View Full Version : Font embedding/enryption/obfuscation

03-06-2009, 08:00 AM

we are currently producing e-books in epub format. Soem of the texts will contain unicode characters that the standard font of the Sony Reader 505 or Adobe Digital Editions cannot render. Therefore we are thinking about embedding a font into the epub files. Adobe's MinionPro seems sufficient for that. It's "Embeddability" is set to "Editable Embedding allowed".

In which legally correct way could the font be embedded in an epub file? Unencrypted? Or encrypted? Or not at all?
If encrypted: Which method should be used for encryption, the Adobe method or the IDPF method?
If not at all: Are there other fonts that are free to embed and that support a huge amount of unicodes?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

By the way: TrueType or OpenType, which one would be better for epub files?

Best regards,


03-06-2009, 08:07 AM
I'd go with OpenType, and I think you don't need to encrypt it at all. If you really want to know, you should probably send Adobe an email and ask.

For a free font that supports the majority of Unicode characters, take a look at Bitstream Cyberbit (

03-06-2009, 03:38 PM
I'm not quite sure why you want to do this. Security by obscurity is pretty useless.

Since the document isn't protected this would be easily removable.


03-06-2009, 04:23 PM
If the license for the font allows font embedding, you should be allowed to embed the unencrypted font. But probably it asks for partial embedding (only the glyphs actually used in the document, not the whole usable font files), I know this can be done in PDF, but I don't know about ePub.

03-13-2009, 06:29 AM
Thanks to all of you for the answers.

@Valloric: I did ask Adobe and they gave us their o.k. for using the font, and we are allowed to use it and to embed in unencrypted.

@pilotbob: I didn't ask for the encryption because I wanted to encrypt the font, I asked whether I have to encrypt it (because it is demanded by the font creater/vendor, whatever). That's why I didn't care whether obfuscation is useless or not.

@Jellby: I don't know about partial embedding in EPUBs either, but I am allowed to embed the font completely

03-14-2009, 11:28 AM
Just remember, you will want the font to have at least a regular, italic, and bold version and possibly a bold italic if you'll use that.