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PDF pages are blank when emailed

Explorer ,
Jan 31, 2024 Jan 31, 2024

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Hello all. I'm using WIN 10 and a full subscription to Adobe CC.

I am creating a several page design example PDF in InDesign to send along with my resume. I attach the PDF to an email (Yahoo) and the recipient tells me that they download the PDF and there are images missing or completely blank pages. I send it to myself, download the PDF and sure enough there are images missing or completely blank pages.

I don't have to tell you how serious this is as I am applying for a job as a Graphic Designer and my PDFs are coming through screwy.

Thoughts?

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Community Expert ,
Feb 05, 2024 Feb 05, 2024

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What PDF viewer is the recepient using? Are you aware that only Acrobat can show all PDFs correctly?

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Explorer ,
Feb 05, 2024 Feb 05, 2024

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I don't know what PDF viewer all the recipients are using. Some job posters never reply at all.

One did comment, which is how I discovered the problem. I had to resend the pages to this guy as JPGs.

When I create my PDF in InDesign it looks great.

When I email them to myself, download and open, sure enough they are sometimes is missing images or has blank pages.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 05, 2024 Feb 05, 2024

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Well, my only suggestion now is to post that PDF here so we can see it. Beyond that, nobody can do anything but guess.

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Explorer ,
Feb 05, 2024 Feb 05, 2024

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Thanks. I have been experimenting with some small choices in the PDF output from InDesign to see if I can find the "magic formula". But if I still have any of the past twitchy PDFs I'll be sure and post it. Or if one of my newer ones does that same weird trick. Part of the problem is an inconsistancy with the problem. Thanks again!

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Community Expert ,
Feb 05, 2024 Feb 05, 2024

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Truth, it should not be hard to export PDFs from InDesign... and that's an understatement. There has to be something very wrong if your PDFs are losing elements, especially after simply emailing them.

 

OTOH, some email services "help" by compressing images and other attachments, and it's not beyond possibility that's what's happening here.

 

Try using absolutely vanilla processes:

  • Export to an unmodifed ID PDF preset.
  • Email the result to yourself using something like GMail.
  • Open the result in Adobe Acrobat

 

If you're still seeing faults... it's going to take some digging as to why.


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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Community Expert ,
Feb 05, 2024 Feb 05, 2024

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This doesn't sound like anything to do with InDesign. If the PDF looks okay in Acrobat you're going to have to tell us a lot more about this. Did you actually check the PDF before mailing it?

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Community Expert ,
Feb 05, 2024 Feb 05, 2024

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As comments have already indicated, PDF is not a single, well-implemented standard across all software makers and apps. The only reliable path is to export using the Adobe export function of Adobe apps, or to print to PDF using the Adobe PDF driver. Using any other tool or feature to create a PDF, including all forms of "PDFwriter" and functions built into apps like Word, even though some bear the Adobe name, is taking some degree of chance, especially if the content involves anything but fairly basic text and graphics.

 

At the other end, the only truly reliable PDF viewer is Acrobat (Reader, DC, Pro etc.) Most of the aftermarket PDF viewer/editors are limited in their abilities (usually in the name of "smaller," "faster" or just "not Adobe.") The ones built into browsers and apps are especially bad in this respect, being designed for fast, direct viewing of web material and not much else.

 

So: export your material using print to PDF, not the Word export or "create PDF" feature. Check them before you send them. And if the recipient still has problems with them, politely ask if they're using Acrobat and not, say, Chrome or Foxit. (The extreme difficulty of even asking recipients what they're using — they often don't know, at least, don't know any of the above so "PDF is PDF" to them, and then asking them to use something else... well, that's life with a standard that has no real enforcing agency.)


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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Community Expert ,
Feb 05, 2024 Feb 05, 2024

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I've had Gmail completely unattach pdfs from emails.

 

I started posting a link to a Dropbox folder instead. Or using Hightail or WeTransfer.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 05, 2024 Feb 05, 2024

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Ha, we crossed on that —I've found GMail to be fairly reliable as long as the attachments aren't excessively large. It's Outlook, especially an enterprise edition that some fussy or incompetent IT person has "tweaked," that can cause damage to content. Same for the older free mail services.


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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Community Expert ,
Feb 05, 2024 Feb 05, 2024

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I assume you are checking your pdf in Acrobat, you might need to re-install Acrobat, as there was a similar issue recently on the Acrobat forum: https://community.adobe.com/t5/acrobat-discussions/missing-content-in-pdf/m-p/14028870#M425467

Zipping your pdf before sending might help. I recommend not creating "Acrobat layers" when exporting from InDesign, as some pdf viewers will not respect them. 

 

 

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