[pdftex] Follow up - Possible to use font from included PDF in main

John Stone johnstone234 at hotmail.com
Fri May 2 23:02:17 CEST 2003


I wrote the original post to this thread.  William replied below.  He says 
it's not possible, and encourages me to just buy the font and install it.  I 
wish that I could.  Here's some detail on why I asked the question:

I am running PDFLaTeX on a database server (not a web server), as the engine 
for a database driven report writing system.  The big font manufacturers 
like ITC and Berthold license their fonts for desktop use only, per my 
readings of the licenses.  I asked about getting a server license, and was 
told I couldn't afford it by one manufacturer.  When I pressed, I was told 
"thousands per font per year."  They refused to even reply to repeated 
emails when I asked how many thousands.  I did get the proposed license 
agreement from the other big manufacturer, and they want $2,000 per font 
family (regular, bold, italic and bold-italic) per machine per year.  
However, they have the right to not renew the contract each year, or change 
the price.  Given the entire server in question costs less than $2,000, I am 
finding their prices hard to swallow.  Note that I do own licenses to the 
fonts for desktop use, so that's how I would be able to derive font metrics 
legally, if there were a way to tell PDFLaTeX to use the fonts embedded in 
an included PDF.  Note that the included PDF will be the same size as the 
output, and will contain the type that is the static part of the document 
(imagine invoices).  The only thing I am missing is a way to set the dynamic 
remaining text in the same font.

Note that the font licenses I own DO PERMIT font embedding in PDFs, so I 
believe I will be legal if I can get PDFLaTeX to do what I am proposing.  
The license issue is really all about the machine being a server, not a 
desktop.  Frankly, since almost all PCs today have a webserver on them, most 
users would seem to be technically violating their font licenses, so this 
all is a gray area it seems to me.  However, I really want to be technically 
legal, thus my question.

Based on this new information, can anyone think of a way to tell PDFLaTeX to 
set the type in the font embedded in an included PDF?  With all the fancy 
tricks out there, it really seems like this might be possible.  I would also 
be willing to use LaTeX and then convert the DVI to PS and the PS to PDF if 
that would work, or a similar combination.

Another entire approach would be to find another software package that has 
lots of fonts in it that does allow it to be installed on a server.  Any 
suggestions there?

Thanks again,


John Stone asked:
>I am including a PDF document with an embedded font in a PDFLaTeX document. 
>  Is it possible to tell PDFLaTeX to set the main document text
>using the font embedded in the included PDF?  The actual font would not
>be installed on the machine running PDFLaTeX, but I am open to
>installing any files that I can derive (metrics etc...) from the actual
>font without actually copying the actual font to the PDFLaTeX machine. I am 
>willing to use PostScript or TrueType fonts in the included PDF, if
>that helps.

No. Why should you be able to use a font which you apparently don't
have a license for?

Either it's commercial, in which case you should purchase it, or it's
freely distributable, in which case you should just go get and install a

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