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Exclamation mark in front of font name


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Hello everyone, relatively new to Affinity software (6 months approx).

My problem is, since updating Mac to Ventura the other day some fonts in my Publisher documents are now showing Exclamation mark (!) in front of the name and Font Manager says "Unsupported characters used".
I have read some topics here about the issue, I get an idea what the problem is but can't find solution. Just to mention that before upgrade I absolutely did NOT have that issue.

It seems to happen only to Affinity softwares, checked Designer and same issue is happening. Tried few other softwares "Pages" or "Text Edit" and font's have no issues there.

Now suddenly seems like a lots of my fonts on my computer that I used before are not working properly in Affinity. I would say about 30% of fonts are now showing with Exclamation mark?!?

Any idea why is this happening, are you guys aware of the issue, are you working on an update to rectify this.

Thanks

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The exclamation mark indicates, as the message indicated, that you've used a character that is not present in the font. When you do that, either you'll get a "not found" symbol (often an empty rectangle) or, more usually, the character will be substituted with one from another font you have installed that does contain that character.

Generally it means you should use a different character, or pick a different font.

-- Walt

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12 hours ago, Professional said:

Now suddenly seems like a lots of my fonts on my computer that I used before are not working properly in Affinity. I would say about 30% of fonts are now showing with Exclamation mark?!?

Could you copy and paste one of the text boxes that shows the issue into a new document and attach it here?  I can check it on MacOS 12 as well as 13 and see if the behaviour is different.  But as @walt.farrellhas pointed out, normally when you see this, you need to use a font that does have that character or pick a different but supported character.

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12 hours ago, Professional said:

Any idea why is this happening

Just last week I had something similar. That wasn't on Ventura but on [drum roll] El Capitan, but the basic culprit is usually the same since the early days of Mac OS X:
System font cache corruption

Onyx is a free and reliable software that has a "font cache cleaner": titanium-software.fr/en/onyx.html 
Try that. Make sure to read the instructions and follow the steps exactly.

It can be that it doesn't help and the culprit is elsewhere, but at least this cleaning procedure won't do any harm either.

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@walt.farrell thanks for reply. As mentioned I sort of understand what it means, but the thing is we did not have this problem two weeks ago, it only happened after the update. I am looking for solution. Sure I can change the font and use different but that makes it not really a solution because;-

a) that will mean let's say 30% of fonts in my computer are suddenly not usable by Affinity anymore 

b) all the artworks that are approved by clients that are saved, all of them will have to be re-opened, fonts in question changed and then sent to clients for another approval which is really not something one wants to go into.

@stokerg Please find test file attached, font used is called "Damascus" or ['! Damascus' as it stands now].

test-file.afpub

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I have not tried Onyx yet, was looking if I can find solution without third party software first.


I have tried Preferences>Misc>Reset Fonts in Affinity but when pressing the "Reset Fonts" button, nothing happens. Button clicks/blinks, but you don't see it doing anything. It just blinks very quickly and if that is the function that did no change anything. Issue is still here.

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15 minutes ago, Old Bruce said:

@Mark.A,

There are no Latin characters (a b c etc) in Damascus. It is Arabic only.

That's what I thought. but he says there was no problem before. so I thought he hadn't seen the exclamation mark until updated the Mac.
Affinity does not show the "fallback" fonts on Ventura. 
If it's about Latin characters, it's definitely the fallback fonts problem.
 

 

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Hm, puzzling now but I am pretty confident that exclamation mark was not there before.

No I am not writing or trying to write in Arabic. The ad that I had saved using Damascus, the font was fine written in Latin characters (English language).

Also I am thinking I would have seen that "Unsupported characters used" in "Font Manager, I go to Font Manager occasionally but now puzzled a bit.

 

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2 hours ago, Mark.A said:

solution without third party software first

Well, that would be typing the appropriate command to delete the cache files into the Terminal app. If you know what to type in there, that is.
Because that's essentially what Onyx is doing overall. All it adds is a comfortable user interface so that you don't have to type anything, just click a few buttons. ;) 

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33 minutes ago, Mark.A said:

Hm, puzzling now but I am pretty confident that exclamation mark was not there before.

No I am not writing or trying to write in Arabic. The ad that I had saved using Damascus, the font was fine written in Latin characters (English language).

Also I am thinking I would have seen that "Unsupported characters used" in "Font Manager, I go to Font Manager occasionally but now puzzled a bit.

 

Like I mentioned in the linked topic, missing characters were shown with the fallback font on Monterey and older.
So I assume you were seeing Latin text with the fallback font.

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3 hours ago, Mark.A said:

Please find test file attached, font used is called "Damascus" or ['! Damascus' as it stands now].

Alright. So, I'm on El Capitan, but with Damascus active, I also see the exclamation mark when selecting text. The actual text appears as Lucida Grande which is (or was? I don't know about Ventura & co.) the standard "last resort fallback font" on MacOS.

Upon inspecting Damascus with FontExplorer, there are no Latin characters whatsoever, at least not in this version which is 10.0d5e1.

You may want to use it if you want to have Arabic characters in your layout, but keep in mind that Affinity doesn't support right-to-left typing.

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12 minutes ago, loukash said:

Well, that would be typing the appropriate command to delete the cache files into the Terminal app. If you know what to type in there, that is.
Because that's essentially what Onyx is doing overall. All it adds is a comfortable user interface so that you don't have to type anything, just click a few buttons. ;) 

Will look into that @loukash , thanks for the info.

In mean time, did select few random fonts on a text, and ones that are appearing with '!' are mostly those arabic type fonts and ones with some sort of 'special characters' etc... So it could be connected with the latin vs arabic vs special characters...

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3 minutes ago, loukash said:

Alright. So, I'm on El Capitan, but with Damascus active, I also see the exclamation mark when selecting text. The actual text appears as Lucida Grande which is (or was? I don't know about Ventura & co.) the standard "last resort fallback font" on MacOS.

Upon inspecting Damascus with FontExplorer, there are no Latin characters whatsoever, at least not in this version which is 10.0d5e1.

You may want to use it if you want to have Arabic characters in your layout, but keep in mind that Affinity doesn't support right-to-left typing.

Yeah it appears more to be the case, this particular font may be used with Arabic writing only.

Lucida Grande is main substitute in Ventura too and that actually may be the font I am seeing even though when selecting text I see "Damascus" [! Damascus].

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11 minutes ago, Mark.A said:

this particular font may be used with Arabic writing only

Exactly. Which is why I'm disabling any font that I'll never use for typing or even reading – or the lack of, haha – right away. At least those that MacOS allows us to disable, that is. There are still way too many "useless" but mandatory fonts in /System/Library/Fonts that I actually wouldn't want to see in my font list. 

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OK, basically it may be than that all the font's with '!' are actually Lucida Grande. 

So whenever we see "Unsupported characters used" we should basically just reselect font to Lucida Grande as that is what is actually used (and that is what client approved in my case. Hm...

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10 minutes ago, loukash said:

Exactly. Which is why I'm disabling any font that I'll never use for typing or even reading – or the lack of, haha – right away. At least those that MacOS allows us to disable, that is. There are still way too many "useless" but mandatory fonts in /System/Library/Fonts that I actually wouldn't want to see in my font list. 

Yeah, I actually set up on that mission now, to Deactivate all the fonts that I know I won't ever need to use... but of course, first five that I clicked on I got "System Fonts Selected - Fonts automatically installed by Apple are selected. These fonts cannot be deleted or deactivated."

Yeah  there is going be lot of font's left that are useless, but still in Publisher as options.

Maybe an idea for Affinity to create way to disable fonts inside the Affinity. I mean if software can identify the font by putting '!' in front of it, maybe there is an "easy way" to create function in preferences "disable this font". Just an idea.

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You can create your custom font collections – also "smart" ones – with your favorites in the Font Book app. Affinity will see them upon relaunch and display in the menu in the Characters panel where it says "All Fonts" by default. The same popup menu is also in the modal Paragraph Styles window. But not in the context toolbar, duh.

Edited by loukash
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17 minutes ago, Mark.A said:

OK, basically it may be than that all the font's with '!' are actually Lucida Grande. 

So whenever we see "Unsupported characters used" we should basically just reselect font to Lucida Grande as that is what is actually used (and that is what client approved in my case. Hm...

Fallback fonts may change with what other fonts you have installed.

To see what was actually used - Export to PDF and use your PDF editor/reader to check the text and see what font was actually embedded.

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On 11/9/2022 at 12:45 AM, Mark.A said:

I have not tried Onyx yet, was looking if I can find solution without third party software first.

Booting your mac in "Safe Mode" would clean the font cache: https://support.apple.com/HT201262
"it deletes some system caches, including font caches"

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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