Perplexing OTF Font Problem Locking up InDesign

Ken Krugh's picture

We've been developing an OTF font in Fontlab Studio 5.0.2., Windows, periodically generating the font and using it in InDesign CS3, Windows for testing. Everything has been going well until yesterday when InDesign started locking up while trying to output a PDF with the font. InDesign also cannot display the font in its glyph pallet. Again, it locks up.

I have Roman, Italic, Bold and BoldItalic fonts. Roman and Italic have the problem, Bold and BoldItalic do NOT! Compared to other professional fonts there is little by way of features and classes and I've tried deleting all the classes and features and copying them from one of the fonts that works.

I've narrowed the problem down the small caps, I think. When I set a single line of type in InDesign it will PDF. Turn the small caps on for even a single character and InDesign locks up trying to export a PDF. I'm suspecting the glyph pallet won't display because it also would have to access the small caps.

I know there is little to on here as far as problem solving info, but I'm hoping someone as seen this issue with InDesign and can give me something else at which to look.


Thomas Phinney's picture

First, try deleting the Adobe font cache file(s), just for a start. You've had a bunch of versions of the font most likely, and it's possible the cache is confused about something important.

Failing that... darned if I know. I'd be willing to take a look at the font and see if there is an obvious issue of some sort.



Ken Krugh's picture

Thanks a bunch T. I've done some searching but can only find references to deleting the cache on the Mac using various utilites.

Are there files and/or folder I should be deleting in Windows?


David W. Goodrich's picture

T may come back with a better source, but this typophile post explains the essential trick about deleting adobefnt??.lst files (and no others).


Ken Krugh's picture

Thanks very much David. I discovered those files on my own a year or so ago, didn't realize they were considered the font cache. Just knew they were very annoying while testing fonts. :o)

I tried deleting them but to no avail, still locking up InD. I'm going to try a different machine when I get to work in the morning.

On thing I did confirm since my last post is that it definitely seems to have something to do with the small cap feature / classes. If I simply remove the small cap feature (leaving the classes) it works. I don't get my small cap glyphs but InD does create a PDF.

If I can't figure out whassup tomorrow the rotary oscillator is going to start becoming covered in defecation so I may take T up on his offer and have him take a look.

Thanks again to all. I'll be sure to post if I find the problem.


Ken Krugh's picture

Well, it's not just my computer, at least one other has the problem, in InD CS3. That 2nd computer also has CS5 on it, which works just fine with the font.

Any idea if there might be something else like the font cache files?

Onward . . .

Thanks again

Ken Krugh's picture

Sorry, meant to say also that I had looked back on a previous version of the font and had renamed some glyphs. Earlier on in the development of the font I THOUGHT I saw InDesign have some trouble at one point after having renamed a glyph but I couldn't see how that could be.

Just more food for thought.


Ken Krugh's picture

For anyone whos interested.

Well, so much for the left over stuff theory. Tried to use the font on a machine that had never before run CS3 to no avail. Same issues.

On another forum I received a reply that someone saw strangeness in InDesign, though not specifically what I'm seeing, that he found was related to an error in the OTF language processing in CS3, fixed in CS4. So I'm now looking at the language stuff, though I don't see anything right off.


Ken Krugh's picture

OK, fixed the problem but haven’t solved the mystery.

The font has a rather large liga feature designed to be used for keyboarding of multiple Greek accents. One of the last things I did was to re-encode a glyph from the private use area to the Unicode standard. Trouble was, I didn’t update the liga feature with the new glyph’s name, so InD couldn’t resolve the liga substitution to a glyph that wasn’t there.

Curiously, CS5 was able to resolve, probably more like ignore the issue.

What was so perplexing is that I kept comparing the features and classes of fonts in the family that worked, and those that didn’t and they were identical. So, the mystery still remains as to why two of the fonts worked and two didn’t even though they all had the same liga feature with the error in it. And also why it would PDF from InD without small caps in the file, but not with small caps.

I’ve set the bummed out FontLab files aside, maybe if I see something along the way I’ll go back and try and solve the last mystery.

Thanks again for everyone’s help!

All the best,

Syndicate content Syndicate content