[Last Call] Learn how to a build a cloud-first strategyRegister Now


Embedding fonts - please demystify!

Posted on 2008-11-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-02

   I've been trying to read up on how to ensure the font that I've used in InDesign ends up in my PDF when I export. There are mentions of "subset fonts when percent of characters used is less then" being set to sometimes 100% and other suggest 0%. I'm very confused. I'm also trying to keep the size of the pdf at a minimum, so I think that plays a role as well.

Any one have any ideas?

Many thanks!
Question by:joanna_l
  • 3
  • 2
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 22976620
In a nutshell, what that does is basically only includes the font characters used by the document because the actual font set might be much larger. Since some fonts include a lot of characters, special characters, etc., subsetting allows you to send a pdf that only includes characters used by the document.
The setting is a threshold you can play with to determine what works best for you, and is largely dependent upon what your content is and what range of characters you use. Basically, you are telling the program: evaluate my document and if my document is using less than X% of the entire font, then subset it.
This can be useful in helping to lower the overall size of your document, but it can also be problematic if you or someone else wants to edit the PDF later on. For instance, if you create the PDF, and send it to your printer to have it printed, but at the last minute discover a typographical error, and ask the printer to correct it for you. If the correction involves a character that wasn't in the subset that the PDF was created in, they won't be able to correct it.

Author Comment

ID: 22976993
Hi BongSoo,

  Thank you for your description. So when you set "subset fonts when percent of characters used is less then" to 100% you include all of the font set? Or 0%?

Many thanks!
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 22977260
No, one has nothing to do with the other in the manner you stated.
Basically, the  "subset fonts when percent of characters used is less then" is a switch that will turn subsetting on if your document meets that criteria.  What it does is it examines your document and compares the character useage to the font itself. So, if you set the setting to 75%, if it sees that your document is using less than 75% of the entire font, it will subset it. Otherwise, it will include the entire font in the pdf.
The subset itself is based entirely upon what your document uses, not the threshold.
Prepare for your VMware VCP6-DCV exam.

Josh Coen and Jason Langer have prepared the latest edition of VCP study guide. Both authors have been working in the IT field for more than a decade, and both hold VMware certifications. This 163-page guide covers all 10 of the exam blueprint sections.

LVL 16

Accepted Solution

BongSoo earned 500 total points
ID: 22978417
In other words: So when you set "subset fonts when percent of characters used is less then" to 100%, you will subset only the fonts used in the document. Does that make sense?

Author Comment

ID: 22988678
Hi - yes it does make sense! Thank you!

Expert Comment

ID: 23513729

You should also note that most print companies prefer you not use embedded fonts but distribute the fonts with the package.

- Gabe :)

Featured Post

New feature and membership benefit!

New feature! Upgrade and increase expert visibility of your issues with Priority Questions.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Introduction In this tutorial, I'll explain how to create an animated progress meter in a wireframe prototype developed using Axure RP 7.0 - a leading prototyping tool for designing web sites and software. (For more information about Axure and gett…
Have you ever wanted to create graphical elements directly in inDesign? This tutorial will teach you how to have an image bound within text using the pathfinder tool in inDesign CS6. This technique will help decrease the amount of time spent opening…
The purpose of this video is to demonstrate how to exclude a particular blog category from the main blog page. This is can be used when a category already has its own tab, or you simply want certain types of posts not to show up on the main blog. …
The purpose of this video is to demonstrate how to set up an RSS Feed on a WordPress Website. This will be demonstrated using a Windows 8 PC. Feedburner will be used for this demonstration. Go to your WordPress login page. This will look like the…
Suggested Courses
Course of the Month17 days, 23 hours left to enroll

829 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question