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How to use Windows Type-1 fonts in Inkscape on a Mac?

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I have type 1 fonts in pfb format that I would like to use with Inkscape on a Mac. However, I can't get Inkscape to find them. The instructions seem to be only for Linux or Windows, but I assumed things would work like in Linux. I could not find *fonts.cache-1 files in my system, it seems like what fc-cache does is to populate a few locations like .fontconfig/ with *-le64.cache-3 files (I assume this to be the same as the *fonts.cache-1 files).

I copied the pfb file to ~/.fonts. From a verbose output of fc-cache, I could see that this directory was read and included in fontconfig's cache. But when I try to open a pdf file with this particular font, Inkscape does not use it and replaces by the default font.

I've searched the web to no avail, there just isn't a lot of material out there on this. I've successfully opened the same pdf in Illustrator by copying the pfb file to Adobe's local font directory, so I know that the font works. But for some reason, Inkscape doesn't use it. Any clues?

I am aware that I can convert the fonts from .pfb to .dfont or otf/ttf, but in my case it is just not practical.

I am using the Inkscape.app downloaded from the webpage (0.48.2 r9819), XQuartz 2.7.4, and OSX 10.8.2. Thanks!


In the olden days, Postscript Type-1 fonts came in two different versions – Mac or Windows. .pfb files are the Windows flavor, which doesn't work on operating-system level in Mac OS X. (Adobe applications have their own font handling, which is why it works there when you put the fonts into the Adobe font folder.) Anyway, the OS X standard folder for user-specific fonts would be ~/Library/Fonts (or /Library/Fonts to be accessible for all users)…

Maybe just convert the old fonts into the modern OTF format. There is a free web-based service for it at http://www.freefontconverter.com


Contrary to my previous statement in the comments, Inkscape on OS X can indeed make use of Windows-flavoured Postscript Type1 fonts (.PFB) if they are placed in a special directory (=folder) on the UNIX level of OS X:

/opt/local/share/fonts/type1/ (This option is probably a remnant of Inkscape's Linux origins.)

This folder does not exist by default in OS X, so you need to create the whole subdirectory tree yourself. This requires a user account with Admin permissions.

The /opt folder may already exist on your system, e.g., if you have previously installed XQuartz X11 to replace the X11 system that was originally installed with OS X. To check, go to Finder and navigate to the root of your startup volume (Macintosh HD), e.g. by pressing Cmd-Shift-G and typing / (slash) in the input field that opens.

If there is no opt folder inside (next to the folders Applications, Library, System, Users), press Cmd-Shift-N to create a new folder and name it opt (you will be prompted to identify yourself with an Admin-privileged user account), then navigate into the opt folder and create a new folder named local, navigate into it and create a new subfolder share. Repeat this down the fonts to the type1 subfolder.

That's it. Now you can drag the Type1 (.PFB) font files into that last type1 folder, or place a folder with a whole font family. They will appear in Inkscape on the next start.

(I got this hint from a remark in this posting here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bug/995561 and tested it successfully under OS X 10.7.5 with Inkscape 0.48.)

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