Jump to content

Export to PDF replaces "ff" and "ss" in the entire document with a blank square box


Recommended Posts

I am evaluating the 3 Affinity products to replace Adobe. When exporting a document to PDF, every word in the document with "ff" and "ss" are all replaced with a square box. See attachments to view the problem.

I have tried every PDF type. The only one that doesn't do this is when I rasterize the file but then it's pages that look like photos and is 30mb in size. This defeats the purpose of PDF.

Please advise.

Screenshot 2020-06-11 10.04.30.png

Screenshot 2020-06-11 10.05.35.png

Screenshot 2020-06-11 10.06.21.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the Serif Affinity forums.

How are you viewing the exported PDF files? If you are opening them with an Affinity application, you may need to ensure that you turn off the "Subset Fonts" option in the More... part of the Export dialog. That should enable Affinity to properly interpret the ligatures that it is currently missing.

Alternatively, you could use Affinity's typography settings in the Character panel to disable the ligatures.

-- Walt

Desktop:  Windows 11 Home, version 22H2 (22621.1413) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 
Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.2728) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
        Affinity Photo 1.10.6 (.1665) and 2.1.0 and 2.1.0. beta/ Affinity Designer 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.1.0  and 2.1.0 beta / Affinity Publisher 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.1.0  and 2.1.0beta
iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 16.4.1 (a), Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

      Affinity Photo 1.10.7 and 2.1.0 and 2.1.0 beta/ Affinity Designer 1.10.7 and 2.1.0 and 2.1.0 beta/ Affinity Publisher 2.1.0 and 2.1.0 beta

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Walt and Sean. I have a 20+ page PDF with a Georgia font. If I change the font to anything else it messes up the entire formatting of the document. I need to edit the file, and that seems to work just fine. When I save it as PDF the problem occurs as shown throughout the document.

I am able to view the original PDF with Adobe PDF (any version), but the saved edited file from Affinity Designer has the problem described in my original post.

When I save the PDF file "Text as Curves" it works fine but cannot later edit the new file.

I tried turning off "Subset fonts" with no change to the problem. I cannot find a "Character panel" - only a "Text" drop down menu.

I am attaching the afdesign file you asked for Sean.

I am using version 1.8.3



Edited by RandyM
Adding version
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope this doesn’t just muddy the waters further for you but I just tried your attached design file and all PDF exports worked as expected, no mystery boxes replacing letters when viewed in Preview or Adobe Reader.

macOS 10.15.7  15" Macbook Pro, 2017  |  4 Core i7 3.1GHz CPU  |  Radeon Pro 555 2GB GPU + Integrated Intel HD Graphics 630 1.536GB  |  16GB RAM  |  Wacom Intuos4 M

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Was there ever a solution to this issue please? We have just spent a considerable sum on printing a magazine that has all the ff, i and single f letters replaced by a small square box. Yes, it ought to have been picked up in the print proof, but wasn't and now very disappointing. It was exported from Affinity Publisher to PDF and has exported this way, before going to print. Any help much appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello @Sister Irini

Have you tried the suggestions in the previous postings? So switch off ligatures in the character settings or / and subsets in the advanced export settings for PDF export.

AMD Ryzen 7 5700X | INTEL Arc A770 | 32 GB DDR4 3200MHz | Windows 11 Pro (22621.1778)
Affinity Suite V2.1 & Beta
Better translations with: https://www.deepl.com/translator  
SVG preview in Windows Explorer with "SVG-See  Download SVG-See

Impossible things are done immediately, miracles take a bit longer!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

Please note there is currently a delay in replying to some post. See pinned thread in the Questions forum. These are the Terms of Use you will be asked to agree to if you join the forum. | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.