Embedding fonts in Microsoft Office

.'s picture

Hello all. I hope that someone can help me solve an annoying problem I am having. (Especially Si Daniels. Hi Si.)

We have a client who has fully licensed one of our fonts, and wishes to embed those fonts in internal Microsoft Word documents. This is allowed under the terms of our EULA.

This client is having a hard time getting the fonts to embed in Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003, running on Windows XP. The software is probably localised for Norway.

I have generated the fonts in CFF-flavoured and TT-flavoured OpenType, as well as "traditional" TrueType without any OT features. The embedding was, of course, turned on when generating.

I have generated the fonts every way 'til Sunday, including using FontLab 45M, FontLab Studio 5W and 5MBeta, and have tried using TransType Pro 3M starting from every conceivable source: VFB, WinTTF, MacTTF, MacPST1, WinPST1...

In other words, I have jumped through every hoop, to no avail.

Is it possible that embedding in Word is a problem?
Is it possible that the client's font cache is now completely full of conflicting fonts?
Is it possible that FontLab and TransType are incorrectly saving embedding settings?

Any help would be massively appreciated. Any off-list emails can be sent to chester (at) vllg.com.

Thanks a bundle, phellow typophiles. (Can you believe that this is my first ever topic submission?)

Si_Daniels's picture


Word will only embed TTF fonts (OT or TT) not PostScript Type 1 or OpenType CFF.

To check the embedding permissions of your fonts you can use... http://www.microsoft.com/typography/TrueTypeProperty21.mspx

Also check the font in Font Validator to make sure there are no serios errors as they may cause the font to be rejected by the embedding code.

Cheers, Si

Nick Shinn's picture

>Is it possible that the client’s font cache is now completely full of conflicting fonts?

One way to isolate naming problems is to rename and renumber the font every time you do a version. Not just the suffix part, but the begining of the word. Yeah, you end up with some silly names...

.'s picture

No luck...

I have done the suggested things, and the fonts' Properties say "Installable embedding allowed", but my client says that they don't.

This is a family of 6 un-harmonisable fonts. Is that a problem?

Si, could I possibly send you the fonts to test at your end? I've run Validator, and none of the errors appear to be fatal to me.


elliot100's picture

I can't say I carried out the most comprehensive programme, but I tested font embedding of my employer's new custom TT family and didn't find it reliable within Word, although it worked OK in Powerpoint. A bit of digging around on the web seemed to indicate a suspicious lack of detailed infomation, particularly on how the different levels of font embedding (print, editable, installable) work in practice. I'm not sure that it really works as described.

Please correct me if I am wrong, though.

Si_Daniels's picture

Chester, I'd be happy to give 'em a test - only have easy access to Office XP though. Send them to simonda@ you know where.

Elliot is correct that embedding is more reliable in PPT than Word. If the fonts embed fine in PPT but not Word then Word would likely be the culprit.


elliot100's picture

Is there a convincing need to embed them at all? I've never found one for Word.

If they're for internal distribution as editable docs can't they just all have the fonts purchased and installed company wide? Or if for read-only distribution, use PDFs.

Remember that font embedding will increase the size of documents and is not controllable on a font by font basis - you can easily end up with 1Mb 1 page docs if you embed a few large fonts.

Si_Daniels's picture

I would tend to agree, especially today with PDF being such an established standard.

.'s picture

I would also tend to agree. But the customer is always right.

Si has been helping me out with this, and I'm in the midst of doing some things now which should hopefully fix the issue. I will, of course, post with a full report when The Affair of the Embedded Fonts draws to a close.

Thanks all.

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