When you package a document in InDesign CS5, the fonts are stored in a folder named “Document Fonts.” And there’s a special significance to that folder name. Open an InDesign file, and it looks around its current directory for that folder. If it finds it, whoopee, it automatically activates the fonts in the folder, without invoking a font manager. The fonts are active only for InDesign, only for that document, and only as long as that file is open. Those fonts are not available to other applications, or other documents (even if the “sanctioned” file is currently open). It’s a very personal relationship.
This feature ensures that the correct fonts are used when you package the job and send it to a commercial printer. But what if the printer has an established way of organizing customer files that breaks up the set? Many prepress departments have standardized directories similar to this:
—-Page Layout Files (working)
—-Original Customer Files
In this arrangement, the original InDesign file is inside the “Original Customer Files” folder, and its little friends the fonts are in the Fonts folder. And a modified InDesign file (altered to fix any problems or refine the file for the printer’s workflow) is in the “Page Layout Files (working)” folder. There’s no line of communication between this second-generation working InDesign file and the fonts folder. When you open the file, it assumes it’s fontless, and you get the “Missing Fonts” message and the dreaded Pepto-Bismol® highlighting.
But there’s a workaround: Place an alias (or shortcut) to the fonts folder in the same directory as the working InDesign file. Just make sure the stunt-double folder is named Document Fonts (not “Document Fonts alias” or “Shortcut to Document Fonts”) — the name of the original folder doesn’t matter. The InDesign file is happy again, you get to keep your folder structure, and all is well in Fontworld.
(Thanks to Rick @ Garner Printing for asking about this.)