The company I’m with has a set of five PDFs that we’re using to reprint a book. One of the five PDFs is having a serious glitch (corruption?) that distorts any occurrence of Helvetica fonts. While we are planning to phase out Helvetica and other Type 1 fonts (per Adobe’s notice that those will no longer be supported in the future), we need to proceed with trying to get the Helvetica to display properly for our current printing preparations. Time is of the essence.
The problem occurs when the InDesign files are exported to Adobe Acrobat Pro. When the PDF is generated, any occurrence of text in a Helvetica font is distorted. The space between letters is jumbled. The problem appears to be isolated to only one of the five PDF. To our knowledge, we used the same processes and software to create and update each of the five PDFs, so we don’t know why one would be different.
Some other observations that might provide clues:
The problem only occurs in one of the five PDFs that (to our knowledge) uses all the same fonts and settings as the other four PDFs
The InDesign source document for the PDF file in question was created with previous earlier version of InDesign.
For the PDF in question, during creation of the PDF, after exporting the file from InDesign to Acrobat, not only does the Helvetica in the new PDF look distorted, but the Helvetica in the InDesign document becomes invisible, at least temporarily.
On one of our computers, a PC, according to the file properties, the file in question downloaded as a “Microsoft Edge Document (.pdf)” as the default whereas the other four PDFs in the set downloaded as “Adobe Acrobat Document (.pdf).” The graphics specialist working on this assures me that no Microsoft applications were used when creating, updating files, or exporting to generate a PDF.
The problem may have started after a PDF was generated from the InDesign file in which the print marks (crop lines for trimming and color registration) were not included (settings for Print Marks were turned off when creating the PDF). In this version of the PDF (the one without print marks) there is no jumbled Helvetica text. It appears normal, except that Helvetica Normal was somehow swapped out for Helvetica Light in the conversion process. (If we can figure out how to add back in the printer marks into this PDF without going back to our source file, this may be one way to solve the problem).
Any thoughts on how we might generate a PDF without the Helvetic distortions?
Is it possible to add printer marks (crop lines for trimming and color registration) into a PDF that currently does not have this (or has the setting turned off?).
Edit and convert PDFs, General troubleshooting, Print and prepress