[pdftex] pdftex core dump when including certain pdf files

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Tue Jul 19 00:29:14 CEST 2016

On 2016-07-18 at 21:52:42 +0200, The Thanh Han wrote:

 > ​I was aware about #1, i.e. pdf browsers might make use of info in
 > font descriptor to mimic the font. 

I've never seen a PDF file where substitution of non-existing fonts
worked properly.  Not even with Adobe software.

Using multiple master fonts in order to mimic non-existing fonts was
certainly a good idea but unfortunately Adobe decided do drop
development of multiple master fonts many years ago.

 > pdftex supports creating pdfs without embedding the fonts,
 > too. However I think those pdfs without embedded fonts are rather
 > useless.

This is a different issue.  If we can assume that a particular font is
ubiquitous on any system, it doesn't have to be embedded.  In general
it's a bad idea not to embed all fonts.  I encountered two problems in
the past:

 1. TeX Live ships manual pages in PDF in order to make them available
    to Windows users.  They use only Times and the fonts are not
    embedded.  Well, we can assume that Times is ubiquitous.  But one
    day I wondered why the fonts were rendered extremely ugly.

    The reason was that I bought a printer a few days before and
    installed the fonts from the accompanying CD.  If the fonts are
    not embedded, everything can happen.

 2. Japanese often don't embed fonts because all Japanese fonts have
    the same metrics anyway.  But all Japanese fonts support ASCII and
    and Japanese are happily providing documents in English using
    Japanese fonts but don't embedded them.  These (proprietary) fonts
    are available on Windows but not on Unix, hence these documents
    aren't as portable as the "Portable Document Format" implies.

I can only recommend to always embed all fonts in order to create
portable documents and, of course, all documents should be portable. 

Werner, if file size matters it's certainly worthwhile to investigate
what ghostscript can do for you.  This program is amazing.  But whom
do I tell it?


Reinhard Kotucha                            Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                    mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de

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