Adobe Typekit: Do your fonts disappear when you’re not online?

Typekit iconAdobe Creative Cloud icon

Uncertainty about how much Adobe Creative Cloud depends on Internet connectivity makes some users wary of signing up. We already know that annual subscribers can run Creative Cloud applications for 99 days in offline mode before having to revalidate the license online (30 days for monthly subscribers).

But I started to wonder how that works with Typekit fonts. Access to the Typekit font library is a valuable Creative Cloud feature because you can sync any of thousands of TypeKit fonts to your desktop and use them in any application (they’re not just web fonts). Of course, you can’t simply copy the fonts to just any computer and use them; because Typekit fonts must be validated by the Creative Cloud servers they work only for licensed Creative Cloud users.

Which leads to this question: If you synced Typekit fonts from Creative Cloud to your desktop, and you need to edit documents that use Typekit fonts when no Internet connection is available, do you still get to use those fonts or do they disappear along with the Internet? This is a big question because losing access to fonts can make it impossible to edit design-intensive documents.

Fortunately, the answer is the one we want to hear: Typekit fonts you’ve already synced to your computer will continue to work even if you don’t have an Internet connection. When you’re offline, Typekit fonts are kept accessible by the Creative Cloud desktop application; that’s the software you use to install and validate Adobe Creative Cloud tools and services such as applications and fonts.

Creative Cloud desktop application and TypeKit

I originally thought Typekit fonts didn’t work without the Internet, but later realized that was only because I had quit the Creative Cloud application. (I have a habit of shutting down processes such as Creative Cloud and Dropbox when I don’t need them.) But as long as the Creative Cloud desktop application is running, your Typekit fonts will continue to be available in your applications whether you are online or offline.

As with Creative Cloud applications, you’ll have offline access to Typekit fonts as long as you were signed into your Creative Cloud account the last time you were online. But a key difference is that Creative Cloud applications will work just fine when the Creative Cloud desktop app is not running whereas Typekit fonts will not. Even when you have an Internet connection, you still need to run the Creative Cloud desktop app to keep Typekit fonts active.

Possible resource issues

Running the Creative Cloud application all the time may be an issue for those concerned about battery life and keeping CPU cycles available. Some users report that Creative Cloud sometimes consumes more CPU power than expected when idle; and on OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Creative Cloud is sometimes listed as an Application Using Significant Energy under the battery icon in the menu bar.

Creative Cloud using significant energy

Those observations have caused some to quit Creative Cloud when not using Creative Cloud applications. But if you want to be able to use Typekit fonts in your documents, for now you must let the Creative Cloud application continue to run. Adobe regularly updates the Creative Cloud desktop application and may be able to improve its power management over time.

Update: The Creative Cloud desktop app version 1.8.0.447 released on October 6, 2014 may have addressed this problem. The release notes for that version include this item: “Save battery life via improved app efficiency.” We’ll have to see how much difference that makes.

7 comments

  1. I have issues. TypeKit wants to revalidate every time I open an application. Driving me out of TypeKit! Want to love it but hate it now!

  2. Hi
    But what happens if you restart your system? When I am offline and restart my system the typekit fonts dissapear, even if I did not shut down the CC App.

    1. Hi Arne, what happens when you restart is supposed to depend on whether the Creative Cloud desktop application is set as a startup item. If the CC desktop app runs itself upon startup or login, I would think that TypeKit fonts would be available, as long as the CC desktop app is also signed into Creative Cloud.

      1. Thanks for your reply. I will test this, but I don´t really get your point. You say “as long as the CC desktop app is also signed into Creative Cloud” ? But when you are off-line the app can´t of course be signed into Creative Cloud.

      2. When you are offline, the Creative Cloud application maintains the login state that it had when you were online. So if Creative Cloud was signed in before the network connection was lost, it should remain signed in when there is no network. Of course, if you were not signed in you were online, you can’t sign in when there is no network.

        But see my reply to your later question, because what happened after I restarted was not what I expected.

  3. I tested it. The app is signed in, autostart is set, I cut the internetconnection, make a system restart, the app starts automatically but of course can´t sign in. Unfortunately the fonts don´t appear.

    1. OK. When I wrote the article, I only tested disabling the network connection, but not restarting.

      I just tested disabling the Internet and then restarting. After I restarted, Creative Cloud was still signed in because InDesign and Illustrator started up properly, even though the Creative Cloud application itself could not reach the Internet. But what happened next is confusing to me. Most of my TypeKit fonts still worked, except one.

      I can’t explain why, with the network off, one TypeKit font didn’t work but the rest still did. We may have to ask Adobe. I’m using a Mac running OS X 10.11.5.

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