Learn how to adjust font settings on your PDF file.
Tags:adobe,adobe acrobat 8 professional,computer,distiller,file,font,pdf,setting,software,total training
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Now you’re done with images, let's move to the next panel and that’s fonts. One of the things about PDF files that nice is that I can deliver you a document that has my fonts built into it. That means that you don’t have to have those type phases installed on your system to see the design or to see the type phases that I want built into the document that I'm showing you. That’s a significant advantage. The way to make that happen is to embed your fonts. Typically if you have a document that needs to retain the fidelity of fonts, you'll want to select embed all fonts.
Be aware though that by embedding the fonts you are increasing the file’s size. One of the strategies that I use to make a file as small as possible is I’ll deselect embed all fonts, but I’ll make sure that when I design the project, I use Times and Helvetica or Arial and Times New Roman or two type phases or maybe three type phase that are very, very likely to be on somebody else’s computer.
Now if you don’t embed fonts, note that Acrobat and the free Adobe Reader will actually substitute type phases that it has sort of built into it for what was in the PDF file. So in all cases if you deliver a PDF file and you don’t embed fonts, your end user will be able to read what's there, it just might not look the same way it looked to you when you created it. So if you want that fidelity in place embed all fonts.
One of the ways that you can have your - and need two though is subset embed fonts when the percent of characters used is less than. What does that mean? Imagine if you have a document that has checked marks in it or some dingdots, you don’t need the entire type phase to represent the two or three dingdots that you're using say for bullet characters.
So what you can do is allow Acrobat to subset the fonts when the document doesn’t use all of the characters in the type phase. So I’ll type in 50% which means that any time I don’t use more than half of the characters in a type phase Acrobat is going to create what's called subset of the fonts in the document. What does that mean? It only builds those characters into the document that are necessary. That’s a good thing because it gives you a smaller file. It can be a bad thing on occasion because Acrobat has tools in it that allow you to edit type, but if you try to edit that type and it uses a subset of font Acrobat might not let you do so.
Think about it, if you haven’t embed the G of the type phase because it wasn’t necessary for the process of creating a PDF, then you can't add a G, its just not there. It’s one of those issues that I tend to turn on or off depending on the use of the document. So I'm going to go ahead and set this back to 100% because I almost always leave it at 100%, and if I'm creating a file for the purpose of printing, then I typically turn subsetting off and embed all fonts. Because a large file was something that the print community is used to, I want all of the fonts in it and I just don’t want any problems that might occur because of subsetting type phases.
If I'm creating a document that I'm going to send to people who have laser printers and they're only going to be using it with free reader, I want then to see the type phases that I've used that I'm going to try and shoot the middle, turn embed off fonts on and I'm going to subset the fonts. If I want to create the smallest file possible, then I'm going to design with something like Helvetica or Arial, I’m going to turn off, embed all fonts and subset fonts, and I'm not going to have any font information at all built into the document which will give me the smallest file possible.
Now there are a couple of other issues to consider here in this fonts panel. First off, there will be occasions when font embedding fails. And in most occasions I want to cancel the job. Why might the font fail? well if it’s a poorly built font or in some cases font vendors actually don’t like it when people embed their fonts into other documents. In those cases distiller won’t be able to get the font embed, and so what's its going to do in that case is fail to embed the font. In which case, I want to cancel the job. Because it’s something I'm going to have to go back into the original authoring documents and consider. I might replace the fonts, I might use a different version or something like that. But I don’t want to just leave it up to Acrobat to figure out what to do which is what would happen if I select ignore. I might actually end up with a PDF file that has no characters in a given place where that font was trying to be used.
Now when an Acrobat embeds fonts, it has to embed them by pulling the fonts from your font library and that’s what we’re seeing here in this Window. This is the entire list of fonts that are on this computer. Obviously your computer will look differently because you have different fonts than we do here. There are occasions when you produce a PDF file and you use that PDF file only when in an internal situation.
In such occasions, I might select a particular font and select never embed. What that means is even though I have embed all fonts selected, the font Arial Narrow will never be embedded into the PDF file when I'm creating using these settings. Why is that useful? Well it’s another way of having my cake and eating it too. I might use for example Baskerville Old Face in my document and Arial Narrow. When I embed all the fonts, I don’t need to embed Arial Narrow because I know that everybody in my community has it installed on their computer and so I can save a little bit of space by never embedding it.
However, if you use the never embed font functionality, make sure that you remove the fonts from this list when you're creating a PDF file for the general public, because you have no idea what the general public might have on their computers, and if you really want Arial Narrow to be embedded in your document if it shows up in this never embed list, it’s not going to be embedded in your document. I've seen that be the source of a number of problems which is why I bring it up.
Now the last thing that I want to point out regarding fonts is where does Acrobat go to get this list of fonts. Typically, it looks at the standard places where fonts would reside on a computer.
I'm going to select the cancel because there are times when people have fonts installed in different locations on their computer other than where the system expects to look for them, and for those times under the settings menu you might want to select font locations. What this does is it allows you to point out a particular location that you have that you're storing fonts in that you want Acrobat Distiller to have access to. If you do store fonts in a location other than where the system expects them to be and you want Distiller to be able to embed them you'll need to tell Distiller where they are, so you'll want to take that last step.
Now let's return to the settings what you're setting edit Adobe PDF settings. The forth option is color and fortunately this is a lot less hysteric and a lot easier to get through. If you're going to work with the file and you're going to go to press with that file, it should be CMYK, unless of course you're using column management in which case there are setting here to allow you to do that, but it’s really beyond the scope of what we have time to discuss here. What I want to talk to you about though is the fact that you can have Distiller take care of problems of RGB going to CMYK or by vice versa. So let's talk about going to CMYK first.
If you have a document that uses RGB graphics, you can actually have Acrobat convert all colors to see CMYK, and if you do that anything that’s RGB is going to become CMYK. Now that process if you're familiar with that type of conversion can be done in a number of different ways. What you'll probably want to do is come down here to the CMYK pull down menu and chooses either web coated or sheetfed coated or uncoated. If you're not sure which to use, then talk to your print vendor, but to make that decision if you know that you're going to a printing situation that uses sheetfed press, then you'll want to chose sheetfed and the stock that you use coated or uncoated will help you decide which of these to choose. If you're going to webpress then choose web coated or uncoated.
Now going in the other direction, if you’ve got a file that you want to make as small as possible good thing to do is convert your colors to RGB, the RGB color space is actually smaller than CMYK. And you can do that by selecting convert all colors to SRGB. SRGB is just a common RGB color space that most computer monitors will show with some fidelity. It’s important to point out that when you convert colors like this you may cause color shifting and its something that’s okay to do as a last stitch effort to get some RGB to CMYK or get some CMYK to RGB.
In most cases you're actually going to leave the color unchanged because you're going to want to deal with your color up front. If you know that you're building a presentation that going to be used to on screen, use RGB graphics. If you know that you're going to be building a document that is designed to be used on press, use CMYK graphics. If you're not comfortable with that world of color, then you definitely want to have a color expert help you make those decisions, if you’ve got the 11th hour choice to make of getting this job to go or not, that’s when you can come in and set up Acrobat so that it can convert to CMYK or to RGB for you. It’s nice that it can do that, but again I want to remind you that it is something that you should consider carefully before you do. In most cases you’ll leave your color unchanged.