/ Id-Extras Forum / Formmagic 2.0.2 – pc and mac font embedding

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  • #6198 Reply

    Hi Ariel,
    I am working on project for a client in our state education department.
    I have a group of workbooks set up in InDesign, with many activity sheets for the teacher to print out from the final exported PDF.
    For a lot of the worksheets I have form fields added to the page so the teacher can add in text tailored to their classes if they wish, before printing the PDF pages.
    Ideally I would like the font, alignment and size of the text to match the other worksheets.
    Formmagic sounded perfect to help me do this.
    I’ve set up my font preferences for all the text fields in InDesign through the ‘Forms and Buttons’ panel, including the font which is a specific one used by the department for all their workbooks (note: not a system font). I was hoping to be able to embed that font in the final PDF, so it would be useable by the teacher regardless of their platform.
    It all works fine for me when I test the PDF but when the client tries to use the file, only dots appear for the characters they type in the form field – as if they don’t have the font loaded. (The alignment and text size seemed to be working fine though)
    I assumed the font would be imbedded with the file with Formmagic but it doesn’t look like I’ve done it correctly.
    Is this possible? or do I need to use only web safe fonts?
    Or perhaps it’s possible to set a font default chain? like in a CSS style? eg. Helvetica > Arial > Sans serif.
    Alternatively, a plan B would be to have the text field’s font editable by the teacher, – so they can type in the text (say as default Helvetica) and then change the font manually to the correct one. But I don’t know if this is possible either.
    Please find attached a few pages of the exported PDF, showing some of the more simple form layouts.
    The PDF also includes a link to the font I’m trying to embed – see text on page 182.
    Thank you for your time. I appreciate any suggestions. Please let me know if you need more information

    • This topic was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Ariel.
    #6428 Reply
    Ariel
    Keymaster

    Hi Katherine,

    Thanks for the question.
    I’ve looked into this more carefully than I had before, and the answer is as follows.
    A font file has something called “embedding permission”. This can be set to 1 of 4 levels:
    1. No Embedding
    2. Print and Preview
    3. Editable
    4. Installable

    “Installable” is the most permissive level.
    For FormMagic to successfully embed the font in the PDF, it’s embedding permission has to be either “3. Editable” or “4. Installable”.
    The handwriting font you’re trying to use has the most restrictive setting applied to it: “No Embedding”, as can be seen from the screenshot. This is a bit weird, seeing as it’s a freely available font, so I’m not sure why they’d do that.

    There are several ways to see what the embeddability status of a font is. You can:
    (1) Right-click the font file, choose properties, selecte the Details tab, and see the status there. (Window only, I think).
    (2) You can try actually selecting the font in Acrobat: Select a text field, double-click it to open the Properties window in Acrobat, and select the font you’d like to choose. If the font cannot be embedded, a warning will be displayed. (See screenshot.)
    (3) After running FormMagic, in the Document Properties in Acrobat, under the Fonts tab, there appears a list of all fonts in the PDF. Next to the font name should appear “Embedded” or “Embedded subset”. If nothing appears after the font name, the font has not and cannot be embedded.

    In your case, where you have to use a specific font, I think you will need to provide the font with the PDF, or else ask the font owner if they can change the embeddability setting of that font, or else use a different font.

    I would note that out of the 334 fonts I have installed on my system (including Microsoft, Adobe, Monotype and other foundry fonts), 313 all have the permissions level set to “Editable” or “Installable” meaning that they can be embedded, and only some 20 have a more restrictive setting. This matches my experience, which is that most fonts can be embedded. So it’s unfortunate that the one you need to use cannot!

    For more info, see here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2015/07/06/document-font-embedding-demystified/

    Ariel

    #6429 Reply

    Thank you so much for your reply Ariel and the detailed description of the problem.
    I tried an OpenType version the font but without success again.
    I’ll have to find a better way.
    Is it possible to still use FormMagic to set my preferred alignment, but without setting a font family?
    So the teacher could open the file and change the font to the VicCursive once they have it loaded – but it would still be centre aligned and at the correct size by default? (ie. same as if they were using a Word Doc)
    Or would they have to have the full Acrobat (not just Reader)?
    Apologies for all the question.
    One of the workbooks is 250 pages long with multiple text fields per page. It would be such a shame not to have them as interactive pages.
    And it’s frustrating as a designer to think that a PDF form would not be able to do what a Word doc could! lol

    #6430 Reply

    Hi again Ariel,
    I think I’m confusing myself but can you please see attached file. – page 11
    The font embeds fine when it’s not in a text field.
    Am I my missing something obvious?

    #6431 Reply
    Ariel
    Keymaster

    Hi Katherine,
    Sorry for the delayed response here, it’s been busy, and meanwhile I’m sure you’ve found workarounds for all these issues, but still, here goes:

    Quote:
    Is it possible to still use FormMagic to set my preferred alignment, but without setting a font family?

    Not really, when FormMagic clicks into action, it will try to reapply whatever font is being used in InDesign.

    Quote:
    So the teacher could open the file and change the font to the VicCursive once they have it loaded – but it would still be centre aligned and at the correct size by default? (ie. same as if they were using a Word Doc)

    The best would be to actually use the cursive font you want to use, in InDesign. If you do that, then when the teacher opens the book in Acrobat, if they have the font actually installed on their system*, everything will show up correctly.
    * They only need the font actually installed on their own system for these special fonts that forbid embedding, as I explained in the previous post. Most fonts are embedded correctly and show up correctly even if they don’t have them installed on their system.

    Quote:
    Or would they have to have the full Acrobat (not just Reader)?

    No, that is not necessary. Reader is fine.

    Quote:
    Apologies for all the question.

    No problem.

    Quote:
    One of the workbooks is 250 pages long with multiple text fields per page. It would be such a shame not to have them as interactive pages.

    The conclusion: It should in fact be possible to do what you want. The teacher simply needs the free Adobe Reader installed on his or her computer, and they should install the font on their computer as well. Since the font is free, this shouldn’t be a problem: You can distribute the font with the PDF as a separate file, with instructions that they should install it before viewing the PDF.

    #6432 Reply
    Ariel
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    I think I’m confusing myself but can you please see attached file. – page 11
    The font embeds fine when it’s not in a text field.
    Am I my missing something obvious?

    The whole issue of font embedding only arises with form fields, because they are editable.
    For static text on a PDF page the font will clearly display correctly. Static, non-editable, text is different.

    #6433 Reply

    Hi everyone

    I am late to the party and have the same issue as ktalexander although using a font with license “installable”.

    See file in the attachment.

    (I’ve created the font myself even. It’s a “secret code” font to encrypt messages for kids and stuff.)

    Do you have any idea what might be the problem here?

    #6434 Reply
    Ariel
    Keymaster

    Hi Castor-Designs,

    I think the problem here is that the font does not have an internal Postscript name.
    Be sure to give it a Postscript name in your font editor and try again.
    At that point, there is a good chance that FormMagic will be able to embed the font properly for you.
    If it still doesn’t work, check out the info in Section 7 of the Help guide, here: https://www.id-extras.com/help/formmagic/#:~:text=7.%20%C2%A0%20Advanced%3A%20Using%20the%20FontList.txt%20File

    HTH,
    Ariel

    #6435 Reply

    Hi Ariel

    Thank you very much for having a look at this.

    Actually I am pretty sure that my font has a PostScript name since I’ve set all name fields in FontForge (see Screnshot below).

    I’ve also checked your Section 7 and all Font names are identical (I have checked 4 different fonts and they all don’t work).

    I would be very happy if you could try it out yourself using my project files: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4j9u4gymtbyz08s/font-embedding-not-working.zip?dl=0

    Thank you very much for your help and support. It’s much appreciated.

    1TVeE6s.png

    #6436 Reply
    Ariel
    Keymaster

    Hi Castor-Designs,

    Thanks for the files.
    (1) I installed the font “for all users” on Windows and then created a new document with a text field, using that font. (Note that it is not enough to put the font in a special Document Fonts folder that only InDesign can read, because Acrobat needs to have access to the font as well, below in Step 5.)
    (2) I exported the document to interactive PDF with FormMagic.
    (3) It opened in Acrobat, and I ran the FormMagic command at the bottom of the Edit menu in Acrobat.
    (4) I saved the PDF after running the FormMagic command and closed Acrobat.
    (5)I then uninstalled the font and reopened the PDF. Everything seems in order. The font is nicely embedded, and I can type with it in the text field even though it is not installed on my computer. I’m attaching the PDF.

    Are these the exact steps you followed?

    Ariel

    #6437 Reply

    Hi Ariel

    Thank you very much for this exact instructions.

    I was not aware of the fact that all fonts also have to be installed for the step in Adobe Acrobat itself.

    This was the problem and now it mostly works for me as well.

    Interestingly there are some fonts with license “Preview/Print” that work and some don’t.

    e. g. this font does not work for me at all but most fonts i would like to implement work.

    Maybe you know why this happens?

    Also two more questions:
    – Is it recommended to use the purge command or rather not for best compatibility?
    – I have seen some pdf forms where the font size adapts to the amount of text: When more text is written the size gets decreased (Video with timestamp). Do you know how to achieve this?

    Thank you very much for your prompt and competent support!

    #6438 Reply
    Ariel
    Keymaster

    Hi Castor-Designs,

    Above, I wrote that the permission has to be set to “editable” or “installable”, so I’m not sure why “preview/print”, which is a stricter level, should work. I’ll need to look into it some more.

    Quote:
    Also two more questions:
    – Is it recommended to use the purge command or rather not for best compatibility?

    When you’re ready to distribute the PDF, yes, you should definitely use the Purge command to reduce the PDF file size. It makes no difference to compatibility.

    Quote:
    – I have seen some pdf forms where the font size adapts to the amount of text: When more text is written the size gets decreased (Video with timestamp). Do you know how to achieve this?

    You can do this with FormMagic by setting the text size to 12.345. More info: https://www.id-extras.com/help/formmagic/#:~:text=3.2%20%C2%A0%20%C2%A0The%20magic%20font%20size%3A%2012.345pt!

    Ariel

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