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One pixel line changing thickness in PDF?

Explorer ,
Sep 02, 2016

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We are  using unstructured FrameMaker 12 on a Windows 7 platform.

We have three uses for 1 pixel horizontal lines: table rows, underscores for hypertext, and horizontal lines on the top and bottom of notes, cautions, tips, etc. The one-pixel lines for the notes and cautions are maintained on the Reference page (like the horizontal line that separates footnotes at the bottom of the page, which we don't use).

We also use conditional text. Right now we have five conditions—all indicated by a different color—not counting the default "black" that represents text that has a universal audience. Due to business reasons, we leave the conditional tags (colors) visible even in our published output.

In all cases described in this post, we are viewing the PDF at 100% magnification.

When we publish to PDF, this is what happens to the thickness of the 1 pixel horizontal lines:

  • The hypertext underscores remain 1 pixel when for the black text with no condition indicator. However, the hypertext underscores for conditional text are *always* 2 or 3 pixels thick.
    • If there are two hypertext links within the same blocked condition, the underscore for one of them might be 2 pixels thick, and the next one might be 3 pixels thick.
    • If a hypertext link wraps around to the next line, the underscore might be 2 pixels thick on the upper line, but 3 pixels thick when it wraps to the next line.
  • The horizontal lines that set off notes, cautions, tips, etc., usually publish to PDF as 2 pixels thick, regardless of whether or not it is conditionalized.
  • The horizontal lines in tables do not seem to change in thickness.

The thickness change indicated by the first two bullets happens regardless of whether we publish to PDF using Acrobat Pro, or using the other PDF tool that is preferred by our company. So, the issue does not seem to be a PDF tool issue. It seems to be the way FrameMaker hands off the content to the PDF tool.

Has anyone else experienced this? Does anyone know if there is a way to make these horizontal lines 1 pixel thick in PDF output?

Thank you in advance!

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One pixel line changing thickness in PDF?

Explorer ,
Sep 02, 2016

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We are  using unstructured FrameMaker 12 on a Windows 7 platform.

We have three uses for 1 pixel horizontal lines: table rows, underscores for hypertext, and horizontal lines on the top and bottom of notes, cautions, tips, etc. The one-pixel lines for the notes and cautions are maintained on the Reference page (like the horizontal line that separates footnotes at the bottom of the page, which we don't use).

We also use conditional text. Right now we have five conditions—all indicated by a different color—not counting the default "black" that represents text that has a universal audience. Due to business reasons, we leave the conditional tags (colors) visible even in our published output.

In all cases described in this post, we are viewing the PDF at 100% magnification.

When we publish to PDF, this is what happens to the thickness of the 1 pixel horizontal lines:

  • The hypertext underscores remain 1 pixel when for the black text with no condition indicator. However, the hypertext underscores for conditional text are *always* 2 or 3 pixels thick.
    • If there are two hypertext links within the same blocked condition, the underscore for one of them might be 2 pixels thick, and the next one might be 3 pixels thick.
    • If a hypertext link wraps around to the next line, the underscore might be 2 pixels thick on the upper line, but 3 pixels thick when it wraps to the next line.
  • The horizontal lines that set off notes, cautions, tips, etc., usually publish to PDF as 2 pixels thick, regardless of whether or not it is conditionalized.
  • The horizontal lines in tables do not seem to change in thickness.

The thickness change indicated by the first two bullets happens regardless of whether we publish to PDF using Acrobat Pro, or using the other PDF tool that is preferred by our company. So, the issue does not seem to be a PDF tool issue. It seems to be the way FrameMaker hands off the content to the PDF tool.

Has anyone else experienced this? Does anyone know if there is a way to make these horizontal lines 1 pixel thick in PDF output?

Thank you in advance!

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Sep 02, 2016 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 02, 2016

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Have you tried deconstructing a page in Adobe Illustrator to see what's going on?

In FM7 (what I run at home), normal, conditional and hypertext underscores are all graphical rectangles, and for the default TNR12 font, all 0.6pt high.

FM's publishing origins, of course, don't really embrace the concept of "pixel".

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bufossil LATEST
Explorer ,
Sep 12, 2016

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Thank you for the reply Bob and Barb.

For Bob: I was taking the "pixel" thickness from the PDF (after viewing a screen capture of it in a graphics program), not from FrameMaker. The horizontal line originates from the Reference page. The same object (the 1 point horizontal line) on the Reference page produces three different thickness of horizontal line in PDFs when viewed on a monitor.

For Barb: I think you are onto something. If I go to Preferences > Page Display > and deselect Enhance thin lines, Acrobat seems to make all lines the same. (They are appear to be blurry double lines, at 100% and at 150%.) The differences in line thickness definitely goes away. Selecting or deselecting Line Weights does not seem to do anything. It also does not seem to make a difference whether I select "For Monitor" or "For Laptop/LCD screens."

For both: I was mistaken about the alternate PDF tool my company uses. When it opens the exact same files, the underscore looks perfect.

By the way, I am using Acrobat 11.

I think the issue has to do with the way Acrobat views line weights on a monitor. That is more information than I had previously!

Thank you again!

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Sep 12, 2016 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 02, 2016

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Is this visible only on-screen in the PDF, or also when you print?

If on-screen, did you try changing how Acrobat displays the lines?

  • Edit > Preferences > Page Display > Rendering Smooth Text > For Monitor

        and/or

  • View > Show/Hide > Rulers & Grids > Line Weights

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