Text looks distorted when exporting to PDF

New Here ,
Apr 11, 2022 Apr 11, 2022

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I have a number of files on InDesign that I've exported to PDF format so they can be distributed digitally. I've noticed that the PDFs all distort the text slightly, making it look kind of wavy in some spots. I've tested this on multiple computers asking different colleagues to open the file and we all encounter the same issue. I'm wondering if it might have to do with the resolution of the saved file? When I zoom in, it looks a little better, and it looks perfectly fine when I print. However, we plan to distribute this to clients digitally.

 

How can I ensure the text lines appear straight on an exported PDF from an InDesign fie?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2022 Apr 11, 2022

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It's very likely a result of type hinting in the font you are using. This shows up more at lower resolutions (like on a screen), and will vary depending on the font.

You can play with the various options in Acrobat's Preferences > Page Display > Rendering to see if you can minimize the effect, but you won't be able to eliminate it.

Can you share a sample file?

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New Here ,
Apr 13, 2022 Apr 13, 2022

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This is one of the files I'm working with. It's the text at the top that I'm having issues with. I appreciate your help!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 13, 2022 Apr 13, 2022

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You have two issues.

The most affecting is the fact your first paragrph is not completely horizontal, it's angled very slightly clockwise (about 0.2-0.3 degrees), so at monitor resolution, the characters are rendering as best they can and every few words will drop down a pixel, making it look ragged.

Second, your Times-Roman is embedded in a very weird way... in fact it's embedded twice, some characters are embedded as a TrueType font and others are embedded with a Type 0 type (why, who knows), and are mixed randomly in your first paragraph. and, due to the different ways TrueType fonts are hinted and the fact the Type 0 probably is not hinted at all, is probably exaggerating the distortion..

So, my first question is, where did you get your Times font?

I suggest your replace your Times font with a new set, then straighten your copy and you should be good to go.

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New Here ,
Apr 13, 2022 Apr 13, 2022

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Wow thank you so much for your response! I had no idea I had either of those issues. I'm pretty sure I just chose my font within InDesign, so I'm not sure why it's embedded so strangely. I'll give your suggestions a shot. Thanks again!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 13, 2022 Apr 13, 2022

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I edited my response and removed the item about the font name. On further examination, "Times-Roman" is the Mac's default Times, so your font is probably fine. Still, it's the rotation causing the raggedness.

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Explorer ,
Apr 13, 2022 Apr 13, 2022

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Ya, if you look real close at the text, it looks like some of the letters are slightly higher than others. Have you experimented with other fonts?

 

For what it's worth, I think this is just a rendering issue with Acrobat. The text looks fine to me when I open the PDF in Apple's Preview app. I've seen other text issues with Acrobat as well.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 13, 2022 Apr 13, 2022

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@AuroraPenticton . The issue is really caused because the type is crooked on the page. The distortion shows up more on lower-resolution screens, so if you're looking at it on a Retina screen, you likely won't notice it. But if you view on a typical 96 ppi monitor (like I am doing in my screen grab attached) it's obvious: (this grab is from Preview just to show it doesn't really matter what you view it in):

Screen Shot 2022-04-13 at 1.46.42 PM.png

 The pink line is the actual horizontal.

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