I am working with a PDF that is showing the following when I look at its font properties. Document Properties --> Fonts

It is like this for every font in the document, repeatedly embedded 10-20 times. What's going on with this? Is it using up a ton of space to repeatedly embed the font or is each embedded subset just one letter or something? I am not used to seeing this type of thing..

  • 2
    The key word is "subset" it's not the entire font. It's the characters necessary to render the document. Each of those items may only be a few characters. I've never found it anything to worry about.
    – Scott
    Mar 10, 2015 at 17:59
  • Subset is explained… there are some tools (such as PitStop or also the Preflight tool in Acrobat) which can help to consolidate the embedded subsets; however in order to do that, you will need the according font installed on your machine.
    – Max Wyss
    Mar 11, 2015 at 8:56
  • Just out of curiosity, what is the application used to generate the PDF (usually listed as "Application" or something like that in the PDF's properties) Mar 11, 2015 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


If you prefer, you can embed the entire font by changing the percentage in your PDF settings. Then it will just embed the whole thing once.

Otherwise subsetting is the embedding of just the letters of the font that you are using in the document to make your document even smaller. It usually causes trouble only if you want to join documents together which have different letters subset, so they conflict and go haywire.

Hope that helps

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