Before I begin, if you don’t want to self-publish your own paperback, or if you don’t use a PDF file to do it, look away now.
Right, this is the task:
- convert your manuscript from a Word 16 [13 and possibly 10] document to a PDF file, in order to print with
- Lulu.com, CreateSpace.com or KDP [possible IngramSpark as well]
- after converting to PDF, you find that there are fonts in your PDF that are not ’embedded’,
- yet after scouring your original Word file, you can find no trace of these non-embedded fonts.
How can you fix something that doesn’t seem to be there?
Before launching into the how-to, let me go back and explain the problem in a little more detail. It all starts with the Word fonts. While Word documents look great on screen and print without problems, sharing them with others can be tricky as they may not have the same fonts on their version of Word.
This is where PDFs come in. They take a picture of your Word file so that it can be shared by just about anyone. However…for PDFs to work properly, all those pesky Word fonts have to be embedded in the PDF. With me so far?
Okay, so how do you know whether the fonts have been embedded in your PDF file or not?
Easy. Download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Install it onto your computer and use it to open the PDF file of your manuscript. Once the manuscript is open:
- click File, and
- select Properties from the menu
With the Properties dialog box open, select the Font tab:
On the Font tab you will find a list of all the fonts used in your manuscript. Next to each one you should see ‘(Embedded Subset)’. I’ve underlined it in green above. If you see a font name without ‘Embedded Subset’ next to it [circled in red above], that means the font is loose and may be replaced with some other font when the reader opens the document [or tries to read your print book].
Now, you could take a chance and shrug the problem off, but printers tend to take a dim view of non-embedded fonts. CreateSpace tags them as errors but allows you to continue anyway. I suspect Lulu will be a bit less forgiving, that’s why I went looking for a solution.
Unfortunately, the solutions offered on the lulu.com website are not particularly useful unless you have an app called Adobe Distiller which is needed to make another app, called Lulu Job Options, work. Guess who doesn’t have Adobe Distiller?
My first brilliant idea was to go back into my Word file and get rid of the unembedded font[s]. Fail. I tried doing an Advanced search for the TimesNewRomanPSMT font, but the search came back with no returns. Given that I never choose TimesNewRoman, I can only think that it’s lurking somewhere in one of Words many defaults.
So then I spent about three, increasingly frustrated hours online, trying to hit on the right combination of search words to find an answer to my problem. I won’t bore you with the failures because the answer, when I finally found it, was right there in Word’s damn defaults. You’ll find it in the File/Options dialog box:
- With your Word manuscript document open, click the File Tab.
- From the File navigation pane, select ‘Options’:
‘Options’ is where the default options that govern much of the behind-the-scenes stuff lives in Word.
Once you click ‘Options’, the Word Options dialog box opens up. This is the motherlode:
Click Save on the navigation pane as shown [circled in red].
This will open up the Save options, one of which includes the option to ‘Embed fonts in the file’ [circled in red].
Click Embed fonts in the file.
Last but by no means least, uncheck both ‘Embed only the characters used in the document’ and ‘Do not embed common system fonts’. TimesNewRomanPSMT is one of those ‘common system fonts’. -rolls eyes and pulls hair-
Finally, click OK, save your Word file and then convert it to a new PDF file, again.
This time, when you open the new PDF with Acrobat Reader and check its properties, you should see something like this:
And there it is [circled in red], the TimesNewRomanPSMT font…embedded at last!