Problems with font weight

In the example below, both are using Minion Pro Regular, 9.8 points. The top example was a text frame in Dorico, and the bottom was a text item in InDesign.

I can work out the leading. What I can’t work out is the font weight. This mismatch is a real issue. Any ideas?

Yes, I did export the Dorico example as a graphic (PDF).

Overlaying text from Dorico onto text from InDesign, it does look like Dorico’s is a fraction larger than InDesign’s, which may explain the slight thicker quality on the page.
Have you checked in the PDF whether the correct Style of the typeface is being used?

It may be a Qt issue, rther than anything the team can do themselves.

I suppose InDesign gives you reliable control and Dorico’s export is “reliably” wrong? If so, maybe select a weight in Dorico that looks good on export and match it with whatever weight is actually exported in InDesign?

I guess Dorico has to make do with what Qt offers in terms of font handling.

Edit: Ben was faster. I just assumed that those are not really the same fonts. Otherwise there’d be no reason for them to look differently, provided Dorico’s export is not transformed to outlines, or is there?

You’re right, the Dorico one was 10, and the InDesign was 9.8. Fixing that didn’t make a difference though.

When I went to edit the text blocks in Acrobat Pro, they didn’t show any strange styles.

This is what concerns me, majorly.

I’m accepting that I’m going to have to go back through every text block and export it via Dorico as a text-only page. But I need to know that Dorico’s font weights play nicely with others. I might not have this option in future projects. What if I have to use Indesign for text blocks in the future, side-by-side with Dorico exports?

I’m not sure how to select a different weight in Dorico. What do you mean exactly? Thanks.

Are you using the same, ahem, version of Minion in Dorico and InDesign?

I think so. It just says “Minion Pro.” I don’t really know much about fonts beyond that.

I’ve only ever installed one Minion Pro on my computer. There are lots of different weights available, but I installed only the Regular, Italic, Bold, and Bold-Italic.

I guess that’s the issue. Dorico has no UI for selecting font weights other than regular and bold. I was thinking that you could just take what Dorico gives you and match it in InDesign.

Otherwise… I have no idea how iOS handles fonts. What versions of Minion are available in the drop-down list?

Could it be that InDesign is using other versions of the font that come bundled with CC?

I’m on Windows 10. In InDesign, there’s only Minion Pro. Under that, there’s a dropdown with Regular, Italic, Bold, and Bold-Italic.

In Dorico, it’s just Minion Pro.

Oh. Right. Wrong assumption.

Okay… I wouldn’t put it past Adobe to secretly not use the installed version of the font. Maybe if the fonts you installed and their version are different formats (otf/ttf) that could explain the different appearance.

But I’m just speculating… sorry. :frowning:

No, I checked my Adobe fonts, and none of the Minion Pro ones are activated. I’m only using this Minion Pro version I downloaded online.

Yes, it’s technically not an “official” version, but every program should be using it equally, I’d think.

Update: I tested this with Arial, and there’s no variation. So it must be the version of the Minion Pro font I’m using. That’s a huge bummer, since I’m so far invested I can’t change. But at least I can confirm it’s not Dorico’s problem.

If anyone wants to try it out, here’s the version of Minion Pro I’m using:

Minion Pro does have Regular and Medium, which is very slightly bolder.

Even if it doesn’t explain the difference in rendering between Dorico and InDesign, the complete version of Minion Pro (through CC) will probably include a weight that will produce output from Dorico that very closely matches InDesign.

You might have noticed that the complete version comes with 65 fonts! They are organized into groups at several “optical weights.” Each optical weight includes all of the normal font variants (regular, italic, bold, etc.) but is designed to maximize legibility within a particular range of text sizes. The optical weights are:

Caption — best for small type.
Regular — best for type at typical paragraph sizes.
Subhead — best for type a bit larger than the standard paragraph.
Display — best for especially large type, like titles.

Each optical weight includes regular, bold, italic, etc. variants, so you’ll be able to find fonts like “semibold subhead” and “bold italic display.” The differences between optical weights are meant to be subtle, but one of the most important aspects is that smaller optical weights feature much less contrast between the thickest and thinnest parts of the glyphs than do display weights.

Again, I’m not confident that the difference in output that you’re seeing results from some behind-the-scenes use of different optical weights, but I do think that the complete collection of weights will give you enough flexibility to achieve the desired result. I’ve attached a screenshot of a PDF produced in Dorico with your text at several optical weights for comparison. Hope that helps!

Just tried Medium in InDesign, and it’s closer!

Top is Dorico using Minion Pro Regular, and bottom is InDesign using Medium.

Thanks Matt, that’s a really helpful comparison. The reason I haven’t used “official” Minion Pro is because it has some very strange line leading, IMO. For the past five years, I’ve used the un-official Minion Pro I linked above.

I’ll try some of the variations included in the typekit, assuming they don’t alter the Dorico files I have. I’ve spent a zillion hours on tiny lyric spacing adjustments, and it gives me nightmares to think about losing all that…

Adobe originally planned that the appropriate optical weight would be automatically selected, transparently to the user, but it never turned out that way.

As I understand it, Windows’ handling of typeface styles is a bit cavalier, though my understanding is limited.

Here’s Minion Pro Regular from Dorico superimposed with the same font in InDesign on a Mac. To me, they look identical weight. The tracking is slightly different if you put on over the other.

Ben, in any case, you saved my bacon. I’ve settled on Regular for Dorico and Medium for InDesign, and the results are indistinguishable (minus the leading, which I had changed already):

You’ve saved me literally a day’s worth of work. Thank you. And thanks to others who chimed in.

I still wish I knew whence the difference, but I’ll settle for a solution!