Create PDF from Web Page uses only light weight fonts

Community Beginner ,
Apr 02, 2021 Apr 02, 2021

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System setup: Acrobat DC (CC) 21.0 on Mac OS X Big Sur 11.2.3.

 

I wanted to make a PDF from this URL https://developer.apple.com/fonts/TrueType-Reference-Manual/ using File > Create > PDF from Web Page...

 

The resulting PDF used Helvetica Neue Ultra Light for the body text which is almost completely unreadable. Some type was set in Courier (as it was monospaced on the webpage). The webpage header footer references were in Times.

 

Then I tried this again, after changing the font preferences here: Create PDF from Web Page > [Settings...] > Web Page Conversion Settings / [Settings] > Language Specific Font Settings changing Language Script Western European (& Unicode) to Helvetica Now Text.

 

The resulting PDF is still the same using Helvetica Neue Ultra Light.

 

Well, I can use Edit PDF to change the font choice to Helvetica Now. Only it messes up the spacing (unsurprisingly). Also I can only select all text on one page at a time, and the document is over 800 pages.

 

Checking the website I see that Apple is only using SF Pro Display, SF Pro Text, and Courier. I download SF Pro fonts from Apple's Developer Site, and install them on my system. Restart Acrobat DC and try to make a PDF again.

 

The PDF now uses SF Pro Display and SF Pro Text, but only the light versions of them.

 

I open Font Book and disable the light versions. Restart Acrobat DC and try to make a PDF again.

 

The PDF continues to use light versions of SF Pro Display and SF Pro Text.

 

I then manually remove the light variations of SF Pro, also the light variations of my Helvetica Now just in case. Restart, etc.

 

Now the type is rendered using the regular weights of SF Pro. Courier is on the delicate side but it's not used that much and so tolerable. Also I have no idea if I can remove all lighter versions from the system without breaking something important.

 

I can see the substitution of Helvetica Neue, but it seems that Acrobat should also try to match the weight. Appropriate weights were available, but it went for the lightest weight as regular. It doesn't seem right that I should have to uninstall anything to prevent this from happening.

 

This is the first time I tried this in Acrobat DC, but it seems like a bug to me. Any comments on what I might have missed here?

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Create PDFs , Edit and convert PDFs

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 02, 2021 Apr 02, 2021

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I don't think this is  a bug, but it is true that software companies have done an extremely poor job in educating software consumers to understand how Unicode, and Unicode character character sets work.

 

When compared to ASCII code, the new Unicode character sets that are the standard today differ in how many bytes per character are needed to represent a symbol, a number, a letter in lower case, a letter in upper case, and more precisely in which type of languages such character sets  can be supported (or not) by software applications.

 

So if I were you, I would check the following:

 

Create PDF from Web Page > [Settings...] > Web Page Conversion Settings / [Settings] > Input Encoding > Default Encoding

 

From the dropdown menu see if changing the encoding from  Unicode UTF-8 to Western European works for you.

 

And if that doesn't work you should try "Roman (ISO-8859-1)". 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 03, 2021 Apr 03, 2021

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Thanks for the tips! I reinstalled the light versions of the fonts and restarted Acrobat.

 

The web page uses SF Pro Display Semibold for the title, and SF Pro Text Regular for the body.

 

For all three encodings, in the resulting PDF:

  • the title is set to SF Pro Display Ultralight
  • the body is set to SF Pro Text Light
  • if I set the additional exceptions for Western European and Unicode to a particular font, the header/footer about the web page is set in that; if set with Helvetica Now it chooses the Thin weight, with SF Pro it chooses the Regular weight

 

The web page's own head element says it's UTF-8.

 

Next, I made sure encoding was set to "Use Selected: Always" if the web page didn't specify. It's not selectable for Western European, but it is for Unicode and ISO-8859-1. Neither of these produced different results. On a lark, Roman Macintosh and Roman Windows also don't work.

 

Bug. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 03, 2021 Apr 03, 2021

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What a bummer...

 

I have a Microsoft Windows 10 computer and just last week I was helping another user with similar issue.

 

Would you be able to test this same procedure with Acrobat for Windows? Sometimes a bug in Mac doesn't necessarily is present on Windows and viceversa.

 

If you don't mind sharing an example of a URL I can test  on my end.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 03, 2021 Apr 03, 2021

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I don't have a Windows installation with Creative Cloud. You can try the Apple site mentioned above. The SF Pro typefaces are available here: https://developer.apple.com/fonts/

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 13, 2021 Apr 13, 2021

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So... I attempted to save another website as PDF since Firefox was making a mess of the content. The resulting PDF is in Helvetica Neue UltraLight.

 

Maybe it's not the website... Made an HTML document:

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
  <meta charset="utf-8">
  <title>Test Page for Adobe Acrobat </title>
  <meta name="description" content="Test Page for Adobe Acrobat DC">
  <meta name="author" content="SitePoint">
  <style>
  	h1 { 
  		font-family: "Helvetica Neue", sans-serif; 
  		font-weight: normal; 
  	}
  	p { font-family: "Helvetica Neue", sans-serif; }
  </style>
</head>
<body>
<h1>A Basic HTML Template Page</h1>
<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Phasellus enim sapien, tincidunt vitae quam quis, fermentum semper turpis. Ut vitae varius nisl. Etiam id commodo quam, at posuere odio. Nullam volutpat efficitur purus, nec commodo eros. Praesent rutrum, arcu eu viverra tempus, leo metus pretium urna, quis accumsan massa orci in quam. Nam eleifend in neque non sodales. Integer dui nisi, vulputate et est vel, semper imperdiet felis. Morbi vulputate lacus sed turpis auctor feugiat. Maecenas ultricies ut odio eu iaculis. Duis dignissim enim ac ligula aliquet viverra. </p>
<p><a href="https://www.sitepoint.com/a-basic-html5-template/">adapted from SitePoint</a></p>
</body>
</html>

 

... and made the (also attached PDF). Helvetica Neue UltraLight again. Acrobat is picking the lightest available version of the indicated font and using that for the normal weight. There's nothing complicated about this page. It should be a no-brainer for Acrobat to deal with. Definitely a bug. 😞

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