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What's up with the fat characters in my PDF? (I and L) - Adobe Acrobat Macintosh

Same issue here. In Acrobat Reader 7.0.8: <http://home.mac.se/star-affinity/acrobat.png> In Preview (Mac OS X 10.4.7): <http://home.mac.se/star-affinity/preview.png> Since it seems to be just a display bug (it prints just fine) can't you please fix this in Adobe Reader 7.0.9? =)...

  1. #1

    Default Re: What's up with the fat characters in my PDF? (I and L)

    Same issue here.

    In Acrobat Reader 7.0.8:
    <http://home.mac.se/star-affinity/acrobat.png>

    In Preview (Mac OS X 10.4.7):
    <http://home.mac.se/star-affinity/preview.png>

    Since it seems to be just a display bug (it prints just fine) can't you please fix this in Adobe Reader 7.0.9? =)
    Martin_Bergstrom@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: What's up with the fat characters in my PDF? (I and L)

    Aandi, I have been reading your posts and can't believe how stubborn you are.

    There are many good reasons to outline fonts - its not just an 'old habit'. Furthermore, who are you to tell people HOW to work?

    The real question is why Acrobat can't deal with outlined fonts?

    In my case, I'm preflighting files, so they are already outlined, and I don't have access to the original file, so can't go back and change anything. And I see the 'fat L' problem often.
    WHY?

    Alice
    Alice_R_Young@adobeforums.com Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: What's up with the fat characters in my PDF? (I and L)

    Because outlined fonts loose their hinting and will always default to the next larger pixel width. This is why Aandi suggests not outlining fonts.
    Larry_G._Schneider@adobeforums.com Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: What's up with the fat characters in my PDF? (I and L)

    It's not just Aandi who says that. It's follows a general principle advocated by Adobe spokespeople and many others who write and lecture on printing industry best practices.

    Here's the general principal as stated by Dov Isaacs, Adobe Principal Scientist, Publishing Technologies & Services Group in his presentation, "Reliable PDF Print Publishing Workflows":

    "Principle 2: Maintain content at its highest level of abstraction by category and within category."

    "Application of Principle 2:

    "Text versus Vector Graphics versus Images

    "Text (realized via fonts - intelligently-scaleable filled Bezier or quadratic outlines) trumps Vector Graphics [outlined fonts] (stroked lines and outlined/filled polygons - simple geometric scaling)"

    And from Thomas Phinney, Adobe's "font guru" (and Creative Suite 2 manager):

    "For those who care, I thought I should explain a bit more about why the text fattens when you convert to outlines.

    "TWO things happen when you outline fonts:

    "* Loss of hinting

    "* Change in fill algorithm

    "The loss of hinting makes certain features potentially inconsistent....

    "The change in the fill algorithm combines with the lack of hinting to make the letters look fatter...."

    Steve
    Steve_Werner@adobeforums.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: What's up with the fat characters in my PDF? (I and L)

    Now that you have properly defended Aandi; Explain why the bad practice got started? Is it a holdover from a Time before Acrobat, or the PDF Format?
    pjonesCET@adobeforums.com Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: What's up with the fat characters in my PDF? (I and L)

    The practice does go back to pre-PDF days:

    If the font was outlined when the customer sent their QuarkXPress or Illustrator job to the printer, it meant the printer didn't have to deal with the fonts. It's as simple as that. So many (especially small, technologically slower) printers required that.

    PDF made that practice unnecessary because fonts are embedded, but some printers got "hooked' on the method.
    Steve_Werner@adobeforums.com Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: What's up with the fat characters in my PDF? (I and L)

    Thanks for the explaination. Maybe will help people stuck on old practices to change.

    Don't know what we would do with out, Aandi, Graffiti and the other regulars, You all do a great job. Sometimes You (the group individaully or as a group) and I have disagreements. But That's okay as well. Just seems like adobe could do better in some cases.
    pjonesCET@adobeforums.com Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: What's up with the fat characters in my PDF? (I and L)

    Now, to throw a bit of a curve into the discussion. I have had the "fat" problem with the letter "I" in our logo, which was originally outlined (more about outlining in a moment). However, I went in and drew a rectangle in the exact shape of the letter "I" to replace the outlined version, thinking that there was a problem with the outlined version that wouldn't exist with a simple drawn rectangle. However, this has produced the exact same "fat" result on pdfs. So why? And more to the point, how do I fix it or do I just continue to explain to people I send a low res pdf for approval to that it is "just a screen thing and will print fine"?

    Now, regarding outlining. Maybe I am "old school" but I would never dream of using an active, non-outlined font in an Illustrator eps logo. How silly is that? The amount of times I have to send out our logo all over the world would make having to send the font each time a bit of a joke. Never have I received another company's logo that doesn't have the font outlined. It is unheard of, at least in the years that I have been a designer, that a company has a logo with a non-outlined font in it.

    If anyone does have any ideas on how to solve this, please let me know.
    Charles_Smith_NatGeo@adobeforums.com Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: What's up with the fat characters in my PDF? (I and L)

    Charles, firstly the problem is down to the CS1 pdf library where it internally treats a basic box shape as stroked path as opposed to vector shape. The reason this only happens to L's & I's is due to the simplicity of this shape as good as a line. Try with serif font instead of sans and you will see this does not occur. There for the problem is not down to a font being outlined but the simplicity of the resulting object. Why would you need to send fonts when you can have them embedded? someone will put me right but aren't they coded to they can't be substituted by device or platform!
    Mark_Larsen@adobeforums.com Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: What's up with the fat characters in my PDF? (I and L)

    Thanks for your reply Mark. Does CS2 fix this anomaly?

    Regarding the embedding of fonts in an eps, I had worked under the knowledge, albeit from past experience, that some RIPs have problems with eps files with embedded and/or non-outlined fonts. I have done some tests and it does work (Quark's report file didn't report any reference to the font from the eps), so maybe this is "old" knowledge.
    Charles_Smith_NatGeo@adobeforums.com Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: What's up with the fat characters in my PDF? (I and L)

    For more info on outlined fonts and why they have some issues see illustrator FAQ on the subject a better explanation than I can give is there. Never had a font issue with PDF and been using it for years about 99% of my output is dependant on trouble free font embedding.
    Mark_Larsen@adobeforums.com Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: What's up with the fat characters in my PDF? (I and L)

    It wasn't a PDF font issue that I had trouble with, it was using Native Quark artwork with eps files embedded in it with non-outlined fonts. Even though we there are publications that prefer/accept Hi Res PDFs, most repro houses/printers still prefer the Quark file with all of its associated tiffs, eps files, etc.

    One thing we have had is eps files disappear from Hi Res PDFs when they are printed by different publications around the world.
    Charles_Smith_NatGeo@adobeforums.com Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: What's up with the fat characters in my PDF? (I and L)

    > One thing we have had is eps files disappear from Hi Res PDFs when they are printed by different publications around the world.

    Probsbly due to overprint problems in the original file.....

    Jon
    Jon_Bessant@adobeforums.com Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: What's up with the fat characters in my PDF? (I and L)

    Since outlining the font is not pure because of the following:

    1. larger file size
    2. long time to render
    3. non searchable
    4. fatter type at lower resolutions
    5. non-editable
    6. WHY? if you can embed the font inside the PDF???

    Jon

    PS - Acrobat 9 can now render outlines much better inside of Preferences
    / Page Display /
    Jon Bessant Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: What's up with the fat characters in my PDF? (I and L)

    Jon, I think several people have said why they need to outline fonts for one reason or another. In my case, corporate logos are the main reason. Logos are something you never want tampered with and I would be shocked to ever find a company's logo in a non-outlined font. Our logo, and most logos that I have seen, are vector-based, usually Illustrator eps files. When you create Hi Res pdfs from Quark, InDesign, etc you get the "fat character" problem.

    I wouldn't advocate outlining a page (or pages) that has a lot of text. The main problem seems to revolve around logos, in my opinion, which doesn't fit your criteria.

    That said, the simplest solution is sometimes the best. Adobe can not or will not change how Acrobat displays simple geometric shapes (uppercase "i" or lowercase "l"), so I took the advice of a previous poster and added a point in Illustrator to the capital "i" in our logo and viola, it worked. You don't have to add a curve or anything, just a simple point somewhere to fool Acrobat into thinking there are 5 points not a simple 4-pointed rectangle/square.

    It is a pain as our logo has been distributed worldwide for six years now. However, until an application-side solution is created, this solution does work.
    Charles_Smith_NatGeo@adobeforums.com Guest

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