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InDesign pdf showing differently for viewers

New Here ,
Aug 02, 2023 Aug 02, 2023

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Hi all, I have created a report using InDesign (95 pages). I have exported it to pdf, but certain elements seem to be changing when it is opened by others. These are simple objects: shapes with transparency, and also some text.

 

This is a report that is externally published for a large company, with readers around the world - thus I have no control over their chosen pdf reader.

 

Is there any way to ensure that the graphics/text remain constant, while still allowing the text to be searchable? For now, I have used Publish online so that it displays correctly, but the client would still prefer a separate pdf file. Thank you in advance for tips/advice. 

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Bug , Import and export

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New Here ,
Aug 02, 2023 Aug 02, 2023

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Also - I have tried interactive pdf (massive fail) and also print pdf. 

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Participant ,
Aug 03, 2023 Aug 03, 2023

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It heavily depends on the used reader. That's what the Adobe Acrobat Reader is for – making the PDF look the same on all platforms. But when you open a PDF in Apple Preview for example it will look different. Those tools are not as good as the Acrobat Reader to interpret PostScript or the APPE. There is not much you can do when you have no control over the used reader except to generate Pixel-images like JPEGs for each page since those will look the same on all platforms. Yet there will be color differences depending on the monitor settings you view it on 😉

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New Here ,
Aug 03, 2023 Aug 03, 2023

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Colour differences are the least of my worries in this case! Making each page an image means that you can't search for the text, which is makes it not fit for purpose. Making 95 pages of background graphics into images is also not an appealing prospect... Thanks for your reply

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Community Expert ,
Aug 03, 2023 Aug 03, 2023

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Not entirely the case. If you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat, you can use Acrobat's OCR function to "reclaim" scanned text and create a searchable text substructure to the document. Of course, the ability to search that text is, again, dependent on your users' PDF readers.

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Participant ,
Aug 04, 2023 Aug 04, 2023

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Did you try borth, PDF X4 and PDF X3 standard? Maybe one of the two works better in your audiences reader since then use different page description languages. Would be interesting for me also since I only have experience in Adobe Acrobat.

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New Here ,
Aug 04, 2023 Aug 04, 2023

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I did, and it didn't help unforunately! 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 03, 2023 Aug 03, 2023

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Telling us they change is meaningless. We need details and screenshots and seeing the files would be a very big help.

The only guess I have is that you're using transparency which may or may not display properly with third party PDF readers. When you can't control how they're displayed it's best to keep things as simple as possible. If it's colors that are changing, use RGB only.

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New Here ,
Aug 04, 2023 Aug 04, 2023

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Not exactly a guess - that's what I wrote in the original post... The document is only RGB. Here is one specific example. When opened in Reader/Chrome, it looks fine (top image). When opened again in incognito mode, or on other devices using Chrome, the top portion of the numbers disappear. 

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Participant ,
Aug 04, 2023 Aug 04, 2023

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Its a transparency issue for sure. Try the suggestions for me above, maybe it helps.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 04, 2023 Aug 04, 2023

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You did not mention how they were being viewed. My "guess" was the reader app and my advice stands. If it works in Reader or Acrobat, it's fine. It's the other reader apps that are the issue.

 

Stop using transparency because if you flatten the file you're going to wind up with stitching artifacts or put an alert on the link to use Reader or Acrobat to view it.

 

I'm sorry I don't have better news, but note that when you create a PDF, you are creating an Adobe PDF. 

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