Copresco   Overnight Lite

When Fonts Won’t Behave…

Why Some Fonts Can’t Be Embedded In PDF

   Copresco continues to receive a wide range of questions and comments from our Overnight Lite readers. We welcome your responses and will regularly publish items of general interest in future issues.

Rogue Fonts

   Q. I followed with interest your series about PDF font embedding. I hadn’t realized that some fonts weren’t being embedded in my files. By following your instructions (see last August, September, October, and January Lites) I now know I’m including all typefaces in my PDF files for print. All, that is, except one font, which won’t embed no matter what I do. Can you explain this?
   A. Some fonts are actually prohibited by their creators from embedding in a PDF. You aren’t doing anything incorrect; the font has been deliberately constructed to prevent PDF embedding.

Some Solutions

   The short-term workaround: send the font file along with the PDF. This is only a stopgap, though. Many advanced print applications require font embedding, so getting your file to print properly may require extra effort by Copresco even if you do send us the problem font.
   The long-term solution: Use fonts that will embed! You may wish to contact the foundry (the font creator from whom you purchased the font) about an updated replacement copy of the font that is licensed to permit PDF embedding.
   You may not have purchased these problem fonts individually. For example, Corel software such as Draw and WordPerfect used to install vast numbers of non-embeddable fonts on its host computer. Even if WordPerfect was later uninstalled the fonts remain, usable (but not embeddable) by any program. Corel does offer replacement embeddable versions free of charge.
   Another example was Apple, whose Macintosh system fonts circa OS8 were also unembeddable.

Old Font, New Font

   When Acrobat was new, some founders were concerned that fonts might be extracted from PDFs, so they restricted embedding. The PDF format has become so common that most type foundries have realized that a font that won’t embed has very little value.
   If a font manufacturer is still deliberately restricting PDF embedding make a mental note to stop doing business with them! The problems their unembeddable type will cause for you in this PDF-connected 21st century are simply not worth the headaches.

Good Color Housekeeping

   The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is the universally recognized standard for specifying and communicating color values in the graphic arts world. Pantone formulas allow everyone involved to understand exactly what color is required simply by specifying a number, such as PMS 300 blue. After all, Pantone colors never change…or do they?
   Did you know that Pantone tweaked many of their color formulas slightly in 2000? This could be a problem on some color-critical projects. Here’s a few suggestions for color housekeeping.

Update Regularly

   First, replace any pre-2000 Pantone formula guides you have lying around. In fact, any guide more than a few years old should be discarded and replaced. The effects of exposure to light and chemicals on an aging book create more color problems than the millennial reformulation did.
   Second, remember that all Pantone formulas aren’t in books. Software uses Pantone-licensed tables to create colors. If you are still using Adobe Illustrator 8 or Quark 4, for example, your computer is using the old color formulas to create PMS colors.
   There is nothing wrong with these older software versions per se, but remember that you aren’t fully managing your color if you don’t account for the reformulation factor at each stage of your workflow.
   When you need color digital printing, call the company that understands color. Call Copresco.

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