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Hebrew Font Recognition in CS6 InDesign

Jan 28, 2013 5:17 AM

Tags: #indesign #hebrew

Hey there!


I'm having problems with my Hebrew fonts and need help. I have Indesign CS6 for Mac and have downloaded the Hebrew Supported version. I have set up my document so that paragraph and character reflect the need for Hebrew. I can use the standard Hebrew system fonts, however I have loads of great Hebrew fonts which are recognised by Font Book but not in Indesign. The weird thing is that on CS4 these fonts were recognised (however at that time I didn't have Hebrew support so ended up typing, letter for letter, backwards to get the text I needed.


Can you give me some indication as to why I am unable to use these fonts? When I try to use them I get this warning:


Screen Shot 2013-01-28 at 12.35.40.png

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 28, 2013 5:55 AM   in reply to jdr1968

    From InDesign CS6 Help:



    Legacy font support


    Available in

    InDesign CS6, Illustrator CS6, Photoshop CS6






    Fonts that have been traditionally used (for example, AXT fonts) can continue to be used in this release of the software. However, it is recommended that newer Open Type fonts be used for text-based elements.



    Missing Glyph Protection (Edit > Preferences > Advanced Type) is enabled by default. Text is handled automatically, where glyphs are not available in the font you are using.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 28, 2013 9:42 AM   in reply to jdr1968

    I don't work with foreign fonts. There are a couple of regulars who do, and they may be of more help.


    Also, Diane Burns, an expert in the field, now has a video at on the topic:


            Multilingual Publishing Strategies with InDesign      

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 28, 2013 10:31 AM   in reply to jdr1968

    so basically if i don't have open type fonts then they won't be accepted?


    Not so. I don't know if there were any Hebrew AXT fonts (that's ArabicXT, a Quark XTension for Arabic typestting) but they ever did exist and you are using them, you might experience issues. A quick Google search says "no." But there have been quite a few font formats over the years, and while the suggestion to move to OT fonts is a good one, you may well be able to use the old fonts.


    how come i see them on CS4 but not CS6?


    Each version of InDesign has changes in the way it handles fonts, and fonts for RTL or complex scripts are the ones most likely to gain or lose support from version to version.


    Can you tell us what the names of these fonts are, and where they come from? I'm not in front of my Mac right now so I'm not sure how to tell you how to check font file format but I suspect you can look at the Get Info pane of any font file and tell us what format your fonts are in.


    I'm not really using CS6 in production so I've never seen the Glyph Protection dialog. Can you describe exactly what you are doing to generate that dialog? Are you typing in an empty frame? Or are you re-opening an old document? Because from the content of the dialog and this comment in the Help:


    Text is handled automatically, where glyphs are not available in the font you are using.

    my gut feeling is that you are trying to enter bilingual text in a font that is missing the glyphs for one language. That's just a gut feeling, though - more details, please.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2013 10:04 AM   in reply to jdr1968

    Font book shows the characters perfectly, but InDesign doesn't.

    That's because Font Book shows you a demo of each font in Latin-script characters.


    Most of the fonts are Postscript (Type1) fonts. Font book shows the characters perfectly, but InDesign doesn't.


    Okay, new gut feeling: these old T1 fonts are the kind where the Hebrew glyphs are mapped onto Latin-script locations. The way to test this is:


    1) Open up InDesign

    2) Open up the Glyphs menu (Type -> Glyphs)

    3) At the bottom of the menu, select one of these Hebrew T1 fonts

    4) Mouse over a glyph. Wait for the mouseover popup.


    If you selected alef and you get a popup that says "HEBREW LETTER ALEF" then I'm wrong. But I'd wager that it'll say something like "LATIN SCRIPT LOWERCASE F" or something like that. These fonts are quite old-fashioned - read up on Unicode if you want to know why. So...

    If there is any way of converting the font file to a different type of file that might be the solution....


    That's one approach. I prefer the other one, which is more work: converting the text to a new encoding where HEBREW LETTER ALEF really is HEBREW LETTER ALEF. This can be time-consuming and annoying, but will future-proof your typesetting work. Font conversion is always a dicey proposition - it may be forbidden by your font licensing agreement, which can turn up years later to bite you just as well as errors induced in the font in the conversion process. But sometimes, re-setting all of your old work in new fonts is so much work that font conversion and its attendant risks becomes attractive.

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