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Getting InDesign to See Your Fonts

Susan wrote:

We are having trouble with our fonts. When we open up a layout it will tell us the fonts are missing. I go to the library to check and they are there. I have replaced them as well. Why is InDesign not recognizing the fonts?

There are many possible solutions here, and I invite readers to write in with your experiences. But here’s one trick I always like to try: InDesign’s Fonts folder. Most people don’t realize that InDesign has its own Fonts folder. It’s located in the same folder as the application itself (along with the plug-ins and presets folders). If you put a font in that folder, InDesign can almost always see it. Even better, you can put an alias (or “shortcut,” or whatever you want to call it) to a folder of fonts and InDesign can see all those fonts!

For example, if someone sends me a document to open, along with their fonts, I do not want to load all their fonts onto my system. Instead, I just make an alias from their fonts folder and place it in my InDesign fonts folder. I don’t even need to relaunch InDesign; it just sees them automatically.

The Fonts folder can do other magic, too. For example, you can put instances of multiple master fonts in them and InDesign can read them (even though multiple master fonts are no longer officially supported). You can put a Windows -only font inside the Fonts folder in the Macintosh version of InDesign and it can use it!

So while I don’t have any good answers to why ID isn’t seeing the fonts that it should see, I would recommend trying to put a font in the Fonts folder and see if it works. Perhaps other folks can recommend other troubleshooting techniques you might try.

David Blatner

David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
David Blatner

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116 Comments on “Getting InDesign to See Your Fonts

  1. Hi team,

    i have also problem we fonts, some otf fonts (i.eurostile condensed,eurostile bold condensed bought from )they can be seen in font list but upon open documents the in design still tells the fonts are missing. I tried to install in font folder inside indesign still not change. we are using windows machines.

    anyone who has ideal how to deal with this please.

  2. David, You seem to be able to help other InDesign users with font issues, so I’m hoping you can do the same for me. I purchased and downloaded an InDesign template from Envato/Graphic River. The author included instructions to download a free font from Font Squirrel, which I did. However, I still get an error message that two of the font styles – a medium and a semi bold, are missing. I am using Adobe CC 2017 at my school. I do not have a personal Adobe account. Without an account, I can’t get Adobe tech support. Do you have any suggestions how to get the entire font family to work? Because I’m working on a school computer, I can’t make any changes to the program either.

  3. I’m working via an older inDesign, and suddenly it was telling me that it wouldn’t recognize one of my fonts. I closed inDesign, and found inDesigns’ font folder within my Applications folder (as suggested in this article). I clicked on the font (because I had previously dropped that into my font folder already). When I clicked on it, it opened in Font Book. Within Font Book, I clicked on “File” and then “validate,” which it validated just find. I then reopened inDesign and viola! my font works again within the document. Hope this helps someone!

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