Adobe PDF Base-14 Fonts

This section describes Adobe PDF Base-14 fonts in 5 font families: Helvetica, Times, Courier, Symbol, and ZapfDingbats.

In the last tutorial, we learned that XSL-FO defines 5 generic font families: "serif", "sans-serif", "cursive", "fantasy", and "monospace". All XSL processors should support all of them. If your XSL-FO documents uses only these font families, you should not have any issues formatting them to any output devices.

But if you want to use a specific font family, you need to read your XSL processor document to see that font families are supported for each output device type. For example, both Apache FOP and RenderX XEP support Adobe Base-14 Fonts on PDF output files:

Here is my tutorial example, Adobe-PDF-Base-14-Fonts.fo, that uses Adobe PDF Base-14 fonts to format some characters, symbols and dingbats:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!-- Adobe-PDF-Base-14-Fonts.fo
 - Copyright (c) 2016, HerongYang.com, All Rights Reserved.
-->
<fo:root xmlns:fo="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Format">
 <fo:layout-master-set>
  <fo:simple-page-master master-name="page" 
   margin="0.1in" page-height="4.4in" page-width="3.4in">
   <fo:region-body region-name="body"/>
  </fo:simple-page-master>
 </fo:layout-master-set>
 <fo:page-sequence master-reference="page">
  <fo:flow flow-name="body">
<fo:block margin-top="6pt">Generic font "Helvetica":
 <fo:inline background-color="#ffddff"
  font-family="Helvetica" font-size="12pt" font-weight="bold">
  The tangram is a dissection puzzle.
 </fo:inline>
</fo:block>
<fo:block margin-top="6pt">Generic font "Times":
 <fo:inline background-color="#ffddff"
  font-family="Times" font-size="12pt" font-style="italic">
  The tangram is a dissection puzzle.
 </fo:inline>
</fo:block>
<fo:block margin-top="6pt">Generic font "Courier":
 <fo:inline background-color="#ffddff"
  font-family="Courier" font-size="12pt">
  The tangram is a dissection puzzle.
 </fo:inline>
</fo:block>
<fo:block margin-top="6pt">Generic font "Symbol":
 <fo:inline background-color="#ffddff"
  font-family="Symbol" font-size="12pt">
! ∀ # ∃
Α Β Χ Δ Ε Φ Γ Η Ι ϑ Κ Λ Μ Ν Ο
Π Θ Ρ Σ Τ Υ ς Ω Ξ Ψ Ζ ∴ ⊥
α β χ δ ε φ γ η ι ϕ κ λ μ ν ο
π θ ρ σ τ υ ϖ ω ξ ψ ζ
 </fo:inline>
</fo:block>
<fo:block margin-top="6pt">Generic font "ZapfDingbats":
 <fo:inline background-color="#ffddff"
  font-family="ZapfDingbats" font-size="12pt">
✁ ✂ ✃ ✄ ☎ ✆ ✇ ✈ ✉ ☛ ☞ ✌ ✍ ✎ ✏
✐ ✑ ✒ ✓ ✔ ✕ ✖ ✗ ✘ ✙ ✚ ✛ ✜ ✝ ✞ ✟
✠ ✡ ✢ ✣ ✤ ✥ ✦ ✧ ★ ✩ ✪ ✫ ✬ ✭ ✮ ✯
✰ ✱ ✲ ✳ ✴ ✵ ✶ ✷ ✸ ✹ ✺ ✻ ✼ ✽ ✾ ✿
❀ ❁ ❂ ❃ ❄ ❅ ❆ ❇ ❈ ❉ ❊ ❋ ● ❍ ■ ❏
☺ ☻ ♥ ♦ ♣ ♠ • ◘ ○ ❐ ❑ ❒ ▲ ▼ ◆ ❖
 </fo:inline>
</fo:block>
  </fo:flow>
 </fo:page-sequence>
</fo:root>

If you process this example XSL-FO document with Apache FOP tool to generate a PDF file, you will get some warnings:

C:\herong>\fop\fop -fo XSL-FO-Generic-Font-Families.fo -awt

C:\herong>\fop\fop -fo Adobe-PDF-Base-14-Fonts.fo 
   -pdf Adobe-PDF-Base-14-Fonts_fop.pdf

... org.apache.fop.events.LoggingEventListener processEvent
WARNING: Glyph "?" (0x263a, smileface) not available 
in font "ZapfDingbats".

... org.apache.fop.events.LoggingEventListener processEvent
WARNING: Glyph "?" (0x263b, blacksmilingface) not available 
in font "ZapfDingbats".

WARNING: Glyph "ò" (0x2022, bullet) not available 
in font "ZapfDingbats".

WARNING: Glyph "?" (0x25d8, bulletinverse) not available 
in font "ZapfDingbats".

WARNING: Glyph "?" (0x25cb, circle) not available 
in font "ZapfDingbats".

... org.apache.fop.events.LoggingEventListener processEvent
INFO: Rendered page #1.

Those warnings tell us that the Adobe ZapfDingbats font family does not support all dingbats listed in my XSL-FO document.

The picture below shows you how the Apache FOP PDF output looks like:

Adobe PDF Base-14 Fonts

Notice that Apache FOP replaced those 5 glyphs that are not supported in ZapfDingbats with "" near the bottom of the last block.

Last update: 2016.

Table of Contents

 About This XSL-FO Tutorial Book

 Introduction of XSL-FO

 Apache™ FOP (Formatting Objects Processor)

 RenderX XEP as an XSL-FO Tool

 Introduction of Area Model

 XSL-FO Document Basics and Examples

 Page Layout Masters

 Block-Level Formatting Objects

 Inline-Level Formatting Objects

 Including Graphics in XSL-FO document

 Table of Rows and Columns

 List, Item, Label, and Body

 Floating Blocks - "float" and "footnote"

 Hyperlinks, Table of Contents and Indexes

 Headers and Footers using "static-content"

Font Attributes and Font Families

 What Is a Font?

 Font Attributes and Generic Fonts

Adobe PDF Base-14 Fonts

 Generic Font for Chinese Characters

 Apache FOP Font Configurations

 RenderX XEP Font Configurations

 References

 PDF Printing Version