Unavailable fonts error in FrameMaker 9.0 on Windows XP and Vista

 What is Covered


FrameMaker 9.0 on Windows XP and Vista produces the error: “Document named [filename] uses unavailable fonts. To reformat the document using available fonts, click OK.” This error occurs when you open a FrameMaker document that references unavailable fonts. This document also addresses: How FrameMaker determines that a font is unavailable; How to locate fonts on your system; How to locate fonts within the FrameMaker graphical interface; And alternative options to address the problem of unavailable fonts.

One or more fonts used in an Adobe FrameMaker document can become unavailable to the document for various reasons: The document was created or edited on a computer with different fonts installed; a font has been moved, removed, or become damaged; the default printer for your system has been changed; a network location used to store fonts is unavailable. Regardless of the cause, the best solution depends on the level of your need to preserve the formatting of the document. For example, if specific fonts are not required and the font substitutions FrameMaker provides is acceptable, deselect the preference in FrameMaker to “Remember missing font names” and then resave the document. For documents that require specific fonts, see “Where FrameMaker Looks For Font Information”.

After you click “OK” to the message that states fonts are unavailable, FrameMaker performs temporary font substitution for fonts not available. Because the original and substituted fonts typically have different font metrics, the text in the document looks different its reflow causes line endings to change.

The name of the substituted font is dimmed in the Font Family list in the Paragraph Designer and in the Character Designer. After you accept the fonts that FrameMaker uses for substitutes, the font names remain the same as the missing font in the dialog boxes, but the text is displayed with the substituted font. No changes are made to the file.

To determine the fonts for which FrameMaker is performing the substitution upon, view the FrameMaker Console. If the console isn't open, you can display it by choosing File > Preferences > General, enable the option to Show File Translation Errors, and then reopen the document that uses the unavailable fonts.


Note: The FrameMaker Console does not indicate a permanent substitution of fonts because permanency is based on a setting in FrameMaker’s preferences when you save the file, not when you open it.





How to Allow FrameMaker to Permanently Substitute Fonts in a Document




You can permanently remap the missing fonts to fonts that are available by deselecting" Remember Missing Font Names" in the Preferences dialog box. To make a substitution permanent, save the file after you deselect Remember Missing Font Names. Be aware, however, that doing so causes you to lose the original font information referenced in the document.

For more information, see document 316204, Unavailable Fonts Have to Be Substituted Every Time a File is Opened in FrameMaker. FrameMaker doesn't automatically remap unavailable fonts because the Remember Missing Font Names option is selected by default.



Where FrameMaker Looks for Font Information



When starting, FrameMaker queries the system for font information, and the results of the query determine which fonts are available in FrameMaker. The Windows version of FrameMaker looks for fonts or font information in the following locations:

  • Printer and print driver information 
  • C:\Windows\fonts
  • C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe FrameMaker 9\fminit\fonts
  • Locations dictated by font management software (for example, Adobe Type Manager 4.1 Light, Extensis Suitcase, and so on)
  • The maker.ini file, which contains customized font options for FrameMaker. It specifies default font attributes such as font family, size, weight; font mappings; font aliases; and establishes the criteria for font substitution.

Fonts and font information are typically in the locations listed above, but there are many other locations that fonts could be potentially stored. If FrameMaker is unable to locate a font, verify that the font is stored in one of the locations that FrameMaker looks for fonts.



Locating Available Fonts on Your System



The first and best location to check for installed fonts on a Windows system is in the font control panel. If a font is listed in the font control panel, the font has been installed and is available to FrameMaker and to other programs installed on the system.

To access the font control panel:

  1. Open the Run dialog window (keyboard shortcut: Windows key + R).
  2. In the Run field type: “control fonts” [without the quotes].
  3. Click OK or press Enter.

If the font is not listed in the Font Control Panel, the simplest solution to resolve a missing font error message is to locate the font and install it in the font control panel.

To install a font using the font control panel, see “How to install or remove a font in Windows” (Microsoft Article ID: 314960).


Note: Microsoft recommends that no more than 1000 fonts be added to the font control panel. For access to more available fonts, Microsoft recommends finding a third-party application designed to dynamically manage fonts.


If Adobe Type Manager Light 4.1 is installed, two additional font folders will be added to your system and PostScript Type 1 fonts installed using the font management utility will be stored there. The two directories are:


This directory is designated by Adobe Type Manager Light (ATM Light) for PostScript outline font files. These types of fonts typically have a PFB or OTF extension.


This is the folder in which ATM Light installs PostScript font metric files. These files have either a PFM or MMM extension.

Warning: Adobe Type Manager Deluxe (ATM Deluxe) is not compatible with Windows XP or Windows Vista. Installing ATM Deluxe onto Windows XP or Vista introduces conflicts in font management, preventing some fonts from being available and sometimes causing font corruption. Adobe recommends that users with Windows XP or Vista systems who have installed ATM Deluxe, uninstall it, and then download and run the ATM Deluxe Updater available at: www.adobe.com/support/downloads/

Another location to check for fonts is on printers accessible to your computer. Many PostScript printers ship with a number of preloaded fonts and have memory dedicated to the storage of additional fonts that can be installed on the device. FrameMaker can only use these printer resident fonts if the printer is assigned the status of default printer.


Note: FrameMaker only checks for a default PostScript or PCL printer during program launch. If you change the default printer setting in Windows while FrameMaker is open, close and restart FrameMaker for it to recognize the change.


To locate the printer-resident fonts for a PostScript printer, view the font list in the PostScript Printer Description (PPD) file used by the printer:

  1. Open the Run dialog window (keyboard shortcut: Windows key + R).
  2. In the Run field type: “control printers” [without the quotation marks] and then click OK or press Enter.
  3. Right-click the printer you are using and choose Properties.
  4. Click the Device Settings tab, and then select the printer name displayed at the top of the Device Settings list.
  5. Right-click the selected printer name, and then choose “About...” from the list.
  6. In the dialog box that appears, note the filename ending in .ppd. Click OK.
  7. Press F3 to open the Search Results window.
  8. In the search field, type the exact name of the PPD file you noted in Step 5, and then press Enter.
  9. When the filename appears, right-click the filename while holding down the Shift key, and then choose Open Containing Folde” (Windows 2000 and XP) or Open file Location (Windows Vista).
  10. Open the highlighted PostScript Printer Description file now displayed in window using WordPad or Notepad.
  11. Locate the section called Font Information, which displays a list of printer resident fonts that are stored in the printer's memory.     

Some printers use software-based Raster Image Processors (RIPs), which vary in how they handle font information. One software-based RIP is Adobe Distiller, which can be configured to access fonts in many Windows directories. For information on how to make more font locations available to Adobe Distiller see “Add more folders to Distiller font searches”.

If a query of the printer’s available fonts does not provide a match for a font in a FrameMaker document and FrameMaker cannot locate the font in any of the Windows folders that it is designed to check, FrameMaker provides a substitution for the missing font based on the information in the maker.ini file.

The maker.ini file is a configuration file use to store preferences for FrameMaker. You can customize the font substitutions that FrameMaker makes by editing this file. 


Warning: Incorrectly editing the maker.ini file can prevent FrameMaker from starting or correctly displaying the user interface.


If the font is present in a folder where FrameMaker looks for fonts but is not available or functional in FrameMaker, try one or more of the following actions:

Locating Fonts in FrameMaker


In FrameMaker, the Format > Font menu lists available fonts alphabetically. This menu is limited to display only about 350 fonts. If your system has more fonts installed, the list is truncated. To access these additional fonts, try one of the following actions:

    1. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to navigate through the font list.

To use the keyboard to select a font from FrameMaker’s font menu:

                   a. Using the mouse, click into FrameMaker document to create an insertion point or highlight text you desire to change.

                   b. Open the font menu using Format > Font.

                   c. Highlight the last font entry visible in then menu using your mouse.

                   d. Press the “Down Arrow” Key on the keyboard. Each press of the “Down Arrow” should provide a preview of the next                        sequential font that is available, but hidden from initial menu view.

                   e. After desired font preview is visible, press the Enter key.

    2. Use a character tag or paragraph tag that is defined to use the desired font.

    3. If the missing font is a Type 1 PostScript font, be sure to check FrameMaker’s font menu for the PostScript font name and not just     the Windows filename. Type 1 fonts, derive their Windows font metrics filename and font outline file name in Windows Explorer are     derived from different sources.

    4. Scrollthrough entire font menu when attempting to locate a font; Some fonts are displayed with a font foundry designation preceding     the font name which will change the order that font is listed.



Resolving the Problem of Unavailable Fonts



Some programs install fonts to application-specific directories outside the locations where FrameMaker checks for fonts. For example, if you only see a font in a particular program, but not in FrameMaker or Character Map, that software has stored fonts in a proprietary location only seen by that application. Check your product documentation to determine that location. When a font is located in a unique location, add the font to system using the Windows Font Control Panel and then restart FrameMaker.

If none of the previous solutions provides the desired results, it is likely that the font is programmatically different from the one used in the document. Consider checking with the original document creator for the specifics of obtaining and installing the missing font. For example, if you and a co-worker are editing the same documents, and you would like to use the same fonts as your co-worker, but you don't already have them, consider purchasing and installing those fonts.




Adobe logo

Sign in to your account