A couple of “IEEE PDF eXpress” tricks

I often happen to submit articles to IEEE Computer Society conferences, luckily often the articles get accepted. Then I have to submit the camera ready version, which has to pass a few checks in order to be published in the proceedings and in the digital library. The checks can be carried on with an automatic online tool: IEEE PDF Express.

Typically and repeatedly I receive two error notifications from the tool:

  • Error: Bookmarks found in document
  • Error: Font Helvetica is not embedded

I would like to document here the causes and solution of this common errors.


Bookmarks are typically inserted by LaTeX to allow a bibliography  citation to link to the corresponding entry in the references section. This is caused by the use of the hyperref package:

\usepackage{hyperref} %remove it when submitting the camera ready version

To remove the error it is enough to comment out the line. You will have to scroll back and forth in your paper but no complaints from PDF Express.

Font not embedded

I often generate images in PDF format using R statistical package with a script:


By default the diagrams use the Helvetica font, though the the resulting PDF files do not have that font embedded.

Although the function embedFonts() should be able to perform the task of adding embedded fonts to the PDF file, apparently it is not working on my Mac OS X. Therefore I devised a procedure to have the fonts embedded:

  • open the file in the Preview application
  • print the file to a PDF (choosing the appropriate orientation)
  • open the new PDF file and crop the figure since unlikely the original proportion of the figure fits the paper sheet proportion

The resulting PDF file will have all the fonts embedded.

Alternatively, instead of generating the file directly with a script, it is possible to display the diagram in a window and save the content as a PDF, the resulting file will contain the embedded documents. Though this later method is hardly repeatable, resulting in different diagrams every time.



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