Re: [xep-support] ZapfDingbats.afm

From: <>
Date: Wed May 13 2009 - 08:00:10 PDT

Hi Cutter,

From reading both your emails, your problem lies in the default
configuration of your 'xep.xml'... which includes ZapfDingbats, but not
as an embedded font.

Your clients quoted sentence is correct, as far as I know. A PDF file is
not a raster image like TIFF, any text data it includes must be rendered
with a font... That font must be made available to it somehow: either
installed on the system or embedded in the PDF itself.

The xep.xml configuration file controls which fonts will be embedded in a
pdf. The default xep.xml configures a 'Base 14' set of fonts that are
expected to be available everywhere without embedding it, so to save
space, do not embed it. These fonts include Times, Helvetica, etc... and
I believe ZapfDingbats as well.

Your best bet is to go reconfigure your (and your clients) xep.xml to
embed the ZapfDingbats into the PDF. Make sure you have license to embed
it, I havn't looked at it recently to know if it's public domain or
otherwise freely distributable, but it's one of the 'Base 14' that is
expected to be available anywhere.


Cutter <>
Sent by:
05/12/2009 10:52 PM
Please respond to


[xep-support] ZapfDingbats.afm

I am using XEP (unsure of the version #) to create PDF from XSLT. The
output looks correct on my system but when the client runs the same
XSLT/FO (using a different version of XEP, unsure what #) none of the
ZapfDingbats characters output. We have gone round and round about this
but currently the client is coming back with “If the font is not embedded,
the rendered file can only be viewed on systems that have the font
configured for use with viewing or printing the application.”
My understanding is, once the PDF is rendered, and unless it is then
reopened in some program capable of editing it, the PDF is set in stone.
 So any PDF viewer on any machine (Linux, Mac, Windows) with any (or no)
fonts installed will show it as rendered. The problem with rendering the
font is located on the machine doing the rendering not the machines later
doing the viewing. Is this correct and could someone explain the quoted
sentence above with an example?
What else might be making their rendering not output the correct fonts
while my output (using the exact same transformations) renders correctly?

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Received on Wed May 13 08:49:01 2009

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