[reportlab-users] Font Helvetica always used?

Glenn Linderman v+python at g.nevcal.com
Tue Jun 16 17:22:42 EDT 2015

On 6/16/2015 12:04 PM, Axel P. Kielhorn wrote:
>> Am 16.06.2015 um 18:43 schrieb Glenn Linderman <v+python at g.nevcal.com>:
>> On 6/16/2015 7:36 AM, ECP Admin via reportlab-users wrote:
>>> Thanks for answering. Yes you are right, the 14 default fonts (including Helvetica) are always available in every PDF document. So what's the problem? I have created a PDF document with 3 external fonts. The result is a document that lists 3 embedded fonts and one (unused) internal font (Helvetica). I have send this document to a german online         printing service (flyeralarm.de), but the data check complains
>>> and the document was rejected. The reason: Only embedded font are allowed. Hmm ... perculiar, perhaps a gray area. In my case the Helvetica font isn't used, so it isn't necessary to include this font. A similar document without the Helvetica font is accepted. So my question is: Is there any chance that you only incorporate the really used fonts in the document header?
>>> Regards Klaus
>> Sounds like the german online printing service data check is inappropriately rejecting the standard fonts that _all_ PDF viewers are required to support.
> They should support Helvetica, but which version?

The version assumed and documented by PDF....

> Some year ago the Euro was introduced.
> The Helvetica I have on my computer contains the Euro glyph.
> The Helvetica in my printer does not.

...which wouldn't include Euro glyph, because it predates the Euro glyph...

> Assuming that a font with the correct name is suitable to print the document is dangerous.

... but that does make for an interesting issue, too bad the PDF-defined 
names are so commonly used outside of PDF definitions...

> PDF/X (and PDF/A) requires all fonts to be embedded.
> I can understand that the printer rejected the job.

... so I guess I can understand it too, when you point out this issue... 
to pre-check that only characters defined in the PDF-defined font are 
used in the document would be much more complex than "all fonts must be 

On the other hand, reportlab is fine for generating documents that are 
readable by most PDF viewers, and most computing devices have one, 
making such file nearly ubiquitously readable. But it doesn't have 
support for kerning or combining glyphs, both of which are required for 
quality typesetting results in various languages. I've expressed my 
sadness and dismay at these lacks in other threads. But I guess not 
every printed document is required to be high quality.

> Axel

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