4 Replies Latest reply on Oct 16, 2016 3:01 PM by Dov Isaacs

    Cannot stop Acrobat from embedding common fonts


      (Acrobat XI Pro): This problem comes and goes with various Acrobat updates, and mutates to different symptoms, but essentially, Acrobat insists on embedding common fonts in documents, and then not giving any means to remove them, resulting in excessive document size. The problem fonts can be seen in document properties, and preflight, but are NOT shown in 'optimize pdf'.  I have tried printing the document with all fonts on my system selected as 'never embed', and the 'rely on system fonts' check box in the print properties dialog checked or unchecked. Both of these worked at various Acrobat updates, but since the latest (11.0.18), NOTHING will remove these fonts (Arial is embedding i the document prompting this question, but different documents 'lose' different fonts)


      Does anybody know how to get rid of these things?

        • 1. Re: Cannot stop Acrobat from embedding common fonts
          Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

          Without having a sample original document, set of joboptions you are using, and the resultant PDF from the PDF creation as well as knowing exactly what method you are using to create the PDF file (for example, printing to the Adobe PDF PostScript printer driver instance under Windows, saving as Adobe PDF in Office, exporting PDF from InDesign, etc.), it is virtually impossible to know what is actually going on here.


          Please provide more information and point us to the files.


          However, one situation that could trigger such embedding is if you are using characters that are outside the standard Western Latin character set and that would likely cause problems rendering the PDF file with substitution fonts. An example would be if you used characters from Arial that are beyond the simple character sets of the original Helvetica or Arial fonts. If those particular glyphs are not embedded in the PDF file and the PDF file is viewed on a system with an older version of Arial, those characters simply won't display. Again, this is one possibility.


          For the record though, not embedding fonts in a PDF file for purposes of space economy is not really recommended due to the number of problems encountered when trying to match fonts on a PDF file recipient's system with the font referenced but not embedded in a PDF file.


          Again, more information and samples and we can try to assist you further.


                    - Dov

          • 2. Re: Cannot stop Acrobat from embedding common fonts
            hevkev Level 1

            Thanks for the reply;


            As stated in the original question, I have tried EVERY setting I can find in joboptions and elsewhere. With that said, I understand your desire to remove as much 'clutter' from the problem as possible. The following is a DropBox folder link:


            Dropbox - Adobe


            The folder contains three files:


            1) A MS Word document containing the alpahabet upper and lower case, as well as common keyboard symbols. The text is in the Arial font, and repeated 4 times for standard, bold, italic, and bolditalic.


            2) The resulting pdf created by using File-->Print-->Adobe pdf, with all default options (i.e., no additional clicks other than 'OK'


            3)  A capture of the 'options' dialog box from the aforesaid pdf print process. Again, no changes to default sttings or custom joboptions are used.


            As you will see, the pdf has the Arial font embedded, and it does not show up if you try to remove it with 'optimized pdf'.


            I want to stress that this problem has annoyed me for YEARS now, and changes in severity and possibility of amelioration with various updates to Acrobat. Some things that have worked in SOME versions, but don't in 11.0.18, are; reprinting to pdf with various joboptions, selecting 'ALL' and copy/paste into a blank pdf which is saved [not save-as], and optimizing the resulting pdf, etc., etc....


            What I would like would be a selection to simply REMOVE embedded fonts. I understand the concerns you outlined in your reply, but I look at that as another case where the developer 'saves me from myself'. You might as well make font selection unavailable at all, so someone doesn't accidentally substitue a cyrillic font in a roman font document. Let me make my own mistakes. The 'cure' is often worse than the disease!


            Again, thanks for your quick reply, and sorry if I seem a little snarky....

            • 3. Re: Cannot stop Acrobat from embedding common fonts
              Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

              Got your files and will look them over during the next few days.


                        - Dov

              • 4. Re: Cannot stop Acrobat from embedding common fonts
                Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                Actually, I was so curious, that I just ran some experiments, creating PDF from your Microsoft Word document using two different methods. And I tried the same experiment on three different systems (one with Windows 7 Pro x64 and Office 2016, another with Windows 7 Pro x64 and Office 2013, and the third with Windows 10 Pro x64 with Office 2016.


                In the first case, I created PDF by using the Acrobat DC Pro plug-in to Word 2016, set the joboptions to Standard (which explicitly request that none of the Arial family be embedded), and saved as Adobe PDF.


                The results were are displayed in the attached file, Embedded Arial example - Dov - PDFMaker - Standard.pdf. No fonts were embedded.


                In the second case, I created PDF via distillation of PostScript, printing to the Adobe PDF PostScript Printer Driver instance, a method that hasn't changed in numerous Acrobat releases, also using the Standard joboptions. I tried both with and without the Rely on system fonts only option checked and unchecked – no difference in results!


                The results were are displayed in the attached file, Embedded Arial example - Dov - AdobePDF - Standard.pdf. No fonts were embedded.


                Why are my results different that yours? Honestly I don't really know.


                It is possible that the direct PDF export from Word via PDFMaker changed from Acrobat 11 to DC, but that wasn't what you were using anyway (although that is the recommended method of generating PDF from Office these days)!!    And as far as I know, that portion of the code did not change at all.


                For printing to AdobePDF as you did, I absolutely know that this part of Acrobat did not change from Acrobat 11 to DC! And that is what is so puzzling.


                I note that for your resultant PDF file, the problem is only with the regular and bold faces of Arial and not with italic and bold italic faces of Arial. I'm wondering if somehow you have either modified versions of Arial on your system or multiple, differing copies of these fonts installed that is somehow causing Distiller to not properly match the regular and bold faces with those in the list of fonts to not be embedded?


                FWIW, on my primary test system, my Arial faces are as follows:

                          Arial Regular          Version 5.22     774,236 bytes, 3421 glyphs

                          Arial Italic               Version 5.22     557,508 bytes, 2556 glyphs

                          Arial Bold               Version 5.22     750,596 bytes, 3421 glyphs

                          Arial Bold Italic       Version 5.22     563,244 bytes, 2556 glyphs         


                Bottom line is that on this, I am stumped.   The good news is that the issue doesn't cause rendering issues; the bad news is that the file is a bit larger than you want and not up to your expectations (I do respect that)!


                If anyone else has seen this issue and can provide more input and evidence as to what's going on with the fonts, it would be most appreciated.


                          - Dov