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bennnh
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Font Different in InDesign & Pages

Sep 28, 2009 3:13 PM

Hello.  I'm new to InDesign and this forum, but I'm having a problem and thought somebody might be able to help.

 

The problem is with a book I've laid out and am in the process of printing in InDesign CS4 (for Mac)...The typeface (Baskerville) looks different in InDesign than it does in Apple Pages or MS Word.  I'm using the same typeface at the same size.  Neither is bold or italic.  The difference, which is much more pronounced on the printed page than onscreen, seems to be mostly in the thickness of the letters.  In Pages and Word, most of the lines are thin and there's a large contrast between thin and thick lines.  In InDesign, the thin lines seem thickened and there's less contrast, as if the text were semibold.

 

This is disappointing, because I greatly prefer the way the text looks in Pages and Word.

 

Is this an issue that anybody else has come across?

 

 

Thanks for the help,

Ben

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 28, 2009 3:18 PM   in reply to bennnh

    Are you using transparency, blending modes, or effects on the pages in ID? There are known issues with text getting "bolder" on screen, and in PDFs and with low resolution (desktop) printers.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 28, 2009 3:50 PM   in reply to bennnh

    It isn't always obvious to the unitiated what constitutes transparency. Images with transparent backgrounds, drop shadows,...

     

    In the pages panel flyout menu choose panel options and make sure the box for the transparency icon is checked. If a page has transparency, you'll see a little checkerboard next to the page thumbnail in the panel.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 28, 2009 4:10 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    I have a gut feeling that this boils down to the fact that InDesign doesn't use the OS font rendering subsystems on either platform. I don't know for sure that CoolType (I wonder if it's still called that?) affects interpretation of hinting information in the font, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it does. However, I have no evidence to support that, so Peter's inclination to pursue the possibility of transparency is your best bet at the moment.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 28, 2009 4:18 PM   in reply to bennnh

    bennnh wrote:

     

    Hello.  I'm new to InDesign and this forum, but I'm having a problem and thought somebody might be able to help.

     

    The problem is with a book I've laid out and am in the process of printing in InDesign CS4 (for Mac)...The typeface (Baskerville) looks different in InDesign than it does in Apple Pages or MS Word.  I'm using the same typeface at the same size.  Neither is bold or italic.  The difference, which is much more pronounced on the printed page than onscreen, seems to be mostly in the thickness of the letters.  In Pages and Word, most of the lines are thin and there's a large contrast between thin and thick lines.  In InDesign, the thin lines seem thickened and there's less contrast, as if the text were semibold.

     

    This is disappointing, because I greatly prefer the way the text looks in Pages and Word.

     

    Is this an issue that anybody else has come across?

     

     

    Thanks for the help,

    Ben

     

    Because InDesign treats text characters like a hybrid of text as you know it, and also as objects - that is, a character has a path around it (like an outline or border) and a fill inside the path - it's possible to set a line property for the path that's independent of the fill. (Sometimes the path is called "stroke;" a bit ambiguous, because applying a line property to a path, such as thickness, color, pattern, and some others, is called "adding a stroke to a path," or simply "stroking a path.")

     

    What this means for your situation is that if the paths of the text characters have picked up a stroke property, they'll look thicker and blockier; open spaces in letters like o, c, e, a, and so on, will fill in. Select some text and check its stroke property anywhere the stroke can be measured, such as the Stroke panel, or the Character Color property pane of the Character Styles or Paragraph Styles panels.

     

    The washed-out lower-contrast may be due to the setting of the Preferences setting for Appearance of Black. I think it defaults to Rich Black rather than 100% Black.

     

    These setting differences may occur with text that's created in another application and placed/imported into InDesign.

     

    Look up stroke characters and appearance of black in InDesign help.

     

    EDIT: I forgot to say that usually you want no stroke (zero points) on text. The appearance of black is more a personal taste issue.

     

    HTH

     

    Regards,

     

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 28, 2009 5:25 PM   in reply to bennnh

    bennnh wrote:

     

    Thanks for responding, Peter.

     

    I think this is part of the solution.  There was no stroke on the text, but in Preferences, the "Appearance of Black" settings were set to "Rich Black."  When switching it back to "Output All Blacks Accurately," it did seem to make the text look closer to what I saw in the Pages printout.  However, now the text, especially in the thinnest parts of letters, appears somewhat pixilated.  I would think that it has to do with my printer resolution, but it looked great when printed from Pages.  By the way, it is a consumer-level printer, but it's a pretty good B&W laser at 1200 X 1200.

     

    Is it possible that there's some kind of font smoothing that isn't turned on?

     

    Have you tried exporting (File > Export) to PDF and printing the PDF? This may give you a different result. If the printer is not a true PostScript (or a good PostScript emulator) printer, it may not be comfortable with InDesign's output. Exporting to PDF is comfortable, and usually prints well to non-PostScript printers.

     

    Regarding font smoothing, I can't say, but is it possible that the printer driver is set to print as graphic, rather than print as text? This could give a grainy appearance to text.

     

    Also, check with your printer manufacturer's site for the newest drivers, and for other recommendations.

     

    HTH

     

    Regards,

     

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     
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