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Acrobat export to word (docx) not embedding fonts

New Here ,
Jul 06, 2020

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I am a music book author. My books are written in indesign with the music imported into frames as PDF files. I generate the PDF files from indesign using the package option and selecting to embed all fonts into the PDF files. I know the PDFs are correct because I sell the PDFs all over the world to users on android, iphone, mac and pc who don't have the fonts on their systems.

 

However, when I open the file in acrobat pro dc and export to docx, the fonts are not embedded into the PDF frames. See picture for details. On top is how is the docx file, on the bottom is the PDF.

 

i'm using indesign 15.1.1 and acrobat pro 20.0 (both latest versions according to creativecloud desktop

 

 

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Acrobat export to word (docx) not embedding fonts

New Here ,
Jul 06, 2020

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I am a music book author. My books are written in indesign with the music imported into frames as PDF files. I generate the PDF files from indesign using the package option and selecting to embed all fonts into the PDF files. I know the PDFs are correct because I sell the PDFs all over the world to users on android, iphone, mac and pc who don't have the fonts on their systems.

 

However, when I open the file in acrobat pro dc and export to docx, the fonts are not embedded into the PDF frames. See picture for details. On top is how is the docx file, on the bottom is the PDF.

 

i'm using indesign 15.1.1 and acrobat pro 20.0 (both latest versions according to creativecloud desktop

 

 

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Edit and convert PDFs

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 06, 2020

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Hi Jack,

 

It's not that the PDF is not exporting the fonts, it's that exporting into a Word document is not supposed to export the fonts. That would violate the copywrite of the fonts. The fonts are embeded into the PDF because that's the whole point of PDFs: digital printing. Imagine trying to print the documents from InDesign but not having the fonts show up on the printed page.

 

I have to admit that if you are converting the PDF to docx, why the Word version isn't picking up the music font from your computer I'm not all that sure of.

 

But just out of curiosity, why are you converting a PDF into Word? You have the original InDesign documents?

 

Oh, one other thought: is it possible that these fonts are ONLY supposed to work within InDesign (and in ID-created PDFs)?

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New Here ,
Jul 06, 2020

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the reason I am converting from indesign to word is that I'm currently paying $60/month for the adobe products lease and just took a pay cut due to the Covid-19 economic downturn and can no longer justify spending that kind of dough on books that are in maintenance mode so I want to get them out of the proprietary format and into word. And no, the fonts have nothing to do with indesign. The fonts are part of finale music software and through the licensing agreement are able to be embedded in PDF files and other output generated by the tool.

 

And the point of PDFs is no longer just for printing. PDFs are used as a unversal distribution format for embedding, reviewing and commenting and in fact it makes no sense that if I do something with the following workflow, the embedded PDF graphics do not export the correct fonts into word: (note, this is not the primary one I'm using but by all rights, should work according to your explanation...)

 

  • Print my book
  • select print to pdf as the print driver (doesn't matter if I use the adobe or microsoft driver)
  • open acrobat dc pro
  • save to word document

 

I tried a test which was to take type some text in indesign and change the text to Finale's Maestro font. Then exported to PDF and opened that in acrobat, converted to word and the text comes in as times new roman. In this case, there is no embedding. Docx in word doesn't have the fonts embedded in it. They are there as references so there is NO reason it would not export the font name reference. I tried exporting to HTML and sure enough, the referenced font in HTML was times new roman.

Seems like a bug to me.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 06, 2020

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Hi Jack,

 

OK, all that makes sense now. 

 

Am I correct in understanding that your music software is generating the original PDFs not Acrobat? If so, what is that process?

 

The reason that I ask is that PDF is an ISO standard and is no longer "owned" by Adobe. This is both good and bad news. The good is probably obvious but the bad is that there are no ISO police giving tickets to companies who do a butcher job generating PDFs. Microsoft and Apple both do rather poor jobs. One possiblity IF your music software is making less than stellar PDFs, that might be why the fonts are not transferring into the Word documents.

 

Let me know,

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New Here ,
Jul 06, 2020

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the problem isn't in the pdfs my music software is producing. As I mentioned before, I sell pdf versions of the indesign books with the embedded music all over the world to people who do not have finale's maestro font. The bug is in the export to word process within acrobat.

 

workflow is:

 

  1. Generate exercise {n} in finale, export to PDF
  2. create inline frame in indesign,
  3. right click in frame and "place"
  4. select previously created PDF, crop, resize, etc.
  5. package indesign doc for publishing or print to pdf
  6. open file in acrobat pro
  7. export to html or word, fonts embedded into graphic at step 1 are replaced with times new roman

 

Again, the fonts are embedded properly. I'm able to print with 3rd party print house and view pdf documents on my android, iphone, windows and mac without having the fonts on those devices.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 06, 2020

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Hi Jack,

 

Please, there's more to a PDF than just the (digitally) printed document. It sounds like Finale is your PDF generator. They may be doing things wonderfully and maybe doing things OK. For the basic digital print, all they need to be is OK. But when you take that Finale PDF and import it into ID, then export it as part of a Word document, all bets are off.

 

When you make a PDF in Finale, have you tried to "Save as Adobe PDF..."

 

Also, in your list above you show "... pint to PDF." How are you doing that? Do you ever Export to PDF?

 

Thanks

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 06, 2020

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Based on what you are describing as your workflow, I think I can see at least some of the problems here!

 

When you place PDF into InDesign and then export the content containing that placed PDF, the placed PDF isn't maintained as a separate, differentiated entity. When you export from PDF, the content that was PDF placed into InDesign does not maintain its identity as a PDF object placed into a Word document. To Acrobat, that sheet music looks no different than the text. The PDF export to Word process treats the music no differently than text since the music is composed of text characters using special fonts; the music is not a vector diagram.

 

You may not (want to) believe this, but I'm actually surprised that the exported Word document came out as well as it did even though it is practically useless to you as-is.

 

I think I know a practical workaround for you.

 

(1)    Make a “working copy” of the PDF file so that you don't accidentally lose something.

 

(2)    Using the Edit Text and Images function, edit out the actual music portion of the pages, leaving only the text.

 

(3)    Export the renaming content to Word and make appropriate adjustments. The places on the pages where the music was should be blank at this point.

 

(4)    For each of the original music PDF files you have from Finale, open in Acrobat and export as high resolution (at least 600dpi) monochrome TIFF files.

 

(5)    Import each of the resultant TIFF files to their appropriate location in the Word document.

 

(6)    Note that if you are running Word on MacOS and have absolutely no intention of opening those documents in Word on Windows, you can skip step (4) and in lieu of step (5), import the origianl Finale PDF files directly into Word. (Importing PDF graphics into Word on Windows yields low resolution and quality raster graphics).

 

Let us know if this helps at all.

 

Note that if you ever use InDesign again, don't ever “print to PDF” from InDesign. Use the direct PDF export feature of InDesign. It yields much higher quality PDF.

 

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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New Here ,
Jul 06, 2020

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Gary, as I mentioned before, I generated a simple indesign file, typed in "this is a test" then changed the font to maestro. Exported to pdf, opened the pdf in acrobat pro, exported to word, the "this is a test" got exported to word as "times new roman" same thing when I exported to HTML. The html source reveals the "Times New Roman" font as the reference. This proves to me it has nothing to do with the imported pdf from finale.

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New Here ,
Jul 06, 2020

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Doc Dov, I've posted this twice now but:

 

as I mentioned before, I generated a simple indesign file, typed in "this is a test" then changed the font to maestro. Exported to pdf, opened the pdf in acrobat pro, exported to word, the "this is a test" got exported to word as "times new roman" same thing when I exported to HTML. The html source reveals the "Times New Roman" font as the reference. This proves to me it has nothing to do with the imported pdf from finale.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 07, 2020

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If you would like us to see what's going on, post a one page example, i.e., the PDF file itself, and we can see what's going on when the page is exported to Word.

 

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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New Here ,
Jul 08, 2020

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Thanks Dov,

 

I modified the original posting to attach both the PDF and the exported docx file.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 08, 2020

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I'll download and try to see what's going on a bit later today.

 

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 08, 2020

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OK. I've downloaded your junk.pdf file and what you obtained by exporting .docx. I'll note that the PDF page you provided didn't provide the plain “exercise” text at the top of the page.

 

I also installed a copy of the Maestro and JazzText fonts. However, looking at the font files, it appears that they are restricted against embedding in a PDF file. The fact that Finale's PDF production ignores this inconvenient fact is not something I will speculate over.

 

I get very similar results to what you got when you exported to .docx.

 

The problem, very simply stated, is that the export function from Acrobat really is designed to handle simple text and simple artwork. This PDF file is anything but that with staffs of music drawn with line segments and a private use area glyphs from a music font. This really doesn't fit into what the export function was designed for. If you look at the resultant .docx file in Word, you see a whole raft of little frames with lines and a character or two of text, trying to make some sense of the input. It is possible that the exported .docx file doesn't show any use of the Maestro or JazzText fonts due to their “restricted embedding” status. In any case, I simply don't see Adobe trying to modify the .docx export to be able to handle this level of complexity.

 

I know you are trying to avoid paying to license InDesign, but you can individually license InDesign for a month at a time for approximately $32 / month. Cancel when done with project and reinstate if and when you need it again.

 

Otherwise, the steps I provided in my original response will in fact get you what you need.

 

Sorry that I cannot help you beyond that.  😒

 

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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New Here ,
Jul 09, 2020

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thanks for looking into this but the fonts are not prohibited from embedding according to their companies. And it's not just finale "ignoring" embedding rules. It exports just fine to a PDF using indesign so I think your explanation (along that train of thought) may not be correct.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 09, 2020

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The “companies” may be saying otherwise, but the fonts in the flags do indeed show that the fonts have restricted embedding privileges, unless of course there are multiple versions of these fonts out there:

 

2020-07-09_8-08-57.png

 

That having been said, if Finale does ignore the embedding flag to produce PDF, then InDesign will place such a PDF file since InDesign doesn't look at the individual fonts already embedded in placed PDF for its PDF export.

 

Ultimately, though, the real issue here is that staffs of musical notation are not something that native Word supports as strings of text and Acrobat's export to .docx is limited as to what level of hacking around it is going to attempt, especially using PUA-encoded symbolic fonts, to replicate the original.

 

Again, I have provided a multiple part workaround that indeed works, however clunky that may be.

 

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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New Here ,
Jul 09, 2020

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i'm not sure what your workaround is. Where was that posted? What adobe could easily do to get around the issue is to rasterize the fonts prior to exporting to word. That would eliminate all problems including licensing and rendering.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 09, 2020

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Look near the top of this thread. I listed six steps. I will repeat them here:

 

(1)    Make a “working copy” of the PDF file so that you don't accidentally lose something.

 

(2)    Using the Edit Text and Images function, edit out the actual music portion of the pages, leaving only the text.

 

(3)    Export the renaming content to Word and make appropriate adjustments. The places on the pages where the music was should be blank at this point.

 

(4)    For each of the original music PDF files you have from Finale, open in Acrobat and export as high resolution (at least 600dpi) monochrome TIFF files.

 

(5)    Import each of the resultant TIFF files to their appropriate location in the Word document.

 

(6)    Note that if you are running Word on MacOS and have absolutely no intention of opening those documents in Word on Windows, you can skip step (4) and in lieu of step (5), import the origianl Finale PDF files directly into Word. (Importing PDF graphics into Word on Windows yields low resolution and quality raster graphics).

 

Rasterizing all text means that ultimately you have a useless Word document since you wouldn't be able to edit anything. If you are asking for us to try to differentiate between “normal” text and text that is being used to create the music, that is certainly not “easy” and is well beyond the current scope of the export function, for better or worse. That is far from the typical use case of the export function.

 

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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New Here ,
Jul 09, 2020

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oh, i appreciate you documenting all that but I already knew that. The issue is that one of my books is 300 pages with probably 350+ PDF files. The problem with your "workaround" is that with 350+ PDF files and acrobat having no visible reference to the embedded PDF filename, there's no way to correlate. I already know that I could re-import the PDFs as TIF within indesign where the links panel shows me what the filename is. That would be easier. In any event, we're talking about dozens of hours to do this.

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