Extracting font information from PDF files

Has a client ever sent you a PDF and you needed to know what typeface they used on the heading? I show you how to find out!

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 (i.e. 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.

Software that works for you.

Write a comment.

Responses. (37)

  1. t s


    good stuff, useful for fonts in documents from latex!

  2. S T


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

  3. s s


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

  4. M M


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

  5. M L


    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. R F


    Thank you, really nice tip. Works just great!

  7. M C


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

  8. C R


    your post helped me to solve this exact same problem!

  9. B K


    Thanks 4 the help,

    I really needed it!

    So simple, so hidden...

  10. S O



    This was exactly what I needed today.



  11. d l


    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. R R


    Just what I needed! Thank you!

  13. F G


    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. j a


    this is good

  15. I L

    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. P N


    Thanks. Just the job and a big help.

  17. a s


    You rock!!

  18. F T


    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. B B


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

  20. M B


    This was exactly what I needed. Thanks so much!

  21. L A


    Yeeeeeiiiiii!! thanks so much! great tip!!

  22. p s


    This document was very helpful. Thanks for posting it.

  23. A L



  24. A B


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

  25. T S


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

  26. K S


    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. D B


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

  28. J L


    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. C I


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

  30. s v



    changing the world man. bigtime thanks.

  31. v p


    thanx man

  32. L S


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

  33. J A


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

  34. a l


    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. A .


    You just made my day!

  36. R K


    Agree with ATHEAOS, otherwise great! Thx.

  37. S S


    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)

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