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Has the Mathematica/Adobe Acrobat 5.0 Math1 Font Screwup Been Fixed Yet?

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  • Subject: [mg32779] Has the Mathematica/Adobe Acrobat 5.0 Math1 Font Screwup Been Fixed Yet?
  • From: aes <siegman at>
  • Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2002 05:11:56 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: Stanford University
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Has the software screwup under which Adobe Acrobat 5.0 refuses to print (that 
is, distill) any documents containing EPS files exported from Mathematica and 
containing Mathematica's default "Math1" fonts been fixed yet?

(I'm not looking for workarounds, which I've already had to implement.  I'm 
asking if Mathematica has either issued a patch adding the necessary legal
stuff to its fonts, or Adobe has issued a patch relaxing its legalistic
enforcement so that Acrobat 5.0 will now do what all earlier versions of
Acrobat used to do?  For those not already familiar with the problem, more
details below.)



Something over a year ago I incorporated into a Microsoft PowerPoint 
presentation a number of Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) plots prepared using 
Wolfram's Mathematica software.

Recently, working against a tight deadline I attempted to print this 
presentation to a PDF file as I had done in the past, except this time I was 
using the latest upgrade (5.0) of Adobe Acrobat.  The result was an Acrobat 
error file which said (irrelevant items excised):

  Math1 font cannot be embedded due to licensing restrictions. Font vendor (WRI 
  ) does not permit this font to be embedded in PDF. Rest of job will be 
  ignored; no PDF file produced.

I'm not qualified to sort out the legal tangles here, but it appears that 
Wolfram actually does  allow its "Math1" font to be embedded in PDF files. 
SInce the Math1 font data as embedded in the EPS files does not contain an 
explicit release, however, Acrobat 5.0 refuses to print the offending file 
(although earlier versions of Acrobat would do so).

There is a well-documented Mathematica command that one can use to switch to 
Helvetica (an unrestricted and widely used font) as the default font for 
graphics.  If you replot and re-export all your graphs using Helvetica as the 
default font, and if the axis values are all positive and you use no special 
symbols or punctuation in the axis labels, Acrobat 5.0 will create the desired 
PDF file.

As a further refinement in the art of user torment, however, if either axis 
extends to negative values Mathematica inserts the negative axis labels into  
the EPS file using Helvetica for the numerals but Math1 for the "-" signs, and 
that's enough for Acrobat to refuse to create a PDF file  Similar results 
happen if the axis labels contain many common non-alphameric symbols, such as 
simple parentheses; Mathematic uses Helvetica for the letters, but outputs 
punctuation and other symbols in Math1 instead of Helvetica.Turning off this 
(bizarre) default font substitution behavior can only be done using an obscure 
and essentially undocumented Mathematica flag.

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