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Preflight convert fonts to outlines not working

New Here ,
Sep 22, 2020

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Hello, I'm a graphic designer working in medical communications/science publishing. Clients often send us figures output directly from their graphing software as PDFs where datapoints are formatted as text bullets instead of outlined shapes.

When I open the PDFs in Illustrator, these datapoints are usually in Myriad Pro and, even though I have Myriad Pro activated, the bullets don't display and I have to switch to Arial or similar. This changes the actual size of the bullets, which changes the numerical positioning of the point on the x/y axes of the figure.  

While it isn't a huge problem if all the datapoints use the same font size--I can eyeball it and resize/nudge them all uniformly to match the PDF--it is a problem when each circle bullet is sized proportionately with the data. While I can switch to Arial, convert type to outlines, and transform each, I'm not confident that this preserves the proportionate areas of each circle while also preserving their x/y position. 

Unfortunately, when I try to use Acrobat Pro DC > Preflight > Convert fonts to outlines, only the font that was already in Arial is outlined, and the bullets are still Myriad Pro text that doesn't display in Illustrator.

Any tips for working around this issue would be greatly appreciated. I have learned most of what I know on the job so I'm sure I'm missing something, but haven't found any answers by googling... I also recognize this may be more of an Illustrator issue, but I would like to first check if there's something I can do to the PDFs I receive from clients in Acrobat that will fix the problem.

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Edit and convert PDFs, General troubleshooting, Print and prepress

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Preflight convert fonts to outlines not working

New Here ,
Sep 22, 2020

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Hello, I'm a graphic designer working in medical communications/science publishing. Clients often send us figures output directly from their graphing software as PDFs where datapoints are formatted as text bullets instead of outlined shapes.

When I open the PDFs in Illustrator, these datapoints are usually in Myriad Pro and, even though I have Myriad Pro activated, the bullets don't display and I have to switch to Arial or similar. This changes the actual size of the bullets, which changes the numerical positioning of the point on the x/y axes of the figure.  

While it isn't a huge problem if all the datapoints use the same font size--I can eyeball it and resize/nudge them all uniformly to match the PDF--it is a problem when each circle bullet is sized proportionately with the data. While I can switch to Arial, convert type to outlines, and transform each, I'm not confident that this preserves the proportionate areas of each circle while also preserving their x/y position. 

Unfortunately, when I try to use Acrobat Pro DC > Preflight > Convert fonts to outlines, only the font that was already in Arial is outlined, and the bullets are still Myriad Pro text that doesn't display in Illustrator.

Any tips for working around this issue would be greatly appreciated. I have learned most of what I know on the job so I'm sure I'm missing something, but haven't found any answers by googling... I also recognize this may be more of an Illustrator issue, but I would like to first check if there's something I can do to the PDFs I receive from clients in Acrobat that will fix the problem.

TOPICS
Edit and convert PDFs, General troubleshooting, Print and prepress

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Sep 22, 2020 0
Adobe Employee ,
Sep 22, 2020

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The first thing you should understand is that contrary to industry misconceptions, Adobe Illustrator is not, repeat again is not, repeat yet again is not a general purpose PDF file editor. Unless the PDF file was created with the same or an earlier version of Illustrator, the option was specified to retain editability, and you have the exact same versions of the fonts originally used to create the Illustrator / PDF file, you risk loss of content, unexpected conversions, and color changes by opening arbitrary PDF files in Illustrator. Exactly what are you trying to accomplish?

 

What is the problem with “figures output directly from their graphing software as PDFs” that you need to change datapoints formatted as text to outlined shapes?

 

And forgetting that for the time being, what happens if you convert the text to outlines with Preflight without the toxic detour into Illustrator?

 

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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Sep 22, 2020 0
New Here ,
Sep 23, 2020

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Thank you for your response.

I realize I should have provided more context for what I need to do with these PDFs. I work with pharmaceutical scientists to design their posters and slides for conferences. The biostatisticians who generate figures in R and other programs tend to use default fonts/colors/stroke widths etc that don't match our established style. I try to request EPS files, but they prefer exporting PDFs instead so the figures are easily shared and viewed by anyone. So when I receive PDFs of figures from the client, I need to edit them to match our style, and resize for specific poster dimensions. Acrobat's editing tools are too limited for my purposes and take much longer than editing in Illustrator.

Our graphic designers who lay out the posters also request figures as either AI or EPS files, and when I hand them the PDFs directly from the client they don't get the changes I request exactly right, which is why I try to do it myself and provide files that can just be placed as is in Indesign.

 

I don't first open the PDF in Illustrator and then convert text to outlines. I take the original PDF from client, open in Acrobat, and convert using Preflight. Any text in Arial or Helvetica is outlined, but the bullet datapoints are not and remain text. 

Based on the first part of your response, I'm guessing it's a problem with the specific fonts used in the biostatistician's graphing program and that there's not much I can do on my end to resolve this. 

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Sep 23, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 23, 2020

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Give this a whirl: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUQ1YxEkRqI

 

In a ntshell, you place the file into Illustrator and then flatten trasnparency and tick the "Outline Fonts" checkbox.

How to force outline fonts Illustrator, so that you can safely edit a PDF without worrying about font substitution. This was part of a meeting at the Raleigh...

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Sep 23, 2020 0
Adobe Employee ,
Sep 23, 2020

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On behalf of Adobe and especially since I am directly involved with the Preflight function, I'd be exceptionally interested in seeing a sample PDF file that is having issues with the Convert to Outline not properly working. You can send me a private message with a pointer for such a file for me to examine.

 

Thanks.

 

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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Sep 23, 2020 0