This page discusses what happens when an EPS file that uses a font (as opposed to using outlines) is used in a document, and that document is then printed or used to create a PDF.
Many graphics applications let you choose to embed fonts in the EPS files they create. If you import these into a DTP application, the behavior of those graphics depend on quite a few factors. This is no where near a thorough discussion of many applications.
Presently this page only includes Windows topics. Mac will come later, but I can tell you this: The Mac, at least in OS 9 and below, is a heckuva lot better at this than Windows!
Illustrator 9, FrameMaker 6, Distiller 5. The Acrobat Distiller PPD has been modified to exclude all fonts from residency other than the Couriers.
|Fonts embedded in
|Distiller has knowledge
of font locations
Conclusion: An Illustrator graphic with an embedded font will distill okay if the font is embedded or if Distiller has knowledge of the font's location.
Say for example you have a page with a graphic that uses FontX, and FontX is a font that's not resident on your physical printer. The font is not embedded in the graphic. It is possible to find these behaviors: