Other types of PostScript fonts

The fact that there are Type 1 and Type 3 fonts may make you wonder about Type 2. Well, they exist! There are a number of other PostScript font formats that serve very specific purposes. These formats are only used within PostScript interpreters or PostScript files so you don’t encounter them as a user of prepress software.

Type 0 fonts

Adobe kept all information about this font format to themselves. If they tell you all about it, they are forced to shoot you.

Type 2 fonts

This font format was used to embed fonts in Acrobat 3 PDF files.

Type 4 & Type 5 fonts

Font formats that are used to store fonts on font cartridges or ROMs

Type 32 fonts

Used for downloading some types of bitmap fonts to PostScript devices

Type 42 fonts

This font format is used to output TrueType fonts on a PostScript device by putting a PostScript ‘wrapper’ around the TrueType fonts. Some preflighting tools sometimes refer to ‘Type 42’ when reporting the presence of TrueType fonts in PostScript files.

CID fonts

These are sometimes also called CID-keyed fonts. This is not a separate font format but a font encoding schema that Adobe developed to optimize the font data for speed and for handling large character sets. CID encoding is used for PostScript Type 1 fonts, usually to add support for non-Roman character sets. You will typically see CID encoding in PDF files generated by applications such as Adobe InDesign. Applications that support OpenType fonts can also use CID encoding when embedding fonts in PDFs. Even though CID encoding has been a standard feature of Adobe Postscript for a very long time, many RIPs have in the past had issues processing this type of encoding. If your RIP was purchased or updated after 2003, it should not have any problems processing CID encoded fonts.

8 August 2013

One response to “Other types of PostScript fonts”

  1. Coscript Consulting says:

    Type 0 font is documented in the PostScript Language Reference Manual. It’s a composite font for the texts with large character sets.


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