General Question

Aethelflaed's avatar

How is Windows displaying and acknowledging this font it seems to not have?

Asked by Aethelflaed (13712 points ) October 1st, 2011

I downloaded this one PDF, and when I copy/paste some of the text onto Word, it tells me the font is Whitney-Medium. But when I got to change my text in Word to Whitney-Medium, that option isn’t there. When I got to the fonts folder in Control Panel, Whitney-Medium isn’t there. How is Windows 7 doing this?

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4 Answers

funkdaddy's avatar

Fonts can be embedded into PDFs (usually a subset of the entire font) so they can be displayed there. When you copy and paste it pulls out the font name along with the text you’re copying but the embedded font data isn’t meant to be transferable as well.

It’s a protection for the font, which is considered software and generally has a very limited license.

Whitney is from one of the biggest and best known type foundries, Hoefler & Frere-Jones and is mad expensive. If you need something similar but not as costly (and probably already installed) you could find Myriad, Frutiger, or even Gill Sans I think. Haven’t compared them side by side but the same feel.

Hope it helps.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@funkdaddy Cool, thanks. So, when you say “mad expensive”, just how expensive are we talking about (just for curiosities sake)?

funkdaddy's avatar

Their pricing for Whitney – so it really depends on how many weights and variants you need, but say $200–600 per license.

It’s not horrible for what you get, it’s just more than I can usually justify for myself or clients for use in a single project.

Jeruba's avatar

Just to add a note to @funkdaddy‘s excellent information: one of the virtues of PDFs and a major reason for using them is that the recipient doesn’t have to have the fonts installed locally in order to see your document the way you intended.

I have a lot of special fonts on my hard drive, and when I produce, say, a flyer for an event, I may use an uncommon display font. If I just sent this to someone in Word, they probably wouldn’t have the right fonts, and their computer would replace them with a substitute. They would not see the page as I made it. Not only would the fonts be different but all the spacing would be messed up and lines would break in the wrong places and so on. But if I send them a PDF, they can see an image of the page the way I meant it to look.

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