7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 20, 2012 12:30 PM by Coilaman

    Switching from Mac to PC

    Coilaman

      Hi everyone,

      I am still on my old Powermac G5 right now, but I will switch to PC soon. I already loaded my PC with Adobe CS 5.5 Design Premium. It's an older Pentium Dual Core E2160, 1.8GHz, with 4GB RAM, Geforce GT 240 (512MB GDDR5) graphics card and Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. This is just a temporary machine until I build a better PC in a few months. Is the whole switch to PC a good decision overall? I am doing this because I got into the whole 'build your own' thing and I want to save lots of money along the way.

       

      I know that fonts are the major issue, but I heard that Trans Type Pro is a good solution for Mac to PC font conversion. I am aware that Open Type fonts are bullet-proof, but I also know that lots of people still use the old Postscript Type 1 fonts on Mac. Should I stay on Mac or just go to PC? I plan to focus on web design, but I will be open to prepress and graphic design jobs as well. Should I worry about Mac jobs opening on PC? I am really concerned about getting Mac InDesign files for prepress and opening them on PC more than anything.

       

      Please tell me about possible pitfalls and problems of opening Mac files on PC and what do I have to do to make sure Mac people will be able to open my finished working files with no problems. Thank you very much for your help.

        • 1. Re: Switching from Mac to PC
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          If you recieve files fom others you are going to have problems with Mac-format fonts. I've never used Transtype, but I would bet that in many cases you would be in viloation of any font license (especially if you don't already have a license for the font) if you make the conversion, and there may be some reflow issues, depending on how good the conversion is. Personally, I would stay away from this solution for pre-press, and I'd ask for PDF with embedded fonts instead.

           

          As far as sharing files in general, fonts you use on PC should all work on Mac in ID. OpenType you already know about, and OSX can use Windows TrueType natively (most foundries seem only to do Windows format for TrueType now, for that reason). Windows Type 1 fonts will work if loaded into the InDesign private Fonts folder. Unfortunately, the reverse is not true. Window only sees the data fork on Mac fonts, and for unknown reasons all the font information is stored inthe resource fork, so Mac TT and T1 fonts are completely useless, as are .dfonts, on Windows without some sort of conversion as you suggested.

          • 2. Re: Switching from Mac to PC
            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            I build my own machines as well and it's an incredibly rewarding experience. As for you old Mac fonts...my advice is to just forget them.

             

            Stick with high quality OpenType fonts and you shouldn't have any issues.

             

            I wouldn't allow that to be the contributing factor as to whether you stick with Mac or move to Windows. Any modern application should be producing files that are totallly crossplatform and by sticking with OpenType fonts, you should be able to work seamlessly with Mac users. I do it all the time.

             

            I will add that the only drawback is if you decide you want to get involved in digital publishing. There are certain aspects of publishing to iPad or iPhone that require Mac only applications.

             

            Bob

            • 3. Re: Switching from Mac to PC
              peter minneapolis Level 4

              Coilaman wrote:

               

              Hi everyone,

              I am still on my old Powermac G5 right now, but I will switch to PC soon. I already loaded my PC with Adobe CS 5.5 Design Premium. It's an older Pentium Dual Core E2160, 1.8GHz, with 4GB RAM, Geforce GT 240 (512MB GDDR5) graphics card and Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. This is just a temporary machine until I build a better PC in a few months. Is the whole switch to PC a good decision overall? I am doing this because I got into the whole 'build your own' thing and I want to save lots of money along the way.

               

              I know that fonts are the major issue, but I heard that Trans Type Pro is a good solution for Mac to PC font conversion. I am aware that Open Type fonts are bullet-proof, but I also know that lots of people still use the old Postscript Type 1 fonts on Mac. Should I stay on Mac or just go to PC? I plan to focus on web design, but I will be open to prepress and graphic design jobs as well. Should I worry about Mac jobs opening on PC? I am really concerned about getting Mac InDesign files for prepress and opening them on PC more than anything.

               

              Please tell me about possible pitfalls and problems of opening Mac files on PC and what do I have to do to make sure Mac people will be able to open my finished working files with no problems. Thank you very much for your help.

              You might be able to have your cake and eat it, too, if you're really into build-your-own. Search Google for terms like "hackintosh," a cult-like approach to building a super-powered Mac. I've only heard and read about it. You'll want to dig deeply enough to verify that it can run the applications you want.

               

               

              HTH

               

               

              Regards,

               

               

              Peter

              _______________________

              Peter Gold

              KnowHow ProServices

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Switching from Mac to PC
                Bo LeBeau Level 4

                You mentioned: I am really concerned about getting Mac InDesign files for prepress and opening them on PC more than anything.

                 

                Since you are receiving InDesign files that were created by others, the font issues can be daunting.

                As Bob mentioned, if you are creating the files yourself, you should use OpenType fonts.

                 

                But, you can't demand that your customers who are sending you files to only use OpenType fonts.

                You are very likely to receive files that use Mac TT fonts, Mac Type 1 fonts, and even dfonts (oh why did Apple create dfonts?).

                You might even get files that use all three different font types for a common type face like Times New Roman. It happens all the time.

                 

                Many people are generally clueless when it comes to fonts and use different fonts willy-nilly without understanding what is necessary for printing purposes.

                Often they haven't even heard of, much less used the Package command from the File menu.

                 

                The three above mentioned fonts types won't work on a PC.I'm not sure how dependable a font conversion workflow to be able to use these fonts would be.

                Also, its another step if you have to convert all the fonts you receive.

                 

                However, as Peter mentioned, the Mac can read Window TT and Windows Type 1 fonts.

                So the ability to use WIndows fonts on the Mac is easy.

                Using Mac fonts on a PC is very difficult without jumping through hoops.

                 

                If you just use Find Font to replace one font with another font of the same name you risk text recomposition. This can happen even when the files aren't crossing platforms.

                This means that you have to examine all the files to see if any of the line lengths, etc, change. Without a hard copy or PDF you can't even be sure when things have changed.

                 

                In a perfect world all documents would only be created with OpenType fonts which are cross-platform

                But this isn't a perfect world, so the font issues will be with us for a long time.

                • 5. Re: Switching from Mac to PC
                  Coilaman Level 1

                  Peter Spier wrote:

                   

                  Windows Type 1 fonts will work if loaded into the InDesign private Fonts folder. Unfortunately, the reverse is not true. Window only sees the data fork on Mac fonts, and for unknown reasons all the font information is stored inthe resource fork, so Mac TT and T1 fonts are completely useless, as are .dfonts, on Windows without some sort of conversion as you suggested.

                  Hi Peter,

                  Well, Transtype Pro  solves these problems by converting fonts within a compressed folder (.sit, .zip formats). That's how you solve the resource fork problem of the Mac specific fonts. Now, I know that some companies do prepress completely from PCs and I know that some have even switched their complete inventories of Macs to PCs. They swear by Transtype Pro. That application fully respects all the data and glyph information in any font so complete integrity of the fonts and their data is fully assured and preserved no matter what format to what format you are trying to convert and it works great converting PC fonts to Mac fonts and vice versa.

                   

                  I can't justify getting a Mac for just the odd Postscript Type 1 font. Those fonts are very old and they became very incompatible as soon as OS X came on the scene. I remember back in 2006, when I worked for a printing company, I had a Mac running OS 10.4 Tiger and it was impossible to use Postscript Type 1 fonts from a client that was also working on a Mac. I had to get the Crossfont application for PC, transfer my Mac Postscript Type 1 fonts to that PC, convert them to Open Type and then transfer those Open Type fonts back to Mac in order to solve a million issues with Postscript Type 1 Mac fonts.

                   

                  So yeah, Mac is not perfect by any mean. In the OS 9 days, lots of people used Postscript Type 1 font and they worked pretty good, but they always had some bugs. OS X changed all that and those old fonts became highly incompatible. I rarely see Postscript Type 1 any more from the clients. And I also don't want to be forced to use a Mac anyway. Nobody should be forced to use a certain platform for any application. Those days are long gone and forgotten.

                  • 6. Re: Switching from Mac to PC
                    Coilaman Level 1

                    Bob Levine wrote:

                     

                    I build my own machines as well and it's an incredibly rewarding experience. As for you old Mac fonts...my advice is to just forget them.

                     

                    Stick with high quality OpenType fonts and you shouldn't have any issues.

                     

                    I wouldn't allow that to be the contributing factor as to whether you stick with Mac or move to Windows. Any modern application should be producing files that are totallly crossplatform and by sticking with OpenType fonts, you should be able to work seamlessly with Mac users. I do it all the time.

                     

                    Bob

                    Hi Bob,

                    I completely agree with you. You could even tell your clients with other types of fonts to get Transtype Pro or Crossfont and convert all those older fonts to Open Type and make your life easier. I hate to be bound by any specific platform.

                    • 7. Re: Switching from Mac to PC
                      Coilaman Level 1

                      Peter at KnowHowPro wrote:

                       

                      You might be able to have your cake and eat it, too, if you're really into build-your-own. Search Google for terms like "hackintosh," a cult-like approach to building a super-powered Mac. I've only heard and read about it. You'll want to dig deeply enough to verify that it can run the applications you want.

                       

                       

                      Hi Peter,

                      I really don't want to jump through the hoops in order to run OS X. Nobody should be that desperate. A lot of people out there, like to undervalue the whole Windows platform, but that's unfair because Windows is a rock-solid platform and very reliable. No need for Hackintosh, Backintosh or Freakintosh of any sort. Not for me, anyway.