15 Replies Latest reply on Jul 18, 2016 6:48 AM by rob day

    Fully embedding fonts in PDF

    curela

      Hi,

       

      I had a piece of information but I can't seem to find it anymore so I have to ask ...

       

      This is about understanding limitations of fully embedding fonts in a PDF (from Indesign Server). Actually it's about one limitation in particular. I know fonts with licensing issues or fonts that are marked "embedded not allowed" will not be embedded. Also, there is a threshold that I need to set.

       

      So, I recall reading somewhere that Indesign will not fully embed "standard" fonts. Is that correct and what is this standard fonts category?

       

      Oh, reading through some posts, I noticed lots of people and experts ask why does one need fully embedded fonts. That's a good question and I don't know the root reason but in my case it seems that some regulatory agencies (in the life sciences/pharma domain) require PDFs with fully embedded fonts.

       

      Many thanks

      Cristian

        • 1. Re: Fully embedding fonts in PDF
          Daniel Flavin Level 4

          You may be mixing some memories.

          The Standard PDF .joboptions setting does not embed common fonts.

          InDesign's Export ignores these this attribute. (Other means of pdf creation will honor the "not embed")

           

          I recall reading somewhere that you can force a full Embed without subset if you set the threshold to 0. InDesign will allow 0 in the subset minimum, Distiller requires 1-100 as input.

          Distiller shown

           

          Distiller Std Set.JPGYou

          • 2. Re: Fully embedding fonts in PDF
            curela Level 1

            Thanks Daniel!

             

            If you're suggesting I mixed "standard fonts" with "standard options", the answer is 'no'. I am not saying my memories don't have bad sectors, just not that one. I am pretty sure I recall reading about "standard fonts". I actually never saw the options above. But maybe you did answer my question ...

             

            And to clarify I am talking about Indesign Server and associated Javascript APIs. I posted the question on this forum assuming the functionality would be generic. And yes, I do use the threshold at 0 if I want full embedding   

            • 3. Re: Fully embedding fonts in PDF
              Test Screen Name Most Valuable Participant

              There are 14 fonts with a special status: Helvetica (regular, oblique, bold, bold oblique), Courier (ditto), Times (roman, italic, bold, bold italic), Symbol and Zapf Dingbats. (These privileges do not extend as some believe to similarly named fonts). These fonts never need to be embedded because they can always be shown. But they can be embedded, assuming you own them.

               

              There is a separate problem with embedding entire fonts: most fonts now CANNOT be fully embedded. I think this is true of all OpenType fonts but cannot confirm it. Some agencies indeed have unhelpful requirements which cannot necessarily be satisfied.

              • 4. Re: Fully embedding fonts in PDF
                Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                On behalf of Adobe:

                 

                (1)     For both InDesign “PDF export” (including InDesign Server) and Illustrator “save as PDF” functions, most but not all of the .joboptions file font embedding options are totally and utterly ignored. The options that are ignored are the Embed all fonts, Embed OpenType fonts, Always embed, and Never embed. Those options are observed by Distiller and the PDFMaker components of Acrobat.

                 

                (2)     These applications will attempt to embed all fonts referenced by the document, regardless of the settings of the .joboptions file. The only reason why a font would not be embedded in a PDF file would be if (a) the font was unavailable (i.e., not installed on the system) or (b) the font's embedding permissions do not permit embedding for at least preview and print privileges. Thus, if you use the so-called Standard .joboptions (strongly not recommended for any graphic arts purposes), even the base 14 fonts (four faces each of Helvetica, Times, and Courier along with Symbol and ITC Zapf Dingbats will be embedded if your document references them.

                 

                (3)     The subset threshold value of 0 (zero) may effectively cause all the glyphs of a font to be embedded in some, but not all cases. This will work for many if not most Type 1 fonts and some smaller TrueType and OpenType CFF fonts. Note that embedding all glyphs in a font is not the same as embedding a full font. For OpenType and TrueType fonts, InDesign and Illustrator never embed all the tables of the font. Such unembedded tables include those used for pair kerning, advanced OpenType features (such as ligatures, alternate representations, contextual alternates, small caps, old style figures, etc.), and extended metrics.

                 

                (4)     There are plenty of bubbameissas out there with regards to the benefits or liabilities of either fully embedding or subset embedding fonts. What is true is that: (a) Acrobat never uses the embedded font for text editing - you must have the font installed on the system in order to do such edits. (b) Subset embedding or not is totally irrelevant to what a RIP does when rendering text, either for PostScript or direct PDF RIPs. Neither subset or full embedding is any more reliable than the other and the specifications of PostScript and PDF do not permit the RIP to replace the embedded font with a font with a similar name - urban legend notwithstanding!!!! (c) Third party plug-ins to Acrobat or applications that claim to allow you to edit PDF files with embedded fonts may be illegally letting you do so if the embedding permissions do not permit embedding for editable embedding or installable embedding - most fonts do not provide such embedding permissions and since the fonts are missing metric information, such editing may be somewhat lacking in quality or features.

                 

                (5)     In fact some very non-tech-savvy organizations have posted requirements for full embedding of fonts in submitted PDF files (I have personally seen one such requirement by some international bureaucracy). They can post such bone-headed requirements based on limited understanding of PDF and PDF workflows, but that doesn't mean that anybody actually provides such PDF files. If in fact you run into such requirements, I would appreciate it if references to same can be forwarded to my attention by private message on these forums.

                 

                          - Dov

                • 5. Re: Fully embedding fonts in PDF
                  Derek Cross Level 6

                  Dov - can you define "bubbameissas" please!

                  • 6. Re: Fully embedding fonts in PDF
                    Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                    DerekC1000 wrote:

                     

                    Dov - can you define "bubbameissas" please!

                    Yiddish for “grandmother's tales” somewhat akin to unsubstantiated urban legends perpetuated over the years. Somewhat difficult to really translate.

                     

                              - Dov

                    • 7. Re: Fully embedding fonts in PDF
                      Derek Cross Level 6

                      Thanks. I couldn't find it via Google. The things you learn on this forum are amazing!

                      • 8. Re: Fully embedding fonts in PDF
                        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                        One thing that doesn't seem to have been mentioned is the subtle difference between "embed all fonts" and "fully embed fonts." It's important for output that every font used in the file be embedded with a subset to cover the used glyphs or be installed previously in the exact same version on the output device. I suspect many places that write a spec for fully embedded fonts don't understand the difference and really mean embed all fonts.

                        • 9. Re: Fully embedding fonts in PDF
                          curela Level 1

                          @Dov, thanks for the clarifications!

                           

                          Just want to make sure I got it right.

                           

                          On (2) you are referring on embedding in general, not necessarily full/all glyphs/subset.  So, when you say "even the base 14 fonts  ... will be embedded ...", you don't necessarily mean all glyphs/full ...

                          On (3) you mention that " threshold value of 0 may effectively cause all the glyphs of a font to be embedded in some, but not all cases ... This will work for many if not most Type 1 fonts and some smaller TrueType and OpenType CFF fonts".

                           

                          Is there a way for me to tell which fonts (or why) will not have all their glyphs embedded in the context of exporting to PDF from Indesign Server and a threshold of 0 ? (i.e. of course, this excludes the licensing issues or physical presence of fonts)

                           

                          -Cristian

                          p.s. I am trying to do some testing but my Server version 10 expired and the only CC server version I have is 9, not compatible with the CC client v 10. And I have a feeling the IDML format might explain some of issues I see with font embedding ...

                          p.s. 2 I am not sure what agencies ask for this as I don't deal with them directly (as a customer). I heard they are in Europe.  

                          • 10. Re: Fully embedding fonts in PDF
                            Jeffrey_Smith Most Valuable Participant

                            If you are exporting PDF, then all fonts are embedded. The only thing you can control is subsetting, based on percentage used value.


                            If you are writing Postscript and Distilling, then you can control embedding. In the postscript, it's complete, none or subset. In Distiller, you can control specific fonts to be always or never embedded.


                            If you are exporting, this is a moot point.

                            • 11. Re: Fully embedding fonts in PDF
                              Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                              PDFs should alway be created via Export PDF, not with printing and Distiller, avoid it as it needs postscript. Postscript does neither support color management nor transparency, that's why you should avoid Distiller, Postscript and EPS.

                              • 12. Re: Fully embedding fonts in PDF
                                Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                                curela wrote:

                                 

                                @Dov, thanks for the clarifications!

                                 

                                Just want to make sure I got it right.

                                 

                                On (2) you are referring on embedding in general, not necessarily full/all glyphs/subset.  So, when you say "even the base 14 fonts  ... will be embedded ...", you don't necessarily mean all glyphs/full ...

                                On (3) you mention that " threshold value of 0 may effectively cause all the glyphs of a font to be embedded in some, but not all cases ... This will work for many if not most Type 1 fonts and some smaller TrueType and OpenType CFF fonts".

                                 

                                Is there a way for me to tell which fonts (or why) will not have all their glyphs embedded in the context of exporting to PDF from Indesign Server and a threshold of 0 ? (i.e. of course, this excludes the licensing issues or physical presence of fonts)

                                 

                                -Cristian

                                p.s. I am trying to do some testing but my Server version 10 expired and the only CC server version I have is 9, not compatible with the CC client v 10. And I have a feeling the IDML format might explain some of issues I see with font embedding ...

                                p.s. 2 I am not sure what agencies ask for this as I don't deal with them directly (as a customer). I heard they are in Europe. 

                                With regards to (2), you are correct that I don't mean all glyphs.

                                 

                                With regards to (3), there is no guaranteed method of determining this.

                                 

                                          - Dov

                                • 13. Re: Fully embedding fonts in PDF
                                  Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                                  To reinforce Willi's response, Adobe most strongly recommends against any PDF creation from InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop via distillation of PostScript! The PostScript generated by these programs is optimized for direct printing, not creation of a PDF file. The resultant PDF file loses all live transparency as well as color management.

                                   

                                            - Dov

                                  • 14. Re: Fully embedding fonts in PDF
                                    soundarr18987053 Level 1

                                    Hi Dov,

                                     

                                    How to change the

                                    Fully embedding fonts in pdfExportPresets

                                    Fully embedding fonts in PDF

                                     

                                    Can you share how to change using via javascript.

                                     

                                    hi team,

                                     

                                    Please share sample code.

                                     

                                    • 15. Re: Fully embedding fonts in PDF
                                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      The JS API lets you control subsetting via .subsetFontsBelow, but you wouldn't be able to embed a font that doesn't allow embedding via the GUI or scripting.

                                       

                                      Here are the PDFExportPreference parameters:

                                       

                                      InDesign ExtendScript API (10.0)