The good news is that the HTML5 specification allows you to specify and display any font you like in a web document. The reality is that using a font on a web page is tied up with the licensing of that font. IDRsolutions encourages its customers to ensure they have a suitable licence when displaying fonts on a web page.
IDRsolutions can extract the fonts that are present in a PDF, convert them to OTF fonts and then use the @font-face command to display them on a web page. But there is a lot of inconsistency about how this can be done, and more importantly whether this is allowed to be done.
The main issue is licensing. Do you have permission to use the font in a web document? Does the licensing of the font used permit this? In many cases the answer is no. Even though you may own a licence for using a font in word-processing applications, or embedding fonts for use in PDF documents, this licence generally DOESN'T extend to using that font in a web document. Every font firm seems to have a different answer.
Adobe has announced that NONE of their fonts can be used with the @font-face command of CSS3. Certain Adobe fonts can be licensed via their TypeKit commercial service, at a fee.
Any machine with a PDF reader on it should support the display of Adobe's 14 basic fonts:
- Times (regular, italic, bold and bold italic
- Courier (regular, oblique, bold and bold oblique)
- Helvetica (regular, oblique, bold and bold oblique
- Zapf Dingbats
Again, these fonts CAN'T be used with the @font-face command, but as they are usually installed on the machine they can be expected to display correctly. However, displaying anything apart from these fonts on a web page will need to have a separate licensing agreement with the font creator.
In an effort to simplfy the licensing conditions required for using fonts via the @font-face command, IDRsolutions has come up with at least two alternative ways for displaying web fonts:
- Draw fonts directly onto the Canvas
- Convert the output to SVG
Neither of these methods requires additional licensing agreements. The first incarnation of drawing fonts directly onto the canvas has just been added to our latest PDF2HTML5 release. SVG output is coming soon...
The image on the left is the original PDF doc, the image on the right is our PDF2HTML5 output drawing fonts directly onto the HTML5 canvas.