How To Find The Fonts In A PDF

How To Find The Fonts In A PDF

This Font Is BigYou’re reading a PDF and you think: I wonder what font they are using?

If you own the software, you can find out which fonts are in a PDF using Adobe Acrobat. If you don’t, here are some free ways on Windows and Mac OS X.

Windows: Adobe Reader

You can find the fonts in a PDF using the free Adobe Reader that nearly everyone has installed.

With the PDF loaded, go to the File menu and then Properties. There’ll be a Fonts tab. Click that.

You can then see all the fonts that have been used in this PDF.

Acrobat Reader Fonts Tab

Mac OS X

Unfortunately, the ever-useful Preview built in to Mac OS X does not have the ability to show a document’s fonts (too bad).

I don’t recommend installing Acrobat Reader just for this, so here is a way to do it using the Terminal. Don’t be scared, it’s easy.

First, open a Terminal window. If you don’t know how to do that, go to Applications > Utilities and launch Terminal.

Then execute the following command:

strings /path/to/your/filename.pdf | grep FontName

Where /path/to/your/filename.pdf is, of course, the path to your PDF. If you don’t know how to enter that, the easiest way to do it is type “strings ” and then drag the PDF from the Finder into your Terminal window. It will automatically format it correctly.

Hit Enter and you’ll then get a list of all the fonts in the PDF.

Terminal PDF Fonts Results

These were the easiest (free) ways I’ve found to list the fonts in a PDF. If you have others, please share in the comments.

(Photo by Seth Sawyers)

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 3 comments

emmanuel - September 23, 2022 Reply

Thanks for the strings tip.

Where did you find it?

Thanks for the article

Eric - April 17, 2018 Reply

Thanks a lot for the “strings” tip! it worked just fine.

asf - November 27, 2017 Reply


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