Weblog Alex Reuneker

Embed fonts in a PDF for free on a Mac

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This is a quick note for anyone struggling to generate PDF's which have their fonts included.

I had to supply plots to a publishing house, and when I opened one of the plots in my browser instead of in Adobe Reader, I saw the fonts changed. It turned out the font I used to generate text in R and GGPlot was not included in the PDF. As this happened only one day before the deadline, naturally, I freaked out a little – no need to, though, because on a Mac it is actually easy to embed fonts afterwards and you don't even need additional software.

Below, you'll find the steps needed.

  1. Open the PDF in Preview (the default app) on a Mac.
  2. Click on File, and then on Export.
  3. Choose the Quartz-filter 'Generate generic PDFX-3 document'.
  4. Save the file.

That's it! The fonts are now embedded. It is always wise to test it, so open the PDF in your browser, or on another computer, your phone et cetera.

I used some (outdated) information available at http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20060203175741232