Can fonts that come with Microsoft Office be used commercially?

DS 21 Reputation points
2022-10-18T13:04:11.303+00:00

In 2014, I purchased Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac. I recently used it to write a book-length docx manuscript. I now want to upload a pdf produced from that manuscript to Amazon, where the book will be printed and sold commercially. In order to turn my manuscript into a printed book, Amazon requires that my manuscript have embedded fonts. Question: are there any legal/copyright restrictions regarding my using the fonts that came with my Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac in a book that will be sold commercially? I specifically plan to use the Times New Roman font. But my question is broader than that. Can I use any of the fonts that came with Microsoft Office in the commercial manner I've just described? Or am I legally restricted from doing so? And how can I verify the licensing status of the fonts that came with my version of Microsoft Office. I've seen other instructions saying that I can check the licensing restrictions by going to File>Info>Manage Embedded Fonts. But my version of Microsoft Word doesn't have an "Info" under the "File" command. I've already contacted Microsoft support by phone, but they sent me on wild goose chases. Help!

Office Mac
Office Mac
Office: A suite of Microsoft productivity software that supports common business tasks, including word processing, email, presentations, and data management and analysis.Mac: A family of Apple personal computers that run the macOS operating system.
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  1. Ceasar Chen_MSFT 4,391 Reputation points
    2022-10-19T07:27:14.023+00:00

    Hi, @DS
    The forum is responsible for technical issues, this problem is related to commercial copyright, it is recommended that you contact Microsoft customer service: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/global-customer-service-phone-numbers-c0389ade-5640-e588-8b0e-28de8afeb3f2


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  1. John Korchok 5,126 Reputation points
    2022-10-18T16:12:51.557+00:00

    The standard response is that if your copy of Office is licensed for home use (Home and Student version), then you're not supposed to use the files for commercial purposes. If the license includes "Business" in it, then it's OK. But in reality, no one at Microsoft is checking what licenses were used to create a particular PDF.


  2. DS 21 Reputation points
    2022-10-19T17:35:22.073+00:00

    Don't even get me started. I did exactly what you suggested. Prior to posting my question on this forum, I contacted Microsoft directly. They were totally worthless!!!! I was told they couldn't answer my question for the same reason you're saying I shouldn't bring it up here: they would only answer technical questions, not legal ones.

    So they told me to contact Microsoft's legal department. Total wild goose chase. Turns out, the phone number they gave me was Microsoft Media Relations, not Microsoft Legal. I left a message there anyway and never heard back. I then asked for the contact info for the legal department. They refused to give it and instead told me to send a letter to the "head office." Send a letter to the "head office"???? Give me a break. That had "wild goose chase" written all over it.

    Nowhere does Microsoft clearly explain what we can and can't do with the fonts that come with Microsoft Office. Meanwhile, if you go over to Google, you get clear, unambiguous information regarding the fonts offered by Google. Microsoft has really done a terrible job of providing any information regarding legal uses of the fonts that come with their products. So ultimately, because of Microsoft's failure to communicate important information to its PAYING CUSTOMERS about the products we're buying, I resorted yesterday to using a Google font rather than a font that came with Microsoft Office.

    This whole frustrating experience has really soured me on Microsoft.

    Google and Apple Pages, here I come.

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  3. John Korchok 5,126 Reputation points
    2022-10-19T18:49:10.37+00:00

    Tech support people don't have the information to answer legal questions. From an internet search on licensing microsoft office fonts

    https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/typography/fonts/font-faq
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/about-font-license-restrictions-6be9f366-e722-4751-90a8-165e9c37e985

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  4. DS 21 Reputation points
    2022-10-19T19:33:06.957+00:00

    That's not the problem. The problem is, nobody else at Microsoft with any authority will answer that question either. Nor has Microsoft put any clarifying information about legal uses of its fonts on its website.

    By comparison, here's what Google says about the legal uses its fonts:

    These fonts are licensed under the Open Font License.
    You can use them in your products & projects – print or digital, commercial or otherwise.

    That's a masterpiece of clarity. Problem solved.

    Microsoft, on the other hand, sent me on an endless and futile snipe hunt for comparable info about its fonts. That's no way to treat a customer who's been purchasing its products since 1988. It was like dealing with a hidebound, bureaucratic politburo.