5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2011 8:50 AM by macinbytes

    Fixing fonts in a PDF file?

    RodneyA Level 3

      Mac OSX 10.6.7, Indesign CS5.


      This may be more of an Acrobat question, but here goes. I've got some huge PDF files containing musical scores, over 250 pages, that I want to place into Indesign. These were generated by a Windows program (Sibelius, if that matters). When I attempt to place the PDF file (either a page at a time or using the multi-page PDF script), I get a dialog for each page saying that fonts are missing -- Times-Italic, Times-Roman, Times-Bold. The problem is that I've got already got Times installed (Mac OSX contains a Times font in the system that FontExplorer won't let me deactivate.) Investigating the PDF file, the only embedded fonts are the ones used for musical symbols. The Times TrueType fonts are not embedded (and appear strange onscreen, probably I'm getting a substitute Adobe Serif font), and obviously neither OSX nor Indesign recognize them as the same as the fonts open in the System. FontExplorer, probably wisely, doesn't want me to open any other version of Times while there's already a set in the system library.


      So, is there any way to tell Acrobat to use my Times fonts in this file instead of the non-existant Windows fonts? This is not a continuous text file, so exporting as RTF or something will not work, and I'd rather not save as tiff or jpeg because that's just silly with a file this big and graphically-intensive.


      Thanks for any help...

        • 1. Re: Fixing fonts in a PDF file?
          Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Why don't you deactivate Font Explorer and open the fonts you need that are in the document? It sounds more like a Font Explorer problem as you're describing.


          There's no way to choose substitute fonts in Acrobat if you don't have the needed font already installed and open.

          • 2. Re: Fixing fonts in a PDF file?
            RodneyA Level 3

            No, the conflicting Times font is not handled by Font Explorer, it's installed by the Mac OSX system (which, very unhelpfully, installs its own versions of Times and Helvetica, under those names, which often don't play well with the rest of the universe's Times and Helveticas, say Adobe's and Microsoft's. I have the other versions of Times and Helvetica available in Font Explorer, but unchecked so that I don't have font ambiguities.


            I did try overriding a Font Explorer warning and opening BOTH versions of Times, and that seems to work as far as previewing the PDF and placing without having to check 257 dialog boxes. I doubt it's recommended, though; but fortunately I'm not doing a lot of work on these files, so if the application goes down in flames I won't have lost much time...

            • 3. Re: Fixing fonts in a PDF file?
              Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              For what you're doing, I don't anything terrible will happen to keep both versions of Times Roman open at the same time. When you're through with the project just close the extra copy


              If the fonts are not embedded, Acrobat requires the actual version of the font open and installed or it does font substitution automatically, as you saw.

              • 4. Re: Fixing fonts in a PDF file?
                macinbytes Level 4

                You can safely removed the system times and helvetica.




                If you use iCal, Mail and a few other Apple programs that use badges on the dock icon you will get a substitute font on the icon, but having another helvetica will fix that. You need 1 Helvetica of any type or Photoshop will not launch.


                The only fonts you NEED in OS X are Lucida Grand (used in menus), Last Resort, and Keyboard. The rest can be deleted. Apple says you have to keep Kana, but if you aren't working in any Asian languages you can remove it without system instability. To be safe and follow Apple's guidelines you can keep it.



                • 5. Re: Fixing fonts in a PDF file?
                  macinbytes Level 4

                  Helvetica Neue rather than Helvetica on the badge icons. I generally suggest people install their preferred Helvetica Neue into their /System/Library/Fonts/


                  You'll see some of the support community say to absolutely never ever ever ever ever remove the fonts in Protected fonts, but that's hogwash, especially in the case of Helv and Times. Not likely you'll care about Geneva or Monaco or any other font named after a city being in conflict, but equally unlikely you'll go for a nice Geneva font for your layout or any Helvetica clone when you actually have Helvetica.