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Embedding Fonts

You say I must embed all fonts. What does that mean?

This simply means that all of the font information used to make your document look the way it does is stored in the PDF file. So no matter what fonts someone else has on their computer, they'll be able to see the file as you intended it to be seen.

If you don't embed fonts, Adobe Acrobat will make its best guess at font substiTuition using whatever fonts are available on the reader's computer. SubstiTuition can result in significant differences between your intended output and what the reader observes (particularly with symbol fonts), so it is best to have the fonts embedded.

How do I embed my fonts?

Using Microsoft Word on a PC

To embed your fonts in Microsoft Word 2010:

  1. In Word, click the office button and move mouse over "save as" then choose Word Option at the bottom of the window
  2. Choose "save" and check Embed fonts in the file, but make sure the other two embedding options are unchecked
  3. Click the office button again and do a "save as" then "pdf", but before saving choose options near the bottom of the screen. Check "ISO 19005-1 compliant"
  4. Save the document

To embed your fonts in Microsoft Word 2007:

  1. Create your manuscript using a TrueType font. Recommended fonts include Times-Roman and Helvetica.
  2. Click the circular Office button in the upper left corner of Microsoft Word.
  3. A new window will display. In the bottom right corner is a button, Word options. Click the Word Options button.
  4. Choose Save from the left sidebar.
  5. Check the box next to Embed fonts in the file.
  6. Click the OK button.
  7. Save the document.

To embed your fonts in earlier versions of Microsoft Word:

  1. Create your manuscript using a TrueType font. Recommended fonts include Times-Roman and Helvetica.
  2. On the Tools menu, choose Options
  3. Click the Save tab.
  4. Select the Embed TrueType fonts check box.
  5. Save the document.

Using Microsoft Word on a Mac

Currently, Microsoft Word for Mac does not have a feature that allows for embedding fonts. You might consider using OpenOffice (which embeds fonts automatically while converting to PDF) or using a PC to embed fonts in your manuscript.

Using Adobe Acrobat Professional

Alternatively, if you have Adobe Acrobat Professional available to you, you can follow the excellent instructions provided by the Graduate Thesis Office at Iowa State University:

  1. Open your document in Microsoft Word.
  2. Click on the Adobe PDF tab at top. Select Change Conversion Settings.
  3. Click on Advanced Settings.
  4. Click on the Fonts folder on the left side of the new window. In the lower box on the right, delete any fonts that appear in the Never Embed box. Then click OK.
    If prompted to save these new settings, save them as "Embed all fonts."
  5. Now the Change Conversion Settings window should show "embed all fonts" in the Conversion Settings drop down list and it should be selected. Click OK again.
  6. Click on the Adobe PDF link at the top again. This time select Convert to Adobe PDF. Depending on the size of your document and the speed of your computer, this process can take 1-15 minutes.
  7. After your document is converted, select the File menu at the top of the page. Then select Document Properties.
  8. Click on the Fonts tab. Carefully check all of your fonts. They should all show "(Embedded Subset)" after the font name.
  9. If you see "(Embedded Subset)" after all fonts, you have succeeded.


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