Presto Print DTP Support

Fonts & Styles

Common questions about fonts for Presto.
What fonts can I use?
What's better - TrueType or PostScript?
All about (not) using font styles
What font files are needed?
Which fonts belong to what files?
What about fonts in graphics?


What fonts can I use?

Presto's final output is to PostScript printers; PostScript outline fonts absolutely provide the best output. You can use TrueType outline fonts, but they may not print properly; in these cases we will have to substitute other fonts, which may involve a charge. We do not print HPL (DOS/Windows) fonts. We do not print the new Open Types (OTF, .otf).

Your fonts must make their own styles—a bold font must come from the Font menu, not from a Style menu or palette. For more information on this, skip down to the All about font Styles section of this page.


What's better: TrueType or PostScript?

Even though TrueType fonts are included with both the Mac and Windows operating systems, the best typographic output continues to come from PostScript fonts. At the high resolutions used in the plate-making process, PostScript is best able to deal with fine detail and precise letterforms.

And even if PostScript wasn't the best, it's still the standard. The software ‘engines’ (called "RIPs") that control high-resolution output devices are built with PostScript as their native language; there is no guarentee that a TrueType font will render properly.

In particular, avoid using the Miscrosoft ‘internet fonts’ such as Comic Sans, Trebuchet, Webdings, etc. These fonts were designed for desktop use, and will not always make it through a PostScript interpreter. There may be a typesetting charge if we have to substitute PostScript fonts for TrueTypes in your documents.


All about font Styles...

Most word processing, graphics, and layout programs offer a "Style" feature to add emphasis to selected text: Bold, Italics, Underline, Strikethrough, etc. — very handy items. Unfortunately, the Bold and Italics commands can sabotage a page when it is printed at high resolution — what you see is not what you get. Fortunately, this problem is easily overcome: always use a styled font for bold and italics, such as "Times Bold," "Swiss 721 Medium," or "Palatino Italic"; never use the Bold or Italics commands from a Style menu or toolbar.

You see, the Bold command in a Style menu doesn't actually pick a bold font; instead, the program simulates bold by double-printing plain text. Likewise, the Italics command merely simulates italics by mathematically slanting plain text. At normal desktop printing resolutions, these tricks more or less work...but at the high resolutions used for professional printing, the results are just plain ugly.

Please be aware that if you do use Bold or Italics Style commands, you may incur a typsetting charge, since we will need to fix things before printing your job.


What font files are needed?

  • Be sure to to get screen fonts (suitcases) and PostScript print drivers (files that look like tiny laserwriters or large striped red As;
    (To locate all your PostScript drivers, have Sherlock —or Find— look for Type = LWFN.)
  • TrueType fonts have drivers built into the suitcase; when you open a TrueType suitcase, you'll see this icon somewhere inside:
  • Be sure that font suitcases contain only the fonts you've actually used; unused fonts should be deleted from the suitcase(s) you send us.
  • For PostScript fonts, get the .pfb files ; the .pfm files are optional. Look for big red as.
  • For TrueType, all you need are the .ttf files.
  • Use a font management tool to help you identify fonts, especially if you use older PostScript fonts with names like ‘TT0045M_.TT.’ Adobe's ATM Deluxe is the best-known manager; others are available, including the recently released Suitcase for Windows from Extensis. (By the way, TT0045M_.TT is Bitstream's American Garamond-Bold ;)


Which fonts belong to what files?

Windows can make it tough to know which files produce what fonts. We've assembled lists of some Windows fonts that you can use to figure out what font belongs to what file (or vice-versa) on our Windows Fonts List page. Over 2,500 PostScript and TrueType fonts are listed, by font name and by file name.

If you can't find your fonts in our list, make a list of all the fonts used as they appear in your Font menu and we'll sort them out on this end.


What about fonts in graphics?

There is no need to send the fonts you use in paint programs such as Photoshop or Painter. When you use fonts in PostScript draw programs such as Illustrator, CorelDRAW, or FreeHand, make sure you include the fonts in the batch of stuff you send us, or else use the draw program to convert the text to "outlines."

(Outlines are most often used to apply special effects to type; they also remove the need to use font files when printing. The drawback to converting text to outlines is that the text can no longer be edited — we won't be able to make changes or corrections.)

You really should use PostScript fonts in PostScript programs (not TrueType). If you use special effects on type, remember that we can't edit text that has been converted to outlines. Corrections and printing may be more difficult if you embed fonts in EPS files. As a rule, just leave text as it is, and make sure to send us the fonts along with your file(s).


What about PostScript Level III?

New programs and desktop printers are offering PostScript Level III, mainly to offer improved paper handling. Until industry-wide Level III support matures, we are asking clients to sve files as PostScript Level I or II, not as Level III.
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