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Completely Embed Font (not Subset) in PDF several methods not working

Aug 24, 2011 10:12 AM

Hi,

 

I have an Illustrator CS5 file, on a Windows 7 PC.

 

I have used "Save As" direclty from Illustrator, also "Print" with Distiller and finally the Acrobat Pro 9 "Preflight" "Fixups" to Embed Fonts.

 

This has included setting subsetting to 0% and in the "Print" dialogue when using the Distiller method, changing the font dropdown to "Complete".

 

I do not want to convert my font to outlines, because of the changes this causes. I do not want to subset - but completely embed the fonts.

 

This is driving me insane, and I really would appreicate any suggesstions. Please help!

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 24, 2011 11:51 AM   in reply to jones89168

    Adobe most strongly recommends use of “save as PDF” from Adobe Illustrator as opposed to creating PDF via distillation of PostScript. The PostScript generated by Illustrator (and for that matter, InDesign, Photoshop, and Acrobat) is optimized for printing to a PostScript printer and not for generation of efficient, reliable PDF!!!

     

    We also recommend subset embedding all fonts referenced in a PDF file. Given the size of many new OpenType fonts with exceptionally large character sets, fully embedding a font can result in useless bloat to a PDF file. We know of no good reason for embedding a full font in a PDF file. Contrary to some popular misconceptions, embedding a full font in a PDF file (a) does not let you edit the text of the PDF file using the text touch-up tool of Acrobat using the embedded font itself and (b) does not let you display or edit the text of the PDF file in Adobe Illustrator using the embedded font. (Note that Adobe does not endorse attempts to edit full PDF files in Adobe Illustrator which is not a general purpose PDF file editor and can only safely edit PDF files saved from the current or later versions of Illustrator using the editability option!)

     

    In both (a) and (b) above, you need to have the original font actually installed on the system itself in order to accomplish the edits of (a) or the proper display and edit of (b).

     

    There are some third party tools that claim to support editing of text in PDF using fully embedded fonts, but they don't always work as you might expect. When fonts are “fully embedded” in a PDF file, in reality, only the glyph definitions and advance width metrics are embedded, not all the advanced metrics including kerning information and OpenType features, severely limiting the functionality and quality of any such text edit functionality.

     

    Exactly what use case do you have that you believe really requires fully-embedded fonts?

     

              - Dov

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 24, 2011 1:35 PM   in reply to jones89168

    I looked at the Data Requirements for Fonts as described by “Onlineprinters.com” at http://www.onlineprinters.com/dd_fonts.htm?websale7=diedruckerei;02-aa &tpl=02-aa/$ws-cms/dd_fonts.html.

     

    They may be “an ISO certified company” but that doesn't mean that they are knowledgeable or follow reliable workflow processes and procedures. Based upon what they describe on that web page, I would stay very clear of such a printing company and I am sure many other experience graphics professionals would advise you likewise. This printing company clearly doesn't know what it is talking about with such misinformation (to put it very mildly) as:

     

    Embedding fonts as subgroups often results in errors in the RIP interpretation (exposure process), which results in the absence of special characters and umlauts. In addition, it can also cause the displacement of line breaks.

     

    and

     

    Based on our experience, the following fonts are susceptible to line break displacement or the absence of special characters and umlauts: TrueType, Multiple Master, Composite fonts.

     

    The only way this operation could be actually encountering such problems if by some combination of truly ancient RIPs and PDF workflow software versions and/or professional incompetence! Their “requirements” are certainly not backed up by their national print trade associations (they are based in Germany and their print trade associations are members of the Ghent PDF Workgroup which absolutely does not subscribe to this arrogant rubbish!). Or maybe they are just believing long-discredited urban legends (the warning against TrueType points to that). Note that PDF is a “final form file format” and as such, it is literally impossible to get what they describe as “displacement of line breaks” based on either the type of font used or whether a font is fully-embedded or subset embedded.

     

    Adobe software does not guarantee the ability to fully embed any and all fonts under any circumstance. What Adobe software does provide is the ability to at least subset embed any font that is not physically protected against embedding (and this isn't an issue of subset versus full font embedding). We are not aware of any modern day graphic arts RIP (based on Adobe RIP software or otherwise) or process that has problems with subsetted fonts.

     

    We are sorry that you appear to be stuck with this printing company which based on their so-called requirements, seems to be intent on mediocrity (outlining text is known to produce degraded text output quality, especially at small point sizes and with decorative or complex typefaces) and is likely to cause other problems with their printed output with blame place on fictional bogeymen!

     

         - Dov

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2011 1:18 PM   in reply to jones89168

    Well, good luck and let us know if we can assist you further.

     

    Too bad many print service providers really don't understand the true aspect of service and seem to be more interested in CYA (cover your *ss) than really meeting customer needs and high quality product.

     

    Unfortunately, this specimen is not isolated!

     

              - Dov

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 30, 2011 9:23 AM   in reply to jones89168

    Edward,

     

    (1)     The fact that they are OK with certain fonts subsetted and others not indicates the true foolishness of their declared requirements.

     

    (2)     If their joboptions file is inconsistent in terms of the specifed output color space from what they declare to be their required color space, it shows how screwed up they are in terms of how they develop and communicate their requirements.

     

    (3)     The reason that we typically don't downsample images unless they significantly exceed the target resolution is that downsampling is in fact a lossy and destructive process. Images are downsampled at the RIP anyway and if you can avoid cascading lossy downsampling operations, you may avoid unnecessary image degradation. The values they provide of downsampling anything over 600dpi to 400dpi is fairly odd. Typical industry practice  and experience is that 300dpi is quite sufficient for most high quality offset printing which typically has more exacting requirements. I would leave their settings as-is. They won't hurt you other than to yield a slightly larger PDF file.

     

    (4)     Don't try to artificially upsample or downsample any image before placing into InDesign. Upsampling does not improve quality in any way whatsoever. Downsampling can lead to the problem of cascading tranformations per (3) above.

     

    (5)     The recommended compression should be Automatic (JPEG) with Maximum quality. Images that are photographic in nature will be compressed with JPEG compression and images that are more “vector-like” (i.e., not photographic, but really representing material that would otherwise be done with text and/or vector) are losslessly compressed with ZIP compression. This is the best of both worlds and should be just fine for 99.999% of all PDF production. Note that Adobe applications typically send imagery that is already JPEG-compressed and that doesn't absolutely require downsampling through directly to the PDF file without decompressing and recompressing, a cascading operation that further decreases quality.

     

              - Dov

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 30, 2011 11:01 AM   in reply to jones89168

    Take two asprin and call me in the morning ...

     

    (1)     Place the images as-is into InDesign. Don't downsample in Photoshop prior to placing. InDesign (actually, more specifically, Adobe's core technology libraries) will downsample the images if necessary during the PDF export. This isn't a matter of laziness. Not downsampling prior to placement is actually prudent because it gives you flexibility. If you downsample, you are committed to a maximum resolution at highest quality because you have already discarded original image data.

     

    (2)     Back to the color issue. The CMYK color space specified in the joboptions will indeed be the CMYK color space of the generated PDF file. You should be OK with your RGB imagery (hopefully it is tagged with an ICC profile) whether or not your joboptions call for conversion of RGB to CMYK or not. Your untagged CMYK text and vector should be OK. Depending upon whether you ask for color conversion, no conversion, or color conversion (preserve numbers), you may or may not be OK in terms of some nasty CMYK to CMYK conversions which you typically would like to avoid. The color stuff can be quite nasty especially if you have mismatches in the CMYK color space and you don't have the preserve numbers option. Of course, it also depends upon how critical CMYK color managment is to you (as opposed to RGB to CMYK color management which generally quite critical). Without actually seeing your color settings, a sample document, and the joboptions, it is very difficult to give you further advice.

     

              - Dov

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2014 4:25 AM   in reply to jones89168

    Hi,

     

    If I understand correctly from this thread: Save As PDF from Illustrator WILL NOT embed a font entirely, even if "Subset fonts when percent of characters used is less than 0%" is specified.

    Is this correct?

     

    Is there a workaround to embed all fonts fully (no subsetting or outlining of fonts in the final PDF)?

     

    Thanks.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2014 4:39 AM   in reply to sPretzel

    sPretzel,

     

    I hope you fully read this thread.

     

    There is no way to guarantee full embedding of all fonts when exporting PDF for InDesign or saving PDF from Illustrator or Photoshop, including the specification of “is less than 0%.”

     

    Why in the world are you insisting upon embedding full fonts? Why is that a requirement for you? Or is it the requirement of some ignorant print service provider?

     

    Even the normal preflight fixups of Acrobat do not provide a means of embedding full fonts.

     

    There is one workaround that I am aware of. There are some third party preflight plugins to Acrobat (at considerable extra cost), that do provide such a capability. You would run the appropriate fixup in those plugins after you have created the PDF file.

     

    But again, the real question is what does that really buy you?

     

              - Dov

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2014 5:15 AM   in reply to Dov Isaacs

    Hi Dov,

     

    Thanks for your prompt response. I can see slight differences between the real font and the outlined version in the PDF. Besides, if the font is available for embedding, why would Acrobat choose to embed some or parts of characters but not all (or vice versa, outline some but not all). The option to fully embed works if I Print to PDF, instead of Save As PDF (of course, print to has other limitations).

     

    What bothers me in the case I am dealing with is that Acrobat outlines some font characters that are in the original Illustrator file, instead of embedding the font character. As such, I would be quite happy to embed the subset of the font that is used in the original Illustrator file, but I don't want any outlining. But this is not happening!

     

    So the problem is not that Save As PDF (from Illustrator) is not embedding the full font set, but that it's not embedding the full subset of the font used in the document, and chooses instead to outline some of these characters.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2014 5:30 AM   in reply to sPretzel

    Now I understand your issue.

     

    When you save PDF from Illustrator (or export from InDesign), you normally will not get outlined text unless

     

    (1) There is text that is involved with a transparency effect (for example, text is specified as having anything other than 0% transparency with regular transparency blending) or is part of a group of objects with transparency effects.

     

    and

     

    (2) The PDF is being saved (exported) using joboptions that require flattening of all content. Examples of such PDF joboptions include PDF/X-1a and PDF/X-3 or any custom options that call for PDF 1.3. PDF 1.4 is required to avoid transparency flattening.

     

    If both (1) and (2) are true, even embedding the whole font will not avoid the outlining due to flattening of transparency.

     

    Thus, based on what you describe, I believe the bottom line is that to avoid the outlining of text, you either need to eliminate any transparency that involves your text or better, save (export) the PDF with the PDF/X-4 or perhaps the High Quality Print settings.

     

              - Dov

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2014 6:10 AM   in reply to Dov Isaacs

    Hi Dov,

     

    This appears to be what is happening, but not exactly as you put it. I have text elements that do not fall within the footprint of the objects with transparency. Additionally, I was saving as PDF with PDF 1.5. Yet, the fonts are being outlined to a large extent (some of the text is set to overprint but I don't think that is transparency). So I am not really meeting your criteria #1 or #2.

     

    Regarding PDF 1.3 producer, I am aware that it doesn't support layers and flattens transparency. However, I am facing a different set of issues when I go this route, which include stitching and shifting. PDF 1.3 slices the transparent objects into regions but stitches them back together with small overlaps and shifts (usually a pixel or two). This does not happen in PDF 1.5.

     

     

    PS: As an experiment, I just took a box with some of that text, removed all its overprinting attributes, put it in a new empty Illustrator document, and Save As PDF with PDF 1.5. The resulting PDF file was still outlining the font!!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2014 6:23 AM   in reply to sPretzel

    OK, another possibility. Normally, i.e. by default, when you type text in Adobe applications, it is only “filled.” However, if you set a color for the outline, you will also get outlining as well as filling. The outlining is not done with a font, but rather a polygon description.

     

    Attached is a sample .AI file and corresponding saved .PDF file showing this.

     

              - Dov

    Attachments:
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2014 6:28 AM   in reply to Dov Isaacs

    I looked at Preflight in Acrobat for the text in the resulting PDF 1.3 and PDF 1.5 documents. The PDF 1.5 document appears to convert all text strokes to outlines (described as "Vector objects (stroked)"). PDF 1.3 keeps the text strokes as is (described as "Text with stroked outlines").

    The fill and stroke of the text are of the same colour.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2014 6:34 AM   in reply to sPretzel

    Set your stroke color for text to be none (the swatch with the red oblique slash) and you'll get rid of the stroke. That is the likely problem.

     

    Normal text is never stroked, but just filled.

     

              - Dov

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2014 6:52 AM   in reply to Dov Isaacs

    Well, I need the stroke in this case! My previous post was incomplete. I had produced the two documents differently: PDF 1.3 was using Print to a PDF printer and PDF 1.5 was using Save As PDF.

    I took the document with the text inside and printed in these scenarios:

    Print to PDF:

    1- with PDF 1.3

    2- with PDF 1.5

     

    Save as PDF:

    1- with PDF 1.3

    2- with PDF 1.5

     

    In Print to PDF, both keep the "Text with stroked outlines". In Save As PDF, both turn the text stroke to "Vector objects (stroked). It looks as though "Save As PDF" is not working as it should.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2014 7:03 AM   in reply to sPretzel

    OK, I see what you are saying.

     

    Of course, printing to PDF loses all ICC color management and live transparency since PostScript supports neither.

     

    The save as PDF does in fact produce actual vector objects, but the print to PDF (using the Adobe PDF PostScript printer driver instance under Windows) produces a contruct of stroking text that effectively gives the same visual result.

     

    I'll contact the Illustrator and InDesign teams to see if there is a possibility of modifying the method by which the PDF is saved (exported) to be more efficient (actually combining the fill and stroke operations). No promise of any short term change here.

     

              - Dov

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2014 8:49 AM   in reply to Dov Isaacs

    Thanks Dov for your explanations. I suppose that's as far as Save As PDF can go then for now and I shouldn't expect to get stroked text out of it.

     
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