[pdftex] subsetting questions

Michael Malak MMalak at commercehub.com
Wed Apr 16 17:46:32 CEST 2003

pdftex-bounces at tug.org wrote on 04/16/2003 03:12:18 PM:

> Hello,
> I read a few dozens posts in the  archive, but couldn't easily find any 
> directly on target posts re: the following questions.  I must have 
> them, as these questions seem pretty basic.  I'm sorry if this material 
> has been covered to death already...
> 1) How can one require pdfTeX to always subset fonts?  Or, does it 
> already?  I look at the File|Document Properties|Fonts dialog in Adobe 
> Reader 5.1, and it appears sometimes that fonts are subsetted, and 
> sometimes that the full font is embedded.  I need to force subsetting to 

> comply with license restrictions of the font vendors.

Somebody else will have to answer this.
> 2) Why does pdfTeX sometimes include Computer Modern fonts in 
> documents that I prepare using the Times package?  I thought the point 
> of the Times package was to substitute Times Roman and Helvetica for 
> the Computer Modern sans and sans-serif fonts.  How would I use 
> pdfTeX so that CM fonts are not ever embedded into PDFs?  Do I have 
> to remove the CM fonts from the PC?  I'm using Miktex on Windows 
> 2000.

If you are saying


in your preamble, then you will be using Times-Roman as your main text 
but you will still be using Computer Modern fonts for mathematics, and 
includes cases where "text" characters are actually taken from a math 
An itemize environment, with a bulleted list, is an example; the bullet is
a math character.

Try using


to encourage less use of CM.  It may not be possible to eliminate it, 
especially if you really are writing mathematical expressions.

> 3) When I use the Times package, and ask for sans-serif fonts, I get 
> Arial embedded, according to Adobe Reader, even though Helvetica is 
> listed in the left column as the original font.  Why?

This is a "feature" of the Adobe Reader.  (and of Acrobat Reader, of 
The PDF standard says that the Base 14 fonts will always be available to a
PDF interpreter, so that they do not need to be embedded in any document.
So most PDF-producing programs will not embed a font named "Helvetica".

However, the Adobe Reader does not actually use Helvetica, but rather the
almost-lookalike Arial.  (Reason: probably Monotype offered a better deal
than Linotype.)  So documents that specify Helvetica but don't embed it
will display in Arial.

This does not affect Helvetica clones that are not named "Helvetica",
such as URW's Nimbus Sans, which you have, and Bitstream's Swiss 721.
They will be embedded and will display properly.

It is possible to get PDFTeX to embed Helvetica if you have it
(phvr8a.pfb); in texmf/pdf/config/psfonts.map, change the line

phvr8r Helvetica "TeXBase1Encoding ReEncodeFont" <8r.enc

by deleting the PostScript font name, to

phvr8r "TeXBase1Encoding ReEncodeFont" <8r.enc <phvr8a.pfb

which will confuse PDFTeX into not not embedding it.
You also have to rename HV______.PFB to phvr8a.pfb.

> 4) To use the many font packages included with Miktek, do I just put 
> \usepackage{<package name such as Times>} in the TeX source, or do 
> I have to somehow takes additional steps to formally install the fonts? 
> Since the font packages (ending in .sty) came with Miktex, should I 
> assume the fonts they reference have been preinstalled? 

The packages that correspond to the LaserWriter base 35 fonts do indeed 
the relevant PFB files installed.  (They are URW's clones of the Adobe 

There are other packages, such as that for Adobe Garamond, that do not 
the actual font outline files.  You'll have to buy, or borrow, the PFBs in
order to get these packages to work.  Note that although PDFTeX knows 
PFB files, regular TeX does not; all it cares about are TFM files, and it
leaves the question of PFBs to dvips.

> Perhaps this is why I am getting Arial instead of Helvetica when asking
> for sans-serif font while using the Times package?

No; as I said, this is the Reader's fault.  Does anyone know if it is
possible to inform the Reader that a real Helvetica, or even a real clone
like Nimbus Sans, is available, so that it will stop using Arial?

> Thanks very much.

You're welcome.


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