Adobe ditching Type 1 fonts

Ulrike Fischer news3 at
Thu Sep 22 09:54:45 CEST 2022

Am Thu, 22 Sep 2022 03:50:29 +0200 schrieb Reinhard Kotucha:

>  > PDFs with embedded fonts will display as intended.
> Fortunately updmap is set up to embed all Type 1 fonts by default for
> about two decades.
> But doesn't the PDF specification explicitly allow not to embed fonts?

Yes. But it also notes explicitly

The most predictable and dependable results are produced when all
font programs used to show text are embedded in the PDF file. See
9.9, "Embedded font programs" for the precise description of how to
do so. If a PDF file refers to font programs that are not embedded,
the results depend on the availability of fonts in the PDF
processor’s environment. See 9.8, "Font descriptors" for some
conventions for referring to external font programs. However, some
details of font naming, font substitution, and glyph selection are
implementation-dependent and can vary among different PDF processors
and operating system environments.

> Though IMO a document which has not all resources embedded cannot be
> called "portable", it seems that Adobe violates the PDF specification
> here.  

pdf/A, the standard for "long term PDF", explicitly requires to
embed all fonts and all other resources.

> There are many documents out there which have not all fonts embedded.
> Most annoying are documents produced by Adobe itself which look ugly
> on Linux because fonts are substituted by "similar" fonts with
> obviously different metrics.
> IMO it was a big mistake to allow not to embed all fonts but it's also
> a mistake to deliberately break documents which were created according
> to this unfortunate specification. 

You don't know yet if such documents will really break. Acrobat can
for the display do what it already does on linux: use a substitute.

As an example: hyperref declares as font for form text field
helvetica: /BaseFont/Helvetica. But Acrobat ignores that since quite
some time. If you look closely at the font in such a textfield you
can see that arial is used (on windows at least). 

Ulrike Fischer

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