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Today we released an update to Universal Type Server.

This free update is highly recommended for both OS X and Windows versions of Universal Type Server.

The update contains:

  • Updates to the directory services connection
  • Performance enhancements
  • Additional fixed issues

Download the Latest Installers »

See this list for full product compatibility information.

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Managing all of the potential pitfalls with fonts in the creative process can be a mind-boggling process, and dealing with all those typographic issues sure can work up an appetite.

So why not join the font management experts from Extensis for a Lunch & Learn session in Chicago? You’ll learn font management tips and best practices to improve efficiency while ensuring that the proper fonts are available to those who need them. The presentation will be followed by a lively discussion period where you can get answers to your most vexing font problems.

AIGA Chicago & Extensis Host Font Management Lunch & Learn

Design Studio + Art Gallery
Chicago, IL
Tuesday, October 23

Register Online & Receive Discount:
1. Visit and click REGISTER NOW
2. Select the Extensis category
3. Enter “ExtensisLunch” (case sensitive)

I hope to see you there!

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Today we released an update to the Universal Type Client (v3.3) that adds full compatibility with Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), adds a new font auto-activation plug-in for Adobe Photoshop CS6, and fixes a number of known issues.

The update is available free of charge to all existing Universal Type Server 3 customers.

To take advantage of the new features, download and install the updated client software.

Download the update here.

NOTE: To take advantage of the Adobe CS6 plug-ins, be sure to install the CS6 first, followed by the update to the Universal Type Client. The client installer automatically locates your CS6 applications and places the new plug-ins in the appropriate locations.

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Last week, my colleague Michael Liwanag and I had the pleasure of visiting Minneapolis, Minnesota and meeting with a number of you at The Foundation, IT for the Creative Industry.

They’ve got a pretty great setup, and we were lucky enough to be there on BBQ day when hundreds of you stream in for the amazing home cooked BBQ and sides. (If you haven’t been before, it’s definitely worth the trip!)

In case you missed it, here are the presentations that we gave. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about Server-based Font Management or Digital Asset Management.

Keep your team’s font use safe and legal from Extensis

Are you a rich media hoarder? Foundation Presentation from Extensis

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Today we’re happy to release an update to the Universal Type Client font manager that includes font auto-activation plug-ins for Adobe® Creative Suite 6 (CS6) applications.

The updates are available as a FREE download for  both OS® X and Windows®, and include plug-ins for Adobe InDesign®, Illustrator® and InCopy®*.

Download the new Universal Type Client installers here.

Universal Type Server is used by organizations to ensure the efficient distribution, organization and license compliance of fonts in creative workflows. Type Server is employed across many industries including advertising and marketing agencies, broadcast and media, business, finance, retail, educational, nonprofit and government agencies.

Notable Extensis font management clients include: The Art Institutes, J Walter Thompson, Publicis Groupe, Simon & Schuster, Smithsonian Institution, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and USA Today.

* NOTE: We will make a new Photoshop CS6 plug-in available as soon as an issue within Photoshop has been resolved by Adobe. Adobe CS5 & 5.5 plug-ins remain functional for Photoshop.

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The National Geographic Society, a media icon for more than 100 years, manages its library of more than 10,000 fonts used to create its collection of magazines, books and interactive media. We’re extremely proud that Universal Type Server is trusted by this prestigious institution to manage their font collections.

National Geographic Society has hundreds of creative professionals who work across multiple publications, including the flagship National Geographic magazine, National Geographic Traveler and National Geographic Kids. Their breadth of magazines, books and marketing materials are read by more than 300 million people each month in every country in the world. In keeping with the brand’s upstanding reputation for visual and editorial excellence, National Geographic Society uses thousands of fonts to create these iconic pieces.

With such a vast library of fonts, it’s imperative that National Geographic Society have a system to distribute fonts to their creative teams while maintaining effective font licensing control. Keeping all the various design groups in synch, and legal with the right fonts, is critical.

According to Dave E. Smith, VP of Publishing Systems Technology for National Geographic, “It’s imperative that we comply with font license terms without hindering production work. Universal Type Server allows us to manage font distribution and use across our organization while delegating some control and freedom to our publishing groups.”

Taking some of the stress off of the Information Technology department, Universal Type Server allows various workgroup administrators to grant or remove access to workgroup fonts, effectively controlling the number of individuals who consume font licenses. The reporting and data export functionality of Universal Type Server also allows the team to gather, examine and share font usage data in an easily decipherable and searchable format.

National Geographic Society is part of Extensis’ prestigious list of global customers who are using Universal Type Server, including Condé Nast, Future Publishing, Young & Rubicam, The Art Institutes and Conair.

To explore more about how Universal Type Server can help your team maintain font compliance, see

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Today we released an update to Universal Type Server. We’ve stocked it full of new server features that we’re sure you’ll love.

The new features of version 3.1 include:

  • Improved LDAP features including workgroup and permission mapping, synchronization, services browsing and real-time focused LDAP synching
  • Kerberos single sign-on improvements
  • User management administration usability and speed improvements
  • Improved user management within workgroups
  • Ability to upload font license files to the server
  • Additional fixed issues and feature improvements

This update is free of charge for all users with current Annual Service Agreement.

Download the update.

For a complete list of updates included in this release, see the release notes on the Support page.

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Around here, we pay very close attention to the needs and desires of our customers. Over the past few months, I’ve been taking time to visit a number of our Universal Type Server customers to hear how things are going, and how our products are fitting into their workflows. I just returned from a visit to the Los Angeles area this week, and am happy to share some of the feedback that I received.

Primary focus is synchronization

I asked dozens of our customers to identify the most important problems that they’ve selected to solve with Universal Type Server. By far the most prominent response is that they use Type Server “to stay in sync.”

This doesn’t really surprise me all that much. IT administrators who manage thousands of users with thousands of fonts, keeping everyone on the same page, with the same font software is no small task.

Creative teams are fast paced and don’t have time to search for a specific font required to get the job done. It not only slows down the production workflow, it can bog down the IT department’s helpdesk as well.

Font compliance on the rise

A close second, if not almost equal to synchronization, is the importance of maintaining font compliance in the workflow. In plain terms, this means that knowing for certain that you have the appropriate number of font licenses for your projects.

I’m fond of saying, “What piece of software can you have purchased 20 years ago, and still have function on your current machine?” Honestly, I can think of no other software that has such broad, continued support across multiple operating systems.

Because of this, many organizations now have massive collections of fonts that they’ve accumulated over the past 20 years. With likely ongoing changes in personnel, many teams are finding that the person who originally purchased a font is long gone. The documentation supporting the purchase – the end user license agreement (EULA), PO, and so forth – might be missing or never properly filed.

Without a consistent purchasing and font integration process in place, most organizations lost track of font license purchases.

To keep their company, and more importantly their clients, safe from lawsuits, many teams are drawing a line in the sand. Many have split up their font workgroups to two big piles. One for all fonts where they know that they have purchased the correct number of font licenses for their team, and another where they’re not so certain. In the future, if a project requires a font from the “not so certain” group, then a process of research takes place. Looking for previous PO’s, receipts, etc. If nothing can be found, it’s usually a task to locate the original foundry, and purchase the required number of licenses.

I’ve definitely heard stories about the attempts of some teams to locate the original author of an obscure font. There are times where it’s just not possible, so people frequently need to choose another, similar typeface that they can obtain a legal license for.

Seeing the risks of font non-compliance, creative groups want to do the right thing and stay on top of font licensing.

Universal Type Server is being used to help groups maintain that font compliance. Paired with an established purchasing process, Type Server is being used to keep people from inserting random, unknown fonts into the workflow, tracking font usage, and adjusting the purchasing strategy to appropriately meet needs.

If your team isn’t on this path to compliance yet, don’t fret. It’s never too late to get started down the right path. For most organizations, it’s a process that takes time. With minor workflow changes and definitions, you can ensure that you won’t have unlicensed fonts going out the door with your next project.

I’m always interested in hearing stories about how server-based font management is working for your team. I’d love to hear your stories. Share yours with me by emailing jkidwell [at] extensis [dot] com. You can also tweet me @extensis.

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So, you have a massive pile of disorganized fonts. Some of them are collected with InDesign files, others haphazardly thrown into a network folder, and more in the various font folders on your mac.

We recently talked about Data Deduplication on the blog, so you’ve probably decided to get your rear in gear and organize all of your fonts using a font management system (you have, haven’t you?).

By adding all of your fonts to the font manager, only a single copy of each font is kept, making it much easier to find the fonts that you’re looking for.

Yet, when you look back into Suitcase Fusion, you see that there are 5 different copies of Helvetica. Why would this happen? “I’ve gotta call support,” you think to yourself.

Wait! Put down the phone! There’s an important thing to understand about how Suitcase Fusion and Universal Type Server looks at fonts. When each font is added, it is scanned. This scan allows the software to determine if the font is corrupt, as well as measures a number of unique identifying characteristics of the font.

It’s the identifying characteristics of each font that are compiled together to create what’s known as a Font Sense ID. So, as long as two fonts have different Font Sense IDs, both will be kept in the font vault, this is even if the two fonts have the same PostScript name.

This is actually a benefit to your design and layout work. That this situation as an example. You use a font that has slightly modified kerning tables in it to layout a very long document – for instance, a book or annual report. The original font was modified without your knowledge, but your layout looks good so you don’t care. Now what happens the next time you open, modify or print the document if the original, unmodified font is used? The entire layout will change, potentially causing drastic repercussions. Text could flow off the page, the document could be inadvertently printed without the missing text. And what would happen if you bought a book and the final paragraph wasn’t included. Not a good scenario.

When using the font auto-activation plug-ins, Font Sense IDs are read and embedded into documents. So you can be sure that the next time you open up your document, the exact, precise font is used.

So, when you’re using Suitcase Fusion or the Universal Type Client, if you see what looks like multiple copies of a font in your font list, look for the Font Sense IDs. If they’re different, one of the many font metrics that are measured is unique for that font. So put down that phone and get back to it, we’ve got you covered.

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It happens more quickly than you think. Someone in your company downloads a font from the internet, uses it in a project, everyone likes it and it is quickly copied from one machine to the another.

What happens if the original font was:

  • pirated
  • not licensed for corporate use
  • purchased only for a single user
  • not licensed for the intended target (web, digital media, etc.)

With any “rogue” font, your company (and even your clients) can potentially get into legal hot water.

It happens more frequently than you might think. Even Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign got caught in a font licensing related lawsuit.

You can prevent situations like this by locking down a user’s Fonts folders and only allowing approved fonts to be added.

Universal Type Server allows you to create System Font Policies of approved fonts for your users. After installing either the Universal Type Client or the Type Core Client on the user’s machine, only fonts that are approved by the Policy are able to be installed in the Fonts folder.

When a font that isn’t explicitly listed on the policy is added to the Fonts folders, it is automatically removed. Administrators can specify whether disallowed fonts are deleted immediately, or simply moved to the user’s desktop.

System font policies work on either Mac OS X or Windows PCs, with separate approved lists for each operating system. This way you can be sure to keep all of the required system fonts for each OS, while removing everything else.

As a server-based font manager, Universal Type Server automatically distributes your approved, legal font collection to your team, while seamlessly keeping rogue fonts out of your workflow.

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