An eclectic collection of articles, case studies and opinion pieces ranging from the creative process to technical tips

Recently I was sent a PDF of a marketing poster which a client had asked me to turn into a HTML email. The design firm who had produced the poster had used a non web standard font (ie: not Arial, Verdana or the like) but I still wanted to use it as my primary typeface in my font stack (the CSS font-family rule) and allow the typeface to degrade for those users who didn't have it installed on their system. The problem was that I didn't recognise the font!

Having exhausted all other avenues, I turned to our team of web designers here at Deep Blue Sky, who promptly showed me the following technique to extract font information from a PDF:

  1. Open your PDF.
  2. Go to TOOLS -> Advanced Editing and select the "TouchUp Text Tool".
  3. Click on the text that you wish to extract the typeface from and a bounding box should appear.
  4. Highlight a portion of the text and right click to bring up a menu. Select "Properties".
  5. Information about your font should be displayed under the "Text" tab, including the font name. Easy!

The one issue with this technique is that - to the best of my knowledge - you need to have Adobe Acrobat Professional (I used Version 8.1.2) to use the advanced editing functionality.

If hope you find this useful, and if you do be sure to comment.





37 Comments on this post

  1. tom said “latex” years ago
    Gravatar for tom

    good stuff, useful for fonts in documents from latex!

  2. Stephan said “Thanks!” years ago
    Gravatar for Stephan

    Great tutorial and just what I was looking for. The properties even give you the stroke weight. Thank you!

  3. stefan said “Extract font from pdf” years ago
    Gravatar for stefan

    You are able to extract fonts from PDF with Online Font Converter

  4. Marko said “recognizeing fonts in pdf” years ago
    Gravatar for Marko

    What if font is converted to outlines before saving to pdf?

  5. Magnus said “Use Word?” years ago
    Gravatar for Magnus

    If you just copy the text from the PDF (I used Adobe Reader), and paste it into Word the font-name will show. But the font-type is of course incorrect!

  6. Russ said “Thanks” years ago
    Gravatar for Russ

    Thank you, really nice tip. Works just great!

  7. Matt said “Thanks!” years ago
    Gravatar for Matt

    Perfect - I am also extracting from a PDF and turning into an HTML email. Exactly what I needed!

  8. Caron said “Thanks!” years ago
    Gravatar for Caron

    your post helped me to solve this exact same problem!

  9. Blaz said “Thanks!” years ago
    Gravatar for Blaz

    Thanks 4 the help,

    I really needed it!

    So simple, so hidden...

  10. Sheila said “PDF font properties” years ago
    Gravatar for Sheila


    This was exactly what I needed today.



  11. diana said “used it to solve mystery” years ago
    Gravatar for diana

    like magic - thanx! I had thought impossible to duplicate what looked like an original hand-drawn text - this showed my it was just a rare font.

  12. Rob said “Simple!” years ago
    Gravatar for Rob

    Just what I needed! Thank you!

  13. Felix said “PDF font extract” years ago
    Gravatar for Felix

    Very interesting method you have presented here. I am a graphic designer and I work mainly for auto industry. They use special fonts for every icon in the car. I had this problem a few months ago. At that time it was very little information about this subject online. After a lot of researching I have developed a procedure to extract any type of font embedded in any pdf file. I will present my method on my blog on http://pdffontextract.blogspot... so people can use it and solve their problems. Glad to help you guys!

  14. jonathan said “CSS3 & HTML5, Digital Marketing, Analytics & SEO” years ago
    Gravatar for jonathan

    this is good

  15. Iara Falcao said “font information on PDF file” years ago
    Gravatar for Iara Falcao

    It was just what I needed! All morning I was trying to figure that up when I decided to go to Google and I found you Thank you!

  16. Paul said “Extracting font info” years ago
    Gravatar for Paul

    Thanks. Just the job and a big help.

  17. alexandra said “many thanks for helping figure out font style on a pdf” years ago
    Gravatar for alexandra

    You rock!!

  18. Fep said “Help Me in this” years ago
    Gravatar for Fep

    the things what u shared is useful for me. thanks.

    actually i got a sanskrit book and for the same procedure it display as "there is no such system file" will u help u outta this??

  19. Bas said “get fontname in pdf” years ago
    Gravatar for Bas

    Never knew you could just select and see which font(s) are used inside a PDF. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Minerva said “Extracting a font from a PDF” years ago
    Gravatar for Minerva

    This was exactly what I needed. Thanks so much!

  21. Lisa said “Extracting font information from pdf files” years ago
    Gravatar for Lisa

    Yeeeeeiiiiii!! thanks so much! great tip!!

  22. pat said “Finding a font size in a PDF document.” years ago
    Gravatar for pat

    This document was very helpful. Thanks for posting it.

  23. ANTÓNIO said “Just what I needed! ” years ago
    Gravatar for ANTÓNIO


  24. Andy said “Great Job!” years ago
    Gravatar for Andy

    thanks bud...just got me out of a jam!

  25. Thomas said “Alternative way: extract the Font file.” years ago
    Gravatar for Thomas

    If you don't have access to Acrobat Professional it might help to extract the font file. An online PDF extractor like might help in this situation.

  26. Kumar said “Unable to find out font type, size in PDF file” years ago
    Gravatar for Kumar

    I am using Adobe Reader v9 and Adobe Acrobat Pro v10 and trying to find out how to determine the font size and type for a certain piece of text. I tried following your steps but could not find Advanced Editing option in Tools tab for both of these 2 tools. Please let me know to get around this.

  27. Daniel said “Font Converter” years ago
    Gravatar for Daniel

    This is a wonderful and informative blog. This blog gives us lots of useful information to us. Thanks for sharing and keep blogging.

  28. Jes said “Pinpointing font” years ago
    Gravatar for Jes

    Hi David,

    like yourself I did not know this. But now I do, thanks to you and your boss. Right now it has saved me a lot of time, not searching my entire list of fonts comparing with a dump of the PDF font, inside InDesign, which is the method I have been using until now. Crossing the river to get water....

    So - thank you very much :-)


  29. Christian said “Big Help” years ago
    Gravatar for Christian

    Thanks so much for this...helps me a lot this morning. Thank you.

  30. skin said “this was borderline religious experience” years ago
    Gravatar for skin


    changing the world man. bigtime thanks.

  31. vaibhav said “font info from pdf” years ago
    Gravatar for vaibhav

    thanx man

  32. Latika said “Thanks!!” years ago
    Gravatar for Latika

    I actually applied this on the pdf that i had with me...and yes it worked!! thank you so much!!

  33. Jhonnel said “Comment” years ago
    Gravatar for Jhonnel

    In Adobe Reader, do File > Properties > Fonts tab.Then that's it. No need for such...

  34. atheaos said “Slightly different in Acrobat 10” years ago
    Gravatar for atheaos

    Thanks for the tip! In Acrobat 10.1.7 instead of "Advanced Editing" you'll find it under "Tools", then "Content", then "Edit Document Text".

  35. Anna said “Big Thanks!” last year
    Gravatar for Anna

    You just made my day!

  36. R said “Perfect” last year
    Gravatar for R

    Agree with ATHEAOS, otherwise great! Thx.

  37. Sumit said “Better Option” last month
    Gravatar for Sumit

    Better Option would be to just click on edit and place your cursor on the word whose font info you want to extract. On the right hand side Acrobat populates all the info.( i am using Acrobat DC)

Add your comment…