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Unable to install OpenType .otf & PostScript Type 1 fonts? »

Sometimes folks can’t install any OpenType CFF (“.otf”) or Type 1 (a.k.a. “PostScript”) fonts on a Windows computer. There are (at least) four known causes for this. (The new outbreak of problem #4 below spurred me to write them all up.)

  1. What version of Windows is the user running? If a really ancient version (Windows ME, Windows 98, Windows 95, or Windows NT 4), then they need to install ATM (Light) on their computer. Note that Windows NT 4 uses a different version than Windows 98/​ME. Type 1 and OpenType CFF fonts simply will not work on these operating systems without ATM.
  2. One common source of this problem in the past was if the user uninstalled ATM (Light or Deluxe) without first updating/​patching things properly. This problem can occur on Windows 2000, XP and Vista. Adobe has had a simple fix for this since 2002. (Similar problems could occur if one somehow ended up with the Windows 9x/​ME ATM installed on a 2000/​XP/​Vista machine.) This problem is uncommon now, as few people on these operating systems have had ATM installed in the first place.
  3. If somebody has turned on the “/​3GB switch” on the computer, that can cause this problem, but the use of the /​3GB switch does not cause this problem for all users. You may want to better understand what the /​3GB switch does, the consequences thereof, and then look at how to toggle it (how to turn it on is also how to check it or turn it off). Basically it’s a matter of removing the phrase “/​3GB” from the boot.ini file. On Windows XP, one can go into the control panels and select the “System” (System Properties) one. Go to the Advanced tab. In the “Startup and Recovery” section, select “Settings.” Then click on the “Edit” button to edit the startup settings manually. This will open the boot.ini file in Notepad. Typically the /​3GB switch if present will be the last entry, right after “/​fastdetect”.
  4. The latest and currently most common problem occurs even with brand new and unmodified machines running Windows XP or possibly Vista, being unable to use Type 1 or OpenType CFF fonts, with an error message that the fonts are “invalid.” It is a video driver configuration issue, and reverting to an older (!) video driver generally solves the problem, but that’s not ideal. A few weeks ago, this problem was solved: it can be fixed with a simply registry edit. NVidia says the problem occurs on Windows XP only, and Vista users are unaffected, but at least one Vista user has reported they had this problem and the fix resolved it. It affects multiple cards from both NVidia and ATI. The fix, posted by David Ingraham in a horribly lengthy thread on the Adobe User Forums, and in a post by “PixelNinja” on the NVidia forums is this:— start of email from HP —Good news. Nvidia has identified the problem and provided a fix. The way it was explained to me, Windows expects the device driver to be a certain size (maximum). In this case, the nvidia driver is slightly larger than expected. A simply registry entry will resolve the issue in WinXP (the issue doesn’t occur in Vista).To resolve the problem, do the following:Open the registry editor (regedit)Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

    Add a new REG_​DWORD entry called SessionImageSize with a value (decimal) of 20


    The Type 1 fonts should now open/​install without any problems.

    — End of HP email —

    Tech support is a painful and mostly unsung profession. We should all give a special thanks to HP tech support guy John Camparone, who apparently went to truly great lengths to diagnose and debug this last problem with NVidia. Thanks, man.