13 Replies Latest reply: Jul 5, 2013 4:07 PM by Tom Gewecke
Gavin Lawrie Level 2 Level 2 (385 points)

I have a Pages document that has a block of small (6pt and 7pt) type.  When I create a PDF of the document, the OS X PDF creation system substitutes bit-maps for the characters, and there is a significant loss in legibility.  If I create a similar PDF using Adobe Acrobat X (via the Print / PDF / Save as Adobe PDF method) these characters are represented correctly.  Here is a illustration of the problem: first image via Adobe Acrobat, second image via OS X.

 

Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 11.49.11.PNGScreen Shot 2013-07-03 at 11.50.03.PNG

The document is intended to become a Template for use on our company's Mac computers (running iWork 09 / Mountain Lion currently), and these computers will need to be able to generate PDFs from the template.  It is not helpful for us to have to install Acrobat X on every machine simply to allow this to happen. 

 

Is there a way to adjust the settings for PDF creation within OSX to correct for this problem?

 

Any suggestions would be most gratefully received.


Mac Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), 2x2.4 GHz Quad-core, 12GB, 5870
  • 1. Re: Getting small fonts embedded in Pages PDFs... how?
    PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (29,630 points)

    Are you sure this is actually what is happening?

     

    To my knowledge all fonts at all sizes are embedded. Are you looking at these pdfs in Acrobat, because it has problems for some reason with fonts embedded with OSX.

     

    A quick experiment, which I can't do because I am on a PC at the moment, is to create a small point size pdf and examine it greatly enlarged in Preview.app. I'll be surprised if it is pixelated, and believe what you are seeing is the normal anti-aliasing of the text displayed on screen.

     

    Peter

  • 2. Re: Getting small fonts embedded in Pages PDFs... how?
    Gavin Lawrie Level 2 Level 2 (385 points)

    Hi Peter,

     

    Yes, it really is happening.  The screen shots are clips of Preview rendering of the two documents, zoomed in on the small text (6pt).  Clearly the rendering of the two documents is different.  As the viewing application is the same, the implication is that the rendering problems are being introduced by the encoding process. 

     

    The problem is repeatable.  Simply generate a PDF using OS X PDF engine (i.e. export as PDF, Print as PDF etc.).

     

    HTH.

  • 3. Re: Getting small fonts embedded in Pages PDFs... how?
    Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (71,715 points)

    Gavin Lawrie wrote:

     

    The problem is repeatable.  Simply generate a PDF using OS X PDF engine (i.e. export as PDF, Print as PDF etc.).

     

    I tried with Helvetica 6 and did not see your problem.  What font are you using?

  • 4. Re: Getting small fonts embedded in Pages PDFs... how?
    Gavin Lawrie Level 2 Level 2 (385 points)

    Linotype's Frutiger Neue LT Pro Light, 6pt.  This is apparently a "Postscript Flavored" OpenType font.  According to Linotype information "Preview & Print Embedding Allowed".

     

    Hope the information helpful.  But the oddity I'm trying to tackle is the difference in behaviour between Acrobat and OS X in respect to the handling of the font: Acrobat codes up the PDF just fine, OS X doesn't.  Are you suggesting that the problem is that OS X cannot embed a font that Acrobat can?

  • 5. Re: Getting small fonts embedded in Pages PDFs... how?
    Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (71,715 points)

    Gavin Lawrie wrote:

     

    Acrobat codes up the PDF just fine, OS X doesn't.  Are you suggesting that the problem is that OS X cannot embed a font that Acrobat can?

     

    That would be odd I think. But do you see the same problem with standard OS X fonts or others than the one you have mentioned?

  • 6. Re: Getting small fonts embedded in Pages PDFs... how?
    Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (71,715 points)

    PS Have you verified whether the font is being embedded or not by checking, e.g., Adobe Reader > File > Properties > Fonts?

  • 7. Re: Getting small fonts embedded in Pages PDFs... how?
    Gavin Lawrie Level 2 Level 2 (385 points)

    Hi Tom,

     

    Really helpful suggestions.  Don't solve problem, but do get me much closer.  I checked the embedding information as you suggested, and the Font is being embedded in both the OS X document and the Acrobat document, but the way in which the font is embedded is different between the two documents. 

     

    Separately, I checked what the document looks like in Acrobat (not tried this previously, as most of our machines don't have it), and the two documents look the same.  Also, Preview prints both documents to look the same.

     

    So in a way I suppose I don't need to worry about it - it looks ugly, but is not affecting the function of the document generated.  But would be better if I could get Preview to not produce jaggy text if I could (as we can't afford to install Acrobat on machines just to eliminate this problem).  Any ideas?

     

    Background information...

     

    Here is the information reported by Acrobat about font embedding for the Frutiger Light font - first image for the OS X generated document, second for the Acrobat generated document:

    Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 13.51.42.PNGScreen Shot 2013-07-05 at 13.51.13.PNG

    The report on embedding is quite different. 

     

    • The OS X generated file has embedded a "Type 1" subset of Frutiger Light five times, using Custom and or Roman encoding.
    • The Acrobat generated file has embedded a "Type 1" subset of Frutiger Light twice using ANSI and Custom encoding and has also embedded a third subset of type "Type 1 (CID)" with encoding "Identity-H".

     

    Second, another view of the file when viewed in Preview, even more zoomed in that previous one - the first two images from left are OS X generated (export / best, print / save as PDF), the third is Acrobat generated, and has much less jagged edges on d or W for example:

    Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 13.29.56.PNG

    Here are same documents (in same order) viewed in Acrobat - text renders the same in each case.

    Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 13.35.03.PNG

  • 8. Re: Getting small fonts embedded in Pages PDFs... how?
    PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (29,630 points)

    So really you are talking about the anti-alias setting in OSX's System Settings, which is what I suspected all along. You can adjust this on your Macs but you may affect screen readability.

     

    Peter

  • 9. Re: Getting small fonts embedded in Pages PDFs... how?
    Gavin Lawrie Level 2 Level 2 (385 points)

    Hi Peter,

     

    Excellent news - if the answer was clear all along it is a pity you didn't mention it earlier, but glad you have now.  Could you possibly post some information about how to fix it? I would be most grateful.

     

    Regards

     

    Gavin

  • 10. Re: Getting small fonts embedded in Pages PDFs... how?
    PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (29,630 points)

    The pity of it is that I did:

     

     

    PeterBreis0807 wrote:

     


    I'll be surprised if it is pixelated, and believe what you are seeing is the normal anti-aliasing of the text displayed on screen.

     

     

    I am not in front of a Mac but you will find the anti-alias settings as I have said, in the System Settings probably under Display or Usability settings.

     

    Peter

  • 11. Re: Getting small fonts embedded in Pages PDFs... how?
    Gavin Lawrie Level 2 Level 2 (385 points)

    Hi Peter,

     

    Well sort of.  Your original comment seemed to just be a substantiation of an observation that either what I was seeing wasn't actually a problem, or perhaps an observation that I had described it inappropriately.  For the avoidance of doubt, here it is again.  First image from Preview's rendering of a PDF created by OS X from a Pages original.  Second, same thing but of PDF created using "Save as Adobe PDF" method.  What I would like to do is persuade OS X / Pages / Whatever to generate PDFs that look like the Adobe version, without having to buy X copies of Adobe for our machines simply to achieve the result.

     

    Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 23.29.15.PNG

    Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 23.29.02.PNG

     

    If it is a 'system' issue, it does not explain why one version of the document would be behaving one way and another not, on the same system.  There is clearly something about the OS X version of the PDF that is triggering Preview to display of text obscurely, and this is not happening when Preview displays the Acrobat version.  How this is a 'system' issue is not clear - but maybe I'm just not understanding what you are saying.

     

    I had really good rummage around in System Preferences and failed to find any setting for anti-aliasing. A quick Google search turns up what I think you are referring to - setting various forms of pixel rendering behaviour to match display type.  If so, it appears to have been removed after Lion.  However since I'm using an LED Cinema Display, it would appear Apple sets these up without the option to set pixel leveling rendering anyhow, so I might not have had the choice in Lion either.  As far as I can tell, the option is still accessible via Terminal in ML, but I can't see how adjusting it would fix the inconsistent display of the document.

     

    I am presumably missing something obvious here. 

     

    Regards

     

    Gavin

  • 12. Re: Getting small fonts embedded in Pages PDFs... how?
    PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (29,630 points)

    Gavin

     

    I take care to write, as accurately as I can, what I mean. In the hope that some people will actually read it.

     

    As I have repeatedly said I can not currently test this as I am on a PC or I would. I usually test everything extensively and thoroughly, working through the issue logically in well labeled steps. Which would be me doing it for you.

     

    Apple's OSX text rendering is set universally and is applied according to the point size of the text on screen.

     

    Adobe has its own anti-aliasing settings, which when I last tested them were surprisingly inferior to Apple's. I can only work out what is happening in your case once I can get back to my Mac, at the moment the best I can do is get at a Mac in an AppleStore, which I don't really want to do as I am here on holidays, but it won't have the specific type you mentioned.

     

    Peter

  • 13. Re: Getting small fonts embedded in Pages PDFs... how?
    Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (71,715 points)

    Gavin Lawrie wrote:

     

    it does not explain why one version of the document would be behaving one way and another not, on the same system. 

     

    Did you ever have time to check whether you see the same thing when the font is the standard OS X Helvetica or something like Adobe Minion Pro?