[Scribus] Fonts (Win/Mac/Linux)

Andrew Main handygrafix
Tue Jun 26 14:34:30 CEST 2007

Craig Ringer wrote:

> Michael Engel wrote:
>> I am looking for an overview on fonts which are available per  
>> default on
>> Win/Mac/Linux.
>> I don't want to embed fonts in my pdf file of my magazine - it is  
>> already
>> big enough. Or do you think it is better to embed fonts (just in  
>> case) ?
> Adobe provides a core set of 14 fonts with Adobe Reader, implemented
> using a couple of multiple master fonts. They are all you should  
> rely on.
> Those fonts are:
> Courier
> Courier-Bold
> Courier-Oblique
> Courier-BoldOblique
> Times-Roman
> Times-Bold
> Times-Italic
> Times-BoldItalic
> Helvetica (Windows users know a nearly identical font as Arial)
> Helvetica-Bold
> Helvetica-Oblique
> Helvetica-BoldOblique
> Symbol
> ZapfDingbats
> Anything else may or may not work depending on PDF viewer, platform,
> installed fonts, phase of the moon, etc.

According to this useful page <http://buzzword.org.uk/fonts/? 
thumbs=0&sortby=fontsort>, while Windows XP and Mac OS X have a few  
fonts in common, even those don't look the same on both platforms;  
and the "core" Linux fonts are quite different. So it seems the only  
way to be (reasonably) sure what you're getting is to embed.

The actual fonts in Adobe Reader 8.1 for Mac (had to dig pretty deep  
in the package to find them) are:


None of these are actually available for use in OS X applications,  
since they are embedded in Adobe Reader and not installed in the  
System's Fonts folders; two are Multiple Master (MM) fonts which  
produce a reasonable facsimile of traditional serif ("Times") and  
sans ("Helvetica") fonts; the Couriers I'd guess are the last resort  
if Reader simply can't figure out what to display; the Minion and  
Myriad I recall as generic serif and sans fonts that back when  
Multiple Master was first developed were the first fonts of this type  
(though these apparently aren't MM, and I don't know what they're  
used for here). All of these I assume are fallbacks if Reader has to  
display a document which (a) has no embedded fonts and (b) specifies  
fonts that aren't installed in the System.

And in any case, in Mac OS X the default viewer for PDFs is Preview,  
which (if there are no embedded fonts) uses the fonts installed in  
the System, not these Adobe fonts which are available only to Reader.  
Only when Preview has trouble with a complex PDF do I resort to  
Reader, which has become a classic bloatware.

So your choices are pretty limited if you don't embed fonts, and even  
then you can't be entirely sure how your "Times/Helvetica" PDF will  
display in different environments.

Andrew Main

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