How is it possible to determine the fonts used by text in PDF and TIFF files?


For TIFFs or any other raster (pixel) image, Jin's answer covers it.

For PDFs (assuming it's a 'proper' PDF and not a raster image embedded in a PDF, as produced by scanning/fax software), font information is embedded in the file.

In Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat, and Foxit Reader 3 -- probably slightly different in other applications -- File menu > Properties > Fonts tab gives you a list of all fonts used in the document.

There are also third-party plugins for Acrobat, such as Enfocus PitStop Pro, which add the ability to find/replace/report on instances of a particular font throughout a document.

  • 1
    ... and if you can't find the font info, you could try to take a screenshot of the PDF and send the sshot to What the Font. – Jari Keinänen Jan 11 '11 at 16:36
  • 2
    Xpdf comes with pdffonts, cf. man page, a command line tool with switches to restrict its font listing to those from a page range. – Charles Stewart Jan 12 '11 at 8:55
  • I've made this community wiki, intending that all resources are compiled into one list. – e100 May 5 '11 at 19:37

Upload a sample of the text screenshot to: http://new.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/ the service is fairly accurate.

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    or when WhatTheFont it doesn't work well (It happen), I go to the forum typophile.com/forum to ask the experts of the sector about it. – Littlemad Jan 11 '11 at 11:40

If you need help identifying a font sample, there are lots of resources.

Some are automated, you submit a sample screenshot or go through a series of questions that help narrow the possibilities:

Some software can help find a font that's close to what you want:

Others are human-driven, where experts and enthusiasts may examine your submission:

Finally, there are services and programs designed to simply help you choose an appropriate font for a given use:


On a Mac or Linux, open your terminal and type:

strings /path/to/your.pdf | grep -i fontname
  • This is the best answer because no new software is required. It took around half minute to output the lines but it worked like a charm. – Gustavo Straube Sep 15 '17 at 15:27

In a PDF with actual text, you can copy a block of text into Word (or another rich editor) and look at the Font dropdown.

  • pdf text generally copies without styling in some operating systems and some pdf readers. – dkuntz2 Jan 12 '11 at 5:52
  • And I doubt this would ever work for fonts you don't have installed on your system. – e100 Jan 12 '11 at 9:20

Just to add to the list a new software to identify fonts using an image or screen capture: "Find my Font" - http://www.findmyfont.com (I'm the developer of this software).

The application runs on either Mac-OS or Windows and identifies the fonts of a given bitmap image by searching for fonts both online (125.000+ free & commercial fonts) and on your computer while you are given a list of exact and similar matches + a % match for each one, in just 3-5 secs. It can use all kinds of color images without extra pre-processing.

protected by Mᴏɴᴋᴇʏ Aug 5 '14 at 13:52

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