PDF Problems Lead List of Problems Faced By Readers This Month
May 03, 2007 at 07:05 pm by
I had great expectations for today. After spending three hours on the phone with a software representative, I realized the product I planned to review isn?t quite ready for prime time. Next, I turned to Plan B. There was an application sitting on my desk that I?ve meant to try out for the past month. So I took it for a ride around the block. No luck. After several tries, it kept crashing.
So I sit here with a deadline staring me in the face and nothing to write about. Sure, I could write a review of Photoshop CS3, but I just covered InDesign CS3 in my last column. When all else fails, I know I can always turn to my trusty email. There?s plenty of material there. And the pilot just announced we?ll be sitting here, on the runway, for at least two more hours. That should give me plenty of time.
Here are a few of the questions I?ve received in the past month:
From Wade in Minnesota
This is a common problem for us. PDF files from ad agencies or ?do it yourself? customers are filled with text that?s on all four plates. Is there any software or plug-ins to convert text to black? Can this be done in Acrobat?
Sorry, Wade. There?s no easy way to do this in Acrobat. This can be fixed in Photoshop, but it?s a complicated procedure. Fortunately, there are several plug-ins for Acrobat that can assist you with this problem. Two long time favorites are Quite a Box of Tricks, by Quite Software (quite.com) and Pitstop Professional by Enfocus (enfocus.com).
From Eileen in Chicago
Is Adobe committed to keeping Dreamweaver in its arsenal? We?re looking to buy a few more seats, but I don?t want to go to the expense if we have to switch to a different program in 6 months.
No problem, Eileen. Dreamweaver isn?t going anywhere. Currently, Adobe is standing behind both Dreamweaver and GoLive. Maybe they?ll stick with both. Who knows. Either way, my money is on Dreamweaver. It?s not going anywhere. Go ahead. Make Adobe?s day and buy a few copies.
From Tina in Mississippi
We are using Quark 5.0 & 6.5, Acrobat 5.0 & 7.0 Professional. When we try to make a PDF using Acrobat Distiller 7.0 it won?t embed Times New Roman and Arial fonts. We don?t seem to have a problem when we use Acrobat 5.0 to make a PDF. Have you had other people with this problem? We have tried changing settings and nothing we?ve done seems to work. Do you have a solution or suggestion?
Sounds like a common problem, Tina. When you created your Distiller settings, you most likely began with the Standard option built into Acrobat. One of the settings in this option is to never embed certain fonts. You guessed it. Both Arial and Times New Roman are in this list. Go to the Fonts settings in Acrobat Distiller (found under Settings>Edit Adobe PDF Settings) and remove all the fonts listed in the ?Never Embed? list. That should do it.
From Bob in Tennessee
I have a question for you, when you have time. I?m attaching a PDF file that we were sent to use in the paper this week. It would print fine when we opened the PDF and it would drop onto the InDesign page fine. But, when you went to print the InDesign page, a message appeared saying there was a problem with a font. If you could tell me how to fix this, I?d appreciate it.
I?ve seen this problem many times, Bob. This is one of those times when Photoshop can be used to fix a problem PDF file. First open the PDF file in Photoshop, at a resolution of 1000 or higher. Save the file as an EPS file. Next, create a new setting in Distiller that is exactly the same as the settings you usually use, but change the downsampling from 200 (or whatever it?s set for) to 600. This should be done for both color and grayscale images. Click the Save As button and give this setting a new name like ?PHOTOSHOP-HIRES? or something you will remember. Finally, distill the file. You?ll have a PDF file that looks and prints like the original, but without any pesky CID fonts to cause printing problems.
Keep sending those questions. Who knows? They might come in handy at deadline. And while you?re online, check out the latest plans at the Institute of Newspaper Technology at newspaperinstitute.com.