The Case of the Missing Font


also known as Times New Roman and the case of the Mistaken Identity

This is a real-life scenario. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Any similarity between fictional characters presented here, and people you may know in real-life, is unintentional. No fonts were harmed in the making of this reenactment.

Designer Joe: Argh! I can’t figure out what is going on! My files keep getting messed by someone who keeps adding Times New Roman to my files. They’re fine when they leave me. But after they editors work on them, I have font problems. They swear they only have the fonts needed open on their computer. I think its from them copying text from email or something. Help!

Detective Cinnamon: No problem, sir. I’m on the case. Just send me a file, and the correct font set, and I’ll see what I can do for you.

Twenty minutes pass


Detective Cinnamon: Joe, I think I’ve found your problem. I just want to verify that you’re the only person who is working in InDesign on these files.

Designer Joe: Yeah. I’m the only one.

Detective Cinnamon: Well, I hate to tell you, but you’re the source of the problem. But thankfully its an easily fixed problem.

Designer Joe: (blustery) What? Wait? Me? No way! I only have fonts needed open.

Detective Cinnamon: I have no doubt that you’re right. The problem is with your InDesign default settings, not your font set or font managment software. First things first though. The problem font that keeps appearing, the font that you don’t want. Is Times Font in the Roman face, not Times New Roman. It could just as easily be Times Italic or Times Bold, or even Helvetica Plain. Open up your file and look at the missing font name again.

Designer Joe: Hey! You’re right! I guess I just filled in the missing word in my head.

Detective Cinnamon: Totally an understandable assumption. Now what I want you to do is close every InDesign file you have open. Once that is done, open your Character Panel and tell me what you see.

Designer Joe: Oh, that’s odd. It has [Times: Roman] set. Where does that come from?

Detective Cinnamon: It comes from Adobe, sir. This is the font that Adobe decided that you’ll always have in your files so they made it your default font. But, you can change that. What is a font that you’re using in every document?

Designer Joe: Adobe Garamond is one of them.

Detective Cinnamon: Wonderful. Go ahead select that font in your Character Panel and then quit InDesign. When you reopen the program, just double-check that it stuck, and you should be able to continue on. I’ll wait on the line if you like.

(brief pause)

Designer Joe: Wow! That’s great! Thanks, Detective.

Detective Cinnamon: While you’re at it, do me a favor and set your Basic Paragraph Style to use this font as well. Now you should be free of the dastardly influence of Times Roman.

Designer Joe: Thank you, Detective. Thank you so much! I’d say ‘You’re my hero!’, but that would be taking this cliche a little too far, don’t you think?

Detective Cinnamon: I do, sir. I do.

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3 Responses

  1. Hi Mike!
    For your knowledge library:
    There is another reason for Times (and in this case: always Times New Roman). Lots of people allow ID to convert frames into text frames via clicking (Preferences, Type). Unfortunately these frames show up Times New Roman regardless what the preferences are. Some decision ID has to make at this point: and in this case it is NOT the decision to show up those attributes which we put together as long nothing (or no document) is active.
    I love your humour.
    For your music library 😉
    Try out Ane Brun. Think you will love her. Discovered her yesterday.

  2. Thanks, Jochen! I swore that changing this would prevent that from happening, but no such luck. Very good to know and definitely filed away.

  3. Thanks Jochen! That’s a great point about Times and I will file it carefully in my memory banks for future use. I will most definitely check out Ane Brun.

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