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DarkClown

Publisher unable to group fonts properly

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There still seems to be a bug in administrating/organising fonts and font families. While other applications display a font family properly and make all assigned typefaces of the family available in a proper drop down menu, publisher struggles in finding a family and belonging fontfaces. In the example you can see how InDesign (and many other applications) displays the Adobe "HelveticaNeueStd" Family with all typefaces in a proper menu ... an than have a look at the mess Affinity Publisher produces from the same family - this is very hard to work with ... nearly every (not all) typeface seems to be a seperate font family ... a nightmare ...

Cheers, Timo

ID_font.jpg

Publisher_Beta_font.jpg


iCore i7-3770, 3.50GHz, 32GB RAM, SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, Windows 10 Pro - AP, AD and APublisher latest final & beta
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Interesting. I have OpenType (PS versions) of Helvetica Neue LT (from Adobe) installed -- on my system (Windows 10 Pro latest version), and I have this kind of list both on the release version and the latest beta (1.7.2.458):.

fontlist.jpg.3b22b997a41e955e8ae1c6effded1ca2.jpg

 fontlist2.jpg.401c218a2e2d637b21b5ead5e4c05bcb.jpg

I wonder if this could be related to font technology (Type 1 / TrueType / OpenType TT / OpenType PS), or be an issue with Windows font cache? 

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Thats the way it should be ... And I would have questioned if something maybe wrong with my fonts - if Adobe programs, my font manager and some other Progs wouldn't display these fonts properly as expected ... so it seems to be an Affinity topic ...


iCore i7-3770, 3.50GHz, 32GB RAM, SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, Windows 10 Pro - AP, AD and APublisher latest final & beta
http://www.timobierbaum.com

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Affinity apps seem to use Windows font cache (???) while Adobe apps use their own, as might your font manager. Or, the problem may be related to use of autoactivation of fonts in your font manager (not working properly with Affinity apps)... If the problem is generic (not just restriced to Helvetica Neue and some other single font familiies), I'd try clearing the Windows font cache, and otherwise just uninstaliing and reinstalling all fonts included in the font families that are causing problems.

Duplicate font family names (e.g., having Type 1 and TrueType/OpenType versions with the same family name installed on the system) might also break fonts in separate groups.  

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Lagarto for some hints. I tested a bit and the situation is even more ridiculous. I uninstalled all Helvetica Fonts and re-installed only the HelveticaNeue STD LT family that comes with 51 typefaces. After installing them Publisher showed them in the right way as expected. I could also work with them in the tree structure.

After restarting Publisher, only 2 Helvetica typefaces (seems random) were shown any more (out of 51) and displayed seperately in the font list. Each restart shows different Typefaces (sometimes just 1, sometimes 2) of the family in the list. The fonts in the document were substituted and the font famlily wich I place in "favourites" is not shown there any more. This is seriously screwed.

Seems like before starting Publisher I have to re.install all my fonts again and hope the Publisher won't crash so I don't loose any fonts after restart ...

BTW: This is a problem in Release and Beta version!

Edited by DarkClown

iCore i7-3770, 3.50GHz, 32GB RAM, SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, Windows 10 Pro - AP, AD and APublisher latest final & beta
http://www.timobierbaum.com

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Are you using a font manager, and if so, which one?


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1903 (18362.239), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.2.464 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.2.4464 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.2.458 Beta

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Im using MainType... But frankly spoken that should not matter.  I only use it to organise fonts and to install/deinstall fonts. Its turned of when using publisher.


iCore i7-3770, 3.50GHz, 32GB RAM, SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, Windows 10 Pro - AP, AD and APublisher latest final & beta
http://www.timobierbaum.com

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@DarkClown

The main problem is you have installed a bunch of broken "free" fonts.
Many of them are very old poorly done conversions which do not have proper name fields.

Helvetica Black Hollow is an old Postscript Type 1 which was converted to TrueType long ago (badly).

All the ones with the dashes (e.g. Helvetica-Condensed-Light-Light) are also very old poorly done conversions.
The fonts do not have the Typographic Family and Subfamily filled-in (which is what APub normally lists).
The fonts also often do not have proper style group/family and sub-family info.
It appears that APub is using the Full Font Name field as both the family and sub-family.
The name fields are a mess.
If these are the same fonts I have examined, they are just completely broken.
Easiest way to check is just drop them into TransType and look - a visual confirmation.

There are different versions of Helvetica Neue out there ....
Helvetica Neue
Helvetica Neue LT
Helvetica Neue LT Std
... published in different places,
You appear to have a mix of these and various plain Helvetica versions.

I have seen things like the "Helvetica Ultimate Collection" available for download.
It contains a number of the above fonts.

The Helvetica Neue LT Std full family from Adobe Font Folio 11 is properly named and works fine.
The Helvetica Now full family from Monotype is properly named and works fine.

Granted, InDesign is much better at figuring-out what to do with messed-up fonts.
I have examined font groups which ID listed properly and was amazed they actually worked.

Finally, if you are using MainType to install your fonts then you are using its font cache.
It caches the font files you have configured it to have in its library.
Its Font Management Proxy is running at all times.
When you install a font using it, the fonts come from its cache.
If its font cache gets messed-up, it will install messed-up fonts.
Badly named fonts are one way to corrupt the font cache.
I stopped using it to install fonts.

To summarize, you have a bunch of badly named fonts.
Windows has a font cache.
MainType has a font cache.
APub has a font cache.
All of the caches must be cleaned to get rid of the corruption.

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I'm aware that there are some crappy fonts in the collection. I deinstalled all of the "unprofessional" stuff before I made my last comment. So only the Adope "Helvetica Neue STD LT" font family was active. (with all 51 typefaces). Same problem. I also deinstalled the fontmanager - no change. After cleaning the windows fontcache it worked once again properly - but after a restart of Publisher I had the same problem again.

Would remain the question how to clean the Publisher font cache? (Can't think of anything else)

On the other hand I would expect Publisher to handle a fontmanager properly - and even to deal with badly named fonts. Assuming that Adobe has a proper naming system at least this font should display properly and not be affected by other naming problems. Currently I only get to see one or two random typefaces from a proper fontfamily of 51 typefaces - and my document is screwed without me knowing how to restore it properly!

 


iCore i7-3770, 3.50GHz, 32GB RAM, SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, Windows 10 Pro - AP, AD and APublisher latest final & beta
http://www.timobierbaum.com

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29 minutes ago, DarkClown said:

...Assuming that Adobe has a proper naming system...

Just a note. Unlike every other application I am aware of, Adobe does not use the system's font subsystem to handle anything concerning fonts. It uses its own font subsystem. That means, in this case, Adobe is using its own ability of organizing fonts. It generally does a superior job, but it too can mess things up where applications that do not have this ability do not (rare, but it can happen).

You can reset Affinity's font cache via (I think) holding down a key sequence (or just the ctrl key, I forget) while the application is starting. There will be a screen with options that appears. Choose the appropriate option and deselect the others if any are checked by default.

That said, it may or may not solve your issue.

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1 minute ago, MikeW said:

You can reset Affinity's font cache via (I think) holding down a key sequence (or just the ctrl key, I forget) while the application is starting. There will be a screen with options that appears. Choose the appropriate option and deselect the others if any are checked by default.

Holding down the Ctrl key (on both Mac and Windows, unusually) invokes the ‘Clear User Data’ dialog, where the first three options are checked by default.


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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.1.404 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.1.143 • Designer for iPad 1.7.1.1 • iOS 12.4 (iPad Air 2)

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Thx .... wasn't aware of that option ... but sadly it doesn't offer a setting to reset the font chache :-(

 


iCore i7-3770, 3.50GHz, 32GB RAM, SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, Windows 10 Pro - AP, AD and APublisher latest final & beta
http://www.timobierbaum.com

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6 minutes ago, DarkClown said:

Thx .... wasn't aware of that option ... but sadly it doesn't offer a setting to reset the font chache :-(

Sorry about that, Timo! I wasn’t on my Windows machine when I posted earlier, but I should have remembered that resetting the font cache is only an option on the Mac apps.


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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.1.404 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.1.143 • Designer for iPad 1.7.1.1 • iOS 12.4 (iPad Air 2)

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@MikeW: I just wonder why only Affinity has this problem. I tried out many other programs like LibreOffice, my CAD System or even Write and they are not struggeling with Font-Families...


iCore i7-3770, 3.50GHz, 32GB RAM, SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, Windows 10 Pro - AP, AD and APublisher latest final & beta
http://www.timobierbaum.com

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I forgot there is no way to reset the APub cache.
I am pretty sure the reset described only resets the font substitutions.
Previously went looking for an APub font cache and was unsuccessful.

I have restarted APub v1.7.2 a number of times and the font list still displays properly.

Make sure the fonts you have un-installed are actually gone from the Windows font folder.
I have gotten in the habit of using XYplorer (to see the actual files) to always check.
This can also find duplicates which should not be there.

Sometimes un-installing all fonts in a family you are not using allows the remaining few to work properly.
This often works where the fonts are not properly named.
In this case the fonts are properly named, but it may clear out the errors.

If you still are having issues ... the important thing is to get you up and running.
We can make uniquely named versions of just the fonts you are actually using.
They can be installed and will be listed as separate families.
What fonts do you actually need?

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For my current document I only want to use the Adobe "Helvetica Neue LTStd" including their 51 Typeface. I uninstalled everything else related to Helvetica.
Will check the font folder .... but seeing that font names are quite often cryptic it's hard to say if every critical font surely was removed ...

And again: Why can most programs handle fonts properly and more or less comfortable (at least they were shown and work!) but Publisher??? <irony>Seeing the "intense participation" of mods with regards to this topics it doesn't seems to bother anyone at Affinity/Serif ... I guess font problems are of minor interest in a DTP software </irony>


iCore i7-3770, 3.50GHz, 32GB RAM, SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, Windows 10 Pro - AP, AD and APublisher latest final & beta
http://www.timobierbaum.com

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LibreOffice has lot of problems with font families.
I have tested well over 100 font families in LibreOffice to see what works and what does not work.
Then I have examined the fonts very closely to see if it is the fonts' problem or a LibreOffice problem.
On Windows most of the LibreOffice (LO) font issues are caused by how the fonts are named internally.
And that is where I have seen over and over the fonts issues caused by bad naming.

And that is where I have gotten experience regarding font caches and font managers.
Install and un-install a few thousand fonts and you get an idea of what to expect.

Improperly named fonts confuse the operating system, and applications like LO and APub, and PDF export engines.
The old Helvetica fonts you had installed are definitely going to cause problems somewhere.
When fonts disappear from the font list it is because the software is completely confused.

I have fixed some badly named fonts, and re-installed them, and then they work fine in LO.
For example, the Ubuntu fonts do not work properly in LO on Windows.
I fixed them, they now work properly.
The beta version of Roboto Slab 2.0 does not work properly in LO on Windows.
I fixed them, they now work properly.
Others - Erewhon, Open Sans (updated), Orkney, Oswald, Overpass, Route 159, Saira, XCharter, etc., etc.
And a number of commercial fonts too had to be fixed (a surprising number).
All had to be fixed to work 100% properly.

Many commercial fonts are bad, many FOSS fonts are bad, and antiquated ripped or converted fonts are really bad.

Most fonts which you would install yourself have easy-to-recognize file names.
So it is relatively easy to look for those in the Windows fonts folder.
I just filter the file names like "helvetica" and see what is there.
Delete what should not be there.
If APub is just reading the Windows font folder (as was said elsewhere in the forum) it is going to pick up all the junk.

Also look for duplicates which are named by Windows by adding a "_0" or "_1" etc. to the end.
If these are font you installed yourself just make sure you have un-installed the font, delete the duplicates, re-install.
If they are duplicates of Windows system fonts, it is a little more complicated.

Would you like me to make you an H 51 font that works for sure?

 

 

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I'm aware not everything works smoothly with LO ... but I have far less struggles with fonts in LO than in Publisher. Grouping of Typefaces works differently but even though things are structured differently they at least still work - unless in Publisher!

I'm not an expert in font technology ... more the "user" kind ... what makes it hard to know the reason why things don't work properly. But I would expect Publisher to even work with a semi-well designed font - as others do as well. I do use low cost or freeware fonts occasionally for economic reasons. But when customers provide me with their highly paid fonts for a business project I do expect them to work on my system. Considering I de-installed all font managers. Cleared my windows font cache and tried to get rid of my freeware crap and cheap stuff ... (ashes on me) .... I would need some support on how to get the professional stuff running (not from you guys - I'm really thankful how much effort you spend into helping me to find a solution) ... But for Affinity this should be a "red alert problem" ... a DTP system that cant handle font-families issues ... seems like McDonalds not even being capable of barbecuing burgers (but they still have fancy sauces) .

I don't expect Adobe fonts not to meet proper requirements in terms of naming. So despite other problematic fonts that should work out fine. I'll check again for the font names in the windows folder. But it feels like doctoring on the symptoms ...

Thanks again for your insights and your help. I'll keep you posted if cleaning up the windows font folder is of any further use. And if the problem is caused by other fonts it will be of no help if you provide me with a surely working Helv 51 set - I would expect that this was delivered by Adobe anyhow already. Despite that - It wouldn't be in the financial scope of the customer. But thanks for offering. I'll keep your expertise in mind if I come across font problems in the future.

By the looks of it I'll have to get back to InDesign - Just because it's for the customers project. Never wanted to and I hate the thought ... but I just need to continue working on what gets me the money ... Don't want to think about the time I wasted on Affinity Publisher without being able to solve basic topics ...

Thx, Timo

 


iCore i7-3770, 3.50GHz, 32GB RAM, SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, Windows 10 Pro - AP, AD and APublisher latest final & beta
http://www.timobierbaum.com

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InDesign is just a lot better at figuring-out bad fonts.
Another user here in the forum sent me three fonts that APub had a problem displaying and ID worked fine.
The fonts were the same "family" in name, but inside the name fields were a mess.
There was no consistent Typographic family name.
There was no consistent Style group name.
It was just this jumble of stuff, some of which was just flat wrong.
I was kind of amazed that ID figured it out.
They obviously were not just using the name fields; they had to be parsing the name text, filenames, etc. to guess.

I fixed the fonts, sent them back, and then they worked fine in APub.

APub and LO on Windows both appear work properly with properly constructed error-free fonts.
(LO on Mac and on Linux is a different story; some perfectly good fonts don't work properly.)

You are right, the Adobe fonts are just fine.
It was the other stuff which corrupted things.
When stuff is missing the apps rendering engines cannot tell the fonts apart and stuff gets overwritten in the caches.
Sometimes the font list is wrong (fonts are missing).
Sometimes the screen display and print output is wrong (the text rendering engine is confused).
Sometimes the PDF output is wrong (the PDF engine is confused).
One group of free Chinese fonts available online all have the same name for the PDF output.
So if you have more than one installed who knows which one will appear in the PDF.

The offer to make a working font was just a band-aid to help get your job finished.

I am curious to know if you cleaned-out your font folder (and then rebooted) and it is now working.

 

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As LibreTraining mentioned above, it is a good idea to get a utility like TransType to clean badly named fonts (there are probably free ones available, too, but TransType makes it pretty easy to group fonts in ways that helps you make them correctly group both as Windows menu fonts -- under four basic styles Regular, Bold, Italic and BoldItalic -- AND grouped correctly in advanced apps like InDesign and APub that group fonts under common family name.

See below the way TransType shows two different Helvetica Neue Light 45 fonts that I have installed on my system:

transtype01.thumb.jpg.28b64d5e2ff357dccd3985c92baad817.jpg

transtype02.thumb.jpg.dd4deea000a5b06e4dc0892f6cf98386.jpg

Both fonts are from Adobe, the first one is an Adobe Type 1 font, and the second an OpenType PS font. Both appear correctly under InDesign and APub, but it can be seen that while InDesign seems to list fonts first by the Family Name field and then by the Style field and at least for older fonts other meta data available to arrange the fonts in unique sub styles, APub seems to list fonts first by the Family Name field and then by the Style field for OpenTypes, but by the Full Name field and then by the Style Link/Value ("Regular") field under Styling Group for Type 1 fonts.

All apps use probably a bit different algorithm when trying to list fonts so that they are meaningfully grouped (considering the font technology, family names, and to support using Bold/Italic shortcuts when such grouping is defined), and to allow conflicting names if such exists to be listed, but problems are likely to appear when using similar family names from different font technologies and font providers.

A good example of this is TransType, which cannot even list the Type 1 version of Helvetica Neue Light as an installed font when OpenType versions are simultaneously installed on the system (even when both fonts are from Adobe and use different font technology), while it still can open it as a physical file saved on the system.

Anyway, by using this kind of utility, and seeing that fonts are named properly and that they use unique names, it is possible to avoid most of the problems. As many applications use font cache of their own (and different methods of grouping fonts), it may be a rather complex and fustrating job to do the cleaning so if at all possible, it is a good idea that whenever fonts share a common or even similar family name (like Helvetica Neue), they would also share the font technology (e.g., be all OpenTypes), and proceed from the common source (e.g. Adobe FontFolio 11, etc.).

 

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I'm not sure what makes a font that bad, that AP completely screws up it's font system. Even if a field in the font description is not filled in properly or completely that should be no reason for AP not to be able to display proper fonts any more ... can't be that hard - others can to it as well ... and seriously I would expect developers of a a DTP system TO SPEND AT LEAST A MINIMUM OF FOCUS on implementing proper font technology. But anyway - seems like this topic is of absolutely no interest for the Affinity guys.

I checked my System fonts folder again - starting with "H" there currently is only the Adobe font folio Helvetica in there - nothing unknown any more. So I guess another font screws things up (if it's a font in the font folder at all - nowbody knows - maybe it's just a screwed up code within the publisher). And I can't check more than 100 fonts internally for something I don't even know what to look for ... In fact currently still 1 or 2 Helvetica fontfamily typefaces are offered by AP - ungrouped on the top level and they do vary as well each time I restart AP.

TransType is a nice tool ... but you need to know what kind of errors you are looking for ... Hard to find a workaround for bananaware unless you have a good Idea what they screwed up ...


iCore i7-3770, 3.50GHz, 32GB RAM, SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, Windows 10 Pro - AP, AD and APublisher latest final & beta
http://www.timobierbaum.com

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5 hours ago, DarkClown said:

developers of a a DTP system TO SPEND AT LEAST A MINIMUM OF FOCUS on implementing proper font technology

I suggest you stop shouting [all caps] and stop making unsubstantiated claims. It's in everybody's interest to make AP a success.

It's in Affinity's interest to make it work. But it's not their fault that some fonts are internally broken. They don't have the obligation to make these fonts work.

However, in time, I'm sure the broken font handling will be improved.

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Thanks for the suggestion, but no! ... aside the fact that it will be of no use anyhow - at least it's a way to express how (now be kind, Timo) "upset" I am. And my claims are many things - but not unsubstantial! I appreciate your political correctness - something, I'd like to call "luxury" one can afford and flirt with when one is not depending on functioning SW for customer projects. AP is not supposed to be "alpha" any more. And in this case we are not looking at a specialised, hardly ever used feature - but basic functionality. And no, it's not Affinities fault that there are badly designed font (I never said that) - but it's in their responsibility to deal with the fact that there are badly designed fonts around and not let these wreck the whole AP bio-system. Just don't access corrupted fonts or exclude then in other ways ... But by the looks of it Affinity lets "something" (and no one really knows if the behaviour has got anything to do with bad fonts - that's only been some vague assumption since no one from Affinity comments on the problem) screw up the whole font system. At least on my system. And is forcing me back to InDesign...


iCore i7-3770, 3.50GHz, 32GB RAM, SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, Windows 10 Pro - AP, AD and APublisher latest final & beta
http://www.timobierbaum.com

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