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Score with vector graphics only, no embedded fonts

Community Beginner ,
Mar 13, 2023 Mar 13, 2023

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Hi everyone. I create musical scores using Finale and then export them as PDFs to share with collaborators. Though it's rare, on a few occasions, embedded fonts have created problems -- e.g. some elements haven't printed correctly. In order to make the files as secure and archivable as possible, I'd like to create versions that are 100% vector graphics and contain no embedded fonts. In other words, everything should be shapes only. Assuming that the PDF I start out with looks correct when I've exported it from Finale, what should I do to it? And should I use Acrobat, Illustrator, or Photoshop to do this? Thank in advance.

TOPICS
Create PDFs , Edit and convert PDFs , How to , Print and prepress , Standards and accessibility

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Community Expert ,
Mar 14, 2023 Mar 14, 2023

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You can export all the pages and images (use a lossless format, like PNG, and set it to a high resolution, under Edit - Preferences - Export from PDF), and then create a new PDF file from those images. The result will not be vector based, but it will be only images. If you want it vector-based you have to do that in the originating application (if possible).

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 14, 2023 Mar 14, 2023

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Thanks for this. And are you saying this is best to do in Acrobat? From what I've been able to find, people seem to recommend using either Illustrator or even Photoshop for what I'm trying to do.

 

I'm really confused, though -- I would have imagined that there must be some way to create a vector PDF with the suite of Adobe products? I'm seeing instructions online that seem to imply that, but nothing that I've been able to follow yet. And also, I wouldn't really even know how to verify whether I've suceeded in doing that.

 

To clarify, the score PDFs I create on Finale are already mostly, if not entirely, vector based (some minor graphic elements might be raster). I can zoom in as much as I like and the resolution is perfect. If I've understood this correctly, most fonts are also vector based -- definitely seems to be the case with fonts that are used to compile all the notation in a score. I really don't get how it can be impossible to eliminate the need for embedded fonts while keeping everything as vector graphics. (This makes me worry about how much intellectual heritage we might lose in general in the coming decades as things seem to be getting increasingly incompatible and glitchy.)

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Community Expert ,
Mar 14, 2023 Mar 14, 2023

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If you want to create it from scratch as a vector-based file then Illustrator is the way to go, yes.

Yes, fonts are vector based, but you said you didn't want any font information in the file... Maybe if you converted an existing PDF file to an Illustrator file it will convert all the text in it to vector-based graphics, or there's a way to tell it to do so, but I'm not sure about that. You're better off asking in the AI forum.

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