Adobe InDesign CC - Essential Training

How to find missing fonts in InDesign?

Daniel Walter Scott

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How to find missing fonts in Adobe InDesign

Occasionally you may open an InDesign document that uses a font you don’t have on your laptop. InDesign will show you the following warning when it opens:

There are 2 ways to x this. The easy way, using Typekit. Or the hard way where we manually install or replace the font used.

Using Typekit (easy)

If InDesign is missing a font but can find it through it’s Typekit system. You might be able to simply click the ‘Sync Fonts’ button. Once it’s nished downloading and installing the font click Close.

Manual Update (hard)

Option one: You need to find or purchase the missing font and install the font on your machine. This will restore the text exactly how it was.

Option two: If you’d rather replace the font with something different from your machine follow the next steps.

  1. Either choose ‘Find Font...’ from the above warning window or you can nd the ‘Find Font...’ feature under Type > Find Font

  2. Select the problem font from the list. (Shown with a small warning symbol next to the name.)

  3. Then choose a replacement font from the ‘Replace With: Font Family’ drop down.

Note: You must next click the Change All button for the change to happen.


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In this video we're going to look at what happens when you opened up somebody else's document and it says you're missing fonts. It's missing images as well, but we did that in an earlier video. I'm going to close this down. And you'll also notice that there was this horrible pink color, that is missing. So let's go and do that in our tutorial.

In this video, we've been sent a file by somebody but the fonts have come up missing. So if you’re following me along with the exercise files, open up '02 Existing Work', open up 'Green at Heart Prospectus'. It says missing links, which we did in a previous video, so go check that one out. Now, we're going to deal with this one, missing fonts. Now, this can be a super easy fix, or this can be super complicated.

Super easy means, it's a font that actually exists on Adobe's Typekit. Typekit is the name that Adobe calls it's font library. And what can happen is, it can load up, and it senses you don't have that font on your machine, but it says "Hey, I've found Roboto Slab Lite on Typekit, and because you're a Creative Cloud member, and awesome, would you like me to download it, and install it for you? And you can click 'Sync Fonts', and life is good.Where life is harder, it's when it has no syncing here and it says, I cannot find it anywhere. So what you need to do is, you need to click on this 'Find Fonts'. It's going to tell you, in our case, it's Roboto Slab Light that's missing. And what we can do-- I can click 'Sync Fonts' here because it's on Typekit, but you might not have that option, often it's not. So what you need to do is, do one of two things. You can replace it with something else, because sometimes if you're working across Mac and PC say somebody's used Times New Roman… Times New Roman is what a PC calls Times New Roman. A Mac, for some reason calls it Times. Same font, same attributes. So you might have to go and say-- actually, Roboto Slab, I'm going to go into my list. This is the list on my computer, and find it, you might just have it. It might be the Pro version, so you might have have Roboto Pro, or something slightly different. And you can go replace it, and you keep an eye on it and see if the font changes, it might be exactly the same. Or you might have to go through and say "I don't have Roboto Slab, I'm just going to use Arial." And I'm going to hit 'Change All'. And it's going to go through and switch out every use of Roboto for Arial. And that's a sad day, because Roboto Slab is nice. And Arial is not nice.

Another thing you could do, is actually just ignore this, hit 'Done'. Don't care about it, and it's going to go, this pink color I know, there it is there. So I got 'W' on, off. And it goes, this kind of horrible pink outline color. Say I'm just doing a text check. I've sent it to somebody and they're just doing a quick check of the text. They're missing their fonts, don't worry, just leave it missing. Send it back to the person who originally owned it who does have the font, and it will come back to life. If that's still not fixing your problems you're going to have to install the font. You get a package document from your designer, or whoever made this. It will be a zip file, and inside of it will be-- let's look at an existing one I've got. So we look at our 'Desktop'. 'InDesign Class File', we made this packaged file earlier. So somebody might have sent you this and inside here is the 'Document Fonts'. You might find that he's there, and all you might need to do is double click it. And depending on what program you're on, I'm on a Mac and I can just click and install fonts. If you're on a PC, it's a very similar process.

What I've done for this class is, in your exercise files under 'Missing Footage', there's one called 'Roboto Slab'. In here, all the fonts that we need, in this case it's Roboto Slab Light. If I go and install this one now, life should be okay. Go back in here, sprung to life. If you don't have that font, and it hasn't been sent to you, you're going to have to probably buy it. Some fonts are free, lots of them aren't. If you're going to go and buy it, I can recommend, this is where I buy my fonts.

Fonts aren't cheap, it all depends. People do a lot of work on these fonts. So say I need a font, and I need to buy this vintage one that's been made. You can see here, this one here is going to cost me €27. Bigger fonts, by that I mean, it has a whole lot more characters and whites, then you're going to pay more. But this is a good place to go buy it. But there are plenty of other places, pick whichever one works for you. I hope one of those options helps you with finding a missing font. Let's get on with this tutorial series.