Modes of permission

Normally a font purchased 'off-the-shelf' has its 'embedding permissions' restricted at time of creation, which may restrict how the End User may use the font. When wishing to distribute fonts embedded with your document or program, the fonts may have to be rebuilt to include the permissions you require and a charge made to cover this work. Therefore, it is important to understand which mode of permissions suits your needs.

The four embedded 'modes of permission' govern how the font will behave when in use. All modes are available in TrueType and OpenType fonts. PostScript Type 1 fonts cannot include embedding permissions. The list of font formats explains which permissions are supported by each format.

1. No mode (lowest level)
No embedding permissions are allowed in the font.
Font must be manually installed in the System by the End User.
Print, Preview, Editing of text is allowed in the document.

2. Read Only mode
Font does not install into System.
Font can be embedded.
Editing of the documents' text is not allowed.
Print, Preview of the document (read only) is allowed.

3. Editing mode
Font Resource can be embedded.
Font loads when document or application is opened (at runtime).
Print, Preview, Editing allowed in document.

4. Installable mode (highest level)
Font can be embedded into the document.
Font loads (installs in the OS) when the document is first opened.
After document is opened, Print, Preview, Editing is allowed.
Font remains installed after document is closed.

Please check which mode of embedding your program/document requires and whether the permissions can be used correctly within your product. Importantly, the font can remain installed in the End User System when embedded by some documents, such as Microsoft Word if the font embedding permission allows. Other documents or programs may implement this differently. For example, Macromedia Flash projects can convert the font with embedding permissions into its own prorietory format (.SWF). This font is then embedded into the Flash movie/project.

The permission embedded in a font should never be 'upgraded' to a higher mode. For this reason we offer a set of four OpenType format 'embedding test fonts' for Distributors to test within their documents or programs. One font for each mode. All four may be supplied on request.

It can be more economic to distribute embedded fonts, but may require a programmer to embed the resource into the program. Any option that leaves the font installed when your document/program has quit will be charged to take into account the fact that the font is permanently installed. A charge may be made for creating fonts with permissions to suit your needs.

Club Type products by Adrian Williams Design Ltd. Last updated 5 June 2008