Mac versions of MS Office—and in particular Word—do not always show installed fonts in the font menus. Microsoft’s advice for this is: “Third-party fonts are not directly supported in Microsoft Office for Mac applications.”
Troubleshooting Word bugs can eat up a lot of time, which made me wonder, have any type designers started refusing to support Microsoft Office for Mac? Is anybody writing a troubleshooting clause for Office into font contracts stating that Word for Mac support could require costly troubleshooting at the client’s expense? Has anyone put a notice into a EULA stating that the font simply might not Work in Office and that no support will be provided?
But, if it should become a major concern I will add that clause to my EULA notice.
Thanks for the heads-up, James.
Are there any more specifics as to why these issues? I would be interested to hear more.
Adam Twardoch has thoroughly documented the issue, as of last August. See
the latest version of his family naming guidelines here:
I will keep naming fonts as usual.
A word processor app than can't handle fonts? A bit ironic...
As for standards, bear in mind that this cuts the opposite direction too — type designers sometimes seem to assume that every program handles fonts like InDesign. Not so. I occasionally get complaints from MS Office users about other fonts they've bought (!) The most common of which is that their new "pro" fonts don't have style-linking implemented, so using the italic & bold key shortcuts in Word won't produce the right results.
And as for standards, if Office for Mac would treat fonts exactly like Office for Windows then there would be less of a problem.
The Word for Mac problem in question can be reproduced with some of Adobe's fonts too which are the opposite of low-quality fonts.
Not style-linking a family's styles is sometimes done for good reasons, by the way. As soon as a family gets bigger, and depending on the number and gradation of weights, you may end up with left-over weights for which there is no match.
In particular your point that for full backward compatibility, one should “use only four standard styles (any additiional one would confuse Windows).” This has been the guiding principle for all my family naming. It has worked well, first with a font family of 12 styles, and most recently with a family of 18 styles. The problem with ignoring style linking is that office users have to work with a lot of documents that presume the existence of bold / italic / bold italic styles. In my most recent family I used Robofab to automatically clone certain styles under multiple names so that the user always gets the right visual result. (e.g., Light Weight + Bold Style is the same as Book Wt + Bold Style is the same as Medium Wt + Bold Style is the same as Bold Wt.)
Concerning style links between different weights in my eight-weight font families, I am used to offer more than just a style link between the Regular (400) and Bold (700) font. If I would follow Adam's new recommendations, I would be forced to remove these other weight style links. I do not want to remove this functionality from my typefaces — neither from the new ones, nor from the old ones — because I believe this functionality is appreciated by those who are used to use style links.
To me, Word 2011 for Mac is like a bad kid in the class, causing good-behaving kids in the class problems, by forcing a reduction of functionality. I do not want to give in to this bad kid.
It did not occur to me that you might be doing this because most families that I have seen follow Adobe's naming convention, creating a single big family via name records with NID 16/17 (Win) and 1/2 (Mac), so that users see one family in CS applications rather than multiple four-style families. It is good to know that designers accept the latter too. (The thin line between user expectations and making it work.) That's a good approach.
Ben Blom – Consider my PDF as providing not recommendations but illustrations of essentially two approaches (you may 'interpolate' between them) with some variations (like the one Mr Butterick reminded me of) and the possible effects they may produce.
In my case the 5 fonts all share the same first word in the name, but are not style linked. The smaller basic version just has the name and that's the one that does not show up in Word for Mac. I am wondering if Word is trying to treat them as if they were style linked and, not seeing anything beyond the first word in one version, just ignores it. Since Word has the 4 style only restriction 5 fonts with the same first title word may be the trigger.