Fan of creative technology, elearning, instructional design and a little geeky


It’s funny how when you are writing/developing course material, you realise you’re never 100% certain about the facts 🙂 and I hate writing things down when I’m not 100% sure. So, here I found myself — the Adobe Certified Expert and print specialist — digging back into the archives, looking more in-depth at font embedding and subsetting in PDFs, pros and cons as well as significant differences.

Most people might not realise that InDesign also subsets fonts, and even has a preference setting controlling when fonts are to be subset. By default any font with a glyph count greater than 2,000 will subset fonts (Preferences > General). That is… embed only those glyphs that are used within the document. Distiller has an additional percentage setting that is called to determine when font-subsetting occurs. Font subsets are send to the PostScript stream under their own name preventing unwanted font substition at output end. Where PDF size is important, subsetting will result in smaller PDF file sizes in comparison to full font embedding.

Web Reference: Adobe InDesign CS2 Print Guide for Prepress Service Providers (8.2Mb) (2006, Adobe Systems Inc.).

Web Reference: Font Handling in Acrobat Distiller – Support Knowledgebase (2006, Adobe Systems Inc.)

Similar posts
  • Figures in InDesign CS5.5 and Accessibility After reading David’s blog-post on InDesign Secrets, titled “Building an Org Chart or Flowchart in InDesign“.  I thought… “How does building illustrations in InDesign impact the development of Accessible PDF with InDesign CS5.5?” InDesign CS5.5 introduced significant new features for EPUB/HTML and PDF export. Building Accessible PDFs is now much, MUCH easier… It’s not yet [...]
  • Fontographer… It’s back I received an interesting email from FontLab today... announcing the return of Fontographer. A new version (5) of Fontographer has just been released for Mac and PC. So Fontographer has come back to life after more than a decade of being in [...]
  • Dutch Type Jan Middendorp writes that his “interest in Letterforms and text faces by Dutch designers such as Hollander, Caecilia, Quadraat, Theses”, were the main triggers for writing his 2004 book “Dutch Type“. As someone who used to carry a Dutch passport prior to swapping it for an Australian one over a decade ago, this book triggers more [...]
  • Glossary of Typographic Terms From ‘Accent Mark’ to ‘X-height’. provides a very cool list of typographic terms. I have to admit there are plenty of terms on the list I’ve never heard of before…  Did you know that an en-dash is sometimes called a Nut?  Well I most certainly did not 🙂 Web-reference: Terminology (2007, [...]
  • Creative Suite 3 Fonts Thomas Phinney’s made a great list accessible on his weblog that provides an overview of all of the fonts that ship with the various Creative Suite 3 bundles, as well as which ones are being installed during a standard [...]

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *