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Linked PDF text in ID rendering wrong upon ID PDF export

Community Beginner ,
Nov 15, 2022 Nov 15, 2022

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Hello,

Here's my situation:

  1. Source PDFs are placed as images into an InDesign file. Document size is about 40 pages. Source PDFs are created through the same automated process through a proprietary tool.
  2. Prior to placing the source PDFs, text in source PDFs appear correct and not kerned together.
  3. After placing the source PDFs into InDesign file, the image preview inInDesign looks correct.
  4. Export InDesign document to PDF using a custom defined Adobe PDF Preset. I have also tested Adobe's pre-defined PDF Presets.
  5. The exported PDF shows random cases where letters in words are kerned together with no gap between characters. See uploaded screenshots. The "a" and "r" are kerned together in "are" and "a" and "t" in "designated". The screenshots of the PDFs are showing in Edit mode to display the Acrobat character outlines.

 

Very inconsistent results. Most words are ok. All words look like they rendered the same way. Fonts used in the document are Helvetica LT Std, Helvetica LT Pro, among others.

InDesign Version: 17.4

Acrobat Version: Acrobat Pro 2022.003.20258

 

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

TOPICS
Bug , Import and export , Type

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Beginner , Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

The problem seems to be resolved. We were using a font size that was not a whole or half number. The font size was 13.3 pt (per client request). We ran tests using 12 pt, 13 pt, 13.5 pt and 14 pt and all of the PDFs rendered at that size did not introduce the crashing characters nor the extra space.

Thank you all for your assistance.

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Advisor ,
Nov 15, 2022 Nov 15, 2022

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Can you try to use a different font in your source PDF? 

 

Can automate anything - as long as it doesn't require A.I.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 15, 2022 Nov 15, 2022

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Easier said than done, Robert. The proprietary system would have to be recoded to call up a different font. If this problem turns out to be bigger than an ID issue, we may have to go that route.

 

Seems strange a font like Helvetica would be having problems.

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Advisor ,
Nov 15, 2022 Nov 15, 2022

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If you can't easily change font...

 

Anyway, do you have access to original INDD file? Can you change fonts there manually, then repeat next steps? 

 

Can automate anything - as long as it doesn't require A.I.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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I have the original IDD file with the source PDFs but I don't know how to change the fonts in a linked PDF. Or do you mean change the font in the source PDF and then relink?

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Advisor ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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You would need to change fonts in original INDD, export to PDF and simulate the rest of the process. 

 

Can automate anything - as long as it doesn't require A.I.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 15, 2022 Nov 15, 2022

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Odd indeed.

Can you share one of the final PDFs?

As a test, open one of the bad PDFs in Illustrator and see how the fonts work there, and if they're the correct ones.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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Sorry, Brad. I can't share a PDF. Proprietary data.

I did open a bad PDF in Illustrator. When I opened it, it appears to load the page as outlines (I can highlight complete outlines of the individual characters). I could not select the text to determine the font.

I then saved that as a PDF and reimported to ID. I then created a PDF through ID and it came out good.

That could be because the characters are now shapes instead of an actual font.

This is a possible bubble gum/paper clip solution. But ultimately, this should be resolved in our proprietary system.

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Advisor ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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That could be a solution - create outlines from text - but that could be another minefield on its own...

 

Can automate anything - as long as it doesn't require A.I.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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Hmmm. Illustrator will sometimes do that, but usually warns you in advance ("In order to preserve appearance... etc).

What about one of the source PDFs? Does it open the same way?

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Community Expert ,
Nov 15, 2022 Nov 15, 2022

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Can you open the PDFs in Acrobat Pro and preflight them? If so, clcik on the PRint Production icon, then Preflight. Select Convert Fonts to Outlines under PDF Fixups and save a new PDF. The text should be outlined and won't shift.

Screenshot 2022-11-15 at 1.49.45 PM.png

 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 16, 2022 Nov 16, 2022

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One of my favourite tools in Acrobat's Preflight is the Create Inventory option. In your case, it may give you better information of what's happening with fonts as it lists which fonts are used, what subsets are created, and where they are used.

Screen Shot 2022-11-16 at 9.57.06 AM.png

Screen Shot 2022-11-16 at 9.57.26 AM.png

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 17, 2022 Nov 17, 2022

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That is a great tool! Didn't know it existed. I'll check it out. Thank you!

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 18, 2022 Nov 18, 2022

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Update:

We modified our system to use webfonts. That fixed the individual character boxes and characters crashing. The text now is in large text blocks and is selectable in large chunks. What I was hoping to see.

Now, however, we are seeing a small space being added to the right side of a character. In many cases, it's in the same words that had the characters crashing together. That is resolved, but now the space is on the right side and it is slightly spacing out the word. See screenshots (extra space on top, no space below). Each example is taking screenshots from the same page of the PDF. So some characters are adding the space, some aren't, even on the same page of the PDF.

 

Same process: export PDFs out of system, flow them into InDesign as links, export PDF out of InDesign.

Worth noting the fonts: Helvetical LT Std, 13.30 pt

 

We also have a theory that the oddball point size is contributing to this issue. InDesign or Acrobat is having trouble interpreting it and is producing the results we are seeing. Our plan is to change the font size to 13pt or 12pt in the system and test it.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 18, 2022 Nov 18, 2022

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Have you tried to open the PDFs in Acrobat and simply resave them? Have you checked that the fonts are embedded?

 

This really doesn't sound like an InDesign issue to me (though I certainly can't eliminate the possibility).

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 18, 2022 Nov 18, 2022

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Hi Bob,

I just tried the resave in Acrobat, relinked in InDesign and re-exported a PDF. No fix. 

InDesign PDF fonts shown in screenshot. I have not provided source PDFs font screenshots.

Thanks for your insight.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 18, 2022 Nov 18, 2022

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At this point, without seeing the files, there's really nothing any of us can do.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 18, 2022 Nov 18, 2022

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That's what I figured, Bob. It was worth a shot. Now on to Adobe Tech Support.

Thank you for your time.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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The problem seems to be resolved. We were using a font size that was not a whole or half number. The font size was 13.3 pt (per client request). We ran tests using 12 pt, 13 pt, 13.5 pt and 14 pt and all of the PDFs rendered at that size did not introduce the crashing characters nor the extra space.

Thank you all for your assistance.

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Advisor ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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Looks like you've found extremely serious glitch...

 

Can automate anything - as long as it doesn't require A.I.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 27, 2022 Nov 27, 2022

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You can report bugs here

https://indesign.uservoice.com/

 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 27, 2022 Nov 27, 2022

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Hi @Josh27148567nmgb , Does it happen if you skip creating the source PDF and directly place the source InDesign pages?

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