Font name sequence and font names on Windows PC

Jean Paul Beumer's picture

My font is ready. It consists of 7 weights. When generating the fonts as usual (FL) all goes well. When importing the fonts in FontAgent, all goes well too. But, when I activate the fonts, the sequence is all mixed up in software like Illustrator. I'd like it to be UltraLight on top and Medium at the bottom. Now it's all jumbled, it's not even alphabetical! Can anybody help?

Also, when I import the fonts in a Windows environment, it only shows one weight, sometimes four, the orther weights are not there (allthough installed off course). Again, can anybody help? What am I doing wrong?

Perhaps these questions have been anwsered here before, if so, please redirect me.


Karl Stange's picture

Can you post details of your font naming conventions, what font format you are exporting, the version of Windows and the versions of the relevant apps.

Jean Paul Beumer's picture

Font format is OT (standard FL settings)
Mac OS 10.6.8
Windows OS Vista

Mac apps
QuarkXPress 8.12
Illustrator CS4
Photoshop CS 4

Windows apps
QuarkXPress 9.1
Illustrator CS5
Photoshop CS 4

I've peeked at some other fonts how they do it, but no cigar :-(

Some screen shots can be found here:
(Typophile site keeps crashing when adding PNGs)

Karl Stange's picture

Thanks Jean, are you exporting TrueType OT or Postscript OT?

Can you list the complete range of weights? I can already see some components that could be responsible, such as having no weight number specified and the use of numerals in some naming fields (which should probably be okay but may have caused problems in the past).

Also, have you looked at either of the font naming guidelines below?

Karsten Luecke's guide to font naming.

Adam Twardoch's revised guidelines for font naming, which take into account some of the peculiarities in Word 2011 on the Mac.

Jean Paul Beumer's picture

Hi Karl,
Both TrueType OT and Postscript OT.

The weights:
UltraLight, Thin, Light, SemiLight, Book, Regular, Medium (in that order).
The numbers in the font names are something I saw in TheSans, not sure if that's the right way. Didn't work anyway.

I'll check out those guides, thanks!

Jean Paul Beumer's picture

Correction: not Windows Vista, but Windows 7.

Pieter van Rosmalen's picture

Hello Jean Paul,

Behind the weight (SemiLight) is the value of that weight missing. All weights need a value which has to be different in every weight. SemiLight has the smallest and Medium the highest number. Normally fontLab fills in the numbers automatically when you choose the weight.


Karl Stange's picture

It would be worth plotting the various components of the naming scheme before outputting. I recently suggested a naming convention based on multiple weights that might be a good basis for comparison.

FF Meta is a good example of an existing commercial font family that uses a similar weight structure to the one you are trying to implement.

As per Pieter's suggestion, you could use a weight/number combination such as this:

UltraLight [150]
Thin [200]
Light [250]
SemiLight [300]
Book [350]
Regular [400]
Medium [500]

Jean Paul Beumer's picture

Great stuff guys, thank you very much!

Jean Paul Beumer's picture

It works in Illustrator and Photoshop, but not in XPress (not the right order). I guess XPress is just strange ;-) I'll try InDesign now.

Thanks guys, you've really helped me out!

Karl Stange's picture

I guess XPress is just strange ;-) I'll try InDesign now.

I haven't used it since version 4.11 and it was certainly very odd then! The article about Quark's font mapping feature, below:

Makes me think that they have a rather complex approach to font management...

k.l.'s picture

Going by the article, XPress's "Font Mapping" and InDesign's "Find Font" seem to serve the same task, replacing fonts document wide.

Karl Stange's picture

The article below shows a screen grab of the font menu with the Cronos Pro family organized by weight then style:

You could use this as the basis for figuring out priorities, at least in version 8.

I like that it distinguishes between OT-TT and OT-PS by coloured (green and red respectively) OpenType icons.

Jean Paul Beumer's picture

Thanks again Karl!

One last thing: how and where can I add my foundry name (like ITC, Larabie, Bitstream) so it shows up in, say, FontAgent?

Karl Stange's picture

The copyright fields are key but also the Names and Copyright/Designer Information, Names and Copyright/License Information (particularly if you can add a copy of your EULA) and you could add it to the Version and Identification/Identification settings "TrueType Unique ID record:" (having filled in the others try auto-filling this one) and "TrueType vendor code" for which you should be able to add a four letter (all lower case) code.

After doing that I would update the Names and Copyright/Additional OpenType names field, updating the autofill and then double checking everything.

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