Extracting Fonts Embedded in PDF Documents

PDF documents are the first choice for all the organizations, companies and individuals who want to share documents online and want to make sure that documents look and print exactly the same no matter on which platform or printer they are processed. In order to preserve the original look, the PDF generator applications also embed some of the fonts in the PDF files. This ensures that the exactly the same font will be used on any platform to render the document and not some alternative font of the same name.

You can open any PDF file in any standard PDF viewer like Foxit Reader or PDF X-Change Viewer and then open the document properties by pressing the hotkey Ctrl+D or via the menubar. In the document properties you can see how many and which of the fonts are embedded inside that document. And if you wish to extract these fonts, then you can follow these steps:

  1. Download FontForge from http://fontforge.github.io/ and install it on your system.
  2. Launch FontForge and wait for the Open Font window to appear.Extract Font from PDF Document
  3. Change the filter to Extract from PDF in the Open Font window. Then select a PDF file using the browse control above and click on the OK button.
  4. FontForge will display a list of all the fonts embedded inside the selected PDF file. Select any one of the fonts and click OK.Extract Font from PDF Document
  5. The selected font will be opened in FontForge and you would be able to see whole of the character set. Now select File → Generate Fonts from the menubar.Extract Font from PDF Document
  6. From the font type select TrueType as these fonts can be used in all platforms including Windows, Linux and Mac. Browse for a folder where you want to save the font file and click Generate button.Extract Font from PDF Document

After the font file is saved, you can use it as usual. But sometimes the embedded fonts do not have full character sets – in those cases, the font file may contain errors or missing characters. But nevertheless, you have extracted the font file from the PDF document.