I'll just get right to the questions--are there any known issues with InDesign data being created with a Mac showing up strange or being different when opened with InDesign installed on Windows, or vice versa? Are there any tangible benefits that exist when using InDesign with operating system over the other?
Thank you for your help.
Unless some third-party plugin was used that is differnt or not available across platforms, the only problems or differences should be in fonts. Windows cannot use Mac-format .dfont, TrueType or Type1 fonts at all, but Mac can use Windows fonts (TT in the normal font locations, T1 in the private InDesign fonts folder), and in cases where a same-named font (but paltform appropriate) is used on both platforms in either TT or T1 formats there is the potential for text flow differences between differnt versions. Best practice for working cross-platform is to use OpenType fonts only.
Oh, that is very good to know. So to confirm, you are saying that even if the Mac dfont is converted to Windows font using conversion software, the position/spacing of the font will be different depending on the OS?
So called “font conversion software” cannot be relied upon to always do a lossless format conversion. Peter's advice to use OpenType fonts is 100% correct. In terms of functionality, which platform you use is essentially irrelevant. We provide full functionality on both platforms.
With careful planning in terms of font usage and file naming, you can readily have a publication for which both Windows and Macintosh-based users of InDesign work.
We will probably buy a very large OpenType font package. But what I am talking about is other fonts: fonts that come by default with the operating system, fonts that are installed individually by the user of the Mac/PC, etc. I don't know how or where InDesign finds its fonts. Is there a special directory? Does the software look for fonts in more than one directory? What if there is more than one font with the same name? Does InDesign provide a way to prevent the use of certain fonts? Again, I'm talking about font management in a mixed OS environment here.
ID can use any font that's installed on the system in the normal manner (as long as they are up to snuff -- ID is particular about font quality and occasionally does not recognize a poorly made font), as well as fonts that are installed in the Adobe Common fonts folder and the InDesign private fonts folder. There is no way to hide fonts from ID that are installed by the OS. Duplicate fonts can be a problem (this is usually not an issue with OpenType except fonts provided by Microsoft). A server-based font manager might help, along with a list of acceptable fonts, or of prohibited fonts, for use in publications.