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I'm having problems printing documents which use a particular font, Lato. There is not problem with viewing the documents on screen, and the printers don't have any problem printing Microsoft fonts, it's just Lato that causes them problems, even if printing from pdf. Is there a quick fix to this? Ideally we would like to be able to continue using Lato, but if that isn't possible then we would settle for changing our templates to a similar-looking Microsoft-supported font.

  • are you sure the font is a TrueType Font? If not, that's your problem – td512 Apr 15 '15 at 15:40
  • I think it is a TrueType font, but I am not sure - if it is not, and that is the problem, what is the solution? Just have to change to a TrueType font? – bama Apr 15 '15 at 15:46
  • You'd need to get a TrueType font version, if it's not a TT font it won't render correctly when printing – td512 Apr 15 '15 at 15:48
  • The font says it's OpenType Layout, TrueType Outlines. Are you able to say whether this means that it isn't TrueType, so no good for printing at all? – bama Apr 15 '15 at 16:06
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    OT Layout means the text is OT, only the outlines are TT. you'd need to find the TT version of Lato. for example...: latofonts.com/lato-free-fonts then hit TTF. – td512 Apr 15 '15 at 16:09
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I've noticed that people that don't do much web font stuff don't quite understand the difference between OpenType fonts and TrueType fonts. I'll try to break this down so that it's as easy to understand as possible.

So, without going into too much detail, here is the breakdown between OpenType (OT) fonts and TrueType (TT) fonts.

Let's start with TT fonts.


Back in the day, when the first Macs came out, Apple needed a way of storing the characters, the mappings, and the style, or look of what we know more thoroughly as fonts. This was the beginning of TT fonts and as such, to print in these newfound fonts, printers had to adapt, and support TT fonts, or what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG).

An important thing to note, however is that TT fonts were Apples way of saying to Adobe We can do that too!.


Now, onto OT fonts


OpenType fonts are a new standard, a more widely available, easy to use font storage format. Unfortunately... even todays most advanced printers still can't seem to get OT fonts right. However, the underlying TT compatibility is still there, which the printer will try to fall back to.


So, what happens when the printer trys to fall back to TT fonts?

Well... here's the thing... If your printer is requesting the TT font of that specific font and your PC can't supply it, then the printer will request a font from within the PCs range, Windows defaults to Calibri, and we have a slight problem.


OK, so... how do I avoid this?

Well, Here's the good thing. Since most fonts are still widely available in TTF format (TrueTypeFont) then, all you have to do when searching for a font is add ttf to the end of the search term, for example:

Lato TTF and Google should bring up this result:

http://www.latofonts.com/lato-free-fonts/

and all you have to do is click TTF, not OTF

  • At time of writing there are two downloads: "TrueType-​​flavored Open­Type for­mat (.ttf)" and "WebFont kit for self-hosting". Is it the former that you're recommending? – mwfearnley Apr 10 '17 at 16:03
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Open your printing preferences and find the setting "Render fonts as bitmaps".

Not all printers can succesfully print foreign fonts, and have this option instead. It will cause prints to go slower though as it will render all text to an image before printing it.

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