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Embedding of Fonts in PDF

Started by drkrash, January 09, 2010, 06:52:42 PM

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I've tried to find an answer by searching the forum, but I didn't quite find it.

I have a font that I want to use for headings in my PDF.  I found it on a free font site and the license allows commercial use.  However, it can't be embedded without further license.  I contacted the designer and he wants to charge about $50 for the embeddable font.

1) Is it legal to just turn the font into a graphic in the PDF, which prevents the need for embedding?
2) What is the advantage of embedding a font (compared to the above method)?
3) Is this is a reasonable price? I can honestly say that it's about 30% of my budget for the project (I work on the cheap).

Unfortunately for me, I quite like the font. :(

Any help would be appreciated.

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I am not a lawyer and this doesn't constitute legal advice, but here's my guesses:

1) Probably
2) It's almost always smaller
3) It depends how much you think the font will enhance the project and if you can find any other alternatives.

One thing a lot of people don't realize is that there are a lot if high quality fonts that are completely free (no strings attached).

There's also a lot of other more "exotic" ones (like Tengwar), but I have to leave now so I'll leave them up to you to look up.

David Artman

1) This is not a legal site; you have not told us your location, so we couldn't begin to guess what's legal in your area; and very few lawyers give free advice. I'd mainly be curious as to how someone can use it "for commercial use" but not embed it without paying more--only usable commercially baked into a graphic?! That's like giving away a free wrench but telling the mechanic that it can only be used as a hammer; I suspect that the source/creator is not a professional graphic artist or typesetter....

2a) Someone with Acrobat Pro can edit the text, for text touch-ups without having to re-generate the whole PDF.
2b) Some printers require it--something to do with their RIP engines on their printers(?). So if you don't/can't embed, you won't/can't print with those providers.
2c) For many fonts, embedding them can take up less space than baking them into several vector art graphics (e.g. images-as-headings--so much NOT a "best practice" it makes me shudder). HOWEVER, this is not ALWAYS true: if you embed, say, the whole Arial font when you only use its numerals 0 through 9 (for enumerated lists, maybe) then you will be causing megabytes of PDF size bloating by embedding all of it.

3) Only you can say. I've never see a font so "perfect" that it justified 30% of a project budget. I can always find something "close enough" that's free. Or I'd make my own font, if I needed it to be "just so."
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