Embedding multi-lingual symbols in PDFs

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Thu Oct 12 23:38:23 UTC 2006

SignWriting List
October 12, 2006

Hi Shane -
I run both Windows XP and Mac OS X...but that is not supposed to be  
the issue here. The whole reason that Adobe developed the PDF format  
over 20 years of hard work or so, is to make a completely cross- 
platform document format...so the computer and the operating system  
is not the point....it is embedding the special symbols in the PDF  
document that matters.

If in Poland, the person who types the document in Polish, embeds  
(stores) the Polish fonts inside the PDF file...it makes the PDF  
larger, but it carries the symbols with it...so when I post it for  
Lucyna, no matter who downloads it, from any country, using any  
computer, they will be able to read the Polish symbols because they  
are stored, or embedded in the PDF file.

But there is a second way to make a PDF...to NOT embed the fonts  
used. Those kinds of PDFs are smaller in size, because when they are  
opened they access the fonts that are installed in the operating  
system on each computer and if the font is not there, in that  
operating system, in substitutes the missing symbols with an  

So if Lucyna can either re-create a PDF embedding the Polish symbols,  
or if I can see a screen capture of each page like a graphic so I can  
see what the symbols are supposed to be in Polish, then I could re- 
type the entire document with the Polish symbols on my mac and then  
create a new PDF with the Polish symbols embedded...

So it is the embedding of the symbols in the PDF that matters and not  
whether we are working on a PC or a Mac...smile...

So sorry to keep repeating myself - this is the frustrations of multi- 
lingual work but after awhile you get used to it...Would all of you  
like me to actually show you how I embed fonts in a PDF? I could  
teach you how if you want...it may be useful to know how for  
SignWriting's future...as you know, in both Windows XP and Mac you  
can type in multiple languages now by just changing the keyboard  
file...but it is creating the PDF after that that it gets complicated!

Val ;-)


On Oct 12, 2006, at 2:41 PM, Shane Gilchrist O hEorpa wrote:

> Val,
> Another problem here is that its likely Lucynas computer is a PC and
> yours is a Mac.
> Mac can be a real nightmare for people who are sooooo used to PCs etc.
> Is there someone "bisexual" here  - who knows PCs and MACs very well?
> Especially in word/pdf stuff etc
> Shane
> On 12/10/06, Valerie Sutton <signwriting at mac.com> wrote:
>> Hi Lucy -
>> This is the sad part...the files look fine on your computer,
>> including the MicroSoft Word document, because you have the fonts
>> installed on your computer's operating system...but my operating
>> system did not recognize your Word file's fonts and replaced the
>> unusual symbols (for English), with an underscore...so when I open
>> the Word file I cannot see what you see on your computer...so without
>> a document in front of me to copy, I cannot reproduce the words
>> because I do not know what the symbols look like, that are missing...
>> I need a picture of each page from you...but better yet...if you
>> create a new PDF and EMBED the font so my computer's operating system
>> doesn't change the PDF...to embed a font is a little complicated and
>> requires Adobe Acrobat Professional (possibly)...do you own that
>> program?
>> Val ;-)
>> --------
>> On Oct 12, 2006, at 1:49 PM, Lucy wrote:
>> > Val, if you want to fix the text by yourself, you can just compare
>> > the text of the pdf file to that in the Word file. The latter is
>> > correct :-). Hmm, but I can't see "e" in your Polish keyboard...
>> > Hmmm, let me make a new pdf document...
>> > Lucy
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >> SignWriting List
>> >> October 12, 2006
>> >>
>> >> Lucy - On my Mac Intel machine, I can type directly in Polish.
>> >> Keyboard entry from a multitude of foreign languages and  
>> scripts are
>> >> available in the operating system. Here is a screen capture of the
>> >> Polish keyboard available to me. The problem is that I do not know
>> >> what symbols to type in the spaces that appear blank in your
>> >> document...what a shame I do not know Polish, or I could help  
>> you fix
>> >> this on my end...
>> >>
>> >
>> >

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