I installed Microsoft's TrueType core fonts for the Web on my Linux computer so that I could use popular fonts such as Arial, Courier New, Comic Sans MS, Times New Roman, etc. Can I use these fonts outside my computer, or does the EULA only allow me to use them to display documents on my computer?

Suppose I use a word processing software (e.g. LibreOffice Writer or OpenOffice Writer) to create a text document that uses the Times New Roman typeface.

  • Am I allowed to print out the document, and give the printed document to other people?

  • Am I allowed to export the document as a PNG image, and post it on a website (e.g. here on Stack Exchange)?

  • Am I allowed to export the document as a PDF file, and distribute it publicly through the web?

    Note that the PDF file would include an embedded subset of the Times New Roman font, which is probably not allowed by the fonts' EULA. This is what I see in the document properties when I open such a PDF file using a PDF viewer:

    List of embedded fonts in the PDF file, as shown in Evince

I have read the fonts' EULA, but the usage restrictions are not clear to me. I want to be sure that I do not violate the EULA when using the fonts.

2 Answers 2


I will assume that the EULA that you linked to is provably the EULA under which your copy of the fonts was licensed. The core paragraph which says what you can do is as follows:

  1. GRANT OF LICENSE. This EULA grants you the following rights:

Installation and Use. You may install and use an unlimited number of copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT.

Reproduction and Distribution. You may reproduce and distribute an unlimited number of copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT; provided that each copy shall be a true and complete copy, including all copyright and trademark notices, and shall be accompanied by a copy of this EULA. Copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT may not be distributed for profit either on a standalone basis or included as part of your own product.

It explicitly says that you can install any number of copies, there is no restriction as to where – not just "your computer" – and you can use any number of copies. You simply have to include the whole package including notices. Other parts say that you can't sell or modify the fonts.

There is no issue whatsoever with you using a font to make a physical printout (you can install and use: that is a type of using). Likewise a graphic image of a printout.

However, it is not clear whether a non-graphic PDF file can always be distributed: that depends on the content of the file (how the creating software handles the font). If the PDF engine copies an incomplete portion of the software (font) and does not copy the trademark and license information (I would be surprised if it did), then that is not allowed, because any copy must be complete. You would have to research the technical details of how font data is embedded in the PDF file.

Since the EULA is not crystal clear, MS further addresses this question here, under Document Embedding. Their brief statement is that

If an application follows the rules and restrictions defined in the OpenType or TrueType specification, you can use it to embed Windows supplied fonts in any document file it creates

followed by a more detailed analysis of when you can and cannot.

  • The FAQ that you linked to is probably not relevant because it is about fonts that Microsoft bundles in Windows, which is different from the TrueType core fonts for the Web.
    – Flux
    Sep 10, 2022 at 22:24
  • Section 2 of the EULA appears to allow the embedding of fonts in PDF documents: "You may not rename, edit or create any derivative works from the SOFTWARE PRODUCT, other than subsetting when embedding them in documents."
    – Flux
    Sep 10, 2022 at 22:29

Leon Laude's post here pretty much answers your question.

The Microsoft Core Fonts are globally considered legal for installation. Generally speaking, packages that are included in the official Linux repositories are not encumbered by any copyright or patent restrictions that would make it a crime to install.

Note however that the Msttcorefonts is provided in official Ubuntu software sources, and is not free open source software. This package installs proprietary fonts copyrighted by Microsoft, when you install it you are asked to agree to Microsoft's terms of use for these fonts.

You can also find a complete set of documentation on MS-related typography issues here.

  • I already know that I am allowed to install the fonts. That is not the question. The question is whether or not I am allowed to use the fonts outside my computer (e.g. for printing, for embedding a font inside a publicly-distributed PDF, for embedding a subset of a font inside a publicly-distributed PDF, etc.).
    – Flux
    Sep 10, 2022 at 19:45

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