used as-is for print or as a link to a native Adobe app

Solutions

If you or your team works with Type 1 fonts, there are a few ways to prepare for this change.

  • Talk with your team members about the upcoming change and if, or how, it affects their work and any past work on file.
  • Identify required Type 1 fonts to either purchase an OpenType alternative, locate an alternative in Adobe Fonts, or find an entirely new alternative typeface in a supported format.
  • Keep the last usable version of Adobe Apps installed to open, edit, and export from old files that use Type 1 fonts.
  • Begin to design all new projects without Type 1 fonts. OpenType format fonts are preferred.
  • Swap fonts in existing design and art files as they are updated.

A few notes on font substitution

If you substitute Type 1 fonts with a different version in a native design application, you may experience issues with type reflow and missing or substituted characters. Pay close attention to text overflow, rag, alternative characters, ligatures, margins, and proximity to other design elements to ensure the new font flows correctly and no typographic embellishments are lost.

Sometimes, you can convert existing postscript fonts to a supported version and replace them in your native application document. However, this might not be possible for all fonts and, in some cases, might be illegal. Check your font license before converting.

Final thoughts

There’s time to prepare and adapt your design and file handling procedures. When you address solutions and identify potential problems now, you’ll be set up for success.

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