I've exported an InDesign 6 (on Mac OSX) file to PDF (not for print, but for interactive), the PDF file has embedded several subfonts of Helvetice Neue already used in the InDesign 6 (on Mac OSX) file.

Following this I opened up the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat Pro X (on Windows) - and wanted to add a text form field, but in the tab under appearance there is only "Helvetica Neue" to be found in the dropdown box with the fonts to select from, and not the subfonts ("Light", "Medium", and "Bold"). If I selected the font "Helvetica Neue" - it just pops up a box showing this font can't be embedded due to licensing restrictions (InDesign has already embedded these subfonts properly, without a hitch!).

So my question is does the fonts need to be of a special type perhaps for this to be possible? Need to be embedded in a specific way? Or something entirely different perhaps?


2 Answers 2


The font you're looking for doesn't seem to be licensed by Microsoft, but it is by MacOS (source). You have the option of buying a license from Adobe if you'd like to use this font here. It doesn't appear you have to buy the whole package, you can get just the one you're looking for.

  • Makes perfect sense - thanks for a super speedy reply, which saves me from pulling out anymore hairs than I already had :)
    – ijohanne
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 17:50

In order to be used in form fields, the font has to be fully embedded. The font you are intend to use apparently does not have the permission to be fully embedded (but only as a subset). This is the reason why you can't use it. In this respect, the other answer is wrong. It has primarily nothing to do with the company licensing it.

The consequence is that you would have to get a version of the font which can be fully embedded. For this part, the other answer is right; the fonts the Adobe font store sells can be fully embedded.

Note that if you are using "big" fonts containing many characters, the resulting PDF will considerably grow in size; it is therefore a balance between fonts selected and size.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.