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Old 11-04-2007, 05:14 PM   #1
Howard Allen
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Default Unembedding fonts in PDFs

Folks--

Responding to Michael's problem with PDFs reminded me of a pain I was having about a month ago. It stumped the people on Adobe's user forums--or at least nobody ever responded to my post--so I wonder if anybody here has an idea?

It started when I was making a quick-and-dirty PDF for email distribution to a few dozen people. Since content and minimum file size were all-important, I dumbed the document down to the lowest common denominator fonts: Times and Arial, thinking that I'd send a PDF with no fonts embedded, thereby minimizing the file size while being safe with fonts that everybody's got on any system. Even if Acrobat's font substitution kicked in on some users' machines and the document got subbed with Adobe Serif and Adobe Sans, that was fine with me.

I did the document in InDesign (CS/Mac), then exported to PDF. Of course, ID embeds fonts by default and offers no alternative. Fine. I launched Acrobat, thinking I could simply unembed the fonts in the PDF using the PDF Optimizer dialog. However, when I looked at the "Fonts" tab in Optimizer, the "Embedded fonts" window was plumb empty. Huh? I clicked the "Audit space usage" button and it showed nKB occupied by embedded fonts. I checked the "Fonts" property in "Document Properties" and sure enough, Times and Arial were both embedded.

So, how come they don't show up in the Optimizer's "Embedded fonts" window? And if not, how can you unembed the fonts? Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:24 AM   #2
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If the fonts were substituted they might not have been embedded in the first place.

If you don't want to embedd fonts you can convert them to outlines instead.

   
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:29 AM   #3
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Howard:

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I checked the "Fonts" property in "Document Properties" and sure enough, Times and Arial were both embedded
Possibly InDesign overrides Acrobat settings, but the latter always allow you to specify which fonts you want embedded and which fonts not to embed; there's a further option to exclude 'all system fonts', but I regard that as suspect, since I'm not sure which fonts are regarded as 'system fonts'.

   
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:26 PM   #4
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Yep, InDesign overrides Distiller settings that don't embed fonts: it gives a little notice when you export to PDF using, for example, the [Smallest file size] joboption setting.

   
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:58 PM   #5
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Robin:

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InDesign overrides Distiller settings that don't embed fonts
That seems a pity if one is using InDesign and distributing the files in PDF, assuming that the file will as likely as not be viewed on-screen; it's logical if the PDF file is primarily for printing. Perhaps InDe. should mark it as an option, but with the default 'Embed all fonts'.

   
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Old 11-05-2007, 03:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Springall View Post
Yep, InDesign overrides Distiller settings that don't embed fonts: it gives a little notice when you export to PDF using, for example, the [Smallest file size] joboption setting.
Sorry, I don't follow. If I create a PDF in InDesign that has embedded fonts, then open the same PDF in Acrobat, how does InDesign "override" Acrobat? Does InDesign somehow "hide" the embedded fonts from Acrobat? The embedded fonts are there, I just can't see them in PDF Optimizer for some reason.

In a PDF created by practically any other application, I can run PDF Optimizer and see the embedded fonts listed, then unembed them if I so choose. So why not with PDFs created by InDesign?
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rowley View Post
Perhaps InDe. should mark it as an option, but with the default 'Embed all fonts'.
Perhaps, yes, but UnDecided is a page layout application, and used mainly for print.

   
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:59 AM   #8
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Howard, have a look at your joboptions file in Distiller: there should be a check box to "allow PS files to override Distiller settings". Turn that off, and it might prevent InDesign from tying to fix something which you don't want fixed.

   
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:11 AM   #9
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Robin:

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InDesign is a page layout application, and used mainly for print
Yes, of course, but 'print' nowadays means often do-it-yourself printing, for many organizations have decided that distributing journals etc. by sending out copies of printed matter is too expensive. Using Acrobat to record your nicely laid out pages is a good method of distribution, and some people might decide that InDesign is a good way of producing nicely laid-out pages.

   
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:30 AM   #10
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I agree, Michael. Have to say I'm not sure if Howard's space-saving excercise will make the PDFs appreciably smaller than they were. And the trouble with converting text to outlines is the readers of the finished PDF won't be able to copy-and-paste text if they wanted to.

   
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