I printed a web page to a pdf document in Firefox 3.5 on Ubuntu 9.04. I emailed it to a person who opened the pdf in Adobe Reader on Windows XP pro. They told me they got the following error when opening the pdf document.

Cannot extract the embedded font 'LiberationSerifRegulator'. Some characters may not display or print correctly.

Is there a way to print a web page to a pdf file with a specific font ? If so what would be a good font to use so the document can be read on other operating systems without errors ?


The Firefox print to pdf document produced is not exactly 100% compliant with the PDF specification, but still readable.

But the actual problem was the version of Adobe the person was using to view the pdf. Adobe has addressed the issue.

PDF documents that contain Type 3 fonts with missing operators are non-compliant with the PDF specification. These non-compliant PDF documents are typically generated by third party products. When trying to opening the document, users see an error message, "Cannot extract the embedded font 'F0'. Some characters may not be displayed or printed correctly." PDF documents open correctly in Reader/Acrobat 7.x, but not 8.0 or 8.1. The root cause is Type 3 fonts that do not comply with the PDF specification, which requires either the 'd0' or 'd1' operator in every Type 3 character procedure. In version 7.x, if the offending character was not displayed, the PDF document opened normally. Version 8.0 catches this error even if the character is not displayed. The updated behavior will ignore the missing operator when the character procedure is empty.


Solution: Update Adobe Reader.

  • The last sentence of the quote above seems to indicate that non-compliant fonts will be displayed as of 8.1.1. Good. However, Adobe also writes "fixes an issue in versions 8.0 and 8.1, not present in earlier versions" -- which makes me wonder if this reverts to the version 7.x behavior. And the 7.x behavior does not solve this issue, assuming that at least a few characters should in fact be displayed using the offending font. So, did this indeed solve it for you? (And I never knew that Firefox apparently has built-in Print to PDF on some platforms?) – Arjan Aug 2 '09 at 11:36
  • Yes on XP upgrading adobe fixed the problem without having to change how the document was saved. – Mark Aug 6 '09 at 12:39

PDF is generally meant to look just the same on all platforms, so it's not exactly the problem with the choice of font. It is probably an issue with your PDF printer settings, you should look for a setting to export character glyphs (this will make your file a bit bigger, but it will not require the font to be present on the user's system anymore).

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