How to Embed Fonts in a PDF

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Bernard Perron
@bernardperron
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Fonts are a big part of what brings your PDF to life, but they can also cause major headaches. For starters, fonts can be corrupted or completely excluded from your PDF document. In some cases, the included font may be incompatible with the print shop's machines.

As a result, your print shop may have to spend valuable time resolving these issues.

So what's the secret? The solution is to embed your favorite font in your PDF.



In this article, we'll see how you can embed your font in your PDF and make this information easily accessible no matter where the file is open.

How to Embed Fonts in a PDF

Fonts are one of the essential parts of any PDF design project. They help give your final document a polished look and make it easier for you or your print shop to read the content of the page. If you share a file, the recipient's viewing software will need the font details to display the file in its true, uncorrupted design.

Unfortunately, most tools used to create PDFs today do not include font information in the file. Some refer only to the fonts used in the device used to create the PDF. When the software needs this information, it simply retrieves it from the device.

However, when different software is used to open and read such a PDF, it will not know which font to use, even if the software installed on the device has it. In this situation, the software makes a "best guess" and replaces the font with another compatible option.


The problem with this is that it can completely distort the design and appearance of the document.


For this reason, it's important to ensure that all fonts used in your PDF are embedded in the file.

Here's how to check:

  1. Open the file.
  2. Click on the "File" tab and select "Document Properties". You can also press Ctrl+D if you are using a PC.
  3. When the Document Properties window opens, click on the "Fonts" tab to display a list of all the fonts used in the document.

If all fonts used are embedded, this information should be displayed next to the font name. The exact text used depends on the type of PDF viewer you are using, but the most common variants are 'Embedded' and 'Embedded Subset'.

If none of these texts appear next to at least one of the fonts you used, the font is not embedded and printers and other readers may have problems displaying the document correctly.

If you find yourself in this situation, there are several tools you can use to embed the relevant fonts into your PDF file.

Let's see how each one works.

How to Embed Fonts in a PDF from Word

People love Microsoft Word because of how easy it is to create and share documents.

From creating layouts for publications or presentations to editing images and sound clips for use in documents, Word takes care of it all. You can even check the spelling of text publications before printing them.

If you're a big PDF fan, there's yet another reason to love Word: it can help you embed your favorite fonts into your document. This can help your document maintain its original design even if it's processed on another device.



Here's how to do it:

  1. Paste your document into a new Word file. You can also use a trusted third-party tool to convert your PDF to Word file.
  2. Set the required fonts for your document.
  3. When you're ready to generate your PDF, click "File" and select "Save As" from the resulting drop-down menu.
  4. Select the folder where you want to store the file you are about to create.
  5. Once the "Save As" window appears on your screen, name your file and set "PDF" as the preferred format for the output file.
  6. Click on “Options”.
  7. Check the box next to "Complies with ISO 19005-1 (PDF/A)".
  8. Click "Ok", then press the "Save" button to generate your PDF.

After following these steps, Microsoft Word will create a PDF and embed all relevant fonts.

How to Embed Fonts in a PDF from InDesign

Adobe InDesign is a powerful and easy-to-use application for print, web, and multimedia publishing. It's the industry standard for professional layouts that look great on screen or in print.

Whether you're designing elegant invitations, professional-looking presentations, photo books, or an eye-catching multi-page brochure, InDesign offers unprecedented control over every aspect of your project, from initial concept to final production.

More importantly, InDesign can help you embed fonts in PDF in just a few steps.

Here are the steps:



  1. Open your document in InDesign.
  2. Click "File," then select "Adobe PDF Presets" from the drop-down menu. This will allow you to choose the resolution quality of your document. For best quality, select “High Quality Print” from the menu. For the lowest quality, select "Smallest File Size."
  3. Indicate where you want to export your file.
  4. Press the "Save" button to launch the Export Adobe PDF dialog box.
  5. Click on “Advanced”. At this point, InDesign will give you the option to embed all or just a few of your fonts.
    • To embed everything, enter 0% in "Subset fonts when percentage of characters used is less than".
    • To embed only a few fonts in your PDF, enter a higher value in the field provided, say 50%.
  6. Click "Export" to start the process.

Embedding can take seconds or minutes depending on your file size, resolution quality, and desired level of integration.

How to Embed Fonts in a PDF from Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is another valuable tool from the Adobe family. But what is the difference between Acrobat DC and InDesign?

While InDesign can support many formats, including JPEGs and EPS files, Acrobat DC is a PDF specialist. You can use it to create, edit or even encrypt PDF documents.

Here's how to embed fonts in a PDF using Acrobat DC:

  1. Open your document in Acrobat DC.
  2. Click on “File” then select “Print”.
  3. Under "Printer Name", click "Adobe PDF".
  4. Click on “Properties”.
  5. From the Properties menu of the Adobe PDF document, select "Adobe PDF Settings".
  6. Click the "Edit" button next to "Default Settings".
  7. When the PDF Settings menu opens, select "Fonts" from the menu on the left side of your screen.
  8. Check the box next to "Embed all fonts". At the same time, make sure that all the fonts you want to use are not in the "Never embed" list, but that they are all in the "Font source" list.
  9. Click "Save As" to complete the process.

Lock your favorite design on all devices

Fonts are an essential part of any design project. When you need to share your work with others, knowing how to embed fonts in the PDF file so that the recipient sees them in the desired design is crucial.

You may have to experiment with different fonts and file types, but you can create a professional-looking document using one of the embedding methods described in this article.

Have you ever tried it? What method did you use?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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