Problem: Some symbols, markers, or fonts change or disappear when exported to EPS or PDF


Some or all regular or custom markers, symbols, north arrows, or certain fonts may change to random and/or incorrect symbols and fonts when exported to PDF or EPS and that file is viewed on another computer.

This article pertains to ArcGIS versions 9.x and 10.0. Later versions of ArcGIS may contain different functionality, as well as different names and locations for menus, commands and geoprocessing tools.


The fonts that contain those symbols, such as markers, north arrows, and text are not installed on the computer on which the PDF or EPS is being viewed or printed.

Solution or Workaround

As all ArcMap symbols and markers are stored in fonts, the best solution is to embed fonts used in the map into the output document.

Some fonts do not allow embedding or may not be valid fonts. 
If the 'Embed document fonts' option was used when exporting to PDF from ArcMap:
  1. Open the PDF in Adobe Reader.
  2. Navigate to File > Document Properties.
  3. Select the Fonts tab and check for fonts that do not have "(Embedded Subset)" after the name. These fonts may disallow font embedding. To check:
  4. Download and install the Microsoft Font Properties Extension. See the link in the Related Information section below.
  5. Start Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\Windows\Fonts or C:\Winnt\Fonts.
  6. Right-click on the questionable fonts and select Properties. Notice the additional information now available from the Font Properties Extension.
  7. Select the Embedding tab and note if the font allows embedding or not. If a font that does not allow embedding is used as a symbol, click Convert marker symbols to polygons in the PDF export options. The font glyph is converted to outlines to get around the embedding restriction. Note that higher-resolution exports  render converted font symbols more accurately.
[O-Image] Font Properties extension
  1. Open the Export Map dialog box by clicking File > Export Map.
  2. Click the drop-down list. Save as type menu and select either EPS (*.eps) or PDF (*.pdf).
  3. Expand the Export Map dialog box to view the Options. See: How To: Access the ArcMap Export Map dialog box options
  4. Click the Format tab.
  5. Click Embed All Document Fonts.
[O-Image] Embed all document fonts
  1. Click Save to begin the export.

Related Information