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Embedding fonts in a PDF

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:29 pm
by joseph_anton
I'm preparing for electronic submission (as PDF) of a doctoral dissertation that was written in Mellel. My university's guidelines state that "Fonts must be embedded in the PDF file. This ensures all characters display correctly when printed and preserved." There is some additional guidance on this topic on the ProQuest website:
ETD Administrator FAQ - What does "embed all fonts" mean?

When fonts are embedded, readers of your work will be able to see your document as you intended, with the same fonts that you used.

If you do not embed all of your fonts, and those fonts are not available on the reader's computer, Adobe Acrobat will make its best guess at what font it should use as a substitute. This can result in significant differences between your original document and what the reader sees (particularly with symbol fonts). ... 000TjKtSAK
I'm uncertain as to how to interpret these instructions. As far as I can tell, when Mellel generates a PDF, the fonts used in preparing the document are reflected in the PDF and will display correctly or print on systems that do not have these fonts installed. But I'm not sure if this amounts to the same thing as "embedding" the whole font in the document (something I suspect one may need a copy of Adobe Acrobat to accomplish). I wonder if anyone else could shed some light on this topic?

Re: Embedding fonts in a PDF

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:24 pm
by macsailor
The only answer I can find regarding this topic is quite old. It's from 2009 and can be read here in the Mellel forum (click on the link).

I do not know if this has changed during the last 9-10 years. If it has, hopefully to the better. :-)

Re: Embedding fonts in a PDF

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:14 am
by DavidH
Mellel embeds in a pdf the subset of characters actually used from each font the document uses. You can confirm this by opening the pdf in Acrobat Reader and looking under the Fonts tab under File > Properties. This is enough to assure the document has the right appearance for users who don’t have the font installed. Some Adobe apps have options allowing you to embed an entire font, so the pdf can be edited by third parties that don’t have the font installed. But using this option often violates the font’s end user agreement, and some fonts forbid it electronically. Mellel contains no “Embed whole font” option as far as I can tell.

Sometimes subsetting is counted as embedding, sometimes it isn’t. And your quoted FAQ “clarification” doesn’t settle the issue unambiguously. I think you’re probably in good shape, but you should ask a university administrator to be sure.

Re: Embedding fonts in a PDF

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:52 pm
by joseph_anton
Thank you both for these helpful responses to my question. It seems to make sense that what is meant is that the subset of each font that is actually used in the document is embedded in the PDF rather than the whole font. But it probably is worth sounding out the university administration on this point before submitting the document.