Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How to identify a font in a PDF

Have you ever received a PDF and wanted help identifying a font used in the file? If you have Acrobat 9 Professional, here's an easy way:

1. Open the PDF, and choose Advanced > Print Production > Output Preview

2. Select "Object Inspector" for the Preview.

3. Click on the text you're wondering about, and the font that was used should be displayed in the Output Preview panel.

If the font isn't displayed, then the type has been converted to outlines or is a raster image.

If several objects are stacked on top of one another, the lowest object in the stack is listed at the top of the dialog box.

16 comments:

Greg Ledger said...

Thanks. That's way easier than using the Touch Up Text tool to insert the cursor into text, then contextual clicking "Properties." Will definitely share this with my department.

Samantha said...

Are there tools available for CS2 that can read the pixels on a rasterized pdf and determine the font?

Keith Gilbert said...

@Samantha: There is nothing built into CS2 that will determine the fonts used in a rasterized PDF. But you could use http://new.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/ to help identify the font.

lmclaugh said...

Thanks, Keith, you saved my life! or at least, several hours of work . . just subscribed to your tips . .
Do you know the Recosoft plugin PDF2ID? Wondering if I should purchase ($400 ouch)

Keith Gilbert said...

@lmclaugh: I haven't used the PDF2ID plug-in. I've heard that it works well for certain types of tasks. See http://indesignsecrets.com/recosoft-ships-pdf2id-conversion-tool.php

Anonymous said...

What a life saver. Saved my butt at work.

Anonymous said...

Have others found this to be reliable? I am seeing different font sizes reported with this method compared to the Touch-Up Text tool. In my business we must be 100% accurate due to regulatory guidance on minimum font size.

Paige Howarth said...

Thanks a million, I'm trying to hone my font-ID skills, and this should help immensely!

Debi A. said...

Is it possible to search for a particular font in a PDF file (once you have identified that it does, in fact, exist)? I know this search capability is possible in Office programs, but I can't seem to locate any info on this? Thanks for the help!

Keith Gilbert said...

@Debi A: I don't know of any way to search for a font in a PDF.

Anonymous said...

What if I am using Acrobat X?

Mahmoudi said...

@What if I am using Acrobat X?

click Customize quick tools icon (in Toolbars)
then Print protection and add Output preview to the Toolbars

Anonymous said...

Or use Nitro PDF reader (free), open the doc, properties, fonts-tab.

Anonymous said...

You can also open the PDF with Adobe Reader (I have version X, so can't say for previous versions), click on File | Properties and choose the Fonts tab to see all Fonts embedded in the file. My problem is it's embedding under a long, useless name instead of the actual font name. Oh well...

Anonymous said...

Very helpful. Thank you!

Laurie Clark said...

Thank you so much for this tip!! This is the only way I have read about that lets you see the exact format of the fonts used. Document properties will show OpenType fonts as either Type 1 (PostScript) or TT, depending on their original format. If you need to know if the font is OpenType, I think this is the only way. SUPER HELPFUL!!!