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Designing and creating a font isn't an easy undertaking. The software to create fonts is expensive, and there's a lot for the font designer to think about, including letter-spacing, letter shapes, and in complex Open Type font, things like discretionary ligatures. We tend to think of fonts as graphics, but really they are software. You might have noticed that with every font you ever bought there was an end user license agreement, and I'm willing to bet you've never read a single one of them, most people don't. But some font foundries put limitations on their fonts. They may say that you can't embed a font in a PDF or some of the licenses say that yes, you can embed the font, but the printer has to also own the same font.
Things can get really complex. It's rare anymore that you come across a font that forbids embedding, but it's not immediately obvious when you do. When you look at this page, I know it's ugly, but it's not meant to show you design, it's meant to show you that problems can sort of slip by unless you have another way of looking for them. When I look at the lower left-hand corner and check my preflight status it says No errors. So I think it's just fine. If I go to make a PDF, I'm going to get an error. So if I got to File > Export and just put this on my desktop, so far so good, nothing seems to be wrong. So when I click save up, hits the brakes.
Remember, that starting with InDesign CS5 creating a PDF is a background task. Then it hits the brakes, and then it comes across this un-embeddable font. When I click little triangle, it names the first font that it encountered. Says it can't be embedded due to licensing restrictions. So what can you do? You should take a look at your end user licensing agreement. If you can outline the font--and some of those licenses don't allow you to do that--well, that would be one way to at least preserve the look. If it doesn't allow you to outline it, and you don't feel comfortable breaking the terms of the license, well, then you are going to have to substitute another font.
But in this case, I didn't find out that I had a problem until I went to make a PDF, but I can use preflight to find that problem a little sooner. If I go to Window > Output > Preflight, InDesign doesn't by default check for un-embeddable font. So I created a profile that does check. When I choose my new profile, you can see that under Font Types not Allowed, I have checked Protected Fonts. Those are fonts that forbid themselves from being embedded in PDFs. Now I activate that profile, and there are my two errors.
So it's not just one, I have two instances of fonts that aren't allowed. So again, my only choice to fix this is to find another font that will do in the case of this design. I can't use these fonts reliably. So keep an eye out for them. Anymore you are not going to see them very frequently, you are going to see them more often on Windows than you do on the Mac. But now this sort of gives you some insight into font licensing, and you might want to take a look at some of the licenses for the fonts you use on a regular basis.
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