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When Illustrator substitutes font, how do I know which one?

Jun 19, 2012 10:31 AM

Here's what happened. Can anyone explain?


1. I opened art from someone else.

2. Illustrator asks for HelveticaNeueLTStd-Lt, which we don't have. (Says: "Font not found on the system, missing font has been substituted.")

3. I click "Open" to continue opening the art.

4. Art looks fine at first glance so I go to Find Font.

5. It shows the font as missing; the font is listed in <brackets>.  (There are no other fonts in the document.) It shows me where it is used.

6. I highlight the text and check Illustrator's Character palette.

It shows the font is:

HelveticaNeueLTStd Lt


7. ?? We don't HAVE that font. So WHAT did it substitute?? It seems like it just made up the font on the fly, and put that font's name in the Character palette, even though we don't have the font!


Using CS5 15.0.2 on Mac with 10.6.8.


We have been using Suitcase Fusion; that also reported the missing Font. However, I disabled it (shut off the Core) because I wanted to see what Illustrator itself was doing. Having done so, I'm none the wiser.


What I really want to know is:


2. How come it seems to look like the missing font?  (According to customer's PDF it seems a bit thinner, but it's darn close.) 

3. WHY does it list the missing font in the character palette, instead of the one it actually substituted?

4. How do I get it to tell me what font it actually substituted?


Thanks, anyone... everyone...

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 19, 2012 10:47 AM   in reply to quoz

    It should replace it with the default font, which I think has to be Myriad. (you may be able to change that via your default files, but I'm not sure.) Myriad and Helvetica are kind of similar, so it might look the same to you.  It shows you the font that is assigned as that will not change unless you change it.  That way, you can open the file even if you don't have the font and not accidentally alter it.  It should be showing it in brackets or italic (I forget...) to indicate that the font is missing.  If it is not showing up as missing in the font list, there may be something wrong with your font cache, in which case you can clean it.


    You will need get your customer to provide you with the fonts they used or an outlined version of the file.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 19, 2012 2:41 PM   in reply to quoz

    Just buy that font.

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