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How do I identify fonts from a .pdf file to edit in Word
Thread poster: Claudia Alvis

Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:25
Partial member
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Jan 31, 2006

I have a pdf document with many different fonts althought most of the text is in Arial.
I have saved the document in .rtf format and with the exception of some titles and sub-titles everything looks pretty much like the original document. So I'm trying to find those fonts that are not part of Word.

I'm using Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional and I can see the fonts used listed under 'Document Properties' but they're too many. Is there a way I can identify each font with Acrobat -or any other program?

I tried asking my client but he hasn't replied yet and I'm getting impatience, besides I would like to know for future reference.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:25
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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Two font identifications (your mileage will vary) Jan 31, 2006

Caliaa wrote:
So I'm trying to find those fonts that are not part of Word.
Identify a font by answering questions about it.
Identify a font by uploading a sample of it.

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Klaus Herrmann  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:25
Member (2002)
English to German
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Look at the printout Jan 31, 2006

Most of the time, the font list in a PDF is pretty accurate. When it's not the problem usually takes the opposite effect, i.e. there are fonts missing which should have been included. Having said that, it might well be some of the fonts are not actually visible, e.g. in when moving to a tab position or when fonts have been used on master pages but don't appear in the document. In doubt, your second best choice is to look at the printout and decide which fonts are required. Your best choice will be to request the document in the original format (DTP or Word).

[Edited at 2006-01-31 08:22]

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Katherine Mérignac  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:25
French to English
SolidCnverterPDF Jan 31, 2006

Hi Caliaa,

I tend to work with SolidConverterPDF, which converts PDF documents into Word and (so far) this has worked really well - you can have the trial version for free, for about a month I think. It takes a lot of the hassle out of conversions. If you can't get hold of the original, as Klaus suggested, you might find this quicker.


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:25
Member (2003)
Polish to German
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If you don't have the fonts on your PC Jan 31, 2006

and will use special characters, as it is the case with Polish, you will either need to substitute the fonts by other similar fonts, containing those extended characters, or buy all those fonts in a version with extended characters. The first is a good way, as if you get a PDF document the customer cannot request getting a translation, which looks exactly like the original. So I would simply take similar fonts and work on it.
If you are suspected to deliver text looking exactly as the PDF does, you will need to have the original editable file (as Klaus already said) and then all the fonts used in it. This will be quite costly...


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Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:25
German to English
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a few suggestions Jan 31, 2006

If you copy text from a PDF document to a Word document by using Select (All) / Copy / Paste, the font attributes of the original text will be copied to the text in the Word document, even if the actual fonts are not installed on your system.

Word automatically subsititutes fonts for any fonts that are not installed in your system, but it only uses the substitute fonts to display (and print) the text. If you save the document without changing the font attributes, they will remain the same as in the original (PDF) text.

If you want to know which fonts used in the document are not present on your system, open the Font Substitution window in Word (Tools / Options / Compatibility / Font Substitution in the English version). All 'missing' fonts in the document will be listed along with the fonts Word is using as substitutes. You can change the substitute font(s) if you wish. Be careful with this: if you tick 'Convert Permanently', Word will effectively change the text of the document from the missing font(s) to the subsititute font(s), so the original font attributes will be lost.

As far as I know, you cannot search the text of a Word document for a font that is not installed on the computer. However, if you want to know where a particular missing font is used, you can temporarily change its substitute font to some other font that you know is not used anywhere else in the document and then search for the substitute font (using the Find menu with 'More / Format / Font').

[Edited at 2006-01-31 17:26]

[Edited at 2006-01-31 20:17]

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Identify Fonts in PDF easily Apr 21, 2006


This is a bit late in this thread but I saw your question on how to identify fonts in a PDF. If you download our tool PDF CanOpener ( free 10 day demo) you can hover your cursor over any text run in a PDF document and an info popup box will appear that tells you what font that text is as well as other information such as is it embedded or subset. Quite a few other details are available on the fonts too.
PDF CanOpener is a plug-in for Acrobat 6 or 7.

Dimitri Munkirs
WindJack Solutions, Inc

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