[scribus] Font embedding/outlining & RIP problems

Marcus Holland-Moritz mhx-perl at gmx.net
Wed Apr 28 23:27:45 CEST 2010

Hi Folks,

I've got a little problem with Blurb, RIPs, fonts and the PDF generated
by Scribus. Actually, it seems it's not me but rather some RIPs that
have a problem with the way one (or more?) of my fonts are being embedded
by Scribus.

As far as I understand (see below) some RIPs are fine, while others
(seemingly newer ones) throw errors because of the fonts. I'm not 100%
sure, but I *think* I've chosen "Outline All Fonts" when exporting the
PDF.  I've *at least* chosen "Embed All Fonts". I think, though, that
font names like "Fo0S0" indicate outlined fonts.

My problem is that I don't have the slightest experience with RIPs and
what kinds of errors they can throw and how to debug problems like this.
So, while I'd really like to help solving this problem (whatever it may
be), I don't know which questions to ask the guy from customer support
or how to proceed.

Ideas, anyone?


----- Forwarded Message -----

Subject: Blurb Customer Support
From: "Blurb Support"
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2010 15:46:38 -0700 (PDT)

Blurb Customer Support: Order #1009315

Discussion Thread
Response (Craig) - 04/27/2010 03:46 PM

Hi Marcus,

The problem with the font is only seen at the final RIP stage of file conversion. The RIP itself is throwing an error. This is why it's not showing up everywhere and why it passes our preflight. There are many RIP versions out there which is why it may work at one facility and not another. Our European printer is currently one of those that cannot print this file. They *may* be using a newer version that all other printers in our network will eventually be using. You can see the problem this poses to your file, i.e., it may eventually run into issues at printers it's gone to before.

In cases such as this it's by far easier to attempt to strip out the root cause from the file. If a font is outlined rather than embedded it should not show up in the document properties File > Properties > Fonts tab. So the suspect fonts you have identified are indeed still embedded within the file.

I'm not sure how to create a proper outline of fonts in Scribus (in InDesign you select the font and choose Type > Create Outline. There may be a similar function in Scribus). This creates small vector based shapes of the characters, which maintains the crisp edges.

The bottom line is the RIP does not like those Type 3 fonts included in your file (not all type 3 fonts are an issue, just these or how Scribus creates these). That's why you either need to use an alternative font or create and outline of it to remove the reference. Checking the fonts tab in the properties menu will verify this.

Best regards,

Technical Support Specialist

Customer (Marcus Holland-Moritz) - 04/23/2010 03:25 PM

Hi Craig,

I'd be glad to generate a new PDF if there is a problem with the
current one. However, there's really not a lot of information on
*what* is actually wrong. You said that a font (and I think I
know which one it is) is embedded incorrectly. Yet I fail to see
what the problem is, given that...

 ...none of my PDF programs (Adobe Reader, xpdf, evince,
    pdfedit) complains about the file

 ...the file passed your preflight check  ;-)

 ...the book printed fine and with no visible errors back
    in February

Regarding your suggestions, I'm pretty sure I've already converted
as many fonts as possible to outlines. Using a different font is
not an option.

If you could give me some more details on how you discovered that
there's something wrong or which tool you've used so that I can
try to reproduce the problem, that would be much appreciated.

I've just re-exported the cover PDF with the most recent version
of Scribus I have and I've made sure I've outlined all fonts.
I don't know if you can give it a quick test to see if anything's
wrong with that file, but in case you can, here it is:


Actually, the fonts "Fo0S0" and "Fo1S0" *are* the outlined fonts.
As stated on this page:


 "Newer Scribus versions (starting with 1.3.4 or 1.3.5, I don't
 know for sure) do the "outlining" by converting the font to a PS
 Type 3 font, unlike the 1.3.3.x branch that (afaik) used XObjects.
 This is probably a good optimization; and I can't imagine a print
 shop that does not accept embedded Type 3 fonts (which have been
 around long before anybody even imagined TrueType)."

So, if you could point me more directly to the problem, I'd be
glad to work with the Scribus team to see what's wrong. But right
now I have no idea what to look for.


Response (Craig) - 04/23/2010 10:19 AM

Hi Marcus,

Thanks for your recent order. Your book is currently being printed but there is an overall problem with the file you've submitted to us. You will need to upload a new book file for future orders of this book.

The problem:
There is an incorrectly embedded font on both the cover and many inside pages (for example: the text on the back cover).

To correct this, please try the following:
Either outline this font prior to exporting OR use an alternative font, then re-export. I've attached a screenshot of the trouble font in your file. You can confirm the font is removed by navigating to File > Properties > Fonts tab to verify the trouble font is removed.

When you have made these changes, re-upload this file and place a new order. 

By not fixing this problem for future book orders we may not be able to fulfill the order, so please make sure to make this correction prior to placing another order.

I'm sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Best regards,
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