Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have received a folder of fonts which I need to install on Windows. The problem is, they do not have file extensions. For each font there are two files. One of those two gives some info when opened in WordPad. On a Mac, opening up this folder shows the fonts immediately and gives the option to install. But I need them on a PC where I have Illustrator CS3.

Here is one of the font file pairs to show as an example:

File 1:

Name: ._GothaBla

Extension: None

Size: 35 KB

WordPad output: %!PS-AdobeFont-1.0: Gotham-Black 001.00

%CreationDate: 03/31/03 5:09:15 pm

And a bunch more information/gibberish.

File 2:

Name: GothaBla

Extension: None

Size: 0 KB

WordPad output: None

My question is, what are these files, and can I install them on my Windows Vista machine to use in Illustrator CS3?


share|improve this question
up vote 12 down vote accepted

I downloaded the trial version of CrossFont – that did the trick.

I only had to open the folder with the .-FontName files add the output folder and convert them one by one.

In this solution there's no need to rename any of the files.

share|improve this answer
This worked, and the accepted answer didn't – roman m Jan 31 '13 at 23:28
I'm glad it helped. Thanks @rm :) – army Feb 1 '13 at 16:21

This is a Mac OS 9 style font file that stored all font information in the resource fork of the file, that appears as a dot-underscore file when moved to Windows.

It is identified as a PostScript font by the file header, and you might be able to rename the file to .pfb or .otf, but it's not guaranteed to work without conversion.

share|improve this answer
Yep it's a no go on renaming the file. I will see what I can do to convert or use some other workaround. – Tim Chaves May 24 '11 at 17:53
As there are two files it wouldn't be an OpenType .otf font. – paradroid May 24 '11 at 18:53
@paradroid It's conceivable that the actual file contents just are stored in the resource fork (metadata) instead of the data fork (actual file content), but are otherwise unchanged. I believe the .dfont file format is link that, but could be mistaken. Just to be clear: the "second file" isn't actually a separate file on Mac OS X / HFS+; it's the file's resource fork. I think the closest thing on Windows is an NTFS alternate data stream. – Daniel Beck May 24 '11 at 19:36
But I remember that PostScript Type 1 fonts always came as two parts (.pfm and .pfb) on the Adobe CDs and had the ._ at the beginning of the filename. Also the suppiled info even says %!PS-AdobeFont-1.0 – paradroid May 24 '11 at 19:53
@paradroid That's because the CDs weren't HFS+ formatted. The dot-underscore file is the workaround for that, see e.g. here. – Daniel Beck May 24 '11 at 19:55

Looks like you have PostScript fonts (based on having two files, plus the "PS-AdobeFont" tag)

The two files should have the extensions .PFM and .PFB

Windows has had support for PS v1 fonts since Windows 2000, so you should just be able to install them via the regular font install method(s).

For Vista:

  1. Select “Control Panel” from the Start menu
  2. Select “Appearance and Personalization.”
  3. Select “Fonts.”
  4. In the Fonts window, Right Click in the list of fonts and choose “Install New Font.”
  5. Navigate to the folder that contains the fonts you want to install.
  6. Select the fonts you want to install. You can click to select one font, Control-click to select several fonts, or Shift-click to select a contiguous group of fonts.
  7. Press the “OK” button to install the fonts.
  8. Close the Fonts control panel when you are finished.
  9. The fonts are now installed and will appear in the font menus of your applications.

More info available at Adobe's site.

share|improve this answer
Didn't Vista drop PostScript Type 1 support? I seem to remember something like that. – paradroid May 24 '11 at 19:00

If there are two files it is a postscript font rather than TrueType or OpenType.

The only way to use Postscript fonts designed for the Mac on a PC is to either purchase the PC equivalent font or use a utility like Fontographer to convert the files to Windows compatible fonts.

No amount of file renaming will change the fact that they just won't work on a Windows box as is. The opposite is true also. You cannot install Windows PostScript fonts on a Mac and have them work.

share|improve this answer

If you still have the files on your Mac, open a terminal and use the file command to tell you what type they are.

If they are Adobe specific fonts you likely have to put them somewhere where Adobe is expecting them. Isn't there a "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Fonts" folder or something similar? Try putting the file that isn't 0KBytes there and see if Adobe recognizes it. If not, are there other font files with an extensio (.odf?) Try renaming that file to GothaBla.odf and then try again.

share|improve this answer

The first file seems like the right one as it contains the appropriate line for post script fonts. It seems to be a PFB file, so try renaming




and try to install it. The other file, GothaBla, if it has 0KB, is worthless then. As you can see it contains, well, nothing.

The weird thing though is that it should be the other way round, e.g. the file beginning with ._ should not contain the real font data. Files starting with such a pattern are normally created by OS X and not visible in Finder (because they start with .).

Edit: Seems as if that's okay in this case as @Daniel Beck suggested.

share|improve this answer

I used to work on MacOS 8/9 doing CAD and graphics many years ago. It looks like a PostScript Type 1, which would need the .pfm extension on the larger file. If that doesn't work, try .pfb, as I cannot remember for sure. It's worth a try.

My memory is hazy on this, but I seem to recall Vista dropping PostScript Type 1 support, so try it on an XP machine. If you cannot do that, try using Adobe's old Type Manager program (ATM) to activate the font, but that may not work on Vista either.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .