Light weights not menu listed in MS Word 2011 (Mac)

My type family has 6 instances; Thin (250), Light (300) , Regular (400), Medium (500), Bold (700), ExtraBold (800) with corresponding italics that are style linked.

The Thin and Light Italics are only accessible via the [i] menu style button in MS Word 2011 (Mac), the other italics appear in the font menu.

I cannot get these two italics to appear in the font menu.

I have cleared all caches, and the problem replicates on another Mac.

MS Word for Mac has so many bugs with font handling that there is probably no way to fix this. I had once 50 versions of the same font (with different names) installed to figure stuff our.

I would try to set the weight class for the both styles to 400 and see if that helps.

I’ve done a 20-style family which displays just fine in Adobe style menus. But 3 of the style names are missing from the styles dropdown when I try to access it through MS Word 2011 (Mac). The styles themselves are available, btw; I just have to manually type the names into the style field by hand. Can you help?

I’ve cleared caches, etc., of course.



Make sure none of the names in the name tables are more than 31 characters. According to the spec, some of them can be longer than that (CFF Fontname, for example), but I seem to recall that MS Word/Mac would not display them in the font menu if they were longer. (It’s been a while since I investigated it, but this is my recollection.)

Thanks, Mark, but it’s a numbered family, and the styles are all just four characters long: No21, No22, No23, etc.

It’s not the extreme styles that drop out, fwiw.

Oof, that could be it, some systems require the names to be unique without the figures. Not sure if Word was among them, but it looks like it. Does it work if you name them A, B, C…?

FWIW, I changed the No21 format to No. 21 and added full descriptive names through preferredSubfamilyName, and this time MS Word displayed 19 out of 20 names. Can’t see any difference between the names that worked and the one that didn’t. As before, the style that doesn’t show up in the dropdown works fine when it’s manually entered in the Word style field.

I could make abbreviated descriptive names that might address the “unique without the figures” issue, but the result is font files with hard-to-parse names. And other foundries don’t seem to do this. In fact, other foundries seem to get away with font names that are well over 20 characters long.

Can you send me the .glyphs files? I will have a look.

Update: I had a friend at Microsoft look this over, who showed it to a colleague, who said he found that “the Mac style in the HEAD table was set to Regular” for the non-displaying font file, as well as the Windows Unicode Subfamily Style, as shown in the screen grab attached. (He’s not permitted to say which tool they used to read the tables.) Is there any way to fix this in the exported OTF? Or does this give any clue to what I might be doing wrong in the Glyphs file? Neither he nor I can find any anomalies there.

  1. Does it behave the same when you export as TTF?
  2. Have you tested if styles also are missing on Windows MS. Word?

This issue has been recently discussed in other forum… it seems many designers are having problems with it.

I am preparing a Naming tutorial, for which I have had some worthwhile feedback from @robmck.

Word likes Name IDs 1 and 2 to add up to a so-called RIBBI family: Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic. These four styles you leave as they are in terms of naming. In Glyphs, Name IDs 1 and 2 are represented by the family name as entered in Font Info > Font, and style name, as entered in Font Info > Instances. (If need be, the family name can be overridden in an instance with the custom parameter familyName.)

Any other styles and their respective italics must be put into separate RI families with Name IDs 21 and 22. These are the Weight/Width/Slope (WWS) names, which means that any name information about Weight (e.g., Semibold), Width (e.g., Condensed), and Slope (e.g., Backslant) becomes part of the WWS Family Name, and only the RIBBI style names are left for the WWS Subfamily Name. Both can be set as custom parameters in Font Info > Instances: Name ID 21 is WWSFamilyName, and Name ID 22 is WWSSubfamilyName. Use WWS names whenever the style name is not RIBBI.

An example:

  • Superfont Regular: family name Superfont, style name Regular (RIBBI)
  • Superfont Italic: family name Superfont, style name Italic (RIBBI)
  • Superfont Bold: family name Superfont, style name Bold (RIBBI)
  • Superfont Bold Italic: family name Superfont, style name Bold Italic (RIBBI)
  • Superfont Condensed Semibold: family name Superfont, style name Condensed Semibold (not RIBBI, so also set:) WWSFamilyName Superfont Condensed Semibold, WWSSubfamilyName Regular (RI)
  • Superfont Condensed Semibold Italic: family name Superfont, style name Condensed Semibold (not RIBBI, so also set:) WWSFamilyName Superfont Condensed Semibold, WWSSubfamilyName Italic (RI)