Font Embedding Reporting and Automation

I recently wrote about how to embed missing fonts in a PDF.

Font Properties tab from Document Properties

If you have many files to fix—  the norm during regulatory filing preparation— a more automated solution is required.

In this article, you’ll learn how to use Batch Processing to process many PDFs and:

  • Embed fonts where they are missing
  • Move resulting "fixed" files to a new folder
  • Report on any errors and move PDFs which could not be fixed to another folder

Creating a Batch Sequence to Automate Font Embedding

Batch Processing is available in Acrobat Pro and Pro Extended. A batch sequence is a specific set of operations that will be run on files.

While Batch Processing is available in previous versions of Acrobat, the particular solution detailed below relies on the Font Embedding capability of Acrobat 9.

Create two folders on your desktop or some other accessible location:
– Success Folder
– Fail Folder

Gather your source documents into a
single folder. Subfolders are acceptable since Acrobat’s Batch Processing feature works recursively.

  1. Choose Advanced—> Document Processing—> Batch Processing.
    Click the New Sequence  button
    Batch Sequence Window
  2. Give the sequence a name. In this case, I called it "Batch Embed Fonts".
    Click OK.
    Name the batch sequence
  3. Click the Select Commands button
    Click the Select Commands button
  4. Do the following:
    Scroll down on the list at left and choose Preflight.
    B) Click the Add button

    C) Click the Edit button

    Edit Sequence window
  5. The Preflight window will open.
    Scroll down in the list and choose Embed Fonts.
    Embed Fonts
  6. Enable the following options:
    A) Move PDF file to success folder
    B) Choose the file where successfully embedded documents should go
    C) Move PDF file to error folder
    Choose the file where failed documents should go
    E) Enable the Summary PDF

    Settings to make

    There are a variety of options for reporting available. Reports may be produced in PDF or TXT format. You can produce a report on each document or create a summary report at the end of the process, which we have chosen in this case.

    Acrobat will create a PDF Portfolio containing all of the document reports.

  7. Click the Save button.
  8. Click the OK button to return to the Edit Batch Sequence window.
    In section 2 in the window below, you will indicate how the batch sequence will handle source documents.
    Edit Batch Sequence Screen

    Selected Files will always run the sequence on a set of files you select in the window. Not a very useful option.

    Selected Folder allows you to choose a specific folder on your hard drive or network as a source.

    Ask When Sequence is Run will prompt you to select the files to process when the sequence is run.

    Files Open in Acrobat allows you to run the sequence on the files open in the Acrobat viewer.

  9. Click OK again.
  10. Click the Close button.

Running the Batch Sequence

To run the Batch Sequence:

  1. Choose Advanced—> Document Processing—> Batch Processing
  2. Choose the Batch Sequence you created and click the Run Sequence button.
    Running the Batch Sequence
  3. The Run Sequence Confirmation window appears. Click OK.
    Batch Confirmation Window

    TIP: If you frequently use batch processing, you may want to bypass the Run Sequence Confirmation window. Choose Edit—> Preferences and choose the Batch Processing section. Disable option for "Show Run Sequence Confirmation dialog".


A few issues could crop up during the process.

  1. If you do not have the original font on your system, Acrobat cannot embed a font.
  2. If documents are password protected or have other forms of security, they cannot be processed. Choose Edit—> Preferences and choose the Batch Processing section to enable a Security Method.
  3. Reports will contain an error if your source documents contain some fonts which are embedded and some which do not. Acrobat will embed the fonts which are missing leaving alone the fonts which are already embedded.

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