Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles

Using Fonts with Adobe Creative Cloud

This lesson covers which font formats are best for print and web projects, how to choose appropriate font types in various Creative Cloud applications, and how to use TypeKit fonts.

Note: This excerpt does not include the lesson files. The lesson files are available with purchase of the book.

This chapter is from the book

Click to view larger image

In this lesson you’ll learn about the different types of fonts that you can use with Adobe Creative Cloud.

Choosing font formats for creative projects

Whether you’re new to digital fonts or a veteran of print and online publishing, the use of digital fonts has changed dramatically in recent years with new font formats and new ways to use them. Adobe Creative Cloud stays in step with these changes by providing a variety of fonts for print, online, and mobile use.

Fonts for printing

When you apply fonts to text in primarily print-oriented Adobe Creative Cloud software, such as Adobe Photoshop CC or Adobe InDesign CC (or your word processor), you typically use fonts that were designed to be installed and viewed on a desktop or laptop computer. These are the most established kinds of fonts for personal computers and are sometimes called system fonts or desktop fonts.

Several desktop font formats have been used for print publishing and general personal computer use over the last 20 years. The major font formats of this kind are:

  • PostScript. The earliest high-quality fonts used for personal-computer-based print publishing were Adobe PostScript fonts. PostScript fonts made it possible to scale type to any size while preserving smooth curves and sharp edges.
  • TrueType. The most common font format in use today is TrueType, which is now found on just about every Windows and Mac OS X system. TrueType is ubiquitous because it started out as an Apple font format and was later licensed by Microsoft; both companies made TrueType the standard font format for their operating systems.
  • OpenType. As personal computers and publishing software became more powerful and typographical standards advanced, Microsoft and Adobe worked together to advance type capabilities beyond the limitations of the PostScript and TrueType font formats. This resulted in the OpenType font format, which is an open standard that makes it easier for more companies to create fonts.

A wide variety of inexpensive fonts are available in TrueType format. However, OpenType fonts are now favored by designers and publishers because of advanced typographic capabilities, such as true small caps and old-style figures, and better support for non-English glyphs. (A glyph can be a character or a combination of characters, such as a ligature.) Also, you can use the same font file on Windows and Mac OS X; whereas TrueType or PostScript fonts typically require font files specific to Windows and Mac OS X.

You can use any of these formats in Creative Cloud applications in Windows or Mac OS X. Many fonts are available in all three formats, although new professional fonts are most likely to appear in OpenType format. When you install Creative Cloud applications that support printing, a range of Adobe OpenType fonts are installed along with the application, and those fonts are available to all of the applications on your system.

Fonts for websites

Website projects involve font challenges that don’t exist for print. Because website layouts are not fixed, text may be scaled or reflowed as a web page is viewed on differently sized displays or browser windows. This is especially true today because website layouts are increasingly likely to automatically resize for large desktop displays and small tablet and smartphone displays. For website text to reflow as layouts adjust, the font must be present on the device where the website is being displayed. But all fonts are not present on all computers. If you used a font installed on your computer (a system font) in your design, but that font is not on the reader’s device, text on your website won’t appear as you intended because the reader’s web browser will substitute a font that is actually present on the device. Until recently, the solution to this display problem was to specify a font from the limited set installed on most computers, referred to as web safe fonts. Of course, using web-safe fonts limits design flexibility because there are so few of them to choose from.

On websites where unique typography was a high priority, other approaches were to convert text to an image or to use browser plug-ins that could support high-quality typography. However, images do not scale smoothly, cannot be searched or highlighted as text, and consume more bandwidth than text, which makes pages load more slowly. The disadvantage of browser plug-ins is that you can’t assume they’re installed with every web browser, and browser plug-ins are typically not available for mobile web browsers on smartphones and tablets—the fastest-growing area of mobile usage.

Fortunately, those workarounds are no longer necessary because you can now easily use high-quality fonts on websites thanks to advancements in web standards. Current web browsers can now download fonts from servers. So, if a font is not available on the viewing device, that font will simply be downloaded, and the web page text will be displayed as you designed it. In other words, fonts can now be linked by a URL and downloaded, similarly to how you can include images and videos on a web page by embedding URL links to them. The fonts that you can link to are called web fonts. When you use web fonts, they’re used only temporarily on a site visitor’s web browser and don’t become available to the rest of the system.

The most common web fonts are available in the following formats:

  • OpenType or TrueType. It’s possible for some web browsers to download the same OpenType and TrueType fonts you would use for print projects, but those fonts are typically not compressed for high performance over networks.
  • Web Open Font Format (WOFF). A WOFF font can be based on OpenType or TrueType but is optimized for fast downloading.
  • Embedded OpenType (EOT). An EOT is a compressed Microsoft version of the OpenType font format.

Although you can link to web fonts, you typically do not want to link them to fonts stored on your website the way you store images and other linked content. It’s often best to link to fonts provided by a web font service, such as Adobe TypeKit, which is included with your Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Web font services are useful because there is no font format that works with all web browsers. A web font service can intelligently serve up whichever format works best for the browser that’s requesting the fonts. Another good reason to use web font services is that you don’t have to worry about font licensing issues; the fonts they serve are cleared for use as downloadable elements of websites.

The only disadvantage of web fonts is that they require up-to-date web browsers. Fortunately, browsers that are incompatible with web fonts are becoming less common and are now found mostly on very old systems. The web browsers on mobile devices typically support web fonts, which makes web fonts a practical and current solution that lets you design websites with access to a wide range of high-quality fonts.

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive:

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020