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What makes embedded fonts appear on PDF files?
Thread poster: Tamara Zahran

Tamara Zahran  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:33
English to Arabic
Aug 8, 2004

Dear All,

On some computers, the Arabic font that is embedded in the PDF that I make out of Word files, don't show. What is the solution to this problem?

I use Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Professional and Word 2003.

Thank you all for your help

[Edited at 2004-08-08 11:59]

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Fuad Yahya  Identity Verified
+ ...
Some fonts are copyright protected. Aug 9, 2004

Microsoft owns the copyright to some fonts, including Traditional Arabic, and, quite unreasonably, refuses to let this font be embedded in a PDF file. If you make a PDF file out of a Word file that has some or all text in Traditional Arabic, you will be able to open the file and display it properly on your computer, because you already have the font installed. This font comes as part of the MS Office package, but it does not install by default. The easiest way to make sure this font is installed is to install Office in toto and then to have Arabic added in the Language Settings (in Office Tools).

If you send the PDF file to someone who has the Traditional Arabic font installed on their computer (such as another Arabic translator with a full Office installation), they will likewise be able to display the Arabic text in the PDF file. But if you send the file to someone who does not have that font installed (such as most translation agencies, virtually all clients, and even some Arabic translators), they will not be able to display the Arabic text in the PDF file, because the font is not embedded. What I normally do in these situations is switch to the second best font (Deco Type Naskh) before I make the PDF file. Line spacing adjustments (down to about 75%) may be called for because Deco Type Naskh uses oversized line spacing.

The situation is somewhat comical: On the one hand, Microsoft takes extreme measures to protect the Traditional Arabic font, indicating that Microsoft knows that this is a superior font. On the other hand, Traditional Arabic is not made the default Arabic font. Instead, some inferior Arabic font (Times New Roman or what not) is set as the default font. This is like making HYShortSamuel the standard font for English!

The part that escapes my understanding is how preventing the font from embedding in a PDF file protects the font. But that is Microsoft!

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shfranke  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:33
English to Arabic
+ ...
Re traditional Arabic TTF: Microsoft strikes again Aug 9, 2004

Greetings... taHaiya Tayyiba wa b3ad...

Fuad gives an excellent treatment of the vaguaries of some Arabic fonts and their compatability and embedded display (nor not) inside PDF.

(Re the proprietary MS "Traditional Arabic" font: Microsoft strikes again.)

Khair, in sha' Allah.


Stephen H. Franke

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What makes embedded fonts appear on PDF files?

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