I'm using Acrobat DC (version 2019.010.20098 - auto updated by Creative Cloud).

I need to unembed the fonts from a PDF file that I exported from InDesign. I do this via File > Save As Other > Optimised PDF...

This has worked for me many times in the past years. But it doesn't seem to be working at all now. I'm doing it correctly (move fonts from left pane to right pane to unembed them), but it literally seems to be doing nothing. Opening the optimised file shows that the fonts (subsets) are still embedded within.

It does work, however, with other random PDFs I've tested. It's as if exporting from InDesign produces a PDF from which the fonts cannot be unembedded.

Can anyone shed any light?

  • Does the PDF have security settings that are blocking edits?
    – 13ruce
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 14:07
  • Just a curiosity: why would you choose to unembed fonts?
    – mrserge
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 16:29
  • @mrserge I have a very unique workflow in which I Create in InDesign -> Export to PDF -> Optimise PDF -> Print PDF to Microsoft XPS -> Extract XAML markup from XPS zip -> Include in a WPF app as a custom FixedDocument. If the fonts are embedded, then the XPS step produces an unusable file in which the text is encrypted and unselectable. The only way it works is to unembed the fonts (while making sure they are installed on my system anyway).
    – Ross
    Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 17:37
  • Why not extract XML directly from InDesign and work with that?
    – mrserge
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 8:20
  • XAML, not XML...
    – Ross
    Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 12:03

1 Answer 1


Got it.

When I disabled the Transparency settings in the Optimise PDF workflow then the fonts were unembedded successfully.

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