0KB Fonts on SMB Shares

posted in: Sage Advice | 2

More and more companies are using Windows servers and SMB shares in a networked environment. This poses a few challenges for Macs. One of the biggest problems is with older, T1 fonts (Postscript). When these fonts are moved from Appletalk shares to SMB shares, they can lose their resource fork and become unusable. They will appear on an SMB share on a Mac as a Unix Executable File with a file size of 0KB.

Here are a few workarounds to this problem.

  1. If a font is copied from a Mac to a share via AFP, you can only read it using AFP. If you then mount the share as SMB, the font is corrupted.
  2. If a font is copied from a Mac to a share via SMB, you CAN read it using SMB! It is not corrupted.
  3. If a font is converted from T1 to OTF, it works either way since Open Type fonts don’t use a resource fork.
  4. The problem occurs with existing files on Mac shares. If the Mac share is simply converted or mounted as SMB, the fonts get corrupted. However, it appears that if a Mac mounts the share as SMB and copies the files, they are not corrupted. What the Mac does is copy the data fork as a regular, visible file, and the resource fork as a hidden file. This maintains the integrity of the font. The danger is that Windows users with “Show All Files” turned on, can see the invisible resource forks. If they are deleted then the font is damaged.
  5. If the fonts are converted to OTF, then this is a non-issue as OT fonts don’t have a separate data and resource fork. One easy way to convert all T1 fonts to OTF is to use a $99 program called FontXChange. It is fast and can convert and repair fonts.

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