The Useful, Hidden, Convoluted Font Mapping Feature

Wed, Oct 17, 2007


I recently encountered a question about what the Font Mapping feature does in QuarkXPress. Being one of those incredibly helpful (and unique) features that Quark never found the time to promote, I’ll promote it here.

The main purpose of the Font Mapping feature is to automatically change one or more fonts when opening a project. It’s most useful for people who regularly receive QuarkXPress projects that use certain fonts, and then have to change those fonts to other fonts.

For example: our client creates projects using Times New Roman MT, but our standard body copy font is Times Ten. So, instead of having to change the font manually every time we open his projects, the Font Mapping feature can automatically change it whenever we open one of his projects. All we have to do is make sure that we don’t have his font active when we open the project.

You control the Font Mapping feature under Utilities> Font Mapping. There, you can edit, save and import Font Mapping rules — but you can’t create them. In one of the most unnecessarily complex interface roundabouts I’ve ever seen, to create a new Font Mapping rule you have to first open a file that uses a font that isn’t currently active on your computer. Then, in the Missing Fonts dialog box, choose the font you want to replace the missing font and then remember to click the Save As Rule button. (Quark! What’s up with that?)

The Useful, Hidden, Convoluted Font Mapping Feature

The Useful, Hidden, Convoluted Font Mapping Feature

Anyway, by applying those rules when opening a project whose fonts are not active, those missing fonts will be replaced by the fonts specified in the Font Mapping rules. The rules are available to every Project.

Related to the Font Mapping feature is the Preference that lets you change the default font that QuarkXPress displays when it offers to replace missing fonts in any project you open. You know: that dialog that appears when you open a project that uses fonts that aren’t currently active.

The Useful, Hidden, Convoluted Font Mapping Feature

That Preference also lets you turn off the Missing Fonts dialog when you open a project whose fonts are missing. In that case, all missing fonts will be replaced and no warning dialog will appear. If you’ve defined rules for specific fonts to be replaced by other fonts, then those rules will apply. If fonts are used that are not specified in any rule, then they can either be replaced by the default font, or the Missing Fonts dialog box can appear — the Preference lets you define which behavior you prefer.

I think the Font Mapping feature is powerful and useful. I just wish its interface wasn’t spread out over three locations in QuarkXPress. Its interface must have been created by the same people who arranged the Job Jackets feature…

This post was written by:

- who has written 1638 posts on Planet Quark.

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.

Contact the author

One Response to “The Useful, Hidden, Convoluted Font Mapping Feature”

  1. Davcorm Says:

    Hey, this post is a little old but it helped me a lot. Thanks so much!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.