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Adobe Drops Fonts, Leaves Users Stranded

We wish this were one of our infamous April Fool’s Day jokes, but it’s not. At some point in the near past, sometime after InDesign CC was released, Adobe quietly stopped installing almost all the fonts that used to come with the program. Mike wrote that up here. At a time when Adobe has repeatedly announced its intentions to provide more robust typographic features and support customers better, we have to say that in our opinion, this move is a big mistake.

We realized the impact of this decision just recently, when Anne-Marie found that at some of her training engagements, students were flummoxed about missing font alerts in sample files that she had used trouble-free for years. The common denominator was that the client companies were new to Adobe products, or the students were in on-site training labs, where hard drive images were installed fresh for every class.

Here’s the problem: If you install InDesign CS6 (or you’ve been using any earlier version of InDesign), you get a wide array of fonts, such as Chaparral, Caslon, Minion Pro, and a whole bunch of language-specific fonts (for Arabic, Korean, and so on). But if you do a clean install of InDesign CC, on a machine that never had Adobe software on it before, you’ll get:

  • Minion Pro Regular
  • Myriad Pro Regular, Bold, Italic, and Bold Italic
  • Letter Gothic Regular, Slanted, Bold, and Bold Slanted
  • and a bunch of language-specific fonts

In other words, Adobe basically just gives you the fewest fonts they possibly could to launch the application.


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Look, we don’t need Giddyup and Birch. But come on… not even providing the italic, bold, and bold italic fonts from Minion Pro?! That’s unbelievable.

We all know that one of InDesign’s biggest strengths is its ability to create elegant typography. But Adobe appears to be telling us to do that with Minion Pro Regular, four faces of Myriad Pro, and Letter Gothic. That ain’t gonna happen.

To be fair, we fully acknowledge that a CC subscription includes access to more fonts (via Typekit syncing) than you ever used to get with InDesign. And you can read Adobe’s position at their Creative Cloud Fonts FAQ. It boils down to “just sync the fonts you want from Typekit.” But there are big problems with this approach:

  • A surprisingly large number of InDesign users (especially students and people working in larger companies) can’t grab Typekit fonts whenever they feel like it. As Claudia McCue wrote recently: “In the classes I teach for the continuing ed arm of a local university, we’re going to be fontless when the IT guy wipes out the computers before the fall session and does a fresh install. Instructors do not have access to the Adobe ID/password used to set up the computers, and never will, so no TypeKit. Guess the students will just have to get used to missing font alerts and the festive Pepto-Bismol pink highlighting that follows.”
  • Trainers need to create documents that new users can open without horrible missing fonts errors. For example, even Adobe’s own Classroom in a Book templates had to be reworked and dumbed down to deal with the lack of fonts.
  • InDesign users make use of a lot of fonts. We’re designers. Forcing us to go download even basic, core fonts literally one at a time from Typekit is like telling us that we’re PowerPoint users.
  • Not everyone has access to Typekit. If we can’t access the internet, or we’re behind a firewall that blocks our use of Typekit, then Adobe’s policy means we literally cannot set type in Minion Pro Italic. WTH?!

You might say, “you can download all those fonts in other ways” (as Mike’s article described). But that, too, misses the point: Yes, there are always workarounds, but 90% of users aren’t going to know about them, much less attempt them. We’re not concerned about experts or others “in the know,” We’re concerned about beginners and people who don’t have the flexibility that we freelancers often do.

We have been Creative Cloud supporters since the beginning, but this is an alarming decision that shows either a lack of understanding or concern for the impact it has on both loyal customers and new folks just getting started with InDesign.

If there’s anyone from Adobe out there reading this, we strongly encourage you to rethink this, and at least supply a basic set of professional OpenType fonts spanning the fundamental categories of font designs:

  • The full Minion Pro family [classical serif design]
  • Myriad Pro, including Semibold and Condensed! [sans serif]
  • Chaparral Pro family [slab]
  • A script face (perhaps Bickham or Caflisch Script)
  • Tekton Pro [handwritten font]
  • Zapf Dingbats [a quality pi or dingbat font]
David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepcion

David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepcion

David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción are the co-hosts of, publishers of InDesign Magazine, and producers of The InDesign Conference.
David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepcion

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83 Comments on “Adobe Drops Fonts, Leaves Users Stranded

  1. I’m afraid it all boils down to accounting and making more profit. TypeKit makes it easy for Adobe to maximize their return on investment on the licensed fonts, because the users are tied in to the CC subscription and Adobe gets a more accurate picture of the actual usage of the fonts and can use that to negotiate better prices for new typefaces.
    It will be very hard to get things reverted, because of these dynamics.

  2. We signed up to the Creative Cloud, reluctantly, owing to the cost but they dangled rather delicious looking carrots, i.e. DPS SE and a variety of fonts, etc. So, we subscribed kicking, screaming and complaining.

    However, support for DPS SE was withdrawn and now they have dropped fonts – what’s next?

    Adobe’s very short-sighted!

  3. As a postscript, I suggest that someone in Adobe reads the fable: “The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs.”

  4. Seriously?! I had been trying to figure out why they were missing on my second installation. I used to love InDesign, but lately there are so many features getting stuffed in that are built that way for business reasons rather than to make our lives easier, it’s just sad to see.

    I don’t want cloud libraries with an obnoxious panel that pops up after every update and no clear notion where my files are stored or option of a clear backup strategy, I don’t want a web publishing workflow that only lets me use results while I am paying for a subscriprion, I don’t need a content collector tool, I don’t want a dropbox clone that consistently fails to provide old revisions when I actually need them and has trouble syncing files for no discernable reason, I don’t need a tablet publishing workflow that is charged per publication, depends on an active subscription and is implemented via Flash panels, I don’t want a welcome screen that sends loads of data to analytics sites every time I start the app and makes a conscious effort to make the “don’t show this again“ check box as hard to find as possible, I don’t need an iPad file browser app that can’t even preview and download a PDF as an original and can’t preview CC files that came as email attachments because it relies on a stupid cloud system, and it goes on and on.

    There are a few useful additions like paragraph shading or the over-due table row/column reordering features, but at about one or two small useful but overdue features per update, it feels like they are doing the bare minimum they need to do to keep enjoying the benefits of their monopoly.

    Yet they still can’t figure out how to make one InDesign that can typeset all supported languages in one app and document, export real HTML5 with liquid layout support without plugins or hacks or even just color manage grayscale images properly.

    And now those wonderful fonts are gone. We are paying for a subscription, and they are even taking some of the best stuff away. That wasn’t the deal.

    • Adobe 2015 = Quark 1998. Adobe is now a company that no longer listens to it’s users and is in it for the money grab. Guess it’s time for an InDesign Killer, code named “K3.”

  5. I gotta say, I’m actually glad they did away with the big parcel of fonts hard-installed in some obscure folder. That was one of the first things I’d uninstall upon setting up a new Mac!

    My workflow still involves Suitcase Fusion, though, rather than TypeKit or whatever else CC wants us to. I like to have control over my system and font locally, for better or for worse.

    • I do the same thing kind-of, Prescott. I move those Adobe installed fonts to a “do not use”folder. That way they are available if I need to use one of them. I keep my fonts on my system to the bare minimum.

  6. Ah, the writing was on the wall from the beginning of the CC enterprise. We’ll be subscribing to Pantone next.

    • Oh, but you already have to subscribe to pantone if you want access to their latest pantone+ additions. I had that rude awakening a couple of weeks ago when a client asked me to use a pantone color in my pantone+ book that wasn’t in InDesign. I had to register my book on Pantone’s site and download their software so I could install updated libraries into InDesign. It now runs in the background logged in so it can update the libraries when changes are made.

  7. Interesting this came up…

    Have a website designer who won’t use Myriad because you need a subscription and if the subscription lapses you lose access to the fonts and the website goes tits up.

    What he’s recommended is using Google Fonts and we found PT Sans to be a good match, that will do the trick.

  8. I’ve used Caslon Pro, Jenson Pro, Adobe Garamond Pro, Zapfino, and other OpenType fonts that used to come with InDesign in many projects, and used them to show off OT features and the Glyphs panel to hundreds of InDesign students over the years. With only four weights of Myriad Pro available now, it’s pretty dang sad.

    I am a big fan of Typekit myself, but as we mentioned above, it’s not uncommon for IT departments to lock down users and prevent them from using anything that syncs with outside servers. That includes Typekit. So they’re left with the herky-jerky TT fonts from Office installs (*if* they have MS Office installed. Not common for training labs).

  9. I think we need to separate out the individual subscriber from the government, education, and enterprise areas where external sites are heavily controlled.

    I don’t see a problem for most individuals, but I believe Adobe has come up with ways of installing the desktop software without the need to phone home. The answer to this is to supply the fonts the same way and allow them to be installed as part of the license.

    There’s no way I see Adobe backtracking on individual subscriptions, though. You could have someone subscribing for a month and walking away with some pretty valuable fonts.

    • Bob,

      Pretty valuable?

      David and Anne-Marie’s list is a tiny, tiny drop in the bucket of the 2,400 fonts in Font Folio. Hardly going to compete with that.

      And if/when someone drops a subscription, they can be reminded that the fonts they got as part of the installation will remain on their machines. A nice parting gift.

      However, if anyone’s interested, you can find out what fonts Adobe used to include with Creative Suite products:

      CS 6:
      CS5 and 5.5:

      What’s interesting is Adobe never included a dingbat font. The closest they got was Woodtype Ornaments.

    • Adobe CC Enterprise accounts (for large corporations) do not even currently OFFER TypeKit. So it’s not just security-conscious IT folks blocking the cloud — it’s also Adobe being unable to negotiate licensing for “users” with thousands of employees.

      And while Typekit has a nice selection of web fonts, their print fonts are far fewer.

      Another thing to consider, your license for CS6 and earlier fonts is only valid IF you have CS6 still installed. You are supposed to delete all the fonts when you upgrade.

      Likewise if you signed up for a month of fonts and then cancel, you no longer HAVE a license for the Typekit fonts, and if you were able to keep them it would only be because you found their secret location and moved them (which is not allowed).

      A CS5 or 6 user could have just as easily bought CS5, installed it and then sold it online after stealing the fonts.

      But if you are going to be a pirate you can easily fond “free” fonts without subscribing to anything.

    • Excellent point. My clients (mostly public sector with severe security on their networks) are completely confused with CC.

  10. My biggest gripe about this is the lack of a dingbat font in either the fonts installed or Typekit.

    Typekit has NO DINGBAT fonts at all! And their FAQ info says they will not EVER have dingbats or icon fonts. Their rational is that if the web user doesn’t have the fonts on their machine, an incorrect font substitution will occur. These Typekit people are stuck in a web.

    However, I can understand Adobe not wanting to include Zapf Dingbats. Font Folio contains ITC Zapf Dingbats. But I think, because it is from ITC, that they have to pay a fee. But I can’t afford to buy the complete Font Folio.

    So if I need a dingbat (and who doesn’t these days) I have to go buy one from somewhere else.

    HOWEVER, there is one other font I would include, Warnock Pro. Not only was it the first OpenType Pro font with Contextual alternates, it was named after John Warnock, one of Adobe’s founders. (Charles Geschke was the other.)

    It is embarrassing that Warnock Pro is not included.

  11. Dear Adobe Folk,

    Here’s a good example of how cumbersome it is not to have a robust set of fonts installed as part of the default set in InDesign.

    I am doing a hands-on lab at Adobe Max. (This is your own conference and is used to promote the use of your own products.)

    I had to remember to tell the IT staff to install the fonts I need from Typekit ahead of time or the attendees would be wasting valuable time downloading the syncing fonts.

    I’m just glad I remembered. I have a feeling many other lab instructors may not realize the fonts have been purged from the clean install. And they may get stung.

  12. If educators get ticked off about the fonts issue, their support for the Adobe product line will begin to erode. This is one reason Quark went down the tubes—they made it very hard for educators, and Adobe came along with solutions. It would be a good long-term strategy for Adobe to keep educators on their side, and make the software as resource rich as possible. InDesign might be on top now, but as veteran designers remember with Quark, software can tumble off off its #1 position. Is Adobe going to repeat history? Also, few people teach strictly software utilization—they teach the aesthetics of design, and the mechanics of type use. It is logistically impossible to teach design and typography—especially in a “lock down” lab environment— without a huge array of typefaces. Adobe…are you really thinking this through?

  13. After a decade and a half, installed versions of the ones you mention, plus Caslon Pro, Garamond Pro , and Jenson Pro would seem to be the minimum.

    I’m going to post the designers make sure to save a copy from their old installs. But it sure doesn’t help in environments run by IT thugs.

    Terry’s comments are dead on about educational software.

  14. Remember the old adage about it being better to light a candle than to curse the darkness? That applies to this situation.

    I just checked and, perhaps because I’ve kept ID 6.0 installed, I still have all these distributed-with-ID fonts in available in all their variations. What I and others would like to know is how to move them someplace where they remain available to ID but where any future action by Adobe won’t delete them.

    It wouldn’t help those who don’t know about this problem, but it would future-proof these fonts for us, so we need not worry.

  15. Hey there Michael. Why not just copy them out of any Adobe-branded Fonts folder and move them to where ever you store your other fonts for safekeeping?

    Per Mike Rankin’s article linked to above, CS6 installs fonts in the hard drive’s Fonts folder (on a Mac, /Library/Fonts) so they’re available for any user and for any program. His article also has a link to Adobe’s page listing all the OT fonts that came with InDesign/Creative Suite 6.

    • Thanks for the suggestion. Interestingly, at some moment of aforethought in the distant past, I seemed to have done just that. The fonts I especially value are resting safe and sound in my Mac’s /Library/Fonts folder.

      I’m not sure how much long-term protection it provides, but creating a package within ID does store a document’s fonts in that package. That might be more useful if you’re using some obscure font.


      Were I Adobe, I’d establish a team of on-call consultants among CC users, pay them a stipend, swear them great secrecy, and then run all these policy decisions past them. I’m not sure Adobe realizes the full implications of all they do. Nor are they the only ones. Amazon, Apple and a host of other companies regularly make decisions that to an outsider make no sense.


      People in a membership model, which is what CC is, tend to be far more touchy about changes than those in the purchase model. I saw that whenI worked for the Seattle Art Museum. Those who’d simply bought tickets were more amendable than those who were SAM members. The latter did not quite realize that, if you want to really carry weight at an art museum, you need to give hundreds or even thousands of dollars. A $69 membership doesn’t really buy you much.

  16. There is every likelihood that as I no longer produce many commercial documents I’ll drop the full CC (revert to the PS + LR option) at the end of my current subscription (being a Canadian can be painful at times!). I do have CS6 (foolishly downloaded vs disk) and CS5 on disk. I’ll almost certainly migrate to W 10 soon and so the font issue matters because all Adobe programs will be “fresh installs.” Presently the Adobe fonts reside in the Windows font menu. Should I copy them to an external drive with the idea of copying them back should they disappear? Or am I just being paranoid?

  17. I want to be clear here: We’re not saying “Adobe should just give us fonts.” We’re saying “when we install InDesign on a clean machine, we need to have access to these fonts.”

    If Adobe provides those fonts via automatic Typekit install, and if that works for all users (schools, companies, etc.) then that’s fine. If CC expires, then those fonts would go away. But our point is that people need this range of fonts automatically, without having to manually go and grab them from typekit (which many people cannot do).

    • Thank you for the constructive criticism and the dialog David and Anne-Marie. I, and many others from Adobe, are in fact listening. It would be helpful to hear if what David proposed here (auto sync the fonts from Typekit during installation of InDesign) would address all or most of the points raised in the article and in the comments.

      Michael Ninness
      Sr Director Product Management
      Web & Graphic Design

      • Notice my earlier suggestion that Adobe have experienced outside consultants review decisions that directly impact users. Put them under the strictest of non-disclosure agreements, but run ideas past them and listen to what they say.

        Most of the issues that have come up could have been easily addressed at almost no cost to Adobe. The delete previous versions woes that came with ID-2015 could have been prevented by making the choice more obvious default to doing nothing.

        I might add that you couldn’t find better advisors than those on the InDesign Secrets team.

      • The traditional basic Adobe font sets should still be included in accessible folders on disk for CC subscribers, if only for demonstrating the great possibilities of InDesign and the high quality of Adobe fonts.

        Typekit is good, but it adds a step, offers a limited selection, and the cloud is inaccessible in too many situations.

        I don’t know about Windows, but on the Mac, OS X and Microsoft Office continue to include respectable sets of freely accessible fonts. Like many others I believe Adobe fonts are generally better, and making them difficult to discover by any degree just doesn’t make sense, especially for training students who are the next generation of subscribers.

        Thank you Adobe for listening. Please make it easy again to sample a small but significant subset of quality Adobe fonts.

      • David’s suggestion to autosync a set of fonts from Typekit would be everything I need with one exception.

        David and Anne-Marie included Zapf Dingbats in their list. But Typekit doesn’t have Zapf Dingbats.

        There needs to be a way to include dingbats. Especially to show how to get the finger pointing symbol for bullets. ;-)

      • Michael / David,

        I like the idea of Auto-Sync via Typekit, but see a potential problem:

        Fast Forward: Auto Sync is now in place during install, but a person who did not do a recent install gets a packaged file (Typekit fonts are not packaged) and so they may have missing fonts. You normally would sync the fonts via Typekit in this case, unless there are firewall / permission issues.

        This example is aimed at the person who believes “everyone” had the fonts mentioned above auto-synced during install and so the fonts would be available to everyone using InDesign CC.

      • Michael, it possible that we’re all a bit spoiled, having lived with a set of pre-installed fonts since 1.0. Perhaps. But David and Anne-Marie brought up a big point.

        Auto-syncing fonts from Typekit works in a scenario where the install is being done over the Net. It won’t necessarily work in disk-image installs such as the IT department setup described. Anything that requires an Internet connection will not work in a great many scenarios. InDesign is a professional tool. It’s not a consumer product where you can get away with “you have to be online to use this.”

        It seems to me that the installer payload for InDesign should include a set of fonts that would create a similar OOB experience to the earlier, perpetual licensed versions. There’s a minimal set of Myriad and Minion fonts that you pretty much have to have to work through any of the tutorials or courses. They should be there, and they should also be available on a permanent license basis for a heavily-discounted rate.

        For a trainer, it’s not just a matter of being inconvenienced or embarrassed. It’s a roomful of trainees being given a really bad first impression. Those trainees talk to their managers. Those managers write the proposals and sign the purchase orders.

        For the rest of us, there’s a missing trust factor. I’m a big Adobe fan, but even I don’t trust the company to keep any given font permanently available through Typekit. Why, then, would I put my reputation on the line by using it for commercial work, no matter that it’s “free”? Typekit is quite deficient, actually, unless you are a web-only designer. There’s no possible design logic that could explain why so many Adobe Originals are available only as web fonts and not as desktop fonts, to take just one example.

        Designers generally, if they have any sense of responsibility to their firms, their studios or their clients, require permanent availability of any critical items they put into their work. Clearly, “critical items” includes fonts. That’s why I use fully-licensed fonts for almost everything in my own work. If I have to pick up today’s project five years from now for update and revision, I want to be certain that I’m using the SAME fonts I used to create it, not updated versions that will unexpectedly reflow. The only way to ensure that is with a package. Subscription fonts are not packaged, so they are useless in that regard.

        That is a point that someone with an MBA and no design training will totally fail to grasp, yet that person may have considerable control over the product strategy. There are plenty of other important considerations where that one came from. That is what worries me, not the sincerity of the product teams or their enthusiasm.

        On this forum, and in this comment thread, you have some of the most widely listened-to opinion leaders on the subject of design software. Any of us is an influencer, or we wouldn’t be here. We’re also people who care deeply about our work and the quality of the tools we use, who would never consider a capricious or spiteful switch to other software, and in many cases who also put in serious amounts of time on pre-release software to help make things better. But we are ultimately responsible to our clients, not our vendors, even if a vendor is deeply entrenched in our workflow.

  18. InDesign CC 2015.1 Released by Mike Rankin

    If you are truly listening, then perhaps it would be a good idea for you read the above. Every time there’s an update there are problems. It’s bordering on the ridiculous!

  19. Adobe’s middle and upper management (loosely called “Adobe”) are too far from their customers, too close to their big institutional shareholders and dangerously mis-trained in finance by their MBA schools. It’s not that they’re evil; it’s that they’re uninformed and badly miseducated.

    Product teams have to sell to their management the features their customers are asking for. If some bean counter thinks [X] is too expensive, or if marketing maintains it’s not sexy enough, [X] never makes it into the product. The bean counter and the marketing guy don’t know (easily mistaken for, but not the same as “don’t care about”) the realities that customers face, so the people who do know are left baffled and frustrated. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.

    But it turns out we can help. If even a few customers tell a clear story about why something is needed and the impact of its absence, the product teams can take that story back to management and marketing and use it to reinforce their pitch. Partly as a result of just such a detailed story (4 page Word doc with diagrams) to the InDesign team a few years back, we got “migrate preferences” when installing a new version. It wasn’t even on the radar before that.

    This isn’t just about InDesign: it affects Ps, Ai and all the rest. It’s certain that there are product managers inside Adobe who feel exactly the way we do about those missing fonts, but their voices aren’t loud enough.

    What David and Anne-Marie have done here, reinforced by several comments, is tell the story. Good trainers are arguably InDesign’s most important ambassadors; messing them up can’t help but affect sales and marketing. If we all carry that detailed narrative to the people we talk to at Adobe, they can pitch it to the people they talk to, and we have a strong shot at effecting a change for the better.

    • As a further point, I’ve always had the view that how well InDesign does what we need it to do isn’t just up to the people who build it. It’s a professional tool, not a consumer toy, so it’s also our responsibility to help them make our tools better, by contributing our ideas, explaining our needs, and buying them the occasional box of chocolates. :)

    • Adobe might want to consider a suggestion I offered shortly after CC came out. It’d democratize the addition of new features and get away from this angry politics.

      Each month a CC user would be budgeted so much money for new features, say $10 of that $50. The user can designate that money be spent in any way he or she likes, choosing the app and the feature. He can spend all $10 on a single feature he really wants, in my case, adding endnotes to ID. Or he could spread that money around to different apps and features.

      Adobe would inform users of the cost of a new feature and how much has been contributed toward it thus far. If a feature is almost fully funded, users could encourage others to put it over the line. Any additional income could be used for enhancements to that feature or put into a fund for general improvements to the app.

      I can’t think of a better way to make users happy. They’d be choosing the direction that each app takes.

      • Can’t tell for the current version, but the QuarkXPress 7 VQS says that QuarkXPress doesn’t come with any fonts.

        And there are no articles I could find on what fonts might come with Quark. And the Quark user guide and website don’t mention fonts with the program.

        Quark Inc. doesn’t own fonts or a font library company, so they may not be able to provide fonts.

        You should ask someone who used to be known as “Mr. Quark”

      • I could only find the following re: QuarkXpress 2015: “With full support for Unicode and OpenType, QuarkXPress gives you easy access to swash characters, discretionary ligatures, alternate versions of characters, ordinals, alternate metrics, and many other font features.”

        The licensing price however, is £799 and also offers support for OS X Yosemite.

      • I double-checked with Matthias Guenther, Quark global director, and he said, “Except for the occasional bundle where we give you goodies like fonts for free, typically you just buy the software.”

  20. Interesting new problem and discussion. I cannot believe these essential fonts are being withheld. Just as a practical suggestion to other trainers: I have taken all example files (including the ones on the Adobe InDesign CIB files) and run them through a “Package” routine in order to get them in organized folders with “Document fonts” subfolders. That way, in class, I never worry about a machine missing fonts. Yes, different classrooms and training centers vary widely on what is pre-installed on their machines.

    • Mike,
      The fonts aren’t being withheld. And they are still free. It’s just that making them downloads through Typekit:

      •They aren’t on the machine if/when the CC subscription ends.
      • They won’t be automatically installed when the program is installed. This can cause trainers and educational institutions problems when a class starts.
      • Some government and corporate customers don’t let fonts get added through Typekit.
      • The fonts can’t be packaged for a print shop. They have to have a CC subscription to use the same fonts. Technically this was always the case, but it was hardly supported.

      I think we were all spoiled by Adobe providing a whole slew of permanent installed fonts with <CS6. Now Adobe says that the wealth of fonts in Typekit makes up for it and then adds so many more. But I would very much trade the use of Typekit for the convenience of permanent installed fonts that I know I can rely on my students and clients to already have installed. It's just a pain at the start of a class to have a missing font message. And it doesn't make me look good as an instruction.

      BTW, Typekit said, in April 2014 that they have a "growing" library of 1,000 fonts. But a quick search for the word "Slab" shows only 6 out of 13 fonts can be used on the desktop for print. A search for Display has only 14 out of 32 fonts for print. So suddenly those 1,000 fonts are reduced to 500. Typekit started as a service for web-based fonts and they service that market heavily.

      • Good points, Sandy. I just reviewed my last two years of work, and I used a Typekit-only font in only one minor piece that was a one-off. I still buy full licenses for the fonts I want to use for client projects. There’s a nagging worry that I might end up giving a client a problem if I’ve created pieces using Typekit and for some unexpected reason I’m no longer designing or no longer have a subscription. Accidents happen. I’m not immune.

        That feeling might stem from the upsets I had to handle with website clients when Business Catalyst came in and the old Live Edit (or whatever it was called) went away. I had to backtrack and transition clients away from that to using Contribute. In some cases I just moved them to WordPress. Couldn’t in good conscience charge them for any of that work.

        Trust is a delicate thing. Once lost, it’s very hard to regain. I trust the InDesign team completely. But the decision-makers above them, whom I can’t talk to directly, might make a well-meaning misstep at any moment.

        The big problem is they’ll probably do it without warning. Even the Adobe product teams were caught by surprise when subscription-only came in. We were all expecting “CS7.” It’s not that I have a problem with a subscription model; it’s that it was a huge change that came without warning, and anyone who considers that acceptable management behavior isn’t someone I can place wholehearted confidence in.

  21. I hadn’t heard of this issue, but it fits so well into the whole story of how Adobe treats their formerly loyal customers. It’s exactly this “eat or die” attitude that made me forget Quark XPress many years ago and embrace Adobe’s Creative Suite instead.
    Obviously, they don’t want to give you any more choices than absolutely necessary (which boils down to “love it or leave it”, imhop…). Then at the end of some day you’ll sit there at your computer and won’t be able to open your very own documents any more (even if you once bought CS6 or CS5 as a regular licence), because you’ve finally quit the subscription and those documents aren’t backwards compatible.

    Even now I get much more Illustrator files of CC origin, which won’t open with CS5 than ever before, even though not one new CC feature has been used with them.
    Before CC it happened VERY rarely, that AI files generated by a newer CS version wouldn’t open in my older ones.

    When was the last time Adobe has taken their users seriously and paid them the respect which should be appropriate in dealing with someone who bought their products for thousands of dollars, euros or whatever?
    Crappy localization of non-english versions, persistent bugs that are not taken care of and not consistent keyboard shortcuts and ways of handling corresponding features that stay as they are for years and years.

    I’ve been such a willing evangelist of Adobe software for many years and I loved working with it once and – with certain reservations concerning my CS5 version (I had planned to update to CS7, which never came…) – I partially still do. But these days I’m sort of praying that e.g. Affinity Software will do their homework and make their so far well received applications become those tools a designer might eventually prefer over Adobe’s strangling subscription model. I guess in their days the dinosaurs were quite convinced that they could have it all… forever… well…

    • I recently bought Affinity Photo and am going to purchase Affinity Designer as well. As you say, hopefully AS will produce a suitable app for DTP. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until the beginning of next year for that.
      I’ve also been looking at QuarkXpress 2015 as a replacement for InDesign CC 2015, as I’m thoroughly fed up with problems resulting from updates.

      These problems began in November 2013 and they’ve never wholly been resolved. So, as far as I am concerned, it is time to move on.

      I love Adobe’s software but unfortunately they treat customers in a very blasé manner, which could be their undoing. We can’t take anything for granted in this world, so wake up Adobe before you lose a swathe of customers.

      • Strange, I find InDesign quite stable even when working with scientific texts several hundred pages long. Crashes are rate and almost always my latest edits are saved. I seemed to have picked up hints that ID product development has moved from Seattle to India. I wonder if that shift could have created an intractable bug for you and the sorts of documents you create?


        If I were to name my #1 problem with Creative Cloud it’d be that Adobe’s executives are devoting their attention and the company’s money to growing their corporate world and not meeting my particular needs. Integrating fonts into their cloud is impressive, but I use the same few fonts in book after book for consistency sake. That feature does nothing for me. And having stock photo integration is nice. But I was having no problem with using fonts from other sources.

        What i need are:

        1. A few more book features in ID, particularly well-done end of chapter or end of book endnotes. With those scientific books, I have to manage converting hundreds of footnotes (from Word) into contrived endnotes within ID. That should be built in. Few books published since the 1950s use footnotes. Almost all use endnotes.

        2. The great pain of working with ID in comparison to Adobe’s other products is that text has a lot of dull repetitive tasks like assigning styles, inserting index entries, and getting text done by non-editors to meet Chicago specs using S&R.

        I could save hours of labor if ID’s search function were smart enough to recognize web references so I could exclude them from searches. One book layout problem is converting mere dashes to N and M-dashes. Doing that, I have to wade through hundreds of dashes in web references, taking care not to convert any of them. One simple feature would end that labor.

        I’ve also suggested to Adobe that they create a tablet app that’s designed to do these repetitive tasks quick and with large scrolling lists not those tiny one in panels. Done right, assigning styles and index entries would be far easier. Adobe’s ID team was interested when I explained the idea, but so far the bean counters haven’t funded any shipping product.

        In short, why Adobe is adding a host of new features to CC, they’re not features I or many others use. They’re features that merely expand the reach of Adobe, getting the company into fonts and stock photography in ways that do me little good.

  22. Although I am not a user of InDesign CC, this situation illustrates why I personally despise Software As a Service. It’s great from the aspect of always having the current release, but you are completely at the mercy of the provider as to what you are given with your subscription. And what you’re given (or promised) initially, has little or nothing to do with what will be provided later. I have had services that suddenly vanished without notice and could no longer be found anywhere on the web. I have avoided putting my business at risk by being held hostage by SAS providers. I had planned on switching to Adobe CS6, but once it became a cloud based product it got scratched from my ‘to do’ list.

  23. This is part of a larger pervasive issue with Adobe product structuring that is seriously onerous. I have yet to see any clear reason why CC is better and many reasons why it is more difficult to use.

    I don’t mind moving over to a subscription model nor do I mind paying a premium for key tools that enable me to be more productive, but there has never been any clear stating of the facts as to what exactly makes CC it better. (You cant even find detailed Tech Specs on the website; it’s like someone wrote marketing fluff instead of just the facts. I am a marketer, BTW. LOL.) I tried CC on one of my test backup computers and it was so onerous to use due to the way it forces an Adobe ID login. In the summer I work from a beach cottage that has spotty wi-fi connectivity and I need to be able to work without being logged in. I also run emergency storm communications for several public agencies in the Northeast — that means I am operating sometimes on the fly, off a laptop during things like hurricanes without any electricity and spotty wi-fi. Adobe fails me during such situations. I don’t have time to troubleshoot all the crazy issues I have experienced with CC.

    Make a product that works, no matter what. Make a product that enables me to work more efficiently, and I’m in love. I will pay a premium for that. I have been an Adobe customer since before it was even Adobe, going all the way back to Aldus Pagemaker in the 1980’s. And never have a I seen such terrible implementation from them. I would seriously go back to Aldus Pagemaker (I still have my disks!) to avoid the amount of time wasted by CC.

    The market is ripe for a disrupter. I’m hoping someone does it soon!

  24. What’s the most common complain about Creative Cloud? Probably users upset that they don’t own anything for their $50/month, they’re simply renting. Rightly or wrongly, that leaves them feeling that they’re pouring money down a hole

    Adobe might respond by offering them ownership of something valuable for their subscription. Nothing would be more apt for that than fonts. For every 3 months of membership, say, users could own rather than just rent a font they like. It’d become theirs forever.

    Since most of the complaints being made here focus on the ownership of a few favorite fonts, within a year or two, most users would own their core font set, leaving them with no reason to complain. No longer insecure, they could relax and enjoy the other enhancements as they come along.

      • Yes. If you IP address doesn’t send you to a UK page instead, here are the CC plans for the U.S.

        The monthly plans for those signed up for a year are:

        Photography: $9.99
        Single app: $19.99
        All apps: $49.99
        All apps plus Adobe stock photos: $79.98.

        A pure month-by-month plan is $74.99 and a prepaid yearly plan is $599.88, which is not one cent different from playing monthly.

        With sales tax, the monthly bill in my state is $51.99, which works out to 4% of the $50.

        The UK standard VAT, buried in that $72/month, is 20%.

        For $50, that VAT is $10, leaving $12/month in what Adobe is charging you unaccounted for. I’m not sure what the rationale for that is. It can’t be language support, since the two are the same.

  25. Let’s not forget that the fix is easy.

    Go to an earlier version; copy the fonts; paste them into the newer version of InDesign in the same folder location. Or install them in Mac OS or Windows. Keep a backup copy somewhere else while you are at it.

    Training companies can do this before deploying their “disk image.”

    Trainers should take the time to “package” all example files.

  26. If you want to include stock as well as the basic price for Creative Cloud, it amounts to the equivalent of $109.72 per month for a UK subscription.I wouldn’t mind paying for something that was worthwhile and reliable but when faced with constant crashes, malfunctions and never being able to double click any tool whatsoever – I find it appalling.

    I have paid for an Apple trained engineer to check my computer numerous times- no faults!!! I have even bought a new mac and still, in my experience, InDesign still crashes and malfunctions and it has two speeds, slow and stop! The Adobe Tech guys are also at a loss.

    From November 2013 to the present day, I have had problems with the Creative Cloud! 21 months is a long time to contend with never ending problems! My exasperation with Adobe is due to the length of time that these issues have prevailed.

  27. I think the folks at Adobe have realized they have a monopoly, and they’re going to squeeze every dime out of it they can. I notice that several small stock photo sites are shutting down and diverting their customers to Adobe Stock.

    I had a recent battle with the 1-2 punch of evil that is Adobe customer service (1- automation handles part of you interaction so it is hard to get answers to unusual questions. 2- worker bees are so heavily controlled and scripted that they’re less helpful than the robots.

    It surprises me not one iota that some Einstein has figured out how to shave features out of their software.

    On the plus side, I understand that the next version of CC is in the works — code named Mwa-ha-ha.

  28. It’s all very well having weird and wonderful gimmicks to launch and display at the annual MAX, but if the infrastructure is not secure, then it is a pointless exercise. It’s all top show!

  29. Yeh well for so many years there’s never been an improvement in footnotes, or long document features.

    InDesign is a page layout programme for long docs, when is the last improvement for long docs???

    Variables were lumped in one year and never improved on. It’s a running joke.

    Basically, and it was confirmed on an interview on InDesignSecrets with Michael Ninness, that Adobe approach their largest buyers, namely multi-bilionaire organisations, and say hey what do you want to see in InDesign… ePub, iPad, Responsiveness, Funky, Edgy, and the big companies all agree they want to see e-digital-strategy-hyper-global-mega-net-features in the next installment.

    Therefore that’s what the next installment looks like.

    Not being harsh, they are being paid by the larger firms, and give them what they need. But they are neglecting 90% (off the top of my head) their target audience. Which is the entire world of designers.

    Once the base is set and the tower gets too tall, it will topple, it will fall, and the pieces will be gathered, the pieces will be restructured.

    Adobe need to cop on to themselves.

    • You’re absolutely right Eugene. I cornered a high-end mucky-muck from Adobe at a conference last year and told him a honest, to-the-letter assessment about the lack of support his company is giving the to the original, long-time, real users of their products.

      His response, in it’s complete form and I quote, was “Sorry about that chief” and he walked away from me.

      Yup, it’s KAOS all right.

  30. To be honest. My yearly wage is poor. Yet I’m an InDesign expert.

    I just keep pushing to make myself better and hope that someone takes notice.

    Although my pay is not for the use of InDesign, of course, I do use a lot of Adobe products on a daily basis.

    I’m not well payed. But I’m shouting for improvements. I’m not a corporate head, but I’m shouting all the time.

    We all need to shout for the tools we need. There’s a percentage that want digital tools, and there’s a percentage that want printing tools.

    And in my opinion, based on what has been released, is that digital is being focussed on. Therefore, Adobe are completely ignoring their print base.

    Therefore, Adobe are sort of anti-printing. Which is just madness.

  31. Some 15 years ago I used Endnote when I worked in academia – life was simple then! And I just had a look at the new version Thomson Reuters Endnote X7 – there are a lot of new features compared to the version I used. Furthermore, its reasonably priced, which is surprising!

  32. At the end of the day the most important people are our clients! They have budgets and they trust us to provide the best products that we can. When Adobe let us down, they are also letting down our clients. We have to face them and it is so embarrassing to have to say that we can’t provide something to which we have already committed ourselves.

    Without the clients, we have nothing and that applies to Adobe as well. Adobe is very fond of dropping things,
    so it is time for them to drop the cavalier attitude and show some respect.

  33. Hmmm. I feel very well-respected by Adobe, as a hard-working InDesign user with demanding print and digital clients (I have another business, a design/production studio, in addition to IDSecrets). Five years ago we started doing ebooks for clients and every version since then has enabled me to service my clients better and better. Tables, live captions, mixed page sizes, smart guides … all these are little miracles that just keep working.

    It’s possible to have a gripe about a broken or missing feature from a company but still love their service and products. This issue of not having the standalone OT fonts anymore is an example.

    Just trying to steer the conversation back on track a bit …

  34. I think this has descended from Adobe dropping fonts into Adobe dropping the ball. There’s a lot of use from InDesign and it’s a fantastic product. But these minute changes over time will eventually move people on to other software.

    At the end of the day it’s only software, we need an end solution, ideas to screen to print.

    Whatever software does that really well will win.

  35. Back in time, most of us were more than keen to preach for InDesign vs Quark Xpress in response to the arrogant behavior of its developers and a more and more prohibitive price.
    It is probably time to escape Adobe’s grip on our business and livelihood. We were very
    complaisant, or even lazy with Adobe, we are now paying the price they want us to pay and it doesn’t come cheap!
    Like for other Adobe products (Illustrator and Photoshop to name a few), there are other products doing exactly the same job (with the same level of quality), with the same kind of tools and user interface… and they cost a fraction of Adobe offer. Icing on the cake, compatibility with files created via Adobe softwares is integrated (we can all deal with the loss of few effects for those who use them).
    Maybe it’s time to show Adobe that we are customers with brain cells still able to shop around… not sheep.
    A basic marketing rule is for a brand to create (or give the answer to) a need for the targeted market; but if the target doesn’t respond, is ther any market left?

  36. And you wonder why there is so much pirated content out there… actually, there might be a sort of a solution using Google Fonts but I’m not sure of what quality you need. (I usually use only Open Type fonts but Font Forge can convert to that format.)

  37. For all of you who are complaining that Adobe isn’t listening, go back to August 21 of these comments. Michael Ninness, Sr Director Product Management, Web & Graphic Design, wrote that he is listening and asked if “It would be helpful to hear if what David proposed here (auto sync the fonts from Typekit during installation of InDesign) would address all or most of the points raised in the article and in the comments.”

    There were a few people who answered, but for the most all, the comments have been trashing Adobe, threatening to use other products, and even mentioning pirating software.

    Michael didn’t need to come on this board and post something. But he asked a legitimate question. He deserves answers.

    And for those of you who remember, Michael is “one of us.” He’s been a trainer, a user, a developer, and a customer. And he’s worked hard to move up the ranks.

    There isn’t often that you get to talk to Senior Management at Adobe, or any large corporation. And he’s most certainly not dismissing us with a “Sorry about that Chief.”

    So instead of griping and moaning about everything and anything, why not focus on the topic and give Michael and Adobe constructive feedback.

    • As philosopher Theodor W. Adorno once put it: “There is no right life in the wrong one”… That said I think that fonts issue is just a symptom of what’s going wrong with Adobe’s way of dealing with their once devoted followers/customers on the scale of the “bigger picture”. Even IF the fonts issue should be fixed somehow without requiring us to use Typekit – which I actually doubt – everything else that’s been complained about still remains unattended to. The Senior Management surely can promise anything but I wouldn’t believe a thing until I see significant changes are really being made.

      • You’re so right! However, I’ve now taken the plunge and voted with my feet! I’ve wasted too much time, money and effort and it’s a relief to walk away!

  38. Adobe did say “Sorry About That, Chief” when they went to subscription only software and (at least with Photoshop) a new proprietary format which is a coin toss now for most any PSD Viewing program.

  39. My two cents.

    In general, I’m happy with what Creative Cloud offers, A two-hour session I had with Adobe’s full ID development team when I lived in Seattle left me impressed with their commitment to users. They do care and they do listen. Most of what I pushed that afternoon for is now a part of ID.

    What I’m frustrated with isn’t the subscription model itself but that I don’t think the full benefits of the subscription model are being used. I’d hoped for regular, incremental improvements to ID perhaps every six weeks. Essentially, I wanted new features to come out one at a time and well-enough tested that they’re free of bugs. Paying a subscription fee, I often said, is worth it if I can get a new feature even a few months earlier.

    But that isn’t what is happening. Most features are still coming out in bulk and for all Adobe products at one yearly date. In practice, that means some features are being held back for that date while some features are released buggy and half-baked. That I don’t like. That’s not a subscription model. That’s just the old for-sale model slightly revised.

    My suspicion is that Adobe is experiencing the same management v. employee gap that’s common in the corporate world today. To justify salaries that are increasingly far above those of most employees, upper management believes it has exceptional expertise and that it can dictate to employees, to customers, and to the world in general rather than learn from each of those groups. A few years ago the head of Pepsi got in trouble for being more publicly candid than most about that attitude.

    Boeing’s 787 is an example. it went into service years after Boeing had promised its customers, hurting its reputation. Who was responsible for that? According to someone I knew who flew on the various 787 checkout flights, it wasn’t the engineers. The plane came out almost exactly when they said it would. The problem lay with corporate executives (now a caste apart in Chicago), who thought they could dictate an earlier date for what was radically new technology. When their date proved wrong, did they learn? Probably not. They weren’t going to fire themselves or question whether they really had the expertise that justified their large salaries.

    You see the same thing in other companies. Apple’s executives, for instance, are obsessed with refuting any suggestion that the company’s profits might take a downturn due to recent events in China. Tim Cook has gotten himself in trouble with federal law attempting to counter those rumors in ways that might be illegal.

    Corporate executives also overreact to media hysteria. The hysteria about the Confederate battle flag is a case in point. Does it matter? No, banning every such flag in the country won’t mean that a single poor black boy grows up in a better world. He’d still grow up fatherless in a drug-addled, crime-riddled neighborhood attending worthless public schools. And yet what did Apple executives do in their obsession to look good in the media? Marching in lock-step with their colleagues, they banned all apps whose icon had a Confederate flag, including apps commonly used by schools to teach Civil War history. That illustrates just how how of touch corporate executive suites have become. Things that matter not are treated as if they do.

    The ‘sorry about that chief’ case of Adobe management and and corporate clients versus small shops discussed by one poster is a good illustration of being out of touch. Corporate executives of Adobe and their major clients talk and make decisions on the assumption that they know what’s best—remember those high salaries. But neither group actually uses those products, so what they’re doing is as ill-informed as Boeing executives assuming they can simply will an earlier release date for the 787 with their budgets and org charts.

    In the real world, there’s little or no conflict between corporate employees who are users of ID and those who freelance or run small ID-based businesses. If anything, the former, which only uses ID occasionally, can benefit enormously from the greater expertise of those who use ID full-time as their business. If Adobe listened more to that latter, it’s also be turning out better products for the former group.

    In short, there’s no conflict at the user level. Both want ID to be a better tool. There is a huge gap between that level and the corporate, decision-dictating level that harbors a too-high valuation of its skills and listens too rarely to others.

    That’s why I suggest that CC users be given the ability to fund directly various app improvements. We’re giving Adobe $50 (or more for those overseas) a month. Why shouldn’t we have the right to designate how that money is used to add new features? It also means that as users who’ve cast our vote, we then have far less grounds to whine and complain. We’re not being vetoed by shadowy executives who stalk away. We’re being outvoted by our fellow users.

  40. We are part and parcel of a democratic not oligarchic process so, if we can’t air our views with regard to Adobe’s policy (no matter what they are deemed), then change will never occur. Appeasement doesn’t ring in the changes it just allows the policymakers’ to continue along their entrenched path.In the end that doesn’t help anyone, including Adobe.

    We are paying for the right to use their software (its not free), and if we don’t approve of what they are doing, then we are entitled to complain. Hasn’t anyone heard of “the customer is always right?” We are the customers!

  41. Commenters, we love you, but again, the post is about new (or classroom/enterprise) InDesign CC users’ access to to a few families of standalone OpenType fonts, which is different than pre-CC. How do you think Adobe should handle it?

    Now, there are strong feelings about Adobe the company in general. You can write your own opinions about that on Adobe’s forums (or even ours—you can even start your own topic there about it) or your own blogs, and so on.

    Thanks for understanding.

  42. Hi everybody. I’m the general manager for Type and Typekit at Adobe.

    Thanks Anne-Marie for sharing your thoughts on this in such a thoughtful and constructive manner. I enjoyed chatting with you about this yesterday, and I also appreciate the thoughts shared by your commenters.

    Let me briefly describe our thinking behind making this change. First and foremost, we wanted Creative Cloud users to be able to get started practicing typography with a vastly larger selection of type than we could provide by bundling.

    The selection of 1400+ fonts available for sync from Typekit — which also includes all the fonts from the old CS6 bundle — achieves that, we think, for the majority of our customers.

    Second, we’re able to have better control over their deployment and licensing, which as Bob pointed out is needed now that we are offering our applications for a much lower monthly price. Our goal is to make it easy for users to use high-quality type in a way that’s compliant with the license, and our old bundles didn’t achieve that.

    We are aware of the shortcoming described in this article, and I want to emphasize that we do understand the frustration this is causing. We’re going to take another look at whether there might be a way to work around these issues.

    As we discussed on the phone yesterday, there are some really challenging technical and licensing issues that need to be worked out.

    Believe me, if it was as easy as simply dropping Font Folio into Typekit, we’d do it! Lots of people think that we own all the fonts in that collection — we don’t! Many are owned by third parties and licensed to us only for very specific purposes.

    Font Folio is still offered via perpetual license, both via and through resellers. I think that educational institutions are able to buy Font Folio at a highly discounted price, and I wonder if that might be a good option for some of the use cases discussed here.

    It is worth pointing out that Typekit and other Creative Cloud services are, in fact, included with most Creative Cloud Enterprise plans. Thousands of CCE customers use Typekit every day. You will find a Creative Cloud for education plan (“Named-user licensing”) described here:

    I’d also like to point out that Adobe also continues to offer all of our wholly-owned fonts via perpetual licensing. We recently began offering all of those fonts for sale via a new partner, We continue to offer these options specifically to address the difficulties some customers have in using our subscription products, and at this time we have no plans to change that.

    Finally: The selection of high-quality open source typefaces has expanded dramatically in recent years. Adobe’s own open source type can be gotten here – no subscription, no Adobe ID required:

    Sorry for the very long comment, and thanks again for the opportunity to contribute. If you or any of your readers would like to reach me directly, you can find me on Twitter at


  43. Thanks for sharing that info, Matthew.

    I think we’ve taken this topic as far as it can productively go here, so I’m going to close down the comments on this post and encourage folks who want to reply to Matthew and continue the discussion to use our forum on I’ve set up a new topic there, “Adobe CC Fonts” ( for this. You can also take advantage of Matthew’s offer to get in touch via Twitter.

    Clearly, this post has touched a nerve with many InDesign users. We all want to feel respected as professionals and paying customers, and no one wants to see that hated Missing Fonts dialog box show up at the worst possible time. It’s my hope that a continued, constructive dialogue in the right channels will bring about the best resolution for all of us.