How to Embed Fonts in Illustrator

How to Embed Fonts in Illustrator for Consistent Printing Results

  • Post category:GRAPHIC DESIGN
  • Post published:June 3, 2023
  • Reading time:20 mins read

When it comes to creating visually stunning designs in Adobe Illustrator, ensuring that your fonts appear the same across different devices and printers is crucial. One common method that many designers use is outlining the text, but this approach limits future editing possibilities.

Fortunately, there’s a better way to achieve consistent results without sacrificing flexibility: embedding fonts in Illustrator. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of embedding fonts, highlighting the key differences between embedding and outlining text.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to produce professional designs that maintain their integrity, regardless of where they are viewed or printed.

Why Embed Fonts in Illustrator?

Consistency is paramount when it comes to design, especially when sharing Illustrator files with others or preparing them for print. By embedding fonts, you ensure that your intended font styles and appearances remain intact, regardless of the device or software used to view the file.

When a font is not embedded or outlined, and the viewing device lacks the necessary font, it can lead to undesired substitutions, compromising the visual impact of your design. Embedding fonts eliminates this issue, allowing your designs to be faithfully reproduced, no matter where they are opened or printed.

Embedding vs. Outlining Text: Understanding the Differences

Many designers often confuse embedding fonts with outlining text, assuming they are the same process. However, there are significant distinctions between the two methods. Outlining text involves converting live text into vector paths, essentially transforming the text into a shape.

Once outlined, the text can no longer be edited as text but rather as a graphic object with anchor points.

On the other hand, embedding fonts enables you to preserve the text as editable text while ensuring that the font is embedded within the Illustrator file. This allows for future text modifications and maintains the original font styles.

How to Embed Fonts in Adobe Illustrator?

Now that we understand the significance of embedding fonts, let’s delve into the step-by-step process of embedding fonts in Adobe Illustrator:

Step 1: Saving the Illustrator File

To embed fonts, start by saving your Illustrator file. Follow these instructions:

  1. Go to File > Save As. If you want to save a copy, select File > Save a Copy.
  2. Change the file format to Adobe PDF (pdf) and click Save.
  3. In the Save Adobe PDF dialog box, choose the PDF/X-1a:2001 preset.
How to Embed Fonts in Illustrator
How to Embed Fonts in Illustrator

Step 2: Checking Font Embedding

After saving the file as a PDF, you can double-check if the font is embedded. Here’s how:

  1. Click on the Advanced button in the Save Adobe PDF dialog box.
  2. Look for a message that states: “All fonts with appropriate embedding bits will be embedded.”
How to Embed Fonts in Illustrator

Step 3: Saving the PDF File

Once you’ve confirmed the font embedding, click Save PDF. If this is the first time you’re saving in this PDF format, a warning message may appear. Simply click OK, and you’re done!

How to Embed Fonts in Illustrator

Bonus Tip: Handling Font Licensing Restrictions

In some cases, you may encounter font licensing restrictions that prevent embedding. If you cannot embed the font due to licensing issues but still need to print the file, you have a couple of options:

  1. Outline the fonts: Select the text in your Illustrator file and go to Type > Create Outlines or use the keyboard shortcut Shift + Command + O (or Shift + Ctrl + O for Windows users). Outlining the font converts it into a graphic shape, allowing you to retain the appearance but lose the ability to edit the text.
  2. Package the file: If the print shop requires modifications to your original file, you can package it. To do this, save the .ai file first, and then go to the File menu > Package. This bundles all the necessary files, including fonts, into a single folder for easy sharing.

Best Practices for Font Embedding

To maximize the effectiveness of font embedding in Illustrator, here are some additional tips and best practices to consider:

1. Use Legally Licensed Fonts

Ensure that the fonts you embed in your Illustrator document are legally licensed for embedding. Unauthorized use of fonts can lead to legal issues, so always obtain fonts from reputable sources and adhere to their licensing terms.

2. Optimize Font Usage

Consider limiting the number of fonts used in your design. Excessive use of fonts can increase file size and potentially impact performance. Stick to a select few fonts that complement each other and convey your desired message effectively.

3. Keep Backup Copies of Font Files

Even after embedding fonts, it’s a good practice to keep backup copies of the font files you used in your design. This way, if you need to make edits or share the original document with someone who has the fonts installed, you can easily access the required font files.

4. Regularly Check Font Embedding

When collaborating with others or working on different devices, always double-check that the fonts are embedded correctly. Open the document on a different computer or device to ensure that the embedded fonts are displaying as intended.

Ensuring Font Licensing Compliance

It is important to note that embedding fonts may have copyright implications, especially when using downloaded fonts. Some fonts may have licensing restrictions that prevent embedding without explicit permission from the font vendor.

Therefore, before embedding any font, it is crucial to review the font licensing agreements and obtain the necessary permissions to avoid any legal issues. Always respect the intellectual property rights of font creators and vendors.

Therefore, it is crucial to review the font licensing agreements and obtain the necessary permissions before embedding any font in your Illustrator files. Respecting the intellectual property rights of font creators and vendors is essential.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, embedding fonts in Adobe Illustrator ensures consistent and accurate rendering of your designs across different devices and printers. By following the outlined steps, you can maintain the flexibility of editing text while preserving the original font styles.

Remember to obtain the necessary permissions when embedding fonts, respecting font licensing agreements and copyright regulations. By adhering to these guidelines, you can create professional designs that maintain their integrity and make a lasting impression.


Q. What is the difference between embedding fonts and outlining text in Illustrator?

A. The difference between embedding fonts and outlining text in Illustrator is that when you embed fonts, the actual font file is included within the Illustrator document. This ensures that the text appears correctly even if the recipient doesn’t have the font installed. On the other hand, outlining text converts the text into vector shapes, essentially turning it into artwork. Outlining text allows you to retain the visual appearance of the text but makes it uneditable as text.

Q. Can I edit the text content after embedding the font?

A. No, you cannot edit the text content after embedding the font in Illustrator. Once the font is embedded, it becomes part of the document, and any modifications to the text content would require changing the font itself outside of Illustrator and then re-embedding it.

Q. How can I ensure that my Illustrator files maintain font consistency across different devices?

A. To ensure font consistency across different devices in Illustrator, you should embed the fonts used in your document. Embedding fonts ensures that the necessary font files are included within the Illustrator file itself, allowing the document to display correctly even on devices that don’t have the specific fonts installed. When saving the file, make sure to select the appropriate settings to embed the fonts.

Q. Are there any copyright implications when embedding fonts in Illustrator?

A. Yes, there can be copyright implications when embedding fonts in Illustrator. Fonts are protected by copyright, and embedding them without proper authorization or licensing may infringe upon the font creator’s rights. It is important to check the font licensing terms and permissions before embedding a font in Illustrator. Some fonts may have restrictions on embedding, while others may require a separate license for embedding in certain contexts. Always ensure that you have the necessary permissions to embed a font in your Illustrator files to avoid any copyright issues.

Q. How do I embed fonts in Illustrator?

A. To embed fonts in Illustrator, open your document, go to the “Type” menu, and select “Find Font.” In the dialog box, choose the fonts you want to embed and enable the “Embed Fonts” option. Click “OK” to embed the fonts into your Illustrator document.

Q. Does font embedding increase file size?

A. Embedding fonts can increase the file size of your Illustrator document. To optimize file size, choose the “Subset” option when embedding fonts to include only the characters used in the document.

Q. Will embedded fonts display correctly on other devices?

A. Yes, embedded fonts will display correctly on other devices, even if the recipient doesn’t have the fonts installed. Illustrator includes the entire font file within the document, ensuring accurate display.

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Aanchal Shukla

I'm a Graphic designer with over 10 years of experience now turned full time Wordpress Developer , SEO Expert and Writer for I post simple FAQ guides and tutorials that cover Graphic, Animation, Filmmaking and Passive Income and Product Review in general.