Export to SVG (font outline) deforms characters

Engaged ,
May 28, 2022 May 28, 2022

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Dear all,

(macOS 12.4, Illustrator 26.3.1)

I need to convert big PDF files (exported from musical scores created through Avid Sibelius, export engine Qt 5.15.8) into a more efficient vector format (reason being potential issues down in the production line, especially with the EPUB format). 

I open the PDF with all pages as links in Illustrator, and save the AI file. Then, from there, I File > Export for Screens > SVG. In the SVG export options I have set Fonts to Outlines (same EPUB reasons) but I noticed that this deforms the fonts. 

Attached are a page of the PDF, the same page exported to SVG with the settings I described, and another SVG with Fonts > SVG and Minify and Responsive unchecked (which looks better to me). All these SVGs eventually need to go into an InDesign document, then exported to PDF and EPUB at the end. 

  1. Can you explain to me what is happening in the first SVG where the top text "in La maggiore" is so deformed, especially in the "g" characters? 
  2. Could you suggest to me the best options for exporting SVGs? Or, would EPS be better in this use-case? 

Thank you all!

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How to , Import and export , Print and publish

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Adobe Community Professional , May 28, 2022 May 28, 2022
What happens when you alter it, depends on what's in the file and how large it is. Probably more than you ever wanted to know about the setting: https://bjango.com/articles/svgpassthroughprecision/

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 28, 2022 May 28, 2022

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Next time please make screenshots and highlight what you call deformations. I don't see them.

 

But probably it's caused by a lack of precision. You need to increase the "Decimals" value to get more precision.

 

As for a suitable file format: it depens on how you need to use it. For printing PDF is fine. For EPUB maybe not so much (you will have to check out the specifications)

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Engaged ,
May 28, 2022 May 28, 2022

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That's why I am using SVG, as I don't want to build two different InDesign files, one with PDF links and one with SVG links. I am noticing deformations when I insert the SVG in InDesign, need to make little changes to some details of the image and the resulting file has deformation in the letters. The way I am editing the SVG is: contextual menu, Edit Original—which opens in Illustrator 26.3.1—, double click my way into the text, move it where I need, press Escape and Cmd-S.

At this point it looks deformed. Attached the two version.

 

Can you identify the issue? What are the best options for SVG export? Is SVG better than EPS? I notice the thickness of the font outlining to be slightly different between SVG and EPS, is it normal? The SVG vs EPS screenshot shows two examples: the one above has an EPS file, the one below an SVG. You can notice how all lines look thinner in the EPS. Is this normal / preferable / good / correct? 

Thank you

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 28, 2022 May 28, 2022

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Just forget EPS. It has no place in this workflow. The alternative would be PDF (respectively just saving an AI file with "PDF compatibility" and placing that).

 

What you are seeing is typical for the SVG inprecision. If a higher "decimals" setting does not solve it, ou can try and enlarge the artwork itself, then place it in InDesign and there reduce the size. That way a small inprecision does not show.

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Engaged ,
May 28, 2022 May 28, 2022

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Thanks

Would placing the AI in InDesign work well for EPUB export? 

How do I increase the "decimals" of the SVG? (spoiler, I do not know what the decimal of an SVG is)

Interestingly, if I do not go to edit the SVG, there is no imprecision. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 28, 2022 May 28, 2022

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As for the EPUB: please check out the service provider's specificstions. You will upload the file somewhere, right? So for sure they have some specs somewhere.

Since that is InDesign you can also check out the InDesign forum if they can recommend a workflow for efficiently exchanging the placed files to a different file format.

As for the actual qulity of the SVG: you will need to test that in the final file (the exported EPUB).

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Engaged ,
May 28, 2022 May 28, 2022

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The provider is Apple Books, and I have already worked extensively with them, and also on the InDesign forum.

Could you please give me an answer to my two questions in the previous message? They have not been addressed and they are pertinent to Illustrator, nothing else. Thank you

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 28, 2022 May 28, 2022

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Placing the AI in InDesign is the same as placing a PDF. So probably that won't work in an EPUB (the file specifications should tell you which kinds of files can be in the EPUB and which can't).

You find the Decimals setting in the SVG export settings (click on the cogwheel in the Save for screens dialog box)

It increases the number of decimal places in x and y values therefore making it more precise.

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Engaged ,
May 28, 2022 May 28, 2022

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The interesting thing with EPUB for Apple Books is that, if I use Pages (which is what they seem to want), any image inserted in there gets implicitly converted to a PDF (!), then it exports and publish flawlessly. Of course, you know the limitation of publishing process through Pages.

Right now, the Decimal is set at 2, what would you suggest? What are the possible values (min-max) and how does this change the overall quality? (being this is vector I wonder how this changes anyway...)

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Engaged ,
May 28, 2022 May 28, 2022

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Forgive me, I found it. From 1 to 7.

I would be curious to know what actually happens between these different levels. 

For example: these files are already PDFs in origin, so vector files, theoretically already max quality.

I now changed from 1 (the default for me) to 3 and I didn't see an increase in size. Is it normal?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 28, 2022 May 28, 2022

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What happens when you alter it, depends on what's in the file and how large it is.

 

Probably more than you ever wanted to know about the setting: https://bjango.com/articles/svgpassthroughprecision/

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Engaged ,
May 28, 2022 May 28, 2022

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Wow! 

Have I made a big mistake in using Save As instead of Export As? 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 28, 2022 May 28, 2022

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Save as produces the older code.

Other than that it depends on what you need whether that was a mistake. In most cases: yes.

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