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How to embed fonts at compile time with pdflatex

I'm interested in writing a math book and using the Internet site Lulu. They say that when you submit content in PDF format, make sure the font is 'embedded' in the PDF file. Does pdflatex do this by default? If not, could someone provide a sample command line such as:

$pdflatex -[embed-fonts?] myfile.tex

marked as duplicate by Gonzalo Medina, Andrey Vihrov, Joseph Wright Oct 1 '11 at 20:04

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Seems like a duplicate of How to embed fonts at compile time with pdflatex. If the answer to the linked question solves your problem, let us know so this question can be closed as a duplicate. – Gonzalo Medina Oct 1 '11 at 18:16
  • I agree that this is a duplicate, thanks. I have favorited that one so I can find it again. – mring Oct 1 '11 at 18:31

Yes, pdfTeX embeds fonts (or their subsets) into the document. (How would the PDF be portable amongst computers if it referenced external fonts?) You can verify this in your PDF viewer or with the pdffonts utility (look at the emb column):

% hello.tex
Hello World
> pdffonts hello.pdf 
name                                 type              emb sub uni object ID
------------------------------------ ----------------- --- --- --- ---------
RRGCUS+CMR10                         Type 1            yes yes no       4  0

The only special case is the so-called Base 14 Fonts, which are required to be present in any PDF reader. Technically they could be omitted from inclusion when generating the PDF. But, as the PDF reader could use a substitute font (like Nimbus Roman No9 L for Times), some people prefer to force the inclusion of the base 14 fonts, too. In fact, this is the default behaviour in TeX Live (and could well be elsewhere).

If you find that the default 14 fonts are not included, locate the web2c/updmap.cfg configuration file in your system or local TeX distribution configuration directory and change the pdftexDownloadBase14 line to

pdftexDownloadBase14 true

Then run updmap (for local changes) or updmap-sys (for system-wide changes).


I just opened (with the Adobe Reader) a document created with pdflatex, used file > properties > fonts (well, I use a non-English version, but at least these things should have the same meaning) and found

Fonts used in this document:

CMBX10 (embedded under-group)

Type: Type 1

Encoding: included


(again translated). This looks for me as if the font is embedded. (The list of fonts is much longer than the example.) At least it is a way to test whether they are embedded in a given document (created with LaTeX or by other means).

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