InDesign Font Hack...and Sweet Freeware

By David Battino
May 18, 2010

The printer called today with upsetting news: Three fonts were missing from the InDesign CS3 package I'd just uploaded for my new children's book — Bookman Old Style and two Japanese fonts.

It didn't make sense; there were no errors during preflight. Digging deeper, I noticed that the instructions.txt file InDesign generates during packaging blithely stated:

Fonts Not Packaged
- Name: KozMinPro-Heavy; Type: OpenType CID, Status: OK
- Name: KozMinPro-Regular; Type: OpenType CID, Status: OK

Hey, thanks for hiding that in a file instead of warning me. It turns out that InDesign doesn't copy Chinese, Japanese, or Korean fonts into the Fonts folder when it creates a package. That's what the vague "Copy Fonts (Except CJK)" checkbox in the packaging dialog means. You need to copy them over manually.

Create-Package-Folder-Dialog.pngCJK? InDesign's telling you it won't copy Chinese, Japanese, or Korean fonts into your package folder.

The Bookman issue was more complex. Turns out my Bookman font was in the ancient FFIL format, a type of suitcase file that predates OS X. FFIL stores information in the file's resource fork, and zip compression discards that. So when I zipped the package to upload it, the font file shrunk to zero bytes.

To preserve the resource fork, I resaved the Fonts folder as a .DMG disk image. Which brings me to one of my favorite Mac utilities, CleanArchiver. You just drop a file or folder on its icon and Clean Archiver compresses it into any number of formats, optionally stripping that annoying .DS_STORE file as well. Highly recommended — and free.

Clean-Archiver-Options.pngClean Archiver is a terrific utility for compressing files. The latest version supports even more formats and options, but still with drag-and-drop simplicity.

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