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Re: PDF (was Re: mailing list)

From: Todd Fahrner <fahrner@pobox.com>
Date: Sat, 9 Nov 1996 15:05:33 -0800
Message-Id: <v03007803aeaaa6960ba9@[]>
To: www-font@w3.org
At 8:35 PM +0000 11/9/96, Clive Bruton wrote:
> >
> >
> >What is the name of the product that is smaller then Acrobat? ENVOY. The
> >York Times seems to prefer ENVOY to Acrobat for the Web.
> That sir is an untruth.

My understanding is that the NYT was responding to complaints about the
printing speed of PDFs on non-postscript printers - not about file sizes.
Apparently Envoy does better here than Acrobat in some cases. Seems to me
these issues have more to do with the reader software than the file format.
How does the Acrobat 3 Reader compare with the latest from Envoy?

But to address Erik van Blokland's weightier objections to font embedding:
you (Erik) assert in your piece online that it is feasible to extract
outlines from PDFs containing embedded fonts, and to reconstitute usable
fonts with a little work in Fontographer or other editor. You go on to
imply (I think) that big, diversified Adobe is less concerned with this
problem than the smaller, specialized shops, that this is a threat to your
livelihood specifically and to original type design generally. Is this a
fair summary?

Just how feasible is this extraction, exactly, and has anything changed
with PDF 1.2/Acrobat 3? Specifically, If I put two PDFs (latest format) on
the Web, each containing half the character set of a certain obscure face,
how much trouble will it be for you to post a PDF of another text set in
that face?

I honestly don't know how you'll fare. (You could cheat, but that would be
cheating.) If you can do it in much less time than it would take to scan,
trace, kern, hint and otherwise refine a few magazine pages' worth of type,
you'll have made your point in a very convincing, public way - a service to
us all.

Failing this - after all, who has time for it? - could you say a little
more about how one steals a font from a (current format) PDF? Intrigued by
your assertion, I tried once and failed, though I gave up quickly. Under
which conditions (if any) would hypothetical terrors like FontSucker or
FontCrawler fail with current embedding technology?

Todd Fahrner
Received on Saturday, 9 November 1996 18:08:02 UTC

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