I have a PDF that is editable in Illustrator. I have to open the PDF in Illustrator and edit individual parts of the document but I am missing the font that is used in the PDF. When I open the PDF in Illustrator, the PDF opens but the font is automatically replaced with a substitute font.


How can I open the PDF in Illustrator and have all type with missing fonts turned into outlines instead of replaced by a substitute font.

1 Answer 1


1) First create a new document in Illustrator

2) Go to File -> Place and choose your PDF

3) Make sure the link box is checked and click Place. When the Place dialogue box pops up, click OK.

link checked box

4) Go to Object -> Flatten Transparency... Make sure Convert All Text to Outlines is checked and click OK.

Convert All Test to Outlines

You can now release the clipping mask and move objects around.

  • Never had to do this but it makes a lot of sense. Nice solution. Sep 14, 2015 at 15:01
  • @scottperezfox I thought Illustrator used to ask the user if they wanted to open the PDF with text as outlines if you're missing the font but in Illustrator CS6 it didn't ask me. I reset my preferences and when that didn't work I researched for another solution.
    – AndrewH
    Sep 14, 2015 at 15:18
  • @AndrewH Thanks. Your answer works great. Super useful to import typesetting from latex. Feb 8, 2020 at 18:58
  • Andrew, you got me out of a tight spot. Thanks man.
    – Kerry7777
    Jan 10, 2022 at 22:26

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