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Is there a list of fonts that are 1- embeddable in a PDF and 2- editable in the PDF

New Here ,
Apr 14, 2017 Apr 14, 2017

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We're having to create a business card template that people can open up and type in their own info for name, ph#, etc.  We originally designed the card to use Proxima Nova fonts, but now we're being asked to create this template so other people around the world can easily make their own.

The problem we've encountered is: yes, there's a whole slew of fonts that are able to be embedded into a PDF, BUT the ability to also have that font be editable seems to elude us - it seems to require special permissions set in the font file.

Just wondering if there's any sort of resource that has a list of fonts that are editable and embeddable in a PDF?

Thanks!

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Apr 14, 2017 Apr 14, 2017
There are literally tens if not hundreds of thousands of fonts available these days.There are no comprehensive lists of fonts that we know of that list the “embeddability” of all available fonts, even for individual vendors.As you may know, there are multiple levels of font embeddabity. From Adobe's website (with some additional comments) these are defined as follows:No Embedding — This permission signals that the font or any portion of the font may not be embedded in any electronic document.Whi...

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Apr 14, 2017 Apr 14, 2017

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There are literally tens if not hundreds of thousands of fonts available these days.

There are no comprehensive lists of fonts that we know of that list the “embeddability” of all available fonts, even for individual vendors.

As you may know, there are multiple levels of font embeddabity. From Adobe's website (with some additional comments) these are defined as follows:

No Embedding — This permission signals that the font or any portion of the font may not be embedded in any electronic document.While there are no fonts in the Adobe Type Library with this permission, some third-party font foundries may set their fonts to “no embedding” or prohibit embedding through their end user license agreement. There is another name for fonts with such embedding privileges – Effectively Useless!

Preview & Print — A font with an embedding permission of Preview & Print allows the font, either fully or as a subset, to be embedded in an electronic document solely for the purpose of viewing that document on screen and/or printing that document. While a font with a Preview & Print embedding permission (either through data in the font file or the font’s license agreement) may be embedded in an electronic document, the embedded font may not be used to further edit the document it is contained in or to edit or create other documents. Most fonts in the Adobe Type Library are set for Preview & Print embedding. The vast majority of commercially available fonts from other vendors have this level of embedding privileges!

Editable — Fonts with an editable embedding permission can be embedded in electronic documents, and the embedded font can then be used by the recipient of the electronic document to view, print and further edit or modify the text and structure of the document in which it is embedded. These changes or edits can then be saved in the original document. Several fonts in the Adobe Type Library, including all Adobe Originals typefaces, other Adobe-owned typefaces and certain third-party font foundry typefaces, allow for editable embedding. This is the font embeddability level that you need for your particular needs! Note also that many if not most of the so-called “system fonts” installed by operating system vendors come with this embeddability level.

Installable — Fonts with an installable embedding permission may be embedded in electronic documents for viewing, printing and editing, with the added capability that they may be also be permanently installed on the computer that receives the electronic document containing the embedded font. This allows the font to be used to create and author new documents. It is intended that the recipient of a font set to installable embedding obtains all of the same rights as the person who originally licensed the font. This level of font embeddability level would also work for you, but is increasing rare to find!

Note that although the embedding privileges are set within the font file itself, the actual EULA (End User LIcense Agreement) accompanying the font (or provided on the font vendor's website can override the font's physical embedding mechanism. Also, font licenses may allow embedding, but also charge a royalty based on the number of files distributed with the font embedded or on the basis of the fonts' use for commercial purposes (such as in a tee shirt design).

For fonts currently or previously available from Adobe, there is a list of embedding privileges and licensing rights by font name. See <License rights & font permissions | Adobe Type>. Other vendors may have such lists for their fonts.

Good luck. Your task is not particularly easy and information is sparse.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 01, 2018 Sep 01, 2018

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adalines68463047  wrote

Just wondering if there's any sort of resource that has a list of fonts that are editable and embeddable in a PDF?

I had a look at Google's QA tool FontBakery which scans for the fsType value for TTF fonts. It will let you know if any font is NOT the highest (Installable) level (it results in a FAIL for that test). For example, here is the output for a font that had fsType set to 8:

FAILcom.google.fonts/check/016 Checking OS/2 fsType.

  1. FAIL OS/2 fsType is a legacy DRM-related field.

    In this font it is set to 8 meaning that:
    The font may be embedded but must only be installed temporarily on other systems.
    No such DRM restrictions can be enabled on the Google Fonts collection, so the fsType field must be set to zero (Installable Embedding) instead.
    Fonts with this setting indicate that they may be embedded and permanently installed on the remote system by an application.

    More detailed info is available at:
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/typography/opentype/spec/os2#fstype

From this report, is it correct to conclude that all the fonts on Google Fonts​​ are installable (and therefore embeddable and editable)?

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Sep 01, 2018 Sep 01, 2018

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Apparently, that could be an interpretation of what that message says, but since we aren't Google here, I suggest you get someone in authority at Google to answer that question (good luck)!

That having been said, that blurb in your posting does have a fallacy. Whether Google likes it or not, the fsType field in the OS/2 table of either TrueType, OpenType TrueType, or OpenType CFF is anything but “a legacy DRM-related field.” The vast majority of commercially-available fonts do in fact use that field to signal their restrictions associated with embedding. And those flags are obeyed by the vast majority of commercially-available PDF creation products.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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