Embedding Fonts

Creating Perfect Print Files #3

  1. Embedding Fonts

If you’ve ever designed a document in one of the common but somewhat ‘less stable’ formats such as Microsoft Word or Corel Draw, you’ve maybe been frustrated to find that some of your type has corrupted.

You know what it’s like … you select a font – let’s say everyone’s favourite font Comic Sans – and you apply some funky effects like a shadow and an outline and you set the headings in Bold.  It’s looking great – right?

Then you send it off to print and the printer sends back a PDF proof. But hold on a minute…all the type has gone haywire! What a nightmare!

For a start it’s no longer in Comic Sans – it’s defaulted to a totally different font and to make matters worse, it’s lost the shadow effect and the outline! Not only that, but the size of the letters letters and the spacing between them has all changed too, so the line endings are different and therefore the paragraphs run-on or stop short of where you expect them to and of course this means that all the pages are now out of sync.

So you call your print supplier and point out the problem and they come back with, “the only way to fix the problem is for you to embed the fonts!” Aargh – what does that even mean?

Hey – don’t panic. Just follow these simple instructions and all your font nightmares will be gone forever.

The first thing to understand is that when you embed type, you are really making it so secure that it cannot be corrupted. The downside of this is that once you have done it there is no way back – to reverse the embedding process would be a bit like trying to unscramble an egg and put it back in its shell – and that ain’t gonna happen. So before you embed your type – make sure you have a copy so that you can make edits in the future should you wish to do that.

Right – so let’s assume you are working in Adobe InDesign which is the best programme to use when designing for print – what you need to do is select the type to be embedded then go to the tab marked ‘Type’ at the the top of the work space. As you’d expect, a range of options drop down in menu format –  around half way down the list of options you’ll see ‘Create Outlines’ – select this one and hey presto! That’s it done. Easy as that!

If you hover the cursor over the newly embedded type, you’ll see that around the edge of the letters a blue outline appears indicating that all the data is now suitably embedded. Effectively what you have done is create a image that cannot be corrupted once it moves from your desktop and is processed through your print supplier’s system. Of course, it goes without saying that you need to save it as a print ready PDF before sending to your print supplier.

Next time we’ll look in more detail at issues around how and why to create PDF files for your print documents and, as always if you have any specific queries or comments then just contact the customer support team on info@claroprint.co.uk