Extracting font information from PDF files

Has a client ever sent you a PDF and you needed to know what typeface they used on the heading? I show you how to find out!

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.

 

 

 

 

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