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Version: v6

How to download and install the Core PDF Fonts

Before Gravity PDF can be used for the first time, the Core font files need to be downloaded and installed on your site. The simplest way to do this is to click the Install Core Fonts button in the admin notice that is shown. We've also included manual installation instructions, as well as an automated solution for the server-administrators out there.


via Core Font Installer

The Core Font Installer Prompt

The Core Font Installer in action

When the plugin is activated, Gravity PDF will detect if the Core Fonts have been installed and show a prompt if they cannot be found. When the prompt is shown, click the Install Core Fonts button to begin the installation. If you need to reinstall the Core Fonts for any reason, you can do so from the Global Settings Tools tab. If any fonts fail to download, the installer will ask if you want to retry. Only the failed font downloads will be retried.


The Core Fonts are hosted and will be downloaded to your web server from a public GitHub repository (maintained by Gravity PDF) when you use the Core Font Installer. For futher information about GitHub you can refer to their Terms of Service and/or Privacy Statement.

via FTP

Download the Core Fonts, unzip the files and upload to /wp-content/uploads/PDF_EXTENDED_TEMPLATES/fonts via your FTP client. Depending on your internet upload speed, it could take some time to complete the upload.

via Trellis / Ansible

Trellis (which uses Ansible) is a popular way to setup and manage a server that can automatically deploy your WordPress website. Because of the shared uploads directory, out-of-the-box Trellis users can safely use the Core Font installer without needing to rerun it on every deploy.

If you've moved the PDF Working Directory to a location outside uploads (the default location), and don't want to commit the Core PDF fonts to your Git repo, you'll need to install the fonts with each deployment. Trellis makes this very simple using their deployment hooks.

To start, create a custom task and override the deploy_build_after hook. After adding the custom task, your group_vars/all/main.yml configuration file should look similar to this:

# Overriding a hook that Trellis already uses by default
- "{{ playbook_dir }}/roles/deploy/hooks/build-after.yml"
- "{{ playbook_dir }}/deploy-hooks/build-after.yml" # add this line

Next, create /deploy-hooks/build-after.yml and include the block below. In our case, we moved and renamed the PDF Working Directory from /web/app/uploads/PDF_EXTENDED_TEMPLATES/fonts to /web/app/PDF-Templates/fonts which is reflected in the line dest: "{{ deploy_helper.new_release_path }}/web/app/PDF-Templates/fonts. Update the path as needed.

# Download and sync core Gravity PDF fonts
- git:
repo: ''
dest: "{{ deploy_helper.shared_path }}/mpdf-core-fonts"
version: master
force: yes

- synchronize:
src: "{{ deploy_helper.shared_path }}/mpdf-core-fonts/"
dest: "{{ deploy_helper.new_release_path }}/web/app/PDF-Templates/fonts
- "--exclude=.git"
delegate_to: "{{ inventory_hostname }}"

Each time you deploy, Git will checkout the latest version of the mpdf-core-fonts repository and then use rsync to move the files into the PDF Working Directory's fonts folder.

Why do we need to download the Core Fonts?

The PDF library we use to generate PDFs (mPDF) includes many unicode fonts to display almost all languages worldwide. This is a great feature as it means the software will work out of the box for anyone – no matter what language you're using. However, bundling 87MB of fonts for every release is a huge waste of everyone's bandwidth, and can caused installation and upgrade issues for websites on shared hosting.

Because the fonts are decoupled from the plugin:

  1. Zipped up, Gravity PDF's plugin size comes in under 5MB, making it accessible to more users who install using WordPress's Upload Plugin feature.
  2. Users who had trouble with one-click updates in the past should have no problems doing updates in the future.
  3. Downloads, installs, and upgrades can be done faster
  4. Gravity PDF can support most languages right out of the box, including Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
  5. Our team can be more agile with releases as we don't have to wait around while the fonts are uploaded to
  6. It opens the door for our team to split up the Core Fonts into smaller language-specific packages and deliver only the languages you want to support.