This guide aims to provide a basic understanding as to why fonts need to be embedded or flattened, how not embedding can cause problems and how get round these problems.
What Can Happen If Fonts Aren’t Present
When document is created they are normally done so using the fonts available on that computer at the time. If the same document is opened on another computer that does not have access to the original fonts it is likely that the fonts will be substituted. This can mean that the letters appear differently and as the replacement fonts may not be the same size as the original so the document formatting can be affected. This is more likely to be a problem if your design uses fonts that aren’t commonly available.
How to Avoid Problems with Fonts
The ideal way to get round problems with fonts is to make them part of your original document through embedding them, flattening them or converting them to curves.
Saving as an Image
By saving the file into a raster format i.e. jpeg, png, tiff etc the fonts become part of the image. As per converting to curves it is hard to edit at a later date however this will ensure that your document is displayed with the correct fonts. This allows you to use custom fonts no matter the occasion.
This is dependent on font licensing and is normally used for pdf files. Many design programs will ask if you would like to embed the fonts into a document. If you select yes this will package the fonts into the document to ensure that when it is opened on another computer the correct fonts are available to display.
Converting to Curves
This method converts the fonts that are used in the document into shapes as opposed to letters. This method does have the disadvantage that documents are harder to edit at a later date but is very effective at ensuring that your fonts remain as intended.