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What Is Adobe Type Manager

written by: •edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 8/28/2009

Adobe Type Manager Deluxe 4.1 is a helpful, basic font management tool for Windows users. This article looks at its usefulness for desktop publishers as well as its key features, especially the font grouping feature, the highlight of this program.

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    Computer professionals may be aware that Adobe Type Manager (ATM) represents a family of computer programs created by Adobe Systems for using with Type 1 fonts. As a matter of fact, ATM was created originally for Apple Macintosh to overcome certain problems.

    Prior to the introduction of Macintosh operating systems Mac OS X, Type 1 fonts would appear distorted on the monitor, particularly when set at other sizes. ATM was designed to allow Type 1 fonts to appear evenly at any point size, and to print well to non-PostScript devices.

    Years later, Adobe developed ATM into a broad-based Font Management Program calling it ATM Deluxe and retained the original ATM under the new nomenclature ATM Light. Towards the beginning of this century Apple's Mac OS X as well as Microsoft Windows 2000 and Microsoft XP had the support for Type 1 fonts built into their operating system using ATM Light code brought out by Adobe.

    ATM thereafter ceased to have relevance for font imaging or printing. ATM Light, however, is still available in the market for Windows users but ATM Deluxe is no longer developed or marketed by Adobe Systems. But the launching of ATM 4.1 for Windows by Adobe marks some useful and moderately functional font management tools.

    The ATM 4.1 is a well-designed, user-friendly, four-tab window control panel. The first tab displays the names of any font sets the user has created and installed. The second tab displays all fonts or only active fonts allowing the user to uninstall fonts. The third tab is the heavily used Add Fonts tab where one can create new set of fonts, add and remove the required fonts. Installation of fonts is an easy and simple drag-n-drop operation with a single mouse click. Finally the Settings tab lets the user specify the path to all PostScript structures and Font Metrics files and other TrueType files.

    When the user is confronted with many installed fonts, it can become inconvenient and tiring to every time scroll through long font lists to select the few fonts needed. Whereas with font sets, the user has the advantage of activating only the chosen fonts needed at that time.

    With a little forethought, the user can group the fonts by type, by project, or in any other convenient fashion. There is no harm even if the same font finds a place in more than one font set. Like font installation, creating font sets is also a simple drag and drop. Font sets may be described as the highlight or the core feature of this version of ATM.

    Yet another notable feature is the use of Multiple Master fonts that allow the user to take Multiple Master base fonts and work with various attributes such as height or width for customizing the fonts to the user’s specific requirements. When the user installs and/or uninstalls fonts too often, then error messages are bound to occur. ATM 4.1 has two optional features – automatic activation and font substitution - to overcome this annoyance.

    If your font management needs are minimal and you work with both TrueType and Type 1 fonts, ATM 4.1 is a good product worth buying.