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Placed PDFs in InDesign not rendering correctly

New Here ,
Nov 29, 2018

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Recently, ads I design in Affinity Designer and export as a PDF (which I have been doing for years without problem) suddenly will not open properly when placed in InDesign 2019. Some elements are missing. I am using Mac OS 10.14.1, Affinity designer 1.6.1 and InDesign 14.0.1

The screenshot shows very clearly the problem. Every application I own will open the exported PDF correctly (Adobe Acrobat, Mac Preview, MS Word, Pages, as an attachment to email, etc, etc, except for InDesign 2019 and Photoshop 2019.

I would be grateful for your thoughts.

I have also sent this to the Affinity team, but I suspect they will say that as it opens correctly in every other app under the sun, it must be an Adobe problem, which I have to say seems logical.

PDF problem.jpg

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Laubender | Adobe Community Professional

Hi CaptainSlocum ,

thank you again for the sample PDF. That's really helpful.

Here the placed PDF with InDesign CC 2019. PDF Layers ( graphic layers ) showing.

Obviously some parts are missing.

AfterPlacing-LayerVisibility-CC-2019.PNG

This is not a screen redraw error! The page from above exported to PDF/X-4 and opened in Acrobat Pro DC:

Exported-PDF-X-4-from-InDesign-CC-2019-Opened-in-Acrobat-1.PNG

The original PDF opened in Acrobat Pro DC is showing all elements:

PDF-Opened-with-Acrobat-1.PNG

InDesign CC 2018.1:

Had a crash after placing the PDF with import options showing and crop set to "Media".

Sent the report, got a message back that there is a fix for the problem with the crash:

MessageAfterSending-CRASH-REPORT-CrashWith-CC-2018.1.PNG

The link "Weitere Informationen" leads me to:

Crash while deleting an object in InDesign

Ok. Quite another hotfix for InDesign CC 2018.1 on Windows I did not know or forgot about.

Installed the hotfix, placed the PDF.

Same results with InDesign CC 2018.1.

Some elements of the PDF are missing:

PlacingThePDF-CC-2018.1-BUG-SHOWING.PNG

Tested on with InDesign CC 2017.1 version 12.1.0.56 on Windows 10.

This time all elements of the placed PDF is showing:

PlacingThePDF-INDD-CC-2017.1-NoProblem.PNG

InDesign CS6:

No issue to place the PDF. All elements in the PDF showing on the InDesign page:

PlacingThePDF-INDD-CS6-NoProblem.PNG

Conclusion:

A severe bug with InDesign's PDF import module with versions CC 2019 14.0.0.130 and 14.0.1.209 and InDesign CC 2018.1.

Workaround:

Use an earlier version like InDesign CC 2017.1 or InDesign CS6.

I assume that CC 2015.4, CC 2014.2 and CC 9.3.0 will also work without flaws in this regard.

Regards,
Uwe

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Placed PDFs in InDesign not rendering correctly

New Here ,
Nov 29, 2018

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Recently, ads I design in Affinity Designer and export as a PDF (which I have been doing for years without problem) suddenly will not open properly when placed in InDesign 2019. Some elements are missing. I am using Mac OS 10.14.1, Affinity designer 1.6.1 and InDesign 14.0.1

The screenshot shows very clearly the problem. Every application I own will open the exported PDF correctly (Adobe Acrobat, Mac Preview, MS Word, Pages, as an attachment to email, etc, etc, except for InDesign 2019 and Photoshop 2019.

I would be grateful for your thoughts.

I have also sent this to the Affinity team, but I suspect they will say that as it opens correctly in every other app under the sun, it must be an Adobe problem, which I have to say seems logical.

PDF problem.jpg

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Laubender | Adobe Community Professional

Hi CaptainSlocum ,

thank you again for the sample PDF. That's really helpful.

Here the placed PDF with InDesign CC 2019. PDF Layers ( graphic layers ) showing.

Obviously some parts are missing.

AfterPlacing-LayerVisibility-CC-2019.PNG

This is not a screen redraw error! The page from above exported to PDF/X-4 and opened in Acrobat Pro DC:

Exported-PDF-X-4-from-InDesign-CC-2019-Opened-in-Acrobat-1.PNG

The original PDF opened in Acrobat Pro DC is showing all elements:

PDF-Opened-with-Acrobat-1.PNG

InDesign CC 2018.1:

Had a crash after placing the PDF with import options showing and crop set to "Media".

Sent the report, got a message back that there is a fix for the problem with the crash:

MessageAfterSending-CRASH-REPORT-CrashWith-CC-2018.1.PNG

The link "Weitere Informationen" leads me to:

Crash while deleting an object in InDesign

Ok. Quite another hotfix for InDesign CC 2018.1 on Windows I did not know or forgot about.

Installed the hotfix, placed the PDF.

Same results with InDesign CC 2018.1.

Some elements of the PDF are missing:

PlacingThePDF-CC-2018.1-BUG-SHOWING.PNG

Tested on with InDesign CC 2017.1 version 12.1.0.56 on Windows 10.

This time all elements of the placed PDF is showing:

PlacingThePDF-INDD-CC-2017.1-NoProblem.PNG

InDesign CS6:

No issue to place the PDF. All elements in the PDF showing on the InDesign page:

PlacingThePDF-INDD-CS6-NoProblem.PNG

Conclusion:

A severe bug with InDesign's PDF import module with versions CC 2019 14.0.0.130 and 14.0.1.209 and InDesign CC 2018.1.

Workaround:

Use an earlier version like InDesign CC 2017.1 or InDesign CS6.

I assume that CC 2015.4, CC 2014.2 and CC 9.3.0 will also work without flaws in this regard.

Regards,
Uwe

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 29, 2018

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Hi,

will the preview change, if you switch between Overprint Preview on / off ?

Will it be different if GPU acceleration is turned off? Or turned on?

Can you provide the PDF with Dropbox or a similar service and post a link here so that I could try to inspect it with Acrobat Pro DC and have a test on Windows 10?

Thanks,
Uwe

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New Here ,
Nov 29, 2018

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Thanks for the reply

will the preview change, if you switch between Overprint Preview on / off ?

No change

will it be different if GPU acceleration is turned off? Or turned on?

No change

Here is a Dropbox link to the original PDF file

Dropbox - Inside cover right hand.pdf

Many thanks

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 30, 2018

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Hi CaptainSlocum ,

thank you again for the sample PDF. That's really helpful.

Here the placed PDF with InDesign CC 2019. PDF Layers ( graphic layers ) showing.

Obviously some parts are missing.

AfterPlacing-LayerVisibility-CC-2019.PNG

This is not a screen redraw error! The page from above exported to PDF/X-4 and opened in Acrobat Pro DC:

Exported-PDF-X-4-from-InDesign-CC-2019-Opened-in-Acrobat-1.PNG

The original PDF opened in Acrobat Pro DC is showing all elements:

PDF-Opened-with-Acrobat-1.PNG

InDesign CC 2018.1:

Had a crash after placing the PDF with import options showing and crop set to "Media".

Sent the report, got a message back that there is a fix for the problem with the crash:

MessageAfterSending-CRASH-REPORT-CrashWith-CC-2018.1.PNG

The link "Weitere Informationen" leads me to:

Crash while deleting an object in InDesign

Ok. Quite another hotfix for InDesign CC 2018.1 on Windows I did not know or forgot about.

Installed the hotfix, placed the PDF.

Same results with InDesign CC 2018.1.

Some elements of the PDF are missing:

PlacingThePDF-CC-2018.1-BUG-SHOWING.PNG

Tested on with InDesign CC 2017.1 version 12.1.0.56 on Windows 10.

This time all elements of the placed PDF is showing:

PlacingThePDF-INDD-CC-2017.1-NoProblem.PNG

InDesign CS6:

No issue to place the PDF. All elements in the PDF showing on the InDesign page:

PlacingThePDF-INDD-CS6-NoProblem.PNG

Conclusion:

A severe bug with InDesign's PDF import module with versions CC 2019 14.0.0.130 and 14.0.1.209 and InDesign CC 2018.1.

Workaround:

Use an earlier version like InDesign CC 2017.1 or InDesign CS6.

I assume that CC 2015.4, CC 2014.2 and CC 9.3.0 will also work without flaws in this regard.

Regards,
Uwe

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New Here ,
Nov 30, 2018

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Thank you Uwe, that is very thorough testing! I have had crashes when deleting elements in the past so that solves that issue, but not, of course, the PDF import problem. I will download and install 2017.1 and hopefully that will solve it. Lets hope I don't have problems opening the magazines I created with the newer versions, as I tend to recycle past editions and simply alter the articles and some of the ads.

Do Adobe know about this bug? Are they working on it?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 30, 2018

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Hi CaptainSlocum ,

tested on and did a report at Bug Discussion in Prerelease.

Unfortunately using InDesign CS6 and CC 2017.1 is not the end of the story!

After placing the PDF from Affinity on a page with CS6 or CC 2017.1 I exported the page to PDF with an PDF/X-4 standard preset.

I opened the exported PDF with Acrobat Pro DC and immediately had an error message that some characters cannot be displayed or may missing:

ErrorMessage-CannotExtractFont-PDF-X-4-fromCC-2017-AfterOpenWithAcrobat.PNG

Visually I cannot see a difference between the orignal and the exported PDF from InDesign.

Will do further tests on this.

Regards,
Uwe

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 30, 2018

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Now that I imported the original PDF from Affinity as layer to the exported PDF/X-4 in Acrobat I can see only tiny differences in the position of glyphs here and there. But nothing you cannot live with, I think.

Below a sample at 1200 % zoom from Acrobat Pro DC. I colored the exported text with Acrobat's Edit feature in red. The black overlay of the text is from the orignal PDF imported as layer:

Differences-ShiftOfGlyphs-Orginal-vs-PDF-Export-from-CC-2017.1.PNG

Regards,
Uwe

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 30, 2018

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CaptainSlocum  wrote

…Do Adobe know about this bug? Are they working on it?

Best report the bug here:

Adobe InDesign Feedback

Come back to this thread and post the link of your report so that others can vote for fixing the issue.

Regards,
Uwe

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New Here ,
Nov 30, 2018

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Thanks Uwe. I imported the PDF into 2017 and it looks perfect.

I will do as you suggest and create a bug report.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 30, 2018

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Do you have access to the original file from the Affinity app?

If yes, you could try to export the PDF again using a PDF/X-4 version of the PDF from the Affinity app and try placing the new PDF with InDesign CC 2018.1 or CC 2019 again. Maybe that will work.

Regards,
Uwe

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 30, 2018

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And here another thing, that makes this bug in CC 2018.1 and CC 2019 14.0.1.209 really annoying:

If I open an InDesign CC 2017.1 doc ( where I can place the PDF from Affinity without missing elements ) with InDesign CC 2019, the elements in the placed PDF suddenly are missing. And that without any error message. This is a workflow trap of rare quality.

You can see from the little preview in the Pages panel, that the elements were there before:

CC-2017.1-doc-opened-with-CC-2019-14.0.1.209.PNG

Regards,
Uwe

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New Here ,
Nov 30, 2018

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Yes Uwe, a strange and bizarre bug indeed. I can see no commonality among the missing elements either, which are a mix of jpeg images and native text in various fonts, all of which are used elsewhere in elements that are not missing.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 30, 2018

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My guess is that InDesign stops interpreting the contents stream of the PDF after meeting the missing glyph in the PDF from Affinity Designer. But only the developers of the import mechanism could tell what's really going on.

So if I were you I'd add another step to the workflow:
Preflight the PDFs in Acrobat Pro DC before you want to place them with InDesign.

Reject all you find with errors. Especially the ones with a missing glyph.

Regards,
Uwe

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 03, 2018

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Here a follow up:

I can see the same issues with Illustrator CC 2018.

When placing "Inside cover right hand.pdf" the same elements are missing.

No error message while placing.

Not so with Illustrator CC 2017.

All elements are there. No error message.

FWIW: My Illustrator CS6 is crashing while placing "Inside cover right hand.pdf".

I had an error message with placing the PDF with Illustrator CC 2019:

Die Schrift Avenir-Book fehlt.  Betroffener Text wird mit einer Ersatzschrift angezeigt.

Zum Erhalten des Aussehens wurde ein Teil des Textes in Pfade konvertiert.

Roughly translated to:

Font Avenir-Book is missing. Applied text will be rendered with a substitute.

To enforce the visible appearance parts of the text were converted to paths.

Placing-PDF-with-Illustrator-CC-2019-ERROR-MESSAGE.PNG

Result with Illustrator CC 2019:

Placing-PDF-with-Illustrator-CC-2019-ELEMENTS-ARE-MISSING.PNG

Regards,
Uwe

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 29, 2018

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CaptainSlocum  wrote

Recently, ads I design in Affinity Designer and export as a PDF (which I have been doing for years without problem) suddenly will not open properly when placed in InDesign 2019.

Hi,

suddenly? Did you do an update to your OSX perhaps?
Did it work before with InDesign CC 2019? With previous versions and the same PDF?

Thanks,
Uwe

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New Here ,
Nov 29, 2018

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I have tried rolling back to InDesign 2018 but get the same problem. I have actually had a problem for some time - that is to say PDFs looking fine everywhere else except in InDesign, but it has only really just become a problem because of the way I am working. In the past it was random, and manifested itself as InDesign refusing to export to PDF the whole magazine that contained the offending ad page/s. I discovered that if I remove the offending ad page and substitute a PNG or JPEG, it works. But this is the first time I have had just areas of the PDF not showing.

I am using the latest version of Mac OS (10.14.1)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 29, 2018

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Thank you for the sample!

I'll be back later.

For now it seems that InDesign CS6 on Windows 10 has no problem with this kind of PDF.

With CC 2019 14.0.1.209 I see the issues.

Regards,
Uwe

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 29, 2018

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Let's try one more thing:

Open it in Acrobat, and export it as a TIFF/JPEG with 300 dpi resolution from Acrobat.

Open it in Photoshop and see if the missing pieces appear.

Print the Photoshop image and the Acrobat-opened PDF to see if what you see is what you get on the printout. While you're at it, it probably wouldn't hurt to see if the suspect PDF prints correctly out of InDesign too, and the problem resides in display onscreen and not output.

This process will help you (and us) isolate the problem(s) for you.

Please let us know what you find out,

Randy

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New Here ,
Nov 29, 2018

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Randy+Hagan  wrote

Let's try one more thing:

Open it in Acrobat, and export it as a TIFF/JPEG with 300 dpi resolution from Acrobat.

Open it in Photoshop and see if the missing pieces appear.

Print the Photoshop image and the Acrobat-opened PDF to see if what you see is what you get on the printout. While you're at it, it probably wouldn't hurt to see if the suspect PDF prints correctly out of InDesign too, and the problem resides in display onscreen and not output.

This process will help you (and us) isolate the problem(s) for you.

Please let us know what you find out,

Randy

Doing what you ask in the first part results in a correct image of course - exporting to a raster image has never been a problem, but the printer wants our magazines as PDFs. As a work around I have had to export the missing bits as PNG files then make a PDF from the whole thing, but the quality suffers and those bits are no longer editable by a third party.

As to the second part, I can confirm the problem is not just the preview, the print out has the same problem.

Opening it in AI and placing the AI file in InDesign, as one person suggested, does not work either.

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New Here ,
Nov 29, 2018

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I had a similar problem awhile back. I created a new 1-page document with nothing else on it, then placed the ad. Save the page, then try to output. It worked fine from the new doc. I guessed it wasn't a problem with the ad, but with the magazine doc. Completely deleted the problem ad page from mag, then created a new blank in it's place and inserted the ad. No more problem outputting the mag.

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Explorer ,
Aug 06, 2020

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I can confirm there is still a problem with placing PDFs into InDesign docs in version 2020. It places them fine but show a blank space on the final exported PDF. Rolling back to ID CC 2018 worked as expected without problems.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 06, 2020

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Hi Steve,

can you share a sample PDF where placing goes wrong?

Best put in on Dropbox and post the download link.

 

And: Open your problem PDF with Acrobat Pro.

Can you see its contents? What does the information say about the creator software?

 

Thanks,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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