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Getting small fonts embedded in Pages PDFs... how?

753 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Jul 5, 2013 4:07 PM by Tom Gewecke RSS
Gavin Lawrie Level 2 Level 2 (370 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 3, 2013 3:56 AM

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
  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (27,270 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 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.



  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (70,815 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?

  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (70,815 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?

  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (70,815 points)

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

  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (27,270 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.



  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (27,270 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.



  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (27,270 points)



    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.



  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (70,815 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?


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