Trouble using Japanese Fonts in Adobe

I've downloaded some free Japanese fonts and want to use them in programs like Illustrator or InDesign. They come as .ttf for Windows and .suit for OS X. Neither have displayed anything but rectangles in Adobe or word processors. On both operating systems, the fonts seem properly installed but they don't work with the Japanese text I copy and paste in.

The Japanese fonts which appear to have been preloaded on my system work fine, so i know I can display Japanese but no other fonts i acquire work.

Help!

riccard0's picture

It most probably is a problem with encoding. The fonts on your system are Unicode, while the ones you downloaded could be Shift-JIS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_language_and_computers#Character_e...)

thecasimireffect's picture

Thanks riccard0

that should get me going down the right path. Can anyone recommend a way to convert these Japanese fonts to unicode?

lunde's picture

Unfortunately, converting those legacy fonts is non-trivial, and the path that involves the least amount of stress and hair-pulling is to simply check whether newer versions of the fonts exist.

If you don't mind, please post the names of the fonts that you have been unsuccessful in using.

riccard0's picture

a way to convert these Japanese fonts to unicode

It would be far easier to convert the encoding of the text.

thecasimireffect's picture

I've been trying a lot of fonts downloaded from sites listed on this site
particularly http://www.i2f.org

Té Rowan's picture

Seems to me that the i2f fonts use an eight-bit encoding.

thecasimireffect's picture

Thanks for your help, Té. This is quite beyond my realm of knowledge....so what does the fact that they seem to be 8-bit mean practically? I would like to know if I will be able to use them or if there are better places to get free Japanese language fonts.

cuttlefish's picture

Many of the free hiragana or katakana-only fonts found on the internet, including i2f's, appear to be encoded for entry with any of various western Latin (8-bit) keyboard layouts. The kana are mapped to the characters A-Z, etc. and not the proper Unicode points for their own script. This is inconvenient, but since most of these are clearly display fonts not intended for extended text use, it's an issue that can be dealt with. Some of these font developers supply a keyboard chart, but if you can't find one you'll have to experiment a while to determine which key corresponds to which character and draw out your own chart.

If you really must use these fonts with properly encoded Japanese text or with one of the Japanese keyboard entry modes, you'll have to open the fonts in FontForge (only because that's what I have; other font editors may work too) and copy the glyphs to their correct unicode positions and generate new properly encoded fonts. You should, of course get permission of the original designer and/or foundry for permission before you do so, but that may not be possible.

riccard0's picture

You could also search for 'japanese unicode fonts', but, unless you’re able to browse through the offerings of Japanese foundries, what you will find usually will be less display-like (to reinforce what Cuttlefish said, see here: http://fontstruct.com/fontstructions/show/surrender_everything_bold_squa...)

lunde's picture

To the OP: Given that you stated that you're specifically looking for Japanese fonts that work with Adobe applications, have you poked around on the product DVD (or DVDs) that you received? I believe that we bundle many fonts with most of our applications, including Japanese ones. Look for a font folder, and inside look for files that include the strings "KozMin," "KozGo," or "Ryo." If you find such files, these are OpenType Japanese fonts that will work with Adobe (and other) applications.

Té Rowan's picture

@cuttlefish - Other editors do work, indeed. I used Type 2.2 light on the Windows box to check this.

My guess is that the fonts were built to emulate the encoding on some old eight-bit home computer(s). Mind, I'm sure I saw a Sharp MZ-700 on one image, whether that's relevant or not.

thecasimireffect's picture

have you poked around on the product DVD (or DVDs) that you received?

Lunde,
Yes I have been playing around with the included Adobe fonts, they're just a little too universal-looking/plain for this particular design job.(gig poster) They will work for other projects I'm sure.

Thanks everyone!

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