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Document uses unavailable fonts (FrameMaker on Windows or Mac OS)

Document uses unavailable fonts (FrameMaker on Windows or Mac OS)

What’s covered

Where FrameMaker looks for font information

Locating fonts on your system

Resolving the problem of unavailable fonts

One or more fonts used in an Adobe FrameMaker 5.5 or later document can become unavailable to the document for a variety of reasons: The document may have been edited on a different system with fonts not installed on the system you are using; a font may have been removed or become damaged; the default printer for your system may have been changed. Regardless of the cause, when opening a document that references unavailable fonts, FrameMaker displays the message, “Document named [filename] uses unavailable fonts. To reformat the document using available fonts, click OK.”

This document discusses how FrameMaker determines if a font is unavailable, how to locate fonts on your system, and your options for addressing the problem of unavailable fonts.

Where FrameMaker looks for font information

When starting, FrameMaker queries the system for font information, and the results of the query determine which fonts are available in FrameMaker.


FrameMaker for Windows looks for fonts or font information in the following areas:

— Printer driver information

— Windows/Fonts or WinNT/Fonts folder

— Psfonts folder if Adobe Type Manager (ATM) is running

— Maker.ini file, which specifies allowable fonts; default font attributes such as Family, Size, and Weight; font mappings; and aliases

Mac OS

FrameMaker for Mac OS looks in the System Folder: Fonts folder and also looks for fonts made available by ATM.

Locating fonts on your system

Fonts and fonts information are typically in the locations listed in this section. To determine if you already have particular fonts or font information that FrameMaker stated is unavailable, look in these locations:


In Windows, fonts or font information are in the following locations:

— Windows/Fonts or WinNT/Fonts folder. You can access this folder by choosing Start > Settings > Control Panel, and then double-clicking Fonts.

— Acrobat 4.0/Resource/Font/FM folder or the Acrobat/Fonts folder, if Acrobat is installed. Use ATM (if installed) to view this folder. Otherwise, use Windows Explorer.

— Psfonts/pfm folder. Use ATM to view this folder.

— Printer information. To locate printer-resident fonts for a PostScript printer, view the font list in the *.ppd file used by the printer:

1. Choose Start > Settings > Printers.

2. Right-click the printer you are using, and choose Properties.

3. In Windows 98 or 95, click the Paper tab. In Windows XP, 2000, or NT, click the Device Settings tab, and then select the printer name displayed at the top of the Device Settings list.

4. In Windows 98 or 95, click the About button. In Windows 2000 and XP, right-click the selected printer name, and then choose About from the shortcut menu. In Windows NT, click the About [Installed Printer] Printer Driver button.

5. In the dialog box that appears, note the filename ending in .ppd. Click OK.

6. Choose Start > Find Files or Folders (Windows NT, 98, or 95) or Start > Search > Search For Files or Folders (Windows 2000 and XP).

7. In the Named text box (Windows NT, 98, or 95) or the Find Files and Folders Named text box (Windows 2000 and XP), type the exact name of the *.ppd file you noted in step 5, and then click Find Now (Windows NT, 98, or 95) or Search Now (Windows 2000 and XP).

8. When the filename appears, right-click the filename while holding down the Shift key, and then choose Open With.

9. Select WordPad, and click OK.

10. Locate the section called “Font Information.” This section lists printer resident fonts, which are stored in the printer’s memory.

Mac OS

By default, fonts are installed in the System Folder: Fonts folder. If you are using ATM, however, fonts can be anywhere on the hard disk, and you should use ATM to locate all fonts.

Resolving the problem of unavailable fonts

Use one of the methods listed in this section to resolve the problem of unavailable fonts. Choose the method that’s best for you, based on your situation and the desired result.

Check for damaged fonts

Check to see if the fonts that are unavailable in FrameMaker are installed on your system and are available in a different application (for example, WordPad for Windows or SimpleText for Mac OS). If another application can use fonts that FrameMaker cannot, you need to check for damaged fonts and reinstall them from the original media, if necessary. For help with determining if a font is damaged and with isolating a damaged font, see document 328607 , “Troubleshoot Font Problems (Windows),” or document 328527 , “Troubleshoot Font Problems (Mac OS 8.0-9.x).”

Allow FrameMaker to substitute fonts

When you click OK to the message that states fonts are unavailable, FrameMaker performs font substitution. (In Windows, font substitutions are determined by the Maker.ini file, and in Mac OS by ATM.) Because the original and substituted fonts will likely have different font metrics, text in the document may reflow causing line endings to change.

The name of the substituted font is grayed out in the Font Family list in the Paragraph Designer and in the Character Designer. In Mac OS, the substituted font name appears at the bottom of the Paragraph Designer’s Default Font properties tab and at the bottom of the Character Designer.

To determine the fonts for which FrameMaker is performing substitution, view the FrameMaker Console. If the console isn’t open, you can display it by choosing File > Preferences, selecting Show File Translation Errors (selected by default.), and then opening the document that uses the unavailable fonts.

Permanently remap to available fonts

You can permanently remap the missing fonts to fonts that are available by deselecting Remember Missing Font Names in the Preferences dialog box. Be aware, however, that doing so causes you to lose the original font information referenced in the document. For more information, see document 316204 , “Unavailable Fonts Have to Be Substituted Every Time a File is Opened in FrameMaker.” FrameMaker doesn’t automatically remap unavailable fonts because the Remember Missing Font Names option is selected by default.

Switch printers (Windows only)

FrameMaker reads font information stored in the printer driver so that it can make fonts stored at the printer available for use within FrameMaker. Changing the default printer can, therefore, change one or more of the fonts available in FrameMaker. If you have changed the default printer, exit from FrameMaker, and then change the default printer to the printer you were using previously when the fonts were available. (For instructions on selecting a different printer, refer to Windows Help.) Fonts accessible via the printer’s .ppd file should then be available. You can look in one of the font lists in FrameMaker, such as in the Paragraph Designer, for fonts that can be printed to the default printer.

Note: You must have either a PostScript or PCL printer set as the default printer when using FrameMaker.

Set up a font alias (Windows only)

If a message about unavailable fonts occurs when you open a document created in FrameMaker for Mac OS or UNIX, even though the fonts FrameMaker says are missing are installed, some font families or styles installed in Windows may be named differently than those installed on the other platforms. To resolve the problem of unavailable fonts in this case, set up a font alias to map the font to a known family or style. For instructions, see the “Customizing FrameMaker Products” section in online Help.

Edit the maker.ini file (Windows only)

In Windows, you can edit the maker.ini file so FrameMaker uses a different font for font substitutions. For instructions, see document 317840 , “How to Change the Default Font FrameMaker Uses in Font Substitutions.”

Note: Incorrectly editing the maker.ini file can prevent FrameMaker from starting or correctly displaying the user interface.

Make sure that ATM fonts are installed

If you use FrameMaker 5.5.x, make sure that the ATM or the Helvetica, Courier, Symbol, and Times fonts are installed on your system. These fonts are included with FrameMaker 5.5.x and Adobe Acrobat 3.x. (All these fonts except Helvetica are also included with Acrobat 4.x.) The FrameMaker 5.5.x Help and Sample documents reference these fonts.

Obtain and install the missing fonts

If none of the previous solutions provides the desired results, consider obtaining and installing the missing fonts. For example, if you and a co-worker are editing the same documents, and you would like to use the same fonts as your co-worker, but you don’t already have them, consider purchasing and installing copies of those fonts.