PDF Font Problems

I am trying to upload a pdf file to a gov system.   The system is rejecting my there are some fonts that aren't embedded.  

This was originally a word file that I printed using Acroibat as my printer.   Note the print process died unless I unchecked "Rely on system fonts only"  Now I have a PDF document that looks right but is useless because it doesn't have fonts embeded.I have Acrobat 9 pro and I can see the fonts its using, but  I can't figure out how to fix this problem.  

I really just want an easy solution.  I honestly don't care what font my document uses.  I just want my upload to work.

Can Acrobat help me embed or get rid of these fonts?
What's the easy solution?

Who is Participating?


The problem is totally different. You have a two kinds of fonts.

In first group are TTF ( True Type Fonts ) that can be easily embedded into PDF and you use two fonts.
One that I can see is Arial and the second is CambriaMath both are TTF fonts.
If you look at your C:\Windows\Fonts folder you will find these fonts with extension TTF.

In second group are all fonts marked with red small letter "a". These fonts are ADOBE's Postscript Type 1 fonts, but there is only one font file for your Adobe's Courier font in folder C:\Windows\Fonts and a name of this file has a an FON extension.

So, what is a problem with that? The problem that is often mentioned in our Forum is that people have a problem with Adobe's Courier font, because this font is COMMERCIAL font.

The point is that members of our Forum couldn't open Adobe Acrobat PDF file with another Adobe program such is Adobe Illustrator. They got an alert "This font cannot be viewed with Adobe Illustrator because of some license restrictions".

I can only say that such problem have some people, not all. And this PDF document you can view and edit in Adobe Acrobat PRO, but sometimes this ADOBE's license disable to open that document in other programs.

For me the solution is to select in Word document, a text that is written with Courier font and instead of use Courier font, you have to choose Courier New font that comes with Windows installation disc and is already installed on your PC. That is enough that you see a list of fonts from a drop down list of fonts in MS Word.
You will find Courier New that is TTF font and will be embedded into your PDF document without any problems.

thank you for your patience


I would go to the Advanced menu >> Print production> Preflight and under PDF Analysis choose "List text using non-embedded fonts". This will "Report all text objects that use a font which is not embedded in the current document".

Then simply replace the font in your word document with one that embeds ok.



I just want to remind of this:

Fonts that are not necessarily included in PDF files

Older versions of Adobe Acrobat (Acrobat 3.x and earlier) will never embed the following 14 fonts in a PDF file:

    Courier, Courier-Bold, Courier-Oblique & Courier-BoldOblique
    Times-Roman , Times-Bold , Times-Italic & Times-BoldItalic
    Helvetica, Helvetica-Bold, Helvetica-Oblique & Helvetica-BoldOblique

These fonts, excluding ZapfDingbats, are called the Base 13 fonts.

"From Acrobat 4.x onwards, there is no problem embedding the above 14 fonts". In fact it is a good idea to actually always embed these fonts as well. Instead we got another restriction: if the licensing policy of a TrueType forbids the font to be included in a file, Distiller 4 and later will respect this restriction and will not embed the font.

This is a some that I called ADOBE's "politics". You can buy their software and make an PDF document, but the font you buy legally from them cannot be REALLY embedded, so you will have a problem with Adobe's behaviour to the their customers that had paid a thousands of U$D for their products.

So, I have a questions for you - which version of MS Word do you use - MS Word 2003, MS 2007 or MS 2010?
Which Windows version do you use?

You said this information:

"This was originally a word file that I printed using Acroibat as my printer."

So, do you have an Adobe PDF menu in MS Word and two icons for printing Word document as PDF with a PDF Maker ( first icon ):

If you have that configuration then we can apply two solution for embedding a your fonts
into PDF file successfully !


Regards tmonteit,

I would like to know do you still need a help for your problem?

tmonteitAuthor Commented:
Thanks for everyone's help on this issue.  I was never able to adequately solve this due to problems with the upload system.   I had the option to snail mail in the document and that was the solution.  

Everyone's answers were educational so points are awareded for helping me understand the issues with pdf fonts.
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