How to embed fonts in a pdf of your manuscript

Sometimes when uploading a pdf of your formatted book to a print on demand company, you’ll get a warning message that fonts are not embedded your file.

Most of the time, this won’t be a problem. To make the process easier, companies often simply will embed the fonts for you. If you’re using common, standard fonts such as Times Roman, all will be fine.

However, if using a specialty font that you downloaded from the Internet or created on your own, or if using nonstandard characters (such as checkmarks and bullet points), this may be problematic. Those fonts and characters will be replaced with default settings, and that almost certainly will mess up your layout or at least introduce goofy looking letters that make no sense at various spots in your manuscript (For example, bullet points might be replaced with the letter n or g).

If that occurs in your manuscript, you’ll want to embed the fonts in a pdf of your manuscript and upload that new version.

Embedding fonts in your manuscript is easy if using Microsoft Word:
• Open the Microsoft Word document of your manuscript
• Click “File” and “Save As”
• Select .PDF as the file type
• Check “Optimize for Standard” option
• In the lower right side of this window, click the “Tools” dropdown arrow
• Select “Save Options”
• A new window will pop up; check “Embed all fonts in this file”
• Right below it, uncheck “Do not embed common system fonts”
• Click “OK”
• Click “Save”

The pdf of your manuscript now has all of the fonts used in your Word document embedded in it. Upload this new pdf to your print on demand vendor.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.