This FAQ provides answers to common font licensing questions and issues applicable only to Adobe’s general font licensing customs and practices. Your own font End-User License Agreement (EULA) is the sole legal authority for determining how you are permitted to use your font. If you have a question that is not addressed here, please contact us.
A font’s usage permissions are specified in your EULA that accompanied the font when you acquired it. Refer to your EULA to determine the type of usage permitted.
Browsers and other web clients that support web fonts usually support @font-face, a rule of cascading style sheets (CSS) that allows you to link to a font on a server or another location. The @font–face rule enables web authors to serve a specific font file to a website viewer rather than relying on the viewer’s system fonts. Without @font-face, web authors can generally only suggest which fonts on a user’s system should be used in a web page, and if those fonts are not available, the browser substitutes something else. Web fonts give web authors more control over their viewers’ typographic experience.
WOFF (Web Open Font Format) is a file format that provides a web-specific container for OpenType® and TrueType fonts. WOFF also adds enhancements for font foundries and end users, such as compression and informational metadata. Although not yet a finalized web standard, WOFF is supported by almost all current browsers. WOFF was jointly submitted as a proposed web standard by the Microsoft Corporation, the Mozilla Foundation, and Opera Software ASA. Adobe is participating in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Fonts Working Group and supports the effort to make WOFF a web standard.
Although WOFF is a useful, web-specific delivery method, not all font foundries permit their fonts to be used on the web in WOFF. Adobe’s current font EULA does not allow fonts to be used on the web in WOFF.
The Adobe Typekit service provides secure, subscription-based web font hosting for web designers and developers, made possible by the @font-face rule. Typekit subscribers have access to a collection of fonts that can be used on basically any web site. You can view the Adobe Web Fonts available on the Typekit service on Adobe’s foundry page.
Although Typekit relies on the @font-face rule to work, it is different from web fonts used by end users. Fonts remain protected on the Typekit servers and are dynamically delivered to browsers in the appropriate format to ensure an optimal and consistent typographic experience. Typekit offers user-friendly integration with CSS and HTML code, and other optimizations, like font subsetting.
All major browsers support the @font-face rule, but not necessarily for the same font formats. Since version 4, Internet Explorer has supported @font-face only with its Embedded OpenType (EOT) web font format. Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, and Internet Explorer 9 support @font-face with standard desktop (“raw”) fonts. Additionally, almost all current browsers support WOFF web fonts. However, because browser capabilities are constantly changing, check each browser provider’s web site for the latest information on supported web font formats.
Browser support for web fonts is distinct from a foundry’s licensing policy. Adobe and most other foundries strictly forbid the use of their fonts on the web in raw (OTF and TTF) format to protect a font from piracy or unintentional misuse. Adobe and many other foundries also do not yet allow the direct use of their fonts on the web in WOFF or any other format. Consult your own font license agreement to determine what is permitted.
To take advantage of web font functionality with selected Adobe fonts, you can subscribe to the Typekit web font service.
When a font is used on the web with @font-face, it is made available on a server for a browser to download and use. Doing so exposes the font to both piracy and unintentional misuse. Services like Typekit provide extra layers of protection for fonts to help reduce those risks.
Scalable Inman Flash Replacement (sIFR) and Cufón are techniques that use Adobe Flash® and SVG, respectively, to dynamically replace plain HTML text with a specific font. Because they replace or overlay HTML text with fonts rendered with other technologies, their primary purpose is visual and can sometimes interfere with processes that use the text information, such as copying and searching. You can use Adobe-owned fonts with both sIFR and Cufón.
The Adobe® Type Library consists of over 2,400 fonts, more than 800 of which are wholly owned by Adobe. The remainder are sublicensed by Adobe from other type foundries.
Beginning with version 2.5, Adobe AIR provides support for @font-face for desktop applications, using either top-level HTML applications or the HTMLLoader control within an Adobe Flash or Flex based application. For mobile applications built using AIR for Android™, @font-face is also supported through the StageWebView control. For more information, see Using web fonts with Adobe AIR 2.5.
The use of any Adobe font with @font-face in Adobe AIR is subject to the same licensing permissions and restrictions as those for any other web client or browser. Adobe’s current font license agreement does not allow its fonts to be used with @font-face in any format, including, but not limited to desktop (OTF or TTF) and WOFF formats. For non-Adobe fonts, ask the foundry or check your font license agreement to determine if using the @font-face rule is permitted.
AIR applications are compatible with Typekit when using AIR 2.5 or later. For more information, see Using web fonts with Adobe AIR 2.5.
If you have a question related to licensing that is not addressed in this FAQ or if you need additional information not provided here, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adobe, the Adobe logo, Adobe AIR, AIR, Flash, and Typekit are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. Android is a trademark of Google Inc. OpenType is either a registered trademark or a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.