What is Font Embedding in Documents?

Unlike embedding fonts in web pages (see Webfonts) Font embedding within documents is the inclusion of font data
within an electronic document or file. This is most common with Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF), Microsoft
Word .doc files and PowerPoint files.

Fonts embedded in this manner allow the document to be displayed on a computer screen and printed using the outline
data of the font or a rendered version of the font so that text within the document is viewed or printed in the chosen font
style. This is called Print and Preview Embedding and is the most common form of font embedding.

Many users are not aware that font information is automatically captured and stored as part of the document they have
created. This font data then travels as part of the document and permits the recipient of the document to view and print
the document without the need to have the relevant fonts installed on their computer.

Fonts embedded in this manner have revolutionised document sharing as the document (particularly in PDF form) is no
longer affected by computer platform, applications or formats on different machines

Is Font Embedding in Documents Legal?

To an extent yes, but use varies from one font publisher to the next and some types of embedding attract additional
charges and require an additional license.

In some respects font embedding in documents is a controversial practice because it allows copyrighted software (fonts)
to be distributed without any control or further charge in some instances. Most font publishers permit Print and Preview
Embedding as part of their standard desktop End User License Agreement (EULA) but this does not apply to all font
foundries and suppliers. TIP – Always check what the EULA permits before embedding fonts into your documents.

There can also be limitations. In some instances fonts are only partially embedded with the specific characters used to
create the document. If the document is then opened for further modification the addition of previously unused
characters is prohibited. This is a form Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology (which inhibits the use of or access
to digital content) by providing some limited protection of the font data.

When do Additional Licenses and Charges apply to Font Embedding?

There are two main types of embedding where you can expect to pay an additional charge and will require an extended
license – Editable Embedding and Commercial Product Embedding.

A common requirement within corporate companies and legal firms is the ability to modify documents frequently without
being concerned about what fonts are installed on computer systems. This function is possible with a facility called
Editable Embedding. The font data is modified in such a way so that all font characters travel with the document and
can be accessed, changed, deleted or re-keyed repetitively. This type of use requires an Editable Embedding License
and is charged for on a variable basis from supplier to supplier.

The other form of chargeable embedding is where font software is embedded into any type of document based product
that attracts a fee, subscription or other form of financial benefit. A custom Commercial Product License is required to
cover such use and again costs vary from one supplier to the next. Examples of commercial use include eBooks, Digital
Newspapers, eMagazines and any other form of online literature. This applies to digital information that is accessed
(such as digital newspaper subscriptions) and digital downloads.
Some of our favourite typefaces:

Optima Nova, Avenir Next, Olicana Fine, Houschka Pro, Didot,
For further information about font embedding and extended licenses, please email or call us on
++44 (0)1242 285100.
CPS PRODUCTS AND SERVICES GUIDE.pdf - Font Products & Services overview: Custom Fonts, Corporate Fonts & Font Licensing.
CPS GUIDE TO TYPEFACE LICENSING.pdf - Font Licensing guide containing suggestions, tips and advice.

  Optima Nova Avenir Next Olicana Fine Houschka Pro Didot
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