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How to export a PDF with copyable text fields?

Explorer ,
Jun 30, 2021 Jun 30, 2021

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Hey all! I made a PDF file using photoshop/illustrator, and when I export, my issue is that the text fields aren't highlightable/copyable like other pdf's I've used. It is a presentation for work, and for utility purposes, I would like other colleagues to be able to copy and paste text from the .pdf, so they can easily transfer information to their scripts/projects. 

 

I used a drop shadow in photoshop on the text, is this what is causing the problem? When I imported the /psd files into illustrator, i made sure that it kept editable text fields for this reason. I'm more a premiere/ae guy, and am not 100% savvy with illustrator. Is there anything I can do to make sure the text is copy and pasteable?

 

Attached is a basic screenshot of my slides.

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How to, Type

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Enthusiast ,
Jun 30, 2021 Jun 30, 2021

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What are your AI export settings?

(Why are you bringing this in to AI?)

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Explorer ,
Jun 30, 2021 Jun 30, 2021

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I brought it into AI so I can have multiple artboards and have an 11 page pdf. I am more familiar with that workflow than multiple pages in photoshop. 

 

I did the export adobe .pdf optimized for fast web view. But i also tried a print style export.

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Enthusiast ,
Jun 30, 2021 Jun 30, 2021

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Is the text in your PS pdfs copyable in Acrobat?

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Explorer ,
Jun 30, 2021 Jun 30, 2021

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If I copy the text, it just copies an image of the whole text box. I cannot independently highlight and copy/paste text like I would from a word document or readable pdf.

 

attached is an example of what happens when I try to hihglight and copy/paste.

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Enthusiast ,
Jun 30, 2021 Jun 30, 2021

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So there's no way taking it in to AI is going to magically fix that, the "problem" is on the PS side.

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Explorer ,
Jun 30, 2021 Jun 30, 2021

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I didnt think it would fix that. I only went into AI for multiple artboards/pages in a single document....

 

If someone could help advise what is causing this problem, it would be appreciated! I just want to create a pdf with copy-able text.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 30, 2021 Jun 30, 2021

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The way you're going about this is not a standard workflow. Live type in a .psd file, or for that matter, in a Photoshop PDF, is "live" only in the sense that it can be re-read as such by Photoshop. When placed in Illustrator, the live type data is still there in the file, but it's not displayed. What you see on the screen is effectively a "clip group" of outlines from the type clipping a rectangle of the fill color used in Photoshop. Saved from Illustrator as PDF, you're only getting pictures of the type, as you've already discovered yourself.

 

To make presentation slides like the examples you posted, with live type, you'll have to set the type in an application that supports live export to PDF. The best tool would be InDesign, but it can be done in Illustrator too. In your situation, I'd go back to the Illustrator-placed .psd's, and try these (suggested) steps:

  1. Lock the existing layer, and add a new layer above.
  2. Retype the text using Illustrator's Type tool, then style and position it to match the Photoshop-set type, including the font, color, shadow, etc.
  3. Unlock the original layer where the .psd resides, select the .psd, right-click and choose Object Layer Options. In the Object Layer Options dialog, hide the type layer. 

 

Now, having replaced the Photoshop-set type with Illustrator-set type, you can Save As PDF and have your live text.

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Explorer ,
Jun 30, 2021 Jun 30, 2021

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OK awesome! I'm totally not a PS/AI guy, I am figuring out workflows as I go along, so I know I am doing something incorrectly. This is extremely helpful and I really appreciate you taking the time! I am going to try it out right now. 

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