Re: Finding Suitable Font for Print and Web Site

Subject: Re: Finding Suitable Font for Print and Web Site
From: Max Wyss <prodok -at- PRODOK -dot- CH>
Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 11:47:49 +0100


Apparently you don't have any problems with printing on the Docutech.
That's good for you.

Selecting the PDF format for on-line distribution has been a good decision.
With this format, you can ensure document integrity (opposed to the HTML
format which does not give you that kind of security), and also its
appearance integrity.

So, the problem is font related.

Most likely you are using TrueType fonts in your document. Although
TrueType fonts are kind of supported in the PDF format, you create lots of
problems by using them (as you have seen).

The first step would be replacing your TrueTypes with PostScript Type 1
fonts. Instead of Arial use Helvetica, and check with your font publisher
if the ITC Century is available as PostScript Type 1; if not get the most
similar one from Adobe. I have a suspicion why your Arial text works OK; it
looks as if the Distiller already made the substitution.

Other places to check in order to improve your results are the printer
driver and the Distiller settings. In both places you must make sure that
the fonts are embedded. In the printer driver, which should be Adobe's
newest PostScript driver, you have an option somewhere to include the
TrueType fonts as "Type 42". That should improve the situation considerably.

One warning: With the HTML file format, you have no absolute control over
the apperarance. Depending on the settings of the actual browser, _any_
font can be used at _any_ size. It is an illusion built up by the browser
manufacturers that you do have this control; but all your settings can
easily be overridden.

Hope, this can help.

Max Wyss
PRODOK Engineering AG
Technical documentation and translations, Electronic Publishing
CH-8906 Bonstetten, Switzerland

Fax: +41 1 700 20 37
e-mail: mailto:prodok -at- prodok -dot- ch

Bridging the Knowledge Gap


> Hi All,
> Our group would be interested in feedback from any of you on the
> following situation:
> -- We use Frame to write our manuals. Our official fonts up to
> this point have been ITC Century (serif) and Arial (sans s).
> Our platform is Windows NT.
> -- Traditionally, we have supplied printed manuals with our
> products. These are produced through the DocuTech process.
> -- Earlier this year, we began posting our manuals on our
> web site (first intranet, now internet). To do this, we
> create a pdf file (Acrobat).
> -- We have discovered that, not always, but many times, the
> ITC Century font is creating problems. For example, it is
> possible to open a pdf file, select a portion of the text,
> copy it, and paste it to, say, a Word file. And then to
> print it. We have found that the ITC Century font will
> appear as garbage. Arial comes across fine.
> -- We are unsure whether Adobe supports the ITC Century font.
> (I will be researching that.)
> -- One of our objectives is that our manuals must be
> readable across all platforms (Unix, Sun, etc.), and by all
> browsers (so we hesitate to go to a Microsoft supported
> font).
> We just decided yesterday to change our font and I have been
> charged with the assignment of finding a suitable new one. I
> would very much appreciate any information you may have and
> will find some way to thank you.
> Please post to me privately and, if there is general interest,
> I will summarize and post the results.
> Emmy Aricioglu

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