Definitive answer on >1000 UPM

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Andrew's picture
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Joined: 8 Jan 2007 - 10:28am
Definitive answer on >1000 UPM
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I've been reading through the various threads (http://typophile.com/node/31762) regarding UPM size but I'm struggling to draw my conclusions.

Following these threads I tentatively drew a font at 2000 UPM. However when I generate OpenType PS I am encountering several issues including the halving of kerning values (or nearest possible half) in InDesign.

Additional problems:
When I reopen this file in FontLab the cap height has been capped at 1500 (the actual value is 1522).
When I preview the font the leading is halved.

I was led to believe that it was possible to up the UPM to 2000! Can someone please offer a definitive answer?

Thanks in advance.

John Hudson's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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I have not encountered any of the issues you report, using 2048 for CFF OT fonts. The only issues I encountered were a) half height cursor selection colouring in older versions of InDesign (a cosmetic problem), and b) problems with scaling in some third-party PDF creators (a serious bug, and the reason I regretfully went back to 1000 UPM for CFF fonts after that).

Frode Bo Helland's picture
Joined: 26 Feb 2007 - 1:03pm
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I had some @font-face issues with a 3k UPM.

Blank's picture
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm
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and the reason I regretfully went back to 1000 UPM for CFF fonts after that

Why is it always font designers who have to work around bad software? Wouldn't it make more sense to just start releasing valid CFF OpenType fonts and tell software developers to get their act together and fix their crappy code?

John Hudson's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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James, that's usually my preferred approach: build fonts to spec and log bugs against software that fails. But in this case my clients wanted to avoid the PDF creation bug, because its so bad.

Andrew's picture
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Joined: 8 Jan 2007 - 10:28am
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I've not done the unthinkable then by upping to 2000?
Interestingly the halving in InDesign is only suggested in the panels, not the layout, so a kerning value of 100 in FontLab will show as 50 in InDesign type panel but 100 in the actual layout…

I don't want to go back to 1000 as it doesn't suit the way I like to draw.

John Hudson's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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the halving in InDesign is only suggested in the panels, not the layout, so a kerning value of 100 in FontLab will show as 50 in InDesign type panel but 100 in the actual layout

Yes. Adobe by default apps express all kerning and tracking in 1/1000 units per em, regardless of the actual UPM of the font in use. This is sensible, because it means that spacing is not radically scaled when you switch fonts.

andi aw. masry's picture
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Joined: 17 Aug 2008 - 8:49pm
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What I do know, Truetype can working in 2000 UPM around and OpenType usually at 1000 UPM. If OT upgraded to 2000 UPM, you will find the problem.

Best