Can’t embed Times New Roman, Helvetica, Courier in your PDF, don’t worry about it!

First published on May 10, 2007

Base 14 fonts include Times New Roman, Helvetica, Courier, Symbol, and Zapf Dingbats. They are included in Adobe Acrobat Reader. So if for some reason you cannot embed these fonts in your PDF, you most likely do not have to worry about your audience being able to display them properly. does a good job at defining Base 14 fonts.

Why did I even look up this random information in the first place? At eZ Systems, we produced a PDF book from XML using the XEP FOP (read about that here). It refused to embed Helvetica using the included .afm file and thus the printing company said there was a problem because the fonts weren’t embedded. And Helvetica is a font that must be licensed (if you don’t already have it, good luck finding it online without having to pay for it). But upon further investigation, we were told that all was OK because it was just a Base 14 font.

And don’t say we could have just used Arial!


2 Responses to “Can’t embed Times New Roman, Helvetica, Courier in your PDF, don’t worry about it!”

  1. scruss says:

    Two ways of getting the Base 14, if you really have to:
    1) If you have an old Adobe Type Manager CD, the Classic 35 is on there.
    2) The URW Nimbus fonts provided with GhostScript are extremely faithful copies of the Adobe fonts, and have all the hinting and kerning information you might need. You should be able to provide a map from the URW names to the Adobe ones.

  2. glenn says:

    Hi guys, I am trying to upload a file to lulu. It tells me that Times New Roman is not embedded and therefore won´t create a file. The original document is MS Word 2003 with default TNR but I no longer use it. However, when checking, I found a few places that do not print that still read TNR.

    Question: How can I either delete the TNR from the document (tedious) or embed TNR in the pdf using Adobe 7?

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