[OS X TeX] [OT] Embedding fonts in images

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Wed Mar 12 04:04:29 EDT 2008

Le 12 mars 08 à 05:13, Charilaos Skiadas a écrit :

> I don't actually use simpdftex personally, though I guess I could,  
> but I still think this will not solve the problem of the  
> illustrations not having the fonts embedded (this is what Richard  
> refers to in the last paragraph I think). I'll give it a try though  
> when I get a moment. For now I found a workaround, essentially  
> forcing R to not use Times but instead to use the URW equivalent.  
> That ghostscript could embed just fine. Still no go with Zapf  
> Dingbats, but I just managed to not use that at all (by using png  
> instead of pdf).
> I suppose the problem might be that in my system ghostscript doesn't  
> actually know about Helvetica, Times etc, only about their URW  
> equivalents? So it was not embedding the fonts when encountering  
> Helvetica or Times.

Do you mean your publisher is not happy about R embedding the URW  
clones of Times, Helvetica, Zapf Dingbats and the like, in the PDF  
files that it creates, instead of the original fonts themselves?  
That's exactly what pdfTeX does by default, by the way, and what TeX +  
dvips + ps2pdf do when instructed to do so via:

sudo -H updmap-sys --setoption dvipsDownloadBase35 true

namely embedding URW clones (Nimbus and the like) instead of the  
original fonts (Times and the like).

 From interaction with publishers, my impression was that most of them  
don't care so much about fonts: most of the time you see instructions  
mentioning use of Times New Roman, Arial, etc., but that's just  
because these are the fonts shipped with Windows. If you use instead  
Times, Helvetica, etc., even if there are indeed differences between  
the two sets of fonts in every point of detail, generally the  
publishers won't care. Similarly I would have thought (and have  
experienced in my case) that publishers wouldn't care if you used URW  
clones instead.

If you really want to get Ghostscript to use the actual fonts Times,  
Helvetica etc., that's another story. I haven't (and won't) try to do  
so myself, but there have been posts in which Peter Dyballa gave  
indications on the procedure. See in particular:


It seems you need to:

- Convert the font suitcases like /System/Library/Fonts/Times.dfont to  
a format that GhostScript can use (such as PFB). Beware: this would  
most likely be an infringement of the OS X license.

- Place symlinks to the converted files inside /usr/local/share/ 

- Modify /usr/local/share/ghostscript/8.57/lib/Fontmap.GS accordingly.

IMO that's really not worth the effort, the URW clones are good enough  
for that matter.

Another possibility is to resort to commercial software (Adobe  
Illustrator or Acrobat Professional), and perform font substitution  
from there. I haven't tried myself, but this seems a logical step to  

Hope this helps,

Bruno Voisin

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