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Colleague Has Problems Reading PDFs

New Here ,
Feb 06, 2020

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Hello. I work for a nonprofit in Washington, DC. I live in California. When I submit expense reports (a frequent occurence) my colleague in DC ALWAYS has an issue. Sometimes she can't see/read the first page. Sometimes she can't open the document and receives an error message. Sometimes (today), she can see the first few pages but the remaining 22 (it was a 26-page PDF) are just little white squares that won't expand or be readable when clicked on.

 

Here are the particulars: I'm on a MacBook Pro (less than a year old) running the latest version of Catalina. She's on a Windows 10 desktop and I believe uses Acrobat Reader to open the reports.

 

Here's how I generate the PDF: first, I scan all my receipts (on an Epson AIO) and save as a PDF. Then I print my expense report, which is created in Excel for Mac, sign it, and scan it as a PDF. Next I open that file (with Preview) and insert the receipts file, save it and then send it.

 

That's pretty much it. Any thoughts on how to fix this issue would be most appreciated.

 

Thanks!

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Edit and convert PDFs, General troubleshooting, Mac, PDF and browsers, Share or review PDFs, View PDF, Windows

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Colleague Has Problems Reading PDFs

New Here ,
Feb 06, 2020

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Hello. I work for a nonprofit in Washington, DC. I live in California. When I submit expense reports (a frequent occurence) my colleague in DC ALWAYS has an issue. Sometimes she can't see/read the first page. Sometimes she can't open the document and receives an error message. Sometimes (today), she can see the first few pages but the remaining 22 (it was a 26-page PDF) are just little white squares that won't expand or be readable when clicked on.

 

Here are the particulars: I'm on a MacBook Pro (less than a year old) running the latest version of Catalina. She's on a Windows 10 desktop and I believe uses Acrobat Reader to open the reports.

 

Here's how I generate the PDF: first, I scan all my receipts (on an Epson AIO) and save as a PDF. Then I print my expense report, which is created in Excel for Mac, sign it, and scan it as a PDF. Next I open that file (with Preview) and insert the receipts file, save it and then send it.

 

That's pretty much it. Any thoughts on how to fix this issue would be most appreciated.

 

Thanks!

Topics

Edit and convert PDFs, General troubleshooting, Mac, PDF and browsers, Share or review PDFs, View PDF, Windows

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269

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 06, 2020

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The best advice I can give is to use an Adobe product (Acrobat) to create the PDF and definitely keep Mac Preview out of the mix. PDF's edited in Preview are known for ending up being corrupted enough to not open in Adobe Reader.

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New Here ,
Feb 06, 2020

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Thanks, _graffiti! I'm totally open to getting an Adobe product, but what's the most cost-effective option for me given I'm on a Mac and don't need to do any really serious editing (but some, and occasionally)?

 

Thanks again.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 06, 2020

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I would consider the online document cloud services. It's a small(ish) monthly fee and you can use it to create all of your pdf files and to combine them all together in the end. Also, no corruption.

 

https://acrobat.adobe.com/us/en/

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Adobe Employee ,
Feb 06, 2020

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I agree based on both my personal experience and our experience here at Adobe. Using MacOS Preview for any modifications whatsoever of a PDF file, including filling out PDF forms, is an invitation to a disaster.

 

              - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 06, 2020

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That being said, if you insist on creating them using this workflow, you may sugges they use a third party PDF viewer to open the files rather than reader. Third party viewers aren't always as picky about pdf specifications but this of course does not guarantee that any of those tools will work either.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 06, 2020

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Could be damaged by email. Have your colleague send BACK the file, and take a look - is it ok for you, or bad?

As an alternative to emailing PDFs - never safe - try http://www.wetransfer.com/ or another service like it.

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Adobe Employee ,
Feb 06, 2020

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Interesting thought, but I haven't seen any modern day e-mail client muck up a PDF file. Maybe 15 to 20 years ago, but not anytime recently. That having been said, the round-trip would check that.

 

             - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 07, 2020

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Email clients seem to be getting better. But I have an (entirely unscientific) feeling that attachment scanners and antivirus may interfere, as well as auto signatures (those "If you aren't the authorized receiver, you did not read this, when I click my fingers you will forget") things added by corporate - all may mess with the text stream that embeds the attachments.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 06, 2020

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In my experience, if it were due to email encoding, none of the files would open. Generally it's been all or nothing when it comes to that. But yes, it's an easy thing to check.

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