An eclectic collection of articles, case studies and opinion pieces ranging from the creative process to technical tips...


Recently I was sent a PDF of a marketing poster which a client had asked me to turn into a HTML email. The design firm who had produced the poster had used a non web standard font (ie: not Arial, Verdana or the like) but I still wanted to use it as my primary typeface in my font stack (the CSS font-family rule) and allow the typeface to degrade for those users who didn't have it installed on their system. The problem was that I didn't recognise the font!

Having exhausted all other avenues, I turned to our team of web designers here at Deep Blue Sky, who promptly showed me the following technique to extract font information from a PDF:

  1. Open your PDF.
  2. Go to TOOLS -> Advanced Editing and select the "TouchUp Text Tool".
  3. Click on the text that you wish to extract the typeface from and a bounding box should appear.
  4. Highlight a portion of the text and right click to bring up a menu. Select "Properties".
  5. Information about your font should be displayed under the "Text" tab, including the font name. Easy!

The one issue with this technique is that - to the best of my knowledge - you need to have Adobe Acrobat Professional (I used Version 8.1.2) to use the advanced editing functionality.

If hope you find this useful, and if you do be sure to comment.





Write a comment.


  1. Gravatar for tom


    good stuff, useful for fonts in documents from latex!

  2. Gravatar for Stephan


    Great tutorial and just what I was looking for. The properties even give you the stroke weight. Thank you!

  3. Gravatar for stefan


    You are able to extract fonts from PDF with Online Font Converter

  4. Gravatar for Marko


    What if font is converted to outlines before saving to pdf?

  5. Gravatar for Magnus


    If you just copy the text from the PDF (I used Adobe Reader), and paste it into Word the font-name will show. But the font-type is of course incorrect!

  6. Gravatar for Russ


    Thank you, really nice tip. Works just great!

  7. Gravatar for Matt


    Perfect - I am also extracting from a PDF and turning into an HTML email. Exactly what I needed!

  8. Gravatar for Caron


    your post helped me to solve this exact same problem!

  9. Gravatar for Blaz


    Thanks 4 the help,

    I really needed it!

    So simple, so hidden...

  10. Gravatar for Sheila



    This was exactly what I needed today.



  11. Gravatar for diana


    like magic - thanx! I had thought impossible to duplicate what looked like an original hand-drawn text - this showed my it was just a rare font.

  12. Gravatar for Rob


    Just what I needed! Thank you!

  13. Gravatar for Felix


    Very interesting method you have presented here. I am a graphic designer and I work mainly for auto industry. They use special fonts for every icon in the car. I had this problem a few months ago. At that time it was very little information about this subject online. After a lot of researching I have developed a procedure to extract any type of font embedded in any pdf file. I will present my method on my blog on http://pdffontextract.blogspot... so people can use it and solve their problems. Glad to help you guys!

  14. Gravatar for jonathan


    this is good

  15. Gravatar for Iara Falcao

    Iara Falcao

    It was just what I needed! All morning I was trying to figure that up when I decided to go to Google and I found you Thank you!

  16. Gravatar for Paul


    Thanks. Just the job and a big help.

  17. Gravatar for alexandra


    You rock!!

  18. Gravatar for Fep


    the things what u shared is useful for me. thanks.

    actually i got a sanskrit book and for the same procedure it display as "there is no such system file" will u help u outta this??

  19. Gravatar for Bas


    Never knew you could just select and see which font(s) are used inside a PDF. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Gravatar for Minerva


    This was exactly what I needed. Thanks so much!

  21. Gravatar for Lisa


    Yeeeeeiiiiii!! thanks so much! great tip!!

  22. Gravatar for pat


    This document was very helpful. Thanks for posting it.

  23. Gravatar for ANTÓNIO



  24. Gravatar for Andy


    thanks bud...just got me out of a jam!

  25. Gravatar for Thomas


    If you don't have access to Acrobat Professional it might help to extract the font file. An online PDF extractor like might help in this situation.

  26. Gravatar for Kumar


    I am using Adobe Reader v9 and Adobe Acrobat Pro v10 and trying to find out how to determine the font size and type for a certain piece of text. I tried following your steps but could not find Advanced Editing option in Tools tab for both of these 2 tools. Please let me know to get around this.

  27. Gravatar for Daniel


    This is a wonderful and informative blog. This blog gives us lots of useful information to us. Thanks for sharing and keep blogging.

  28. Gravatar for Jes


    Hi David,

    like yourself I did not know this. But now I do, thanks to you and your boss. Right now it has saved me a lot of time, not searching my entire list of fonts comparing with a dump of the PDF font, inside InDesign, which is the method I have been using until now. Crossing the river to get water....

    So - thank you very much :-)


  29. Gravatar for Christian


    Thanks so much for this...helps me a lot this morning. Thank you.

  30. Gravatar for skin



    changing the world man. bigtime thanks.

  31. Gravatar for vaibhav


    thanx man

  32. Gravatar for Latika


    I actually applied this on the pdf that i had with me...and yes it worked!! thank you so much!!

  33. Gravatar for Jhonnel


    In Adobe Reader, do File > Properties > Fonts tab.Then that's it. No need for such...

  34. Gravatar for atheaos


    Thanks for the tip! In Acrobat 10.1.7 instead of "Advanced Editing" you'll find it under "Tools", then "Content", then "Edit Document Text".

  35. Gravatar for Anna


    You just made my day!

  36. Gravatar for R


    Agree with ATHEAOS, otherwise great! Thx.

  37. Gravatar for Sumit


    Better Option would be to just click on edit and place your cursor on the word whose font info you want to extract. On the right hand side Acrobat populates all the info.( i am using Acrobat DC)