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If somebody sends you an Illustrator file and they don't send you the fonts that they used to create it, you are going to have a missing font. So I have that problem with this file. But I have no choice, I have to work on it. So when I click Open I have to figure out where the problem is. Well, I can read all the text, so where is the issue? If I go up to Type > Find Font, then Illustrator is going to report which font is missing. So when I choose CityBold, you can see that it selects the first item that uses that font. What font is it using right now? It's actually an internal font that Illustrator uses to approximate what was used before, and it's not something you want to stick with.
You always want to replace it with an official font. I can choose either from what's used in the document or I can choose what's used on my system; what's available on my system. I like Myriad Pro, it's not fancy, but it's reliable, and I know that anybody who has a Creative Suite is going to have Myriad Pro. So I'm going to choose Myriad Pro and click Change, and I think that's acceptable. I have no idea of what the other font looked like that the designer used because they didn't send it to me, but this is going to have to do. In the real-world I would call the designer insist that they send the font, but right now we're on a deadline so we've got to get this printed.
Which brings up another issue; what some people like to do is, convert their text to outlines and that solves this problem, then your text is no longer text, and it no longer needs the font. But there are a couple of little disadvantages to that. Here's how you convert text to outlines. If I select it I can go to Type > Create Outlines, and now it's just little shapes that look like text; what could possibly be wrong with that? Well if I misspelled something, I'm going to have to start over because it's not really letters anymore. And here's another sort of hidden consideration.
Some end-user licensing agreements for some fonts forbid you to convert them to outlines. And there's one more little thing to consider. Real text, genuine text, has something in a called hinting, and that helps it look better on screen and when it goes to print. Text that's been converted to outlines loses that hinting, and on a high-res imagesetter, that's say 2400 dots per inch, you're not going to see it. But printing to a desktop printer, you might see rough edges on this text. That's okay if you know it's going to go to a platesetter, then you are not going to worry about it, but you know that it's going to go to a digital device, some of the lower in digital printers will render this text with sort of rough looking edges, and you don't want that on your customer's job.
How you handle this, sort of depends on how you know that this is going to be printed. But in the future when you send your jobs to somebody else, always make sure that you include the fonts, and ask your customers when they send you their Illustrator files to please include their fonts as well.
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