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Scrambled Text when viewing PDF documents in Acrobat Standard XI

Community Beginner ,
Nov 20, 2017 Nov 20, 2017

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Hi all,

We are running into a strange issue with Acrobat Standard XI when viewing PDF documents sent to us by a client.

Some of the text appears to be scrambled and unreadable, yet the document looks fine when opened in any Internet browser and even free version of Adobe Reader.

User is on Windows 10 PRO x64.

So far we have tried:

- Repairing Acrobat

- Updating Acrobat

- Fully reinstall Acrobat

- Disabling Document Protection

- Adjusting a couple of the options in the the Acrobat PDF printer options

Here is a snippet of the problem:

PDFissueBarry.png

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General troubleshooting

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Adobe Employee , Nov 29, 2017 Nov 29, 2017

Hi all,

Adobe Acrobat and Reader official update containing the fix for this issue is now available. This update will be automatically pushed to all existing installations of Acrobat and Reader. If you want, you may also manually trigger the update by opening the application and going to Help > Check for Updates.

More information about this release is here: Acrobat Help | Release notes | Acrobat DC and Acrobat Reader DC | Update

Please try it out and let us know your feedback.

Thanks for your patien

...

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Community Expert , Oct 05, 2019 Oct 05, 2019

When you see scrambled text, dots, odd characters, or white blocks that look like tofu, it means that the PDF doesn't have the original fonts embedded.

 

Acrobat tries to substitute with a font on your computer system, but when it can't find a valid substitute, it shows "scrambled" text for some or all of the text

 

3 solutions, take your pick of which one will work for your situation:

 

  1. Install the missing fonts on the computer where you're viewing the PDF. Note, however, that this won't fix t
...

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New Here ,
Apr 02, 2018 Apr 02, 2018

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I too am experiencing the same issue with the latest version of Adobe. Here's the culprit file:

Shared Files - Acrobat.com

I've tried:

1. Reinstalling Adobe

2. Updating Adobe

3. And repairing Adobe

Still having issues. It's not with every PDF, just certain ones. And if you check the fonts being used they are all basic fonts:

Arial

Arial Bold

Courier New

Courier New Bold

Any help or ideas would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Jamie

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New Here ,
Apr 26, 2018 Apr 26, 2018

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I am having the same issue as jgrichards​. Tried all of the suggestions here. Version is 18.011.20038. Running Windows 10 64-bit OS.

Only fields that show messed up are fields that are using Ariel font. I have tried in Reader and Acrobat Pro.

I can email this to another user and they are able to open it without any issues. Arial font works in other programs (Word, Excel, etc). Issue is only on invoices that get sent to the user.

Any help would be appreciated.

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New Here ,
Apr 28, 2018 Apr 28, 2018

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I am too having the same issues running Windows 10 64bit OS.  Version 18.011.20038.  Not all files but the ones I export from one program come out all scrambled.  Is there a patch for this?

Thanks

Natalie

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New Here ,
May 16, 2018 May 16, 2018

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This issue is back I believe after the April 2018 Windows 10 update.

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New Here ,
May 16, 2018 May 16, 2018

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This issue started before April for us. Only have one person affected though, which is weird.

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New Here ,
May 16, 2018 May 16, 2018

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Same here! so far anyway only one person......

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New Here ,
Jun 14, 2018 Jun 14, 2018

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This just showed up for me too!

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New Here ,
Nov 12, 2018 Nov 12, 2018

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Same problem, multiple users, issue is intermittent but a daily thing for lots of folks. They try the same docu again a short time later and it opens fine. Docu can be web based, off a network share, from an email attachment or on the local client.

Errors similar to below...

"Cannot find or create the font 'ArialMT'. Some characters may not display or print correctly.

OS Windows 10 (10.0.17134) 64 bit, occurs with either Adobe Reader DC or Adobe Acrobat XI Pro with both being up to date.

No resolution found so far despite trying several suggestions off the net.

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New Here ,
Jan 24, 2019 Jan 24, 2019

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This is the way I resolved this issue:

Inside the PDF document you are trying to print - click printer icon (or file then print)  > then when the printer menu opens>  click  on "advanced"  this is located beside "printer proprieties" - this opens the "Advance print setup menu".  Once there, you will see language, font resource policy,  some check boxes below  etc.

In the "Advance Print Setup" menu, do the following steps:

1, In the "font and resource policy" - change this drop down option to  "Send at Start" ( optional step)

2, Unchecked the box that says "Download Asian font"

3, Check the box that says "Print As Image" there is a DPI settings beside that option leave as is. 

        (When you select the "Pint As Image" it will gray out all the other options.)

4, Click OK,  now you are able to print without any issues your PDF document in the font and layout intended. You will not get any garbled messages.

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New Here ,
Apr 10, 2019 Apr 10, 2019

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Did Adobe mess this one up BIG TIME!

What the HECK is up with this scrambled TEXT? I'm seeing the same problem. REboot is temp fix but comes back again.

Its 2019 and we are still seeing this problem. [Profanity removed by moderator.]

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New Here ,
Apr 17, 2019 Apr 17, 2019

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I just had a corruption issue come up that I have never seen. I completed our fillable document, saved it as a .pdf and then the document changed to the image that i have attached.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,Adobe pdf corruption.png

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New Here ,
May 27, 2019 May 27, 2019

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I'm using Acrobat DC and when I export my script, the parts with duel dialogue, meaning that two people speak at the same time are all jumbled, even after the update. This has happened to three of my scripts.

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New Here ,
Oct 05, 2019 Oct 05, 2019

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We are havign this issue as well.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 05, 2019 Oct 05, 2019

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When you see scrambled text, dots, odd characters, or white blocks that look like tofu, it means that the PDF doesn't have the original fonts embedded.

 

Acrobat tries to substitute with a font on your computer system, but when it can't find a valid substitute, it shows "scrambled" text for some or all of the text

 

3 solutions, take your pick of which one will work for your situation:

 

  1. Install the missing fonts on the computer where you're viewing the PDF. Note, however, that this won't fix the PDF and it will still show the scrambled text on another computer.
  2. Return to the original source document and re-export it correctly with the fonts embedded into the new PDF. If you're in Word, use Adobe's PDF Maker (the Acrobat Ribbon/Tab) and drill down in the preferences until you find the option to embed all fonts.
  3. You can attempt to embed the fonts into the existing PDF with Acrobat's Preflight Tool (but it's available only with the Pro version of Acrobat, not Standard or Reader).

 

Here are the steps:

 

  1. Open the PDF Standards tool panel (if it's not already in your right-side tool set, then open it via the Tools Tab in the upper left of the Acrobat window). Depending upon which version of Acrobat you have, you can also get to this tool via the Print Production / Preflight tools.
  2. Open the PDF/UA Standards section.
  3. From the Profiles tab, select the blue wrench in the upper menu bar.
  4. Expand the Document section.
  5. Select the Embed fonts utility, and then
  6. Click the FIX button in the lower right (has another blue wrench in the button).

 

Open the Preflight Tool from PDF Standards panel.Open the Preflight Tool from PDF Standards panel.

 

Run the utility to embed the fonts into the PDF.Run the utility to embed the fonts into the PDF.

Hope this helps.

 

One more suggestion: take a quick class in how to make PDFs to prevent errors like this, and how to correct errors in PDFs. Don't swear at our software companies; we all have the responsibility of learning how to use the tools. Flying by the seat of your pants doens't work and just gives you a royal PITA (pain in the "anatomy").

Bevi Chagnon | PubCom | Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents
| Books & Classes | Accessible InDesign | Accessible PDFs | Accessible MS Office |

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New Here ,
Oct 23, 2019 Oct 23, 2019

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Is there a patch to fix this issue instead of applying this workaround?

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Oct 23, 2019 Oct 23, 2019

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We cannot produce a “patch” to fix this problem because except for a few situations back in time (some mentioned in this thread), if you are seeing this problem, it is indicative of a PDF (typically created via non-Adobe software) that was improperly created. The two most common issues in our experience:

 

  1. The fonts referenced by the text were not embedded in the PDF when it was created, the fonts (or the same version of the fonts) are not installed on the system on which the PDF viewer is running, and the “substitution fonts” used by the PDF viewer (i.e. Reader or Acrobat) don't have all the character definitions of the original font.

  2. The fonts referenced by the text were not embedded in the PDF when it was created, CID Identity-H encoding was used in the PDF file, and the proper Unicode mapping tables were not included in the PDF file by the PDF creation service.

 

And by the way, the “fixup” provided doesn't always work. Again, the biggest problem is dicey PDF file creators.

 

                 - Dov

 

 

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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Community Expert ,
Oct 23, 2019 Oct 23, 2019

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Quote: "the biggest problem is dicey PDF file creators"

 

Dicey?

Do you mean the people or the software conversion/export utilities?

<grin>

Bevi Chagnon | PubCom | Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents
| Books & Classes | Accessible InDesign | Accessible PDFs | Accessible MS Office |

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New Here ,
Apr 29, 2021 Apr 29, 2021

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Completely disagree "we all have the responsibility to use the tools." That is like saying "we all have the responsibility to do our own root canals." 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 16, 2021 Aug 16, 2021

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I disagree, @Thor98A1.

My comment that we all have the responsibility to LEARN how to use the software tools (rather than swearing at the software companies) is more like:

  • Learning how to drive a car before actually getting out on the road by yourself and driving.
  • Learning some basic cooking techniques before going out, buying food, and then destroying it in the kitchen.
  • Completing medical school and residency before practicing medicine.

 

Smart ass comments don't exempt you from learning how to do something the right way.

 

Bevi Chagnon | PubCom | Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents
| Books & Classes | Accessible InDesign | Accessible PDFs | Accessible MS Office |

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Community Expert ,
Sep 10, 2021 Sep 10, 2021

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I've never heard the TOFU analogy - I like it!  🙂 

Thanks Bevi

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New Here ,
Feb 27, 2020 Feb 27, 2020

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Not sure if this will help anyone, but I just experienced this problem with an end user. In our case it turned out she was saving the document via "Print to PDF" which in turn was converting the PDF into a PDF again which caused some issues with the fonts, and ended up looking garbled. I had the user save the PDF the traditional way, by using the popup toolbar in the browser and selecting the save icon, to save the document in its native PDF format instead of converting it via the print menu. Once the document was saved the traditional way the fonts looked correct and everything was readable. 

 

Hope this helps someone!

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New Here ,
Jul 19, 2020 Jul 19, 2020

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This totally helped me in IT Support, the simple workaround method yay

Thank you!

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New Here ,
Aug 09, 2021 Aug 09, 2021

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This fixed the garbled text problem for me. Thank you so much!!

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New Here ,
Aug 16, 2021 Aug 16, 2021

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This was the solution for me, Thanks!

 

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Participant ,
May 03, 2020 May 03, 2020

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Thanks, but still it did not work for me. This is the file if you want to test:
https://www.juntadeandalucia.es/boja/2020/522/BOJA20-522-00017-4760-01_00172168.pdf
 
Note: the issue does not arise in all the pages of the document, but only in the annex sections (pages 10 to 17).
 

This is what I did:

1. Acrobat Pro DC - Tools - Protect & Standardize - Print Production.
2. Acrobat Pro DC - Tools - Protect & Standardize - Print Production - Preflight.
3. Acrobat Pro DC - Tools - Protect & Standardize - Print Production - Preflight - Document - Embed font - Fix.
4. Save as PDF.
5. Preflight profile "Embed fonts" did not find any errors or warnings.


Using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC 20.006.20042 on macOS 10.12.6 (16G2136) Sierra.

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