Monday, March 29, 2010

Fonts and PDF

Fonts come in many different shapes and sizes. Serif, san serif, decorative, minimalist – you want to ensure that the fonts you use in your document show up at the other end. So why does your customer not see the font that you used in the source document and that shows in the PDF file on your computer?

When you use these popular fonts - Times New Roman (Times), Courier New (Courier), Arial (Helvetica), Symbol and Zapf Dingbats - you are pretty much guaranteed that the computer that is viewing the PDF file will have the font to see the file just like you created it or one that is a very good substitute.

If you use fonts other than these standard built in PDF fonts then you need to make sure that you embed the font within the PDF file. An easy way to embed fonts is to convert from PDF to PDF/A. This ensures that your PDF will be rendered on different computers and future operating systems exactly as it looks on your computer today.

Note: the standard built-in fonts are only reliable for Western European languages.