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Can I See A PDF As Others Would Without The Same Active Fonts?

Answered by Jay Nelson, Editor and Publisher, Design Tools Monthly

When I design a document and then create a PDF from it, I want to be sure that other people will see the same fonts that I used. If I view it on my computer, I can't be sure that Acrobat isn't using the fonts I already have active, instead of whatever fonts are available when someone else opens my PDF. Short of copying the PDF to another computer, is there a way that I can see the PDF as others would -- even though they don't have the fonts that are active on my computer?

Yes, but because Adobe likes to move controls around in each version of Acrobat, you have to know where to go: in Acrobat 5, go to the View menu and disable "Use Local Fonts"; in Acrobat 6 or 7 disable Use Local Fonts under the Advanced menu. In Acrobat 8, Adobe hid this feature in Preferences: choose Edit> Preferences (Mac: Acrobat 8> Preferences). Under Categories, select Page Display, and then deselect Use Local Fonts.

When Use Local Fonts is disabled, Acrobat temporarily forgets about all the fonts currently active on your computer. If you chose to embed your fonts into the PDF when you created it, Acrobat uses those fonts when displaying the PDF. If you haven't embedded the fonts into the PDF, Acrobat and uses its built-in fonts to simulate those fonts -- just like it would on someone else's computer.

This question was answered by Jay Nelson, Publisher & Editor, Design Tools Monthly. We love DTM's tips and advice and think you will, too. For a free sample PRINTED issue, contact Design Tools Monthly at 303-543-8400, e-mail, or go to their website:

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