[scribus] PDF Export and Embedding Fonts

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Mon Jun 15 06:26:21 CEST 2009

On Sun, 14 Jun 2009 23:02:16 -0400
Gregory Pittman <gregp_ky at yahoo.com> dijo:

> John Jason Jordan wrote:
> > I have a document that uses eight fonts, four of which are the Junicode
> > face. The document was created with 1.3.5svn (currently Rc2) on Jaunty.
> >
> > First Issue:
> >
> > When I export to PDF the Options dialog box automatically comes up
> > showing all fonts to be embedded except Junicode Regular and FreeSerif
> > Medium. I am unable to get the dialog box to embed those two fonts.
> > Selecting them in the bottom box and clicking on the up arrow removes
> > them from the bottom box, but does not insert them into the embed box.
> > Ditto if I click on Embed All Fonts. Note that the document prints fine
> > if I print directly from Scribus. Note also that final output will be
> > to local laser, not a service bureau for press. I just prefer to print
> > from PDF because the laser printers can usually image it faster than a
> > native file.
> >
> > If there is something wrong with Junicode, why does Scribus happily
> > embed three of the fonts? Has anyone experienced problems with
> > FreeSerif Medium? If Scribus can find the fonts to print them on a
> > local laser printer, why can't it embed them in a PDF?
> >
> > Second issue:
> >
> > If I go ahead and export to PDF letting Scribus convert Junicode
> > Regular and FreeSerif Medium to outlines, the resulting PDF file is 118
> > MB, where the original Scribus document is 32 MB. I am not concerned
> > about the size of the documents, but when I try to open the PDF file in
> > Adobe Reader 8.1 the screen display is painfully slow, and so is
> > printing - like 60 seconds to click from page to page on screen and
> > even longer to print each page. In fact, it takes several minutes for
> > Adobe Reader even to open the file.
> >
> > If I print to CUPS-PDF the resulting file is 18 MB and all the fonts
> > are apparently converted to outlines. I say that because Adobe Reader
> > shows no fonts in the document. But printing is reasonably quick. I
> > realize Scribus has no control over CUPS-PDF.
> >
> > I am curious as to which is the better route - embed or convert to
> > outlines? I always thought that embedding the fonts would make screen
> > display and printing faster. Is that correct? 
> >
> > There are other options I have not yet tried - e.g., print to PS and
> > then use ps2pdf to convert to PDF. I also haven't tried Okular or other
> > alternatives to Adobe Reader because my past experience is that print
> > options are pathetic.

> In general, for just the reasons you point out, you would want to embed 
> fonts. Some cannot be embedded, however, and this size problem is just 
> what you see.
> It's good to know the license of your font to find out if you might be 
> able to use fontforge to, for example, convert an OTF font to TTF, which 
> should then allow embedding.
> fontmatrix can be good for getting a lot of the information about a 
> given font, such as the license, etc.

First, thanks for the tip about fontmatrix. I just installed it, and it
may be useful in the future.

However, according to fontmatrix all versions of Junicode and FreeSerif
are released under the GPL, and fontmatrix doesn't say anything about
embedding. So I'm still in the dark. I wonder if Peter Baker (the
designer of Junicode) messed up and accidentally hit a "do not embed"
button when he was creating the Regular version. FreeSerif is a big
question mark too, as I think it comes with Linux or other FOSS.

I have Fontforge installed, but finding my way around it is a
challenge. It might take a long time to find the "embed" information
for a font.

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