Font Style Links

There are two ways in which installed fonts are being shown to the user of an application: with or without font style links.

With font style links: Bold, italic, and bold-italic fonts are linked to the matching regular font. Only the regular font (or “base font”) is displayed in the font menu. Bold, italic, and bold-italic fonts can be selected by clicking on a Bold or Italic style button, or by choosing Italic, Bold or Bold Italic from the font style menu.

Without font style links: All installed fonts are displayed in the font (sub) menu.

Example:

The only possible style links are bold, italic, and bold-italic. When there are other (more) styles than these, the installed fonts might be shown to the user of the application as in this example:

When style links are being used, it is not always obvious:

which fonts have been installed;

how to select a specific font.

The detailed discussion below, is meant for such situations.

Font Style Links: Troubleshooting

Sometimes, the following might happen. You have installed all the fonts of a typeface, but only some of them appear in the fonts menu of the application that you use. Here we will explain, why this happens, and how you can access all the fonts that you installed.

Fonts can be arranged in font families. A font family (also called a ‘typeface’) is a collection of fonts that represent the same design idea. The fonts (also called ‘styles’) of a font family are variations of the design idea of that font family.

A font family may be divided into style-linked subfamilies. Below is an example of a font family (of 14 fonts) which is divided into four style-linked subfamilies:

Subfamily 1 Subfamily 2 Subfamily 3 Subfamily 4
Demo Light Demo Demo Medium Demo Black
Demo Light Italic Demo Italic Demo Medium Italic Demo Black Italic
Demo DemiBold Demo Bold Demo ExtraBold  
Demo DemiBold Italic Demo Bold Italic Demo ExtraBold Italic  

Note   The subfamilies of a typeface like this are called ‘style-linked subfamilies’, because the styles (i.e. fonts) of these subfamilies are linked.

Note   A style-linked subfamily has at most four members: the default font (or “base font”) — and an italic, bold, and bold-italic version of this default font. So, although there can be many style variations of a font — a style-linked subfamily can, in addition to the default font, contain only these three variations.

Note   In this example, the name of the typeface is ‘Demo’. The default font of the second subfamily of this typeface also has the name ‘Demo’. Instead of ‘Demo’, this default font could have been named ‘Demo Regular’ or ‘Demo Normal’.

Note   In this example, the third font of the first three subfamilies, is a bolder version of the first font of the concerned subfamily. The fourth font of the first three subfamilies, is a bolder version of the second font of the concerned subfamily. So, a Light and DemiBold font, are part of the same subfamily. Also, a Medium and ExtraBold font, are part of the same subfamily.

Note   In a font family of only two, three, or four fonts — the whole font family can coincide with just one style-linked subfamily.

Note   Many typefaces don’t have style-linked subfamilies. For such typefaces, the problem which is discussed here, cannot occur.

If all the fourteen fonts of this example have been installed on your computer, then there are two possible ways in which you could select (access) the fonts of this typeface to use in a document:

1. Each font appears in (a submenu of) the font menu of the application that you use.

2. Only the default font of each of the subfamilies appears in the font menu of the application that you use.

Note   For some computers and/or applications, fonts can only be selected in the first way — and for other computers and/or applications, fonts can only be selected in the second way. However, in some situations, it might be possible to select fonts in both ways.

Note   Usually, it is also possible to select a font in a Font dialog box or Character palette of the application.

When each font appears in the font menu of an application, then this application does not (exclusively) use style links — so then the problem which is discussed here, does not occur.

When only the default font of a style-linked subfamily appears in the font menu of an application, then you have to select the other fonts of this subfamily in the following way:

For an Italic variation of this default font, first select this default ‘font’ (i.e. subfamily) in the font menu, and then click the italic style button of the application or choose Italic in the font style menu.

For a Bold variation of this default font, first select this default ‘font’ (i.e. subfamily) in the font menu, and then click the bold style button of the application or choose Bold in the font style menu.

For a Bold Italic variation of this default font, first select this default ‘font’ (i.e. subfamily) in the font menu, and then click both the bold and italic style buttons of the application or choose Bold Italic in the font style menu.

So, when all fonts of the ‘Demo’ typeface have been installed, and when only the default font of a style-linked subfamily appears in the font menu of an application — then selecting the fonts of this typeface would be as follows:

Font to select First select in font menu Then use style button(s) or font style menu 
Demo Demo [none]
Demo Italic Demo Italic
Demo Bold Demo Bold
Demo Bold Italic Demo Bold, Italic
Demo Light Demo Light [none]
Demo Light Italic Demo Light Italic
Demo DemiBold Demo Light Bold
Demo DemiBold Italic Demo Light Bold, Italic
Demo Medium Demo Medium [none]
Demo Medium Italic Demo Medium Italic
Demo ExtraBold Demo Medium Bold
Demo ExtraBold Italic Demo Medium Bold, Italic
Demo Black Demo Black [none]
Demo Black Italic Demo Black Italic

Note   If there are font style links in a Durotype typeface, they are specified in the documentation of that typeface with a table like the example above.

Note   If a style-linked subfamily consists of less than four fonts, do not use style buttons for styles (i.e. fonts) that do not exist. So, in the above example, do not use (activate) the Bold style button with “Demo Black”. This ‘font’ (i.e. subfamily) does not have a more-bold style available. However, if you do activate the Bold style button for such a ‘font’, this will either have no effect, or will result in “faked” further bolding, which will usually produce inferior screen and print results.

Note   If it is possible to select fonts in both ways as discussed above, do not use both ways to select the font or style that you want to use. So, for example, if you first select “Demo Bold” in the font menu, and then activate the Bold style button, this will result in “faked” further bolding, which will usually produce inferior screen and print results. Or, if you first select “Demo Italic” in the font menu, and then activate the Italic style button, this will result in “faked” further italicizing, which will usually produce inferior screen and print results.

Note   If a style-linked subfamily consists of four fonts, and the default font of that subfamily has been installed, but not the other three fonts of that subfamily — then using style buttons to select a style (i.e. font) that has not been installed, results in a “faked” bolding or italicizing, which usually produces inferior screen and print results. So, for instance, when only the default font “Demo” has been installed, using the Italic style button to select an italic style, will result in a “faked” italic font.

Note   If a style-linked subfamily consists of four fonts, and the default font of that subfamily has not been installed (and the other three fonts of that subfamily have been installed) — then it will still be possible to select this default font in the font menu of an application, but the result of that will be unpredictable. When the default font has been selected in that situation, perhaps another font (from that subfamily) will be displayed instead of the missing font, or perhaps the text for which this font has been selected, will disappear. However, the members of that sub-family which have been installed, can be selected normally — if needed, by using style buttons.

Note   If only one font of a font family has been installed, and this font is meant to be accessed using a style link from another font (which is missing) of this font family — then the name of this font in the font menu might be confusing, although this name is exactly as it should be. For example, if, from a font family, only the font “Myfont DemiBold” has been installed, and this font is normally accessed using a Bold style link from the font “Myfont Light” — then the name “Myfont Light” will be displayed in the font menu. This name is correct, because “Myfont Light” is the default font (or “base font”) of a style-linked subfamily.

Note   If only the default font of a subfamily appears in the font menu of an application — then there is, from within that application, no way to see whether all members of that subfamily have been installed or not. So, if only the default font of a subfamily has been installed, then the Bold and Italic style buttons (or the equivalent options to select the bold, italic, and bold-italic style in the font style menu) seem to function normally, suggesting that the other members of that subfamily also have been installed. If you are not sure which fonts (styles) have been installed, use the font viewing and/or installing facility of your operating system to check which fonts have been installed.

Note   If you are using an application in which it is possible to select all installed fonts in (a submenu of) the font menu, and in which it is also possible to select a font using a style link (style button), and the document you are making is meant to be accessible with applications which can only select certain fonts using style links — then use style links in that document whenever possible. When no style links are being used in that document, incorrect fonts may be displayed when that document is opened in an application which can only select certain fonts using style links, even when all relevant fonts are installed.