Author Topic: Exporting to PDF. Embedding vs Outlining fonts  (Read 14145 times)

apastuszak

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 67
  • Karma: 0
Exporting to PDF. Embedding vs Outlining fonts
« on: July 03, 2014, 05:33:01 pm »
When exporting to PDF, what is the better option, to embed the font or outline the font?  Can a subset of the font be embedded?  Are there legal issues with embedding fonts and then distributing the PDFs?

utnik

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1665
  • Karma: 18
Re: Exporting to PDF. Embedding vs Outlining fonts
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 08:26:08 pm »
hi apastuszak

… what is the better option, to embed the font or outline the font?

usually embedding is the better one – but there are some exceptions:
  • .pdf files for a plotter
  • embedding restrictions in the user license of the font
  • special effects and manipulations on the characters
Quote
can a subset of the font be embedded?

yes – this makes sense for fonts with a large character set.

Quote
Are there legal issues with embedding fonts and then distributing the PDFs?

see above!

utnik

apastuszak

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 67
  • Karma: 0
Re: Exporting to PDF. Embedding vs Outlining fonts
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 11:10:24 pm »
Is there any loss of quality or change in the appearance of the fontwhen you outline instead of embed?

Does outlining get around font licensing requirements?

utnik

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1665
  • Karma: 18
Re: Exporting to PDF. Embedding vs Outlining fonts
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 11:47:30 pm »
Is there any loss of quality or change in the appearance of the fontwhen you outline instead of embed?

unfortunately in scribus there are two different things called 'outline':
  • 'item' → 'convert to' → 'outlines' – this really generates independent path objects (real outlines). the characters may render a little bit different in low resolution environements (like screens). with tiny characters/slim lines this difference can be visible.
  • in the .pdf export window ('file' → 'export' → 'save as pdf' → 'fonts' → 'fonts to outline') – this creates a so called 'type 3 font' with a character subset from the original font file. with this option, there should be no difference to te fully embedded font.
Quote
Does outlining get around font licensing requirements?

yes – in some cases. for this you have to check the licensing terms of the font file.

utnik

Nermander

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1517
  • Karma: 19
Re: Exporting to PDF. Embedding vs Outlining fonts
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2014, 09:29:01 am »
I also think that outlining a font removes hinting information, which means the quality in low resolutions suffer. For print (which would be considered high resolution) the difference will probably not be noticeable, but for viewing on screen it might look worse.

apastuszak

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 67
  • Karma: 0
Re: Exporting to PDF. Embedding vs Outlining fonts
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2014, 08:48:30 pm »
I also think that outlining a font removes hinting information, which means the quality in low resolutions suffer. For print (which would be considered high resolution) the difference will probably not be noticeable, but for viewing on screen it might look worse.

Hinting information is used at small point sizes, not low resolution.

Nermander

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1517
  • Karma: 19

apastuszak

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 67
  • Karma: 0
Re: Exporting to PDF. Embedding vs Outlining fonts
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2014, 01:15:45 am »
Really?

https://www.typotheque.com/articles/hinting
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Font_hinting

This may show my age....

Ok, back in the 80s, when I started to play with fonts, there were only 2 types of fonts: Postscript Type 1 and Postscript Type 3 that were available for retail sale.  Type 1 fonts were always superior to Type 3 fonts, because the "hinting" in the Type I file produced superior printed output at smaller point sizes, unsually output less than 9 point.  At the time, Adobe wouldn't tell anyone how to make a Type I font, so everyone except Adobe made Type 3 fonts.  When Apple released TrueType and offered the font specs for free, Adobe immediately responded by releasing the Type I font spec for everyone to use, and released Adobe Type Manager, to render fonts on screen better.

Type 3 fonts have fallen by the wayside.  Heck they're not even supported by either Windows or Mac any more.  But they did have one cool feature.  You could specify, shading, color in fill pattern in Type 3 fonts.  Of course you could get around this problem by using "Convert To Paths.." in Adobe Ilustrator.  I remember using Type 3 fonts back in the day that had gradient fills in them and other cool effects.  A lot creepy halloween fonts were done that way,

Back then, the best you could get out of laser printer was 300 dpi, so hinting was important in making small point sizes look their best.

I guess font hinting and low/high resolution has changed it's meeting over time.  With most printers being 1200x1200 dpi these days, I guess print hinting isn't nearly as important as screen hinting.

apastuszak

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 67
  • Karma: 0
Re: Exporting to PDF. Embedding vs Outlining fonts
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2014, 05:51:07 am »
And my last dumb thought.  If I convert fonts to outlines in the PDF export, is there any way for the font maker to tell what the origin of the font was.  I'm making pages for stamp collecting albums that I post as free downloads on my web site.  Using these fonts generates no revenue for me.  I just want the 22 people that visit my blog to have access to the same output I get at home.

Nermander

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1517
  • Karma: 19
Re: Exporting to PDF. Embedding vs Outlining fonts
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2014, 10:26:39 am »
because the "hinting" in the Type I file produced superior printed output at smaller point sizes, unsually output less than 9 point. 
That's because at small sizes the resolution also gets smaller. But from what I understand hinting is mostly useful on screen.

3 mm letters on paper don't need hinting, but 3 mm letters on a screen do.

apastuszak

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 67
  • Karma: 0
Re: Exporting to PDF. Embedding vs Outlining fonts
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2014, 05:00:22 pm »
because the "hinting" in the Type I file produced superior printed output at smaller point sizes, unsually output less than 9 point. 
That's because at small sizes the resolution also gets smaller. But from what I understand hinting is mostly useful on screen.

3 mm letters on paper don't need hinting, but 3 mm letters on a screen do.

In those days, screen fonts were bitmaps linked back to a font file.  There was no on screen hinting until Adobe Type Manager came along.  Before that, all hinting information was used for printing.

apastuszak

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 67
  • Karma: 0
Re: Exporting to PDF. Embedding vs Outlining fonts
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2014, 07:12:53 am »
Does using an OTF file give me any advantages over a TTF file?  One of the fonts I am using is League Gothic, from theleagueofmovabletype.com.  I can get the font as an OTF or TTF.  If I used the OTF, I will have to outline the font for the PDF.  If I use the TTF, I can embed.

What's the better choice here?

Engineering_text

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Karma: 0
  • Scribus User
Re: Exporting to PDF. Embedding vs Outlining fonts
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2022, 06:50:20 pm »
Old topic, but still relevant in 2022. Ten years ago, I always embedded my fonts when exporting to PDF. Today, when trying to embed my fonts, Scribus overrides me and the fonts go straight to "outline". Exotic fonts? Nope. Times New Roman. Arial. I am using Windows 10. So do I have to go somewhere to buy the fonts? This is relevant because the book is in 10 point font with lots of subscripts and superscripts which are 6 to 7 point size. I've noticed my engineering textbooks from 40 years ago, and the engineering books I bought last year all use 10 point font -but theirs looks way better than what I can get with my laser printer.

Back then I was using Linux, so maybe the fonts were open source versions. I guess the fonts in Windows are for personal use only?

Nermander

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1517
  • Karma: 19
Re: Exporting to PDF. Embedding vs Outlining fonts
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2022, 09:26:12 am »
If I recall correct OTF cannot be embedded into a PDF, PDF only supports TTF and PostScript Type 3 fonts (or something like that).

Today most operating systems have OTF versions of the fonts instead of TTF version, and that means Scribus needs to convert before embedding.

I think what is called "outlining" in Scribus is rather "converting to a Type 3 font" (potentially also just including the used glyphs, like subsetting).

Oh, I googled, a bit and found that from version 1.6 PDF can also include OTF fonts.
https://www.prepressure.com/pdf/basics/fonts

But it may be that Scribus does not yet support this, maybe it is to difficult to have different font embedding for different PDF versions?

An still, there may also be licensing restrictions in the PDF preventing embedding.

utnik

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1665
  • Karma: 18
Re: Exporting to PDF. Embedding vs Outlining fonts
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2022, 06:29:37 am »
…found that from version 1.6 PDF can also include OTF fonts.…

…it may be that Scribus does not yet support this, maybe it is to difficult to have different font embedding for different PDF versions?

i made a short test with scribus 1.5.8 and 1.7.0.svn.
if an otf font is marked to be embedded (checked to be used in 'document setup' → 'fonts' but without a check mark on the 'subset' box) scribus allows to embed the font in .pdf 1.6 files – it does differentiate between .pdf versions…

utnik

 

palmate