SVG exports from Dorico: font embedding (incl. a small additional feature request)

As we ramp up hymn singing once more in the UK (hooray!), I am looking into the best workflow of exporting image files of hymn tunes to place in congregational orders of service.

Ideally, I would like to use SVGs for this, as I think it would be beneficial to use a vector file format, not least as we’ve had problems with PNGs and TIFFs printing in a sub-optimal way following resizing in Word, not to mention the benefits of small file sizes. I’ve also had success in using the SVG format for image files of psalm chants when I re-typeset our psalter over last year’s lockdowns.

However, I’ve run into a problem regarding the embedding of fonts. My colleague who produces the orders of service (on MS Word) reports that a text font is not embedded in the SVG file, so that if he does not have that font installed the text will display in a substitute.

My question is: is this expected behaviour in the SVG file format, and the way that Dorico exports to it? Is there any way that Dorico can embed fonts into SVG files, or should it be doing so and there is something wrong in our workflow here that is causing this to go awry?

A supplementary question/feature request! I really miss the ‘smallest bounding box’ export option from the purple app, which I used to use all the time for this purpose. Whilst graphic slices are great in their own way, I want the program to calculate the boundaries of the graphics export so that there are no margins whatsoever on the graphic, which cannot really be done by human hand. Is there any chance of this functionality making its way into Dorico at some point, please?

Until such functionality is native to Dorico, to reach that ‘smallest bounding box’ status for my exports, I have been using Inkscape to do this to my exported SVG files. Simply opening the full-page exports from Dorico, running the ‘Resize page to content’ command, saving the file and exiting Inkscape. Might the use of Inkscape in this way be mucking up my fonts in my exported SVGs?

Many thanks to all for any advice on this one - I appreciate it’s a bit of a technical and detailed subject!

Why not use PDF?

Now this is my ignorance showing - I simply cannot conceive of a PDF file being anything other than a ready-to-print page-sized document, as opposed to a graphics format that can be any size and embedded into Word (or a.n.other application) just like a JPG or PNG! But I suspect that the use of PDFs has changed a bit and I’m rather stuck in the past!

I’m really keen to set up a sustainable workflow for these files that successors and other colleagues can use. Do you know if Word handles PDF as a graphic import format and how well it handles it? I’ve simply never considered PDF as a suitable format for this kind of workflow before!

Word is a rather inefficient way to go about designing worship aids.

My current workflow is to decide on a format (in my case, 11x17 trifold), then standardize all my settings for each file I wish to include (custom layout 5.66” wide[matches the trifold column width], 0.5” margins, custom rastral size thats between two default options) and then I export PDFs. These PDFs are then brought into Affinity Publisher and since the margins of the pdf and the margins of the columns in my worship aid match, the files can just be plopped in and it all snaps into place.

Yes, PDF has been used as a graphic image format for years. (I had a job placing PDF quarter-page adverts into magazines about 15 years ago.)

Any workflows where EPS files were used, PDFs can be substituted without any effort.

You can certainly add PDFs to Word, and it should handle them ‘as well as it does any other image’. But really Word isn’t the ideal tool for decent page layout. I’d suggest Affinity Publisher, or Scribus (which is free). If you’ve got lots of money, there’s Adobe’s InDesign.

Recent versions of Word seem to handle PDF imports just fine. Certainly historically there were issues in that Word would convert the PDF into a raster image on import, meaning that subsequent scaling would be subject to pixellation. This seems no longer to be the case (at least in Word for Mac, v16.52 with an Office 365 subscription).

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The request for SVGs to convert to curves still stands, and I think it’s a good one (since I made the same request about a month ago).

To the OP: I use CloudConvert. Works great.

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I hadn’t heard of cloud convert. I see it can do svg to svg and outline the fonts. This is great.

Thanks, all - I’ve learnt quite a bit over the last couple of hours, as I hoped I would!

I’m afraid that the use of Word for the creation of these documents is a non-negotiable. I don’t create the orders of service, I’m just supplying a few graphics files each week, and there’s no appetite to change the program in which the orders of service are created. But points taken on board for any future projects that I might create under my own steam (and I already own a licence for Affinity Publisher).

Thanks @dankreider for the suggestion of CloudConvert - I think this might be the way forward. And sorry to miss the fact that you had already requested the conversion to curves within an SVG file exported from Dorico. I certainly second that feature request, alongside the request for a ‘smallest bounding box’ export option for graphics.

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Yes I use it constantly for PDF—>SVG and “convert to path.” It’s become a regular part of my workflow. Even paid the monthly subscription a couple times to facilitate large projects.

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