Add fonts to PDF files

Using Mac OS X it is very easy to make a PDF version of a certain document. Via the standard menu option Archive ▸ Print… you can choose to print a document as a PDF file with the ‘PDF” button.

When you forward a PDF file to another Mac user, in most cases the document will be displayed exactly the same. If you forward the document to a Windows user or if you have used 3rd party fonts, the fonts and layout may look different. If a font used in a PDF file is not available on the recipient’s computer, it will be replaced by a font from the same ‘font family’.

Fortunately, Mac OS X includes an option by default to prevent your document from displaying properly if a font is not present. By choosing the option ‘PDF-X’ when saving a PDF file, the non-standard fonts are automatically added to the PDF file. As a result, you are always assured of the correct layout and fonts.

It is also possible to convert a PDF with 3rd party fonts to the PDF-X format using the standard preview application. Open the PDF file in the preview application and save the file with the Quartz filter option: ‘Create Generic PDFX-3 Document’. The disadvantage of this last option is that certain metadata from the file can be lost. In most cases, the layout of the PDF file is much more important.

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