Adobe announces end of support for “PostScript” Type 1 fonts

Back when Adobe finished converting its font library to OpenType around 2003-04, I wanted to draw some kind of line in the sand, but that idea got quickly shot down from many sides. However, the day has finally come!

In January 2023, Type 1 fonts will stop being supported for authoring in most other Adobe products, except for Document Cloud apps (Acrobat, Adobe Sign, Acrobat Reader). Photoshop will end Type 1 support in 2021 (as announced in 2019).

https://helpx.adobe.com/fonts/kb/postscript-type-1-fonts-end-of-support.html
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Comments

  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,791
    Time to upgrade to Font Folio 11!
  • Time to upgrade to non-Adobe.
  • It is a Bad Thing for a font someone has paid good money for to suddenly not be usable.
    In their help information, they don't even state that converting any and all of Adobe's Type 1 fonts that you may own to Open Type is hereby allowed notwithstanding anything in their license agreements - which is the least they should have done. A discount on OpenType versions is less than that least.
  • is there any rationale given about this decision? Technical requirements?
    Or is it just user-unfriendly policy.
  • My Linux (Kubuntu 20.04 LTS) already doesn't suppport them while the previous 18.04 still did it. I have already spent some time to convert some of them to OpenType with FontForge…
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,376
    edited February 13
    macOS still supports Type 1 for now, but the suitcase files they depend on are no longer supported over local networks in Big Sur, as I mentioned in another thread

    Also, while the Finder still lists their types correctly ("Font Suitcase" and "PostScript Type 1 outline font"), both file types have lost their icons. Instead the Finder shows the default I-have-no-idea-what-this-is icon.

    So, I expect Apple will drop Type 1 support as well in the not too distant future.


  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,375
    I still have occasion to use the many type 1 fonts I purchased decades ago.
  • My Linux (Kubuntu 20.04 LTS) already doesn't suppport them while the previous 18.04 still did it. I have already spent some time to convert some of them to OpenType with FontForge…
    Really? I am curious where you hear that? Afaik type 1 fonts are supported indefinitely in the future on linux, though there are very few new ones being made. They are still being used in x11 and texlive. I still have just over 7000 on my regular system (fedora), most of them under texlive.

    I just checked my raspberrypi, which has Ubuntu server 20.04 on. There are a little over 4000 type 1 fonts there. Again, almost all of that under texlive. (I don't use GUI on that system - in fact I don't even use a keyboard with it, entirely headless, so there is very little x11 stuff on it)
  • It is a Bad Thing for a font someone has paid good money for to suddenly not be usable.
    Sure. But it is also an expense to continue supporting a legacy format forever. What proportion of other software that you licensed between 1985 and 2005, are you still running the same version of, on the latest computers today?
    In their help information, they don't even state that converting any and all of Adobe's Type 1 fonts that you may own to Open Type is hereby allowed notwithstanding anything in their license agreements - which is the least they should have done. A discount on OpenType versions is less than that least.

    I totally agree that guidance in this area would be helpful. I won’t be surprised if Adobe clarifies this in the future. They should. There are certainly some fonts Adobe can give a blanket OK to end users to convert, if Adobe wishes to do so. Mostly Adobe Originals and a few other Adobe internal designs.

    The main reason this is not simple is... which fonts are “Adobe’s”? When you look at the fonts Adobe licenses/licensed to end users, it was a minority of “the Adobe type library” that Adobe owns outright and can do with as they will. Other fonts were licensed from other foundries, subject to other restrictions, and the license terms can and did change a bit over time.

    As I understand it (caveat there!), Adobe originally licensed all Adobe Type Library fonts on the same terms to end users in the 80s and 90s. But eventually there were splits in which fonts got treated what way, so... “it’s complicated.”
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,376
    I was talking about this with another person (my wife) who still uses older Type 1 fonts actively for certain projects that have spanned over many years. She pointed out that many, if not most, users are not going to become aware of this until the fonts suddenly stop working with an app update, maybe as a deadline approaches.

    This makes me wonder: Which will be more work (or more expensive) for Adobe--continuing to support a font format that hasn't changed in decades or dealing with (probably angry or confused) customers whose fonts suddenly stop working?

    Is Adobe planning to be proactive about communicating this to customers as soon as possible to avoid such a situation?

    The magnitude of this issue will depend on how many users are still actively using Type 1 fonts, I suppose. Does Adobe know?
  • Mark Simonson said:
    Which will be more work (or more expensive) for Adobe--continuing to support a font format that hasn't changed in decades or dealing with (probably angry or confused) customers whose fonts suddenly stop working?
    The latter won't be expensive because these are people who have not and will not spend virtually any money on fonts, so can safely be treated like dirt... Adobe knows this well.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,376
    edited February 14
    Maybe, but they are spending money for Creative Cloud. 
  • it looks like yet another misuse of a monopolist’s position, to me. Maybe Apple should back Affinity in the near future to bring back honest competion on stage.
    However, I didn’t switch to CC and never will, CS5.5 does the job very well.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,118
    Is there legal protection anywhere in the world for consumers in terms of format conversion from obsolete software formats? It feels like it belongs alongside electronics right to repair laws. If the format is obsolete, the font you purchased is broken. In order to repair it, it needs to be converted to a currently supported format.
  • @Hin-Tak Leung Oops ! You are right ! The problem doesn't come from Linux itself but from LibreOffice and Inkscape which dropped the support for Type 1 fonts !
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,376
    edited February 14
    To quote myself earlier:
    Is Adobe planning to be proactive about communicating this to customers as soon as possible to avoid such a situation?
    Well, they are. I just opened a document containing Type 1 fonts in InDesign and got this warning:


    Users may still be angry, but at least they won't be surprised when support is actually dropped.
  • I'm using Indesign CC, but am stuck at Indesign 2019 until I upgrade to the latest Mac OS. No warning with this version when a document with Type 1 fonts is opened, and presumably not with earlier versions of Indesign CC. Users of pre-CC versions would also be in the dark, and anyone using fonts with non-Adobe software.

    I have some legacy documents (books published many years ago) set in Type 1 fonts. I wonder if these are saved as pdf, will they still print after Type 1 support ends?

    Years ago I upgraded my Filosofia licence from Emigre from Type 1 to Opentype, and they gave me a substantial discount on the upgrade (I think I paid half what a brand new licence would have cost). I don't recall other foundries offering such upgrade discounts.
  • So, if you get a complaint from a user that your old font stopped working:

    #1 Tell them Adobe is exercising its MoneyGod-given right to monopolistic behavior.

    #2 Send them here:
    https://convertio.co/pfa-otf/
    (Thanks to Ken Lunde for the ref.)
  • I really don’t get the “monopoly” arguments here. Type 1 was essentially replaced by OpenType 20 years ago — forever in software terms. The format has been considered legacy software for quite a long time. (Plus everything Thomas said.)
  • Transience is integral to consumerism.
  • Some years ago I found this software, and it looks original adobe:
    https://vetusware.com/download/Adobe OpenType Converter/?id=10319
    Adobe OpenType Converter
    Does anyone know if is from Adobe?
    It works very well.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,199
    I think we should be clear here that the real issue is actually about font licensing, and not about application or system support at all. Other platforms have already abandoned support for PS Type 1 fonts—along with various other legacy formats—and it only seems notable that Adobe are announcing discontinuation of support because PS Type 1 was Adobe’s technology.

    The real issue is that some font licenses do not permit format conversion, even though that conversion may be technically trivial—certainly compared to, say, converting a hot metal font into a photo font—, and some font vendors chose not to provide free or discounted upgrade licensing.

  • At the time, I said (on behalf of Adobe) that all fonts licensed from Adobe could be converted by users, but as mentioned, some of Adobe’s licensing partners—notably Monotype—scuttled that in later years.

    The above is a bit confusing to me. Wouldn't users be bound by the license in effect at the time of purchase? I have quite a few archived Type 1 fonts from Adobe, including lots of Berthold BE fonts and fonts from Monotype. If the license under which these were purchased allowed for modification (and, AFAIK, they all did), I don't see how Monotype, Berthold, or any of the other companies which later stopped selling their fonts through Adobe could retroactively change the term of those licenses.
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 858
    edited February 15
    Wouldn't users be bound by the license in effect at the time of purchase?

    Oh yes, they are. Unfortunately, with many commercial software products, the license included with the product at the time of purchase says, in effect, "Big Software Company reserves the right to unilaterally change the terms of this license at any time as it chooses."
    "I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further." - A. Skywalker (as Darth Vader)
  • Both Andre and John S are correct. But even in the “good” cases... how many users track the license terms they got the font under? Most will just look at the current terms, and may not even know when they licensed the font.
  • Right. Adobe’s standard font EULA — essentially what they offered since Type 1 fonts came out — has always allowed conversions AFAIK. As you might expect, one cannot redistribute any converted font, and new versions count against the number of license seats, but any end user can convert to OpenType and use them if they have a tool to do it.

    But as Thomas has pointed out, there was at some point a split in license terms for Monotype-owned fonts, but that was essentially to address font embedding permissions and modification. I don’t think any Adobe EULA makes a distinction for format conversion, specifically. (That language can be found in §14.7.4 (“You may convert and install the font software into another format for use in other environments ...”).

    Yes, the EULA treats “modification” and “conversion” separately. §14.7.6 includes: “The fonts listed on the website as non-modifiable may be converted in accordance with Section 14.7.4 above, but may not be otherwise modified in any way.”

    As always, I am not a lawyer, and everyone should read their license and make their own judgements about what’s allowed.
  • BTW it's always a biting irony to note how all the Monotype-loathing foundries nonetheless eagerly adopted the horribly anti-cultural no-mod clause that Monotype normalized...
  • Nick CurtisNick Curtis Posts: 113
    I acquiesced, which is quite different from eagerly adopting. A veritable monopoly in the marketplace is not something easily bucked.
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