Is it possible to avoid grouping of objects in Adobe Acrobat Pro?

New Here ,
Apr 27, 2022 Apr 27, 2022

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Sometimes text objects are grouped together when I open files in Adobe Acrobat Pro although they were not grouped when I created the PDF file in Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape as shown in the figure below. Is it possible to avoid this grouping? The same thing can happen if I make font modifications inside Acrobat and save it again. Sometimes things that are not grouped then become grouped.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Apr 27, 2022 Apr 27, 2022

Answer is no.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 27, 2022 Apr 27, 2022

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Answer is no.

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New Here ,
May 05, 2022 May 05, 2022

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Is it something that can be introduced in future versions of Adobe Pro. The grouping causes a lot of problems with editing. If the font size for example is decreased or increased the position of the labels on the x-axis will also be changed. I do not know what to call this way of grouping (it is not the normal type of grouping that can also be ungrouped) but what the program does is that it remakes the separate texts into a long text with spaces in between and the size of the space will also increase if the font increases.

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LEGEND ,
May 05, 2022 May 05, 2022

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Some background: there are no text boxes stored in a PDF, only basic text. The groups are created every time you edit, by guessing what will help you. After editing the box is gone and there is only text. So next time you edit the guess will happen again, and the guess may be different. 

Adobe don't tell you, but editing a PDF is a desperate last resort for when the original is lost and all the backups were eaten by remotes. You have the original so always go back to it and remake the PDF. 

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New Here ,
May 05, 2022 May 05, 2022

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Thanks, then I understand it better. Is there any way to turn off the automatic search that you describe?

 

Generally, I think it is very problematic when assembling figures from graphs created in separate programs that letter spacing, font type and other things are reinterpreted when placed in other softwares for further editing to make them more uniform. Boxes and kerns prevents to just select the text and make the font uniform in the figure. Are also kerns something that is not built in into the PDF but rather something that the computer program I open the file with creates?

 

A follow-up question is also if it is only the PDF writers that reinterprete figures or is it the same problem with PDF readers? I am afraid that the people looking at the figures will see it differently depending on if they are using Acrobat reader or other readers?

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LEGEND ,
May 05, 2022 May 05, 2022

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Some more background...

PDF was invented to share documents with their exact layout kept. So it's basically a collection of drawing instructions. A line here. Text there in font X, size Y. This image there. So a good PDF reader will show the same thing (barring bugs, font embedding issues, and the PDF reader ignoring features - layers is a good example of what some readers ignore).  Interactive features were added but the graphics model hasn't changed. 

 

Design decisions were in the past, and lost in the PDF. For example, kerning simply turned into differently placed text. Text justification was made by expanding the spaces between text, there is nothing in the PDF saying "right justify". And so on.


So any PDF editor is faced with trying to make a user interface for editing that matches the user's expectations of editing. At one time it was close to the graphical objects but a few years ago Adobe decided to focus instead on something that would recognise the properties by guesswork, and give you things that don't exist in the PDF - like paragraphs and text flow. In any more complex PDF this process is going to break, and I can't really see this ever getting better.

 

If you are "assembling" pages in Acrobat, I really suggest you look very hard for a different way to work. For example, InDesign is quite good at that (if the pieces are to be treated as COMPLETELY static and unchanged). If you want to assemble and have a nice editable document, I don't think this is achievable.

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New Here ,
May 05, 2022 May 05, 2022

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Interesting, does it mean that the PDF file has no sense of words and it is rather specifying the position of each letter one by one (and is it then PDF editor that recreates words from it and add kerns for the positions)? I have never added any kerns myself in the original program where I created the graphs, I just used the font provided by the program (usually Arial) to type words and numbers on the graphs. They seem to be introduced by the editor program.

 

I am not assembling the figures in Acrobat Pro, I am just making fine adjustments in fonts and lines. The advantage is just that I felt Acrobat Pro is better to keep the intended font than other programs if I want to make font changes (Inkscape creates unwanted kerns and Illustrator replaces fonts and is hopeless in recognizing symbols). Do you think InDesign is better in this sense than Inkscape and Illustrator?  

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Community Expert ,
May 06, 2022 May 06, 2022

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Illustrator is not a PDF editor, it's a PDF killer.

Inkscape is not a PDF editor.

InDesign cannot open a PDF file.

 

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