Find Fonts Used in InDesign Style Sheets

March 14, 2006 - 3:00am ||| 2 Comments | Add new

Any InDesign user who has ever needed to change the fonts used in a publication knows this frustration: Neither of the two find/change font features in InDesign (Edit > Find/Change and Type > Find Font) can access the fonts specified in Paragraph or Character styles. You have to edit each style individually to change its font spec — an onerous task if you're dealing with twenty bazillion style definitions.

A little over a year ago I wrote about a method that made the task of converting a publication's fonts slightly more tolerable by combining Find Font with Redefine Style:

Find/Change in InDesign Style Sheets

But what about a simpler task: Just figuring out which fonts are specced in the styles themselves? Perhaps InDesign is telling you it's a missing a font but you can't find where it's being used, so you suspect a style is calling for it. But which one? Or you've been giving a blank layout template with little or no content but a slew of styles. How do you know which fonts you'll need?

I have two solutions for you.

Sneak a Peek in InDesign
To quickly browse through all the styles used in an InDesign document and see which font each one calls for — without messing up existing formatting and without having to open any dialog boxes, try this simple method:

1. Choose Edit > Deselect All

2. Open the Character palette so you can see the font name and style fields. (Or put the Control palette in Character formatting mode by switching to the Type tool, and view the font field there.) If you use the Character palette it doesn't matter which tool is active.

3. Select the first custom style name listed in the Paragraph Styles palette.

4. Look at your Character palette. See the font name and style it's showing? That's the one the selected style sheet uses.

5. Click the second style listed in the Paragraph palette. Look at the Character palette. And so on.

6. Do the same for the Character Styles (which may or may not specify fonts).

Since nothing is selected, no formatting is affected as you highlight each style. If you come across a style containing an unwanted font, you can double-click the style to open the Options dialog box, change the font it calls for in the Basic Character Formats panel, click OK and go on to the next style.

Caution: When you're done, the last style you selected will be the new default for the Type tool, even if you had a different tool selected. So to reset the default styles, be sure to click on [Basic Paragraph] in Paragraph Styles and [None] in Character Styles before you go on to the next task.

Get a Typeface Listing in Bridge
You may already know that Adobe Bridge lists all the typefaces (not individual fonts — just the "family name") specified in InDesign CS2 documents. Did you know it also lists all the typefaces called for in the document's style sheets, even if no actual text in the layout uses them?

For this reason, I find it handy to use Bridge to quickly get a sense of "which crazy fonts did the client use in this thing" without having to open either the document or InDesign itself.

1. Open Adobe Bridge and in the Folders panel, locate and select the folder containing your InDesign file.

2. Select the thumbnail preview of the InDesign file that Bridge shows you in the large content area.

3. Scroll down to the bottom of the Metadata panel at the left. All the typefaces used in document text and in its styles are listed.

Remember, this only works for InDesign CS2 documents (layouts and templates), not those saved in older versions.

My Wishlist
I want a "Show Styles" button in the Styles palette like how there's a "Show Sets" button in the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box. Show Sets creates a text file listing all the commands and their keyboard shortcuts in the selected set of shortcuts. "Show Styles" would create a text file listing all the styles and their specifications in the current document.

If anyone's listening, I'd also like an "Include Styles" checkbox in Find/Change's Formats areas.

Can I get a witness? Second my emotion here (or tell Adobe your own wishlist items):

Adobe product feature request form


Comments (Subscribe to Comments RSS)

1 May 3, 2011 - 2:21pm by Siobain (not verified):

I have personally used this site to find all kinds of useful fonts for school and work!

2 August 27, 2012 - 10:33am by Lisa (not verified):

I am having trouble with Indesign…when converting a document to a pdf, it says “cannot extract the embedded font ‘azknuf=palatino-roman’. Some characters may not display or print correctly. Then when it makes the pdf on several pages there are weird dotted lines where text should be…any suggestions?
thank you-

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