When I export a Plot to PDF, a journal publisher complains that they do not have the Mathematica fonts. I believe there is a way to inhibit Mathematica from substituting its fonts (e.g., for "(") but I cannot figure it out. I tried this but it did not work.

 Plot[<deleted> , BaseStyle -> {PrivateFontOptions -> {"OperatorSubstitution" ->False}}]
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    $\begingroup$ What version of Mathematica are you using? If you can export with Mathematica 9, it will embed all fonts, including base 14 fonts (which the publisher must be able to handle anyway, even if they're not embedded). Mathematica 8 does not embed base 14 fonts, but it does embed everything else by default, including the Mathematica fonts. This applied to PDF export (not EPS export). See this question on how to control embedding. $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Feb 3, 2013 at 22:49
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    $\begingroup$ Most recent closely related answer (out of many where I repeat the same advice): Exporting Mathematica expression as SVG $\endgroup$
    – Jens
    Commented Feb 3, 2013 at 23:23

1 Answer 1


The "OperatorSubstitution" option does prevent the use of Mathematica fonts, but only for those cases where there were ASCII equivalents. So if your graphic contains expressions which use, for example, parentheses, brackets, braces, or various ASCII operators (plus, minus, asterisk, etc.), then the "OperatorSubstitution" is exactly what you want and you are using it correctly.

What the option does not prevent, however, is the use of Mathematica fonts where there are no ASCII equivalents. For example, if your graphic contains a Greek letter, it will use Mathematica1. If it contains an unusual relational operator, it'll probably use Mathematica3.

However, it should be the case that, by default, Mathematica will embed the numbered Mathematica fonts that it relies on in any given graphic when doing a PDF export. If this isn't happening for you or if this isn't acceptable to your publisher, perhaps we might discuss it further in the comments.

  • $\begingroup$ I discovered that an earlier BaseStyle setting was preventing application of my "OperatorSubstitution" ->False setting. Thanks for your help. However, it may be difficult to recreate the large number of figures. Shouldn't they be able to use the embedded font? If not, is there a way to provide the font to the publisher? $\endgroup$
    – abwatson
    Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ @abwatson I should think they'd be able to use embedded fonts, yes. But I don't claim to understand publishers. $\endgroup$
    – John Fultz
    Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 17:15

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