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Is it possible to embed fonts in a Writer/Impress/Calc document ? [closed]

asked 2012-02-28 23:02:55 +0200

updated 2021-05-31 10:11:25 +0200

Alex Kemp gravatar image

I use mostly Gnu/Linux LibreOffice versions but I often send documents to Windows and Mac users. Most of my documents use the Liberation fonts by default which are not installed on Windows or Mac systems.

Is there a way to embed them in my Writer/Impress/Calc documents ?

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Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by Alex Kemp
close date 2015-10-31 04:12:43.026874

8 Answers

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answered 2012-04-19 14:34:02 +0200

dag gravatar image

updated 2013-05-08 17:45:04 +0200

The ODF 1.0 specification (PDF) does support font embedding, however neither LibreOffice nor OpenOffice have it implemented at this time. There are only two ODF implementations that support font embedding to some regard, which are Calligra and WebODF.

For LibreOffice there is a ticket fdo#42195, but there is also an OpenOffice ticket going way back to 2003 ooo#20370.

Embedded fonts have come up at various ODF Plugfest meetings, but general support is still lacking at this time. Let's hope this improves soon...

The implementation can embed fonts by either adding it to the packaged (zipped) ODF file in a Fonts/ directory and referencing that file using <svg:font-face-uri>, or by base64-encoding the file (in case of a Flat ODF file).

Update: Font Embedding is implemented and will ship as part of LibreOffice v4.1 (July 2013) using the ODF v1.0 specification.

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I think you are wrong. Font embedding is still under study for version 1.3 by Oasis http://tools.oasis-open.org/issues/browse/OFFICE-228

Pedro gravatar imagePedro ( 2012-04-19 21:42:57 +0200 )edit

@Pedro Interoperability was discussed during the recent ODF Plugfest in Brussels (with Rob Weir attending). Examples using it at http://plugtest.opendocsociety.org/doku.php?id=scenarios:20120419:fontembedding See svg:font-face-uri in the ODF v1.0 standard, as implemented by Calligra and WebODF.

dag gravatar imagedag ( 2012-05-21 15:56:02 +0200 )edit

@dag, either Rob Weir and Dennis Hamilton are wrong or you are... According to them Font embedding wasn't available in revision 1.2 of the ODF standard. It is under consideration for the 1.3 revision. See links in next comment

Pedro gravatar imagePedro ( 2012-05-21 17:16:36 +0200 )edit

@Pedro: Again Calibra and WebODF already have it implemented _and_ you can download the test files from the ODF Plugfest, explain that to me? During the meeting Rob did not mention anything about it not being supported. Maybe the ODF v1.3 is beter standardized (e.g. location) or enhanced ? Ask Rob !

dag gravatar imagedag ( 2012-05-21 19:51:22 +0200 )edit

@dag: I just asked him (thank you for replying, Rob). The answer is "No one ever designed font embedding in ODF 1.0-ODF 1.2. The ODF spec does not talk at all about 'font embedding". I can see that the sample documents include the font within the ODF file but that is not implementing.

Pedro gravatar imagePedro ( 2012-05-25 08:15:12 +0200 )edit

@Pedro: I don't know what you mean with "designed". The functionality is there (svg:font-face-uri), it can already be used and is already implemented by some producers/consumers. It was discussed at the ODF Plugfest for interoperability, but LibreO does not. You seem to circle around terminology.

dag gravatar imagedag ( 2012-08-31 22:42:56 +0200 )edit

@Pedro: Now that LibreOffice v4.1 will ship with an implementation based on ODF v1.0, would you like to explain your resistance ? I am also very confused that in the same ODF Plugfest (with Rob Weir inside the room) we discussed the WebODF implementation and verified the embedded font examples provided to us, there is still this denial. (It happened only 6 days prior to the comments so it can't be related to bad memory)

dag gravatar imagedag ( 2013-05-08 17:35:57 +0200 )edit

@dag, I have no resistance. On the contrary! It is just that your statements were in contradiction with those of the people who were involved in the ODF standard... I'm also surprised by his answers. But I'm really glad that this has been implemented :)

Pedro gravatar imagePedro ( 2013-05-08 17:40:03 +0200 )edit

Dennis E. Hamilton confirmed what I said in this email BTW.


dag gravatar imagedag ( 2013-05-08 17:46:17 +0200 )edit

answered 2013-05-08 15:00:20 +0200

dag gravatar image

Font Embedding will be implemented in LibreOffice v4.1 using the ODF v1.0 specification. The bugs to track these are for:

LibreOffice release 4.1 is expected in July 2013.

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answered 2012-02-29 00:30:45 +0200

Pedro gravatar image

No. The ODF file specification does not support font embedding. And LibreOffice does not embed fonts in file formats that do support font embedding (such as MS formats)

Maybe in the future this will be added to ODF...

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Thank you!

MagicFab gravatar imageMagicFab ( 2012-02-29 00:32:42 +0200 )edit

There's 'Bug 42195 - Support for embedded fonts is missing' → fdo#42195

manj_k gravatar imagemanj_k ( 2012-04-17 22:24:38 +0200 )edit
manj_k gravatar imagemanj_k ( 2013-02-20 17:11:01 +0200 )edit

fdo#61072, fdo#61073

Status: RESOLVED FIXED · Target: LO 4.1.0

See also → LibreOffice 4.1 ReleaseNotes

manj_k gravatar imagemanj_k ( 2013-05-07 18:14:10 +0200 )edit
manj_k gravatar imagemanj_k ( 2013-05-07 18:15:20 +0200 )edit

As I told @Pedro a few times, he is wrong, ODF v1.0 supports the functionality and now there is a LibreOffice implementation with a release pending. Good work !

dag gravatar imagedag ( 2013-05-08 17:21:06 +0200 )edit

answered 2012-10-30 06:43:53 +0200

TSW gravatar image

I am planning to work on a fork of LO / OO and implement font embedding. But before I do that, I want to know if it's going to be worth it. So please answer the following questions: 1. As a consumer, will you switch to my new fork and start using my version just because it has font embedding? 2. As a developer, will you switch to my new fork and start contributing to this new fork instead, just because it has font embedding?

If I get 1,000 positive replies, I will start the fork.

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I think it would be much more productive if you added your effort to one of the existing suites. As a user, font embedding is reason enough to make me switch, but I think it is not a reason to start a fork and divide even more the developer effort.

Pedro gravatar imagePedro ( 2012-10-30 07:59:05 +0200 )edit

There is no need to fork a whole product to add tiny functionality. Why not build a plug-in instead? When a LOT of users will have this plug-in, support will be added into main product...

froz gravatar imagefroz ( 2013-01-22 12:13:18 +0200 )edit

No need to fork anymore. It is already implemented and will ship with LibreOffice v4.1 around July 2013. Rejoice \o/

dag gravatar imagedag ( 2013-05-08 17:24:09 +0200 )edit

answered 2012-09-21 04:31:58 +0200

vojo gravatar image

So guys....why not think about this the other way around. Upon install, LO x.y installs a known stable family of fonts on the system (LO_arial, LO_timesroman, etc). Add something to tools that sets priorities between platform fonts and LO installed fonts (try platform first then try LO fonts or vice versa or one/other ONLY).

On opening a doc, create or use some variables for fonts to be used. If older doc, create and save (aka like user credentials - name address etc). New or reopened doc, use those variables. If fonts not found, kick up msgbox to user about how to proceed. Somebody adds some cool text to document using font Z, update table in the font variables to include (since presumably this would default to one of the LO installed fonts, so still universal).

At least that would be consistent across all LO installs at X.Y or later. If document foundation guys spend too much time studying the need for this, LO reach out to OO etc and see if all can agree on approach. MS can choose to join the party or not.

I realize I may be overly simplifying this....but does get around having to all the actual fonts with the document.

Visio has done something similar for 10 years....though their approach has a limitation surrounding it in that its based on the relative offset of the font in the library from #1 (i.e On system A, #33 might be font X....on system B, #33 might be font Y). All I am suggesting is that instead of relative index, use actual font name.

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answered 2012-02-29 14:54:14 +0200

Domas gravatar image

As written in Liberation fonts homepage: "The Liberation(tm) Fonts is a font family which aims at metric compatibility with Arial, Times New Roman, and Courier New."

A document written with Liberation fonts should be formatted exactly the same when viewed using standard Windows fonts.

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Keyword "aims" - it's close enough, but not perfect. That means I always need to include a small explanation and a link for the recipient to install the fonts on their own. It's a one-time operation but it's often inconvenient and takes time & access/knowledge to do it.

MagicFab gravatar imageMagicFab ( 2012-03-01 16:21:10 +0200 )edit

answered 2012-03-14 15:03:34 +0200

Wroger gravatar image

While I really DO like Libreoffice.. the lack of font embedding cuts it out of being able to transfer all my work out of dead and dying formats or the use of proprietary software from companies who I regards as scumbags.

Any product I create via Libre Office be it document, artwork, engineering drawings or presentations etc., done in LO with your own font sets, cannot be transferred via dual booting between Linux or Windows, or it cannot be transferred to a different machine - from home to work or vis versa, and one cannot transfer the work to an independent third party such as peer review, or be sent to the printers, and the product cannot be archived and reopened on a different computer - because ANY work done ON a specific computer with ones own specific font sets, will be completely lost - because the original fonts, on the original machine, are not embedded in the documents produced on that machine.

QED - it's an Epic Failure.

With Open Office and the blooming fork, Libre Office, people have been raising these issues for 20 years, and for 20 years the committees, forum administrators, bugzilla forums, have ALL ignored and shut down any discussion or progress towards making font embedding the defacto or default setting.

While Microsoft, Word Perfect, Adobe and even really obscure office programs such as Abi office, etc., etc., etc. - they ALL have font embedding.

So the Open Office and Libre Office products and the committees that all drive these programs - have an epic failure on their hands and they are doing NOTHING to address it.

Have a read up on this topic via the article....


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It is not a LibreOffice/TDF's goal to provide a free office suit that perpetuates Microsoft's closed and proprietary file formats. So any change on font embedding has to occur on the ODF file format. ODF 1.2 still doesn't support font embedding but it is being considered http://tinyurl.com/6vp2w5d

Pedro gravatar imagePedro ( 2012-03-14 15:38:00 +0200 )edit

I am not a licensing expert, but embedding proprietary fonts into document probably raises licensing issues.

I also think this embedding is very important, but on the other hand it should not be implemented into ODF something that is not standards supported. Don't want to have multiple products each supporting its own version of ODF - you know just like a HTML history big mess.

L-user gravatar imageL-user ( 2012-04-20 18:53:52 +0200 )edit

I am not a licensing expert, but embedding proprietary fonts into document probably raises licensing issues.

L-user gravatar imageL-user ( 2012-04-20 18:53:53 +0200 )edit

I am not a licensing expert, but embedding proprietary fonts into document probably raises licensing issues.

L-user gravatar imageL-user ( 2012-04-20 18:53:53 +0200 )edit

answered 2012-09-20 22:49:59 +0200

horst gravatar image

If you can live with PDF then you can embed fonts in it.

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Asked: 2012-02-28 23:02:55 +0200

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Last updated: May 08 '13