Base 14 Fonts and Font Embedding

All fonts (type design of your text) must be embedded in a PDF for us to print from the file. Embedding a font is the act of properly including fonts into the file itself.

Using embedded fonts guarantees that the reader of the PDF will see and reproduce the original font, regardless of whether or not the font is installed on their system.

Our system will not allow us to process or print from files with fonts that are not embedded. When your file is uploaded, it will be validated, and you will be given feedback if there is an issue with your fonts.

Base 14 fonts are the common fonts installed as a part of the Adobe Acrobat installation.

  • Times or Times New Roman - 4 versions*
  • Helvetica or Arial- 4 versions
  • Courier - 4 versions
  • Symbol
  • Zapf Dingbats

(regular, bold, italic or oblique, and bold italic of each)

Even though these are the common fonts, they are not automatically embedded.

Programs often default to the PDF setting 'Standard': this setting does not automatically embed Base 14 fonts. Because these fonts are available in Acrobat Reader, it is assumed they will be available to any viewer and embedding would unnecessarily increase the file size.

In addition to simply viewing the file, we are printing it. This is why it's important to choose a PDF setting which is intended for printing purposes. The preferred PDF setting to ensure the fonts are embedded (and to have a stable, print-ready PDF overall) is PDF/X-1a:2001 or PDF/X-3:2002. If you don't have this option available, the second recommendation is High Quality Print.

Due to licensing and copyright restrictions, we do not keep a font library, therefore, we are dependent upon the publisher’s PDF files to have the embedded font information to ensure proper printing representation of the book cover or interior.


How to embed fonts in a file:

This will vary depending on the program you are using. 

Microsoft Word

  • The last tab in this program should be Adobe PDF. Select this tab.
  • Then select Change Conversion Settings.
  • Next select the Settings tab. Pull the Conversion Setting down to “High Quality”, then select OK.
  • Now create your PDF. You should have three icons in your Word toolbar. Click on the first one.
  • To check and see if your fonts are embedded after you have created the PDF, open the PDF after you have successfully distilled it.
  • Next select File, Document Properties, and then Fonts tab.
  • Next to each font name it should say Font Name “Embedded” or “Embedded Subset”. If any of the fonts do not have this next to the font name, it is not embedded.

 Photoshop or InDesign

  • The fonts will be automatically embedded when a PDF is created – unless it is a free font that doesn't come with printing rights. 
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