Make your own free website on
Updated Oct 22 2002

Problems with Arial and Times New Roman symbols printing from a MAC

This thread was stolen from cslist, helpful stuff.  Keep having fun.

Betreff: [cslist] Font problems with CLC900e

Hi there

I am having a small problem with a CLC900e (MX20e) rip
It is linked to 2 x Mac G4's running OS9,
The font's in question are Arial and Times New Roman, they look like TrueType fonts, They print the characters ok, put any symbols print as small outlined boxes.
Do TrueType font work, anybody got any ideas.


Subject: RE: [cslist] Font problems with CLC900e

I've found this on and it seems to work

Microsoft font errors: why the problem occurs; what the new fonts do

Regarding Microsoft's "bug-fix" release of Arial and Times fonts (see previous item), we received an email from a software engineer at GCC Technologies that goes into more detail on this matter, especially as it related to a problem printing smart (or "curly") quotes to their printers. It explains exactly why the problem occurs and offers a critical view of Microsoft's solution:

I figured out what's going on with the curly quotes, etc., and why the problem occurs with Arial and Times New Roman. The problem is not the result of bugs in the printer versions of these fonts. Rather, it is due to a mix-up between Microsoft's TrueType fonts and the LaserWriter driver on how characters are mapped, which differs between the Mac and the printer. The workaround is to download and install new versions of Arial and Times New Roman from Microsoft's Typography web site.

Here's the longer explanation: Each Mac font has a couple of "font class" bits which give the LaserWriter driver some info on how the font's encoding vector (which maps ASCII codes to glyphs, or character shapes) may need to be modified when the job is generated. Most Mac fonts (from Apple and Adobe) say "re-encode me with the usual MacEncoding vector". Mac fonts from Microsoft seem to say, "just use whatever encoding vector I already have."

For more technical details on this, see Apple Technote 1140.

When most Mac fonts are used, the LaserWriter driver re-encodes them to match the MacEncoding used by the Mac on screen. This is not the case with the Microsoft fonts. However, the encoding that these fonts already have is the MacEncoding, so when the font is downloaded as part of the job, there is no need to re-encode it.
The problem occurs when the font is not downloaded, as with Arial and Times New Roman on a printer that has the PS3 font set, which includes them. Now, the Mac font says "use my existing encoding", so LaserWriter does so. However, because it doesn't download the fonts, the job actually references the versions which are built into the printer. Unfortunately, these do not already have the MacEncoding. Instead, like all other text fonts, they have the Adobe StandardEncoding. So, the wrong glyphs get printed.

Fortunately, there is the work-around of the new Microsoft Mac fonts. Did Microsoft take this opportunity to follow Apple's two-year-old recommendations on how to indicate the presence of the Euro character? No. Did Microsoft work around our problem by setting the "font class" bits differently, so that when the font isn't downloaded, it would be re-encoded? No. In typical Microsoft fashion, they chose another path. The reason the LaserWriter driver doesn't download the fonts is that it sees that either the printer or the PPD reports the font names "ArialMT" and "TimesNewRomanPSMT" (and their variants), and these match the PostScript font names embedded in the Microsoft Mac fonts. Well, Microsoft changed the embedded PS names in the new versions to "ArialMS" and "TimesNewRoman", etc.
With these installed, LaserWriter will not see a match, so it will download these Mac fonts every time, thus avoiding the problem. Never mind that this defeats the purpose of including the font in the printer in the first place. Oh, well.

Markus Bisang
Product Support

Canon (Schweiz) AG
CH-8305 Dietlikon, Industriestrasse 12
Telefon +41 (0)1 835 69 64, Fax +41 (0)1 835 64 20
Handy +41 (0)79 216 71 59, e-mail:

Here are some links from Microsoft Typography Site


TrueType core fonts for the Web info main page  

TrueType core fonts for the Web download page

Here are a few FAQS from the Microsoft Typography Site


Q I don't understand why you're providing Times New Roman and Courier New for Macintosh computers. After all, the MacOS already comes with Times and Courier fonts.

A You're right - but the fonts that come with MacOS are Apple's TrueType versions, and have different character outlines and metrics. We've provided our versions in the interest of cross-platform compatibility. If you use Times New Roman at 14ppem on the PC, and at 14 point on the Mac, you'll get exactly the same bitmaps and spacing (which is obviously crucial for developers). If you use Times New Roman on the PC and Apple's Times on the Mac, they'll be different, even to the extent of altering line length and layout in a text file.

Q Will I be able to use the TrueType fonts provided on your site in applications other than HTML authoring, such as correspondence (i.e. letter writing) and desktop publishing?

A Absolutely. The fonts will work in just the same way as all the other TrueType fonts you may have installed on your system. Just because we've optimized them for on-screen display doesn't mean that you can't use them in other programs. And they'll still look great when you print them out!

Back      Home