It happened to others on this forum, now it happens to me: the printing company (which I have not chosen) sent me the following message:

The interior file cannot be manufactured due to unlicensed/unembedded fonts. Please make the following adjustments to your file and upload it again.

The following fonts should be replaced with another font or fully embedded in the file. Alternatively, characters can be converted to outline, which will make it a vector that will remain as submitted.

followed by a list of 29 (!) fonts that cover 99.99% of the text of my document (grosso modo, only Computer Modern fonts, seldom used, have escaped this witch-hunt).

As already mentioned in posts in the forum, the last line of page 40 of the dvipdfmx manual explicitly says that "dvipdfmx does not support full embedding. Only subset embedding is supported".

This seems like a Kobayashi Maru situation: the printer wants fully embedded fonts and dvipdfmx refuses to do so (not by technical impossibility but by choice).

Let me add that it has nothing to do with licensing: in the list of "forbidden" fonts there is also FreeSerif (which is free, by definition) and even an ad hoc font called Unnamed-Medium I created myself. And also ZapfDingbats and Symbol fonts, which should be part of the glorious 35 standard fonts.

What would you advise me to do?

I used XeLaTeX to create the PDF files.

  • 1
    Well if the problem is really that they want fully embedded fonts, I would go to another printer. A printing company which can't handle subsetted fonts isn't worth the money. Feb 24, 2021 at 20:52
  • are you sure they can not handle subset fonts or is the pdf somehow failing a test and is flagged as having unembedded fonts (which the wording would seem to possibly suggest)? Feb 24, 2021 at 20:55
  • When the printer said "fully embedded" did they really mean it? Possibly a bad choice of words, there. I do not know of any print (to paper) service that requires an entire font to be embedded. There is no purpose for the unused characters. If you were submitting a file to an editor, who might wish to make changes, then full embedding would be meaningful. However, editors want source files (such as Word documents), not PDF. Now, is the space character in the output file? If not, can you put it in somehow? Or, are your other fonts missing print/preview license permission flag?
    – rallg
    Apr 6 at 23:41

1 Answer 1


This is not the most elegant solution, but it is the one forced to me by the printing office: I have used Acrobat Pro to replace all fonts by outlines. I have received the printed book, type looks more heavy than usual, but it is not catastrophic either. The size of the PDF file increased from ~ 100 Mb to 650 Mb (the size of PostScript files in the good old days when there was no compression). The PDF file I sent them had not a single font… o mores o tempores…

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