Many of our tips come directly from the annoyances Seattle designers call us about. This is one of those issues. We hear from many frustrated designers who complain that Extensis Suitcase is constantly deactivating fonts in Adobe InDesign while they work. Seemingly at random.

The short answer is to turn off the “On document close” option in the Suitcase Auto-Activation plug-in preferences. Read on for full details.

Suitcase’s Auto-Activation Plug-in.

The culprit for these annoying font deactivations is the Suitcase Auto-Activation plug-in. This plug-in contains an option that automatically turns off auto-activated fonts when you close an InDesign document.

Let’s walk through how this feature works against many multi-tasking designers.

Say you open an InDesign file (call it Document-A) which automatically activates a collection of your commonly used fonts. You work on that file, and then open a second document (call it Document-B) that also uses several of those fonts.

If you later close out of Document-A, the Suitcase plug-in deactivates all the fonts that were auto-activated when you first opened that file. Then when you switch back to Document-B (which is still open) you’ll get a collection of error messages from InDesign saying your needed fonts are no longer available.

How frustrating!

The Fix: Turn off the “On document close” option.

To prevent Suitcase from closing needed fonts while you are working, bring up the Suitcase Auto-Activation Preferences in InDesign:

InDesign > Preferences > Suitcase Auto-Activation…

In Suitcase Fusion you should uncheck “On document close” in the Close opened fonts section.

In Suitcase X1 (shown below) uncheck the option labeled “Deactivate fonts after closing a document.”

Source: This tip originally inspired by a troubleshooting session with the Seattle Opera. More recently, designer Mike Styskal at Utility Inc. had the same problem and said this would be a great tip for us to put out. Thanks Styk!