I was working on a design in Adobe Illustrator and I've sent the .ai file to the printer. But she says that she don't have the fonts, that I used, installed on her computer. Now she also doesn't know how to install the fonts in her computer (I've tried to explain her but she just don't getting it).

Now is there any way that I can preserve the font that I used in my design in Illustrator? That my .ai file can be opened on any computer without having the issue of "Font now found"?

  • 4
    This is what pdf files are made for.
    – Vincent
    Jul 1, 2014 at 10:22
  • So first, I should convert the file to .pdf and then in .ai? as she needs .ai
    – Ahmed
    Jul 1, 2014 at 10:23
  • 4
    She doesn't "need" .ai. A PDF should work fine. I've never, in 30 years found a printer that "needs" the .ai file.
    – Scott
    Jul 1, 2014 at 10:31
  • 1
    Also make sure you have a license for those fonts.. Nothing like getting your client in trouble because they don't have the correct license..
    – user9447
    Jul 1, 2014 at 13:05

3 Answers 3


You could convert all of your type to outlines: Type > Create Outlines or Shift+Control/Option+O, rendering all of your text in actual vectors. This eliminates the need to embed or send along any type file, for they are no longer used to create the image.

A better way would be to use a pdf file to send the document to your printer. These files are able to embed the (necessary part) of a font file, allowing your -printer (or anyone else) to view the file as inteded. You can export a document as pdf through File > Save As... and choosing pdf for the format.

Depending on the settings you choose, a pdf may retain its editability, but that might not be necessary if all you want is printing. Any good printer should accept pdf.


PDF is great as anyone can view it and it embeds the font within the file and digital printers shouldn't have any problem with it. You run into problems when anyone wants to edit the file in Illustrator again. The fonts are only embedded for viewing, not editing (licensing issues). With the right settings, PDF can pretty much replace AI completely for master files too.

Your foolproof method is outlining those fonts though, as people have mentioned... But if the file is also viewed on screen then you'll have removed all the typographic hinting that makes fonts look good on screen. It seems, for the most part, fine for printing though. Just check that nothing has vanished while doing so! The biggest downside of outlining is loss of editability so make sure you save a master file separately.

Some people seem to think that printers who demand outlined fonts on PDFs should be shot but we should give them a break. If you're printing any sort of spot colours where plates or screens are being made (especially stuff like labels) then it's likely that the printer will need to rip apart your file and rebuild it to a way that works with their systems. This is when they'll end up replacing fonts for similar ones without saying anything (which they SHOULD be shot for) because they're rushing too much to have the time to ask (price we pay for low prices).

The printer shouldn't need fonts outlining in a PDF at all though. They can File > Place and then Object > Flatten Transparency... which will use the embedded fonts to give them the outlined should they need them. (No one seems to know that though so I'd outline the text anyway)


yes, when you click save for the first time or save as you get a popup with "illustrator Options" there

Fonts Subset fonts when precent of characters used is less then: 0%

now the any font that has the appropriate permission bits will be embedded

Edit: but as others have said, it is useually good to outline the fonts bofore sending them (although make sure you got a copy that is not outlined if changes needs to be made)

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