I am in the process of printing my PhD thesis and the company had some issues with the NimbusRomNo9L fonts that were not embedded. After some Google-ing I understand that this is an alias for the Times fonts. And the suggestion to avoid such errors when opening the PDF with Illustrator was to run:

sudo updmap-sys --setoption LW35 ADOBE

The output was

    updmap: resetting $HOME value (was /Users/nkarast) to root's actual home (/var/root).
    updmap is using the following updmap.cfg files (in precedence order):
    updmap is using the following updmap.cfg file for writing changes:
    Creating new config file /usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-config/web2c/updmap.cfg
    dvips output dir: "/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-var/fonts/map/dvips/updmap"
    pdftex output dir: "/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-var/fonts/map/pdftex/updmap"
    dvipdfmx output dir: "/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-var/fonts/map/dvipdfmx/updmap"
    pxdvi output dir: "/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-var/fonts/map/pxdvi/updmap"

    updmap is creating new map files
    using the following configuration:
      LW35 font names                  : ADOBE (/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-config/web2c/updmap.cfg)
      prefer outlines                  : true (/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/web2c/updmap.cfg)
      texhash enabled                  : true
      download standard fonts (dvips)  : true (/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/web2c/updmap.cfg)
      download standard fonts (pdftex) : true (/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/web2c/updmap.cfg)
      kanjiEmbed replacement string    : noEmbed (/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/web2c/updmap.cfg)
      kanjiVariant replacement string  :  (default)
      create a mapfile for pxdvi       : false (default)

    Scanning for LW35 support files  [  3 files]
    Scanning for MixedMap entries    [ 42 files]
    Scanning for KanjiMap entries    [  6 files]
    Scanning for Map entries         [189 files]

    Generating output for dvipdfmx...
    Generating output for ps2pk...
    Generating output for dvips...
    Generating output for pdftex...

    Files generated:
           13592 2016-01-12 12:26:29 builtin35.map
           18314 2016-01-12 12:26:29 download35.map
          817278 2016-01-12 12:26:30 psfonts_pk.map
         1077400 2016-01-12 12:26:29 psfonts_t1.map
         1072539 2016-01-12 12:26:29 ps2pk.map
              14 2016-01-12 12:26:31 psfonts.map -> psfonts_t1.map
         1072546 2016-01-12 12:26:31 pdftex_dl14.map
         1070980 2016-01-12 12:26:31 pdftex_ndl14.map
              15 2016-01-12 12:26:31 pdftex.map -> pdftex_dl14.map
            5453 2016-01-12 12:26:28 kanjix.map

    Transcript written on "/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-var/web2c/updmap.log".
    updmap: Updating ls-R files.

When trying to recompile after this I get a pdftex error:

pdfTeX error: /usr/texbin/pdflatex (file sy______.pfb): cannot open Type 1 font file for reading

Is there a way to revert these changes and successfully embed in the pdf the fonts, without having to re-install everything?

Using TexLive 2013 under Mac OS X 10.10.

Thanks for any input in this crisis :)


1 Answer 1


The option LW35 is described as follows in the help provided by updmap-sys --help:

  LW35                  URWkb,URW,ADOBEkb,ADOBE  (default URWkb)
    Adapt the font and file names of the standard 35 PostScript fonts.

    URWkb    URW fonts with "berry" filenames    (e.g. uhvbo8ac.pfb)
    URW      URW fonts with "vendor" filenames   (e.g. n019064l.pfb)
    ADOBEkb  Adobe fonts with "berry" filenames  (e.g. phvbo8an.pfb)
    ADOBE    Adobe fonts with "vendor" filenames (e.g. hvnbo___.pfb)

This reflects 2 choices:

  1. Whether to use Adobe fonts for the core 35 postscript fonts or whether to use URW clones.

  2. Which naming scheme to call the fonts by: the vendor's names or the names specified in Karl Berry's naming scheme for fonts.

By default, this is set to URWkb and so setting the option back to this value will reset the options to the original defaults, as noted by mvkorpel.

This is almost certainly what you want. You should choose Adobe's fonts only if you have the relevant type1 fonts from Adobe. These are not free and so they are not part of standard TeX distributions. The option is there for people who have purchased and installed the relevant fonts.

The choice of naming scheme is relatively simple. Although you probably have fonts under both names installed, those provided by standard TeX distributions, which are therefore found out-of-the-box by TeX, use Berry names.

Hence, in the vast majority of cases, URWkb is the only option which makes sense and few people would have any reason to change the value to a non-default option. For most people, as you've discovered, changing this value will just cause no fonts to be found at all.

The output from updmap-sys also shows that these fonts are already being embedded by default:

download standard fonts (dvips)  : true (/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/web2c/updmap.cfg)
      download standard fonts (pdftex) : true (/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/web2c/updmap.cfg)

The first shows that dvips will embed the core 35 postscript fonts. The second shows that pdftex will embed the 14 standard PDF fonts. Other fonts are embedded by default with the exception of fonts which you might be using if typesetting Japanese, but you would not be doing that with Times, for sure, so this setting has no relevance.

To check that fonts really are being embedded in your PDFs, you can either look at the document properties -> fonts in your PDF viewer or you can run pdffonts on the PDF which will provide a similar list. Either way, you should see that all fonts are embedded, either fully or as subsets. Most will be subsets, which is fine.

For example, here's the output from pdffonts run on a very simple PDF:

name                                 type              encoding         emb sub uni object ID
------------------------------------ ----------------- ---------------- --- --- --- ---------
ZATZRP+CMR10                         Type 1            Builtin          yes yes no       7  0

The emb column shows whether the font is embedded (yes). The sub column shows whether it is embedded as a subset (yes).

Your PDF should show similar output, but it will be longer as a typical document will contain many fonts rather than just one. But the principle remains the same: you want yes for each font in the emb column.

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