Helvetica Display Issue

Community Beginner ,
Mar 05, 2021 Mar 05, 2021

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I have created a document in Word for Mac that uses Helvetica as its normal font. It looks fine in Word. When I export it to PDF and open it in Acrobat, the font looks odd: line weights and spacing are irregular. However, when I open the same PDF using Apple Preview, the font looks fine, pristine, clean. It also looks great in another app I use PDF Expert. So, the issue seems to be how Acrobat displays Helvetica, which is an issue since my clients tend to be on Windows computers and tend to use Acrobat Reader.

 

Is there anything I can do to make Helvetica look better in Acrobat? If not, what Mac-friendly sans serif font should I be using.

 

Thanks.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 05, 2021 Mar 05, 2021

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Never use Apple Preview nor any low-end PDF reader to fill PDF forms!

 

About Apple Preview, aka "the PDF killer", these articles are still relevant:

- http://khkonsulting.com/2013/06/preview-app-killer-of-pdf-files/

- http://duff-johnson.com/2014/04/07/apples-preview-still-not-safe-for-work/

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 05, 2021 Mar 05, 2021

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Hi JR,

 

Thanks for the note. I never use Preview to work with PDFs, about the only thing it is good for is previewing image files. I opened the PDF in Preview just to check to see how the text is displayed, and I discovered that Preview does a better job rendering Helvetica than Acrobat.

 

I have since checked the display of Helvetica in Adobe Reader and MS Edge in my VM version of Windows 10. Again, Edge does a better job with Helvetica than Adobe Reader. Curiously, Helvetica looks better in Adobe Reader in my virtual version of Windows than it does in Adobe Acrobat on my Mac.

 

It seems to be something about how the Acrobat family renders/displays Helvetica. I'm not a super knowledgeable about the technical side of things, but this is what my observations are suggesting.

 

-Robert.

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Explorer ,
Mar 07, 2021 Mar 07, 2021

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Same here. I never had this with good ol' Type 1, yet I see it with the TrueHype (TTC) shipped with Apple's macOS. It kills me to say it -- and I am sure Microsoft and Monotype are happy to hear -- I am stuck with using [expletive deleted] Arial for many things that do not need a professional look.

And to those who post about Preview: This issue is endemic to native Acrobat as well.

And to Adobe and Apple: Just friggin' make an OTF in the operating system. Really? In 2021? More people have some version of Helvetica than covid! Make a clearly new version and toss it everywhere . . . BUT, make sure it's available only at sure (safe) spots.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 08, 2021 Mar 08, 2021

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Thanks for confirming that I'm not crazy.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 09, 2021 Mar 09, 2021

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 09, 2021 Mar 09, 2021

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Thanks for the link!

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