Scrambled Text when viewing PDF documents in Acrobat Standard XI

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

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 patience and support!

-ashu

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General troubleshooting

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Nov 20, 2017 1
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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Apr 10, 2019 0
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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Apr 17, 2019 0
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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May 27, 2019 0
Oct 05, 2019

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We are havign this issue as well.

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Oct 05, 2019 0
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 | Designer & Technologist for Accessible InDesign + PDFs | Books @ www.PubCom.com/books — NEW! Accessible InDesign + PDF

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Oct 05, 2019 1
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 0
Adobe Employee ,
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, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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Oct 23, 2019 0
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 | Designer & Technologist for Accessible InDesign + PDFs | Books @ www.PubCom.com/books — NEW! Accessible InDesign + PDF

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Oct 23, 2019 0
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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Feb 27, 2020 1
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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Jul 19, 2020 0