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PDF Opening Problems - Clients can't open files


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Hello,

I've had a few problems sending files to people and they not being able to open them. I can open them fine in both Acrobat Reader and PDF Studio, but I've been having frequent (but irregular) issues. Attached is one of the "problem" files.

Has anyone else encountered this? Is it a bug? I'm using Affinity Publisher 2 2.1.0 to export.

Thank you!

2546 HSF Logo Proof7.pdf

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5 minutes ago, RenWaller said:

I've had a few problems sending files to people and they not being able to open them.

What application are they using to open them?

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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9 minutes ago, RenWaller said:

I'm not entirely sure, but as this is not an isolated incident, I haven't asked or found out yet.

It's important to know, I think, as that may help find an answer.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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Opening the PDF in Designer and Publisher there is one weird thing which I noticed. The word "Farms" is made up of individual Frame Text Text Frames. Perhaps you could try converting that word to Curves and exporting. Also I don't have the font ArtelisRegular for the word "Farms" so that may be a problem for the people you are sending this PDF to.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 12.7.2 
Affinity Designer 2.3.1 | Affinity Photo 2.3.1 | Affinity Publisher 2.3.1 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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6 hours ago, RenWaller said:

I've had a few problems sending files to people and they not being able to open them. I can open them fine in both Acrobat Reader and PDF Studio, but I've been having frequent (but irregular) issues. Attached is one of the "problem" files.

The PDF opened fine with the following applications:

PDF Editors and Readers
-----------------------
PDF-XChange Editor
Nitro Pro
Master PDF Editor 5
Infix Pro
Foxit PDF Editor
Foxit PDF Reader
FlexiPDF

Browsers
------------
Firefox
Google Chrome
Microsoft Edge
Vivaldi (chromium)

PDF Tools
-------------
3-Heights PDF Analysis and Repair Tool - (no errors found)
PDF Debugger
PDF Explorer

It did open a bit slower in a few apps which means they had to do a bit of computing.
So the complexity may be an issue with some user's systems and applications.

Does not appear to be an issue with the PDF.

 

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@kenmcd, wow, thanks for checking all that, that's really helpful! It's encouraging to know it's not actually a PDF issue.

@Red Sands, @walt.farrell, @Old Bruce, thank you all for your insight! I've asked about what [one person] is trying with, but no answers yet. Thanks for the suggestions for helping with export! I use the PDF (for print) preset option, so it looks like those options are indeed checked, but the problem is probably still with the font I'm guessing.

Thank you!

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  • 1 month later...

I'm not sure if this is the same problem that happened previously, but it's an issue with PDFs either way. She said she tried opening  w/ Adobe, Edge and Google and all three showed up like this:

image.png.d6396207ced4dd0f6d8a6b7bef101185.png

And today she said, "I’m not sure what’s going on with your files, but I can only open them on the web and any downloaded version says it is corrupt."

Any ideas of what the problem could be? They all work fine on my end in any program I try to open them with.

Thank you!

 

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Hi @RenWaller,

Are you able to upload one of the problematic new files so we can take a look? There is clearly a font related issue here but without seeing a file it's going to be track it down.

Affinity Designer 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Photo 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Publisher 2.3.1.2217
Affinity Designer Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Photo Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Publisher Beta 2.4.0.2294

Affinity Designer 1.7.3 | Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.8
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.8

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I don't see a problem with your initial PDF. The fonts are subsetted correctly as far as I can tell. How are other people receiving your files? I have had Outlook damage files regularly that people send to me, and there is a way around that MS's way of proprietary embedding. The original files are fine though.

If you can give people the files through another source such as a different thumbdrive or cloud drive, do they have the same problems?

As for the newer screenshot with square characters, I have seen that with fonts that are not allowed to be embedded. In that case, convert all the fonts to outlines or raster when exporting.

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On 7/20/2023 at 4:30 PM, RenWaller said:

And today she said, "I’m not sure what’s going on with your files, but I can only open them on the web and any downloaded version says it is corrupt."

That is kinda strange.
"only open them on the web" ? Could be a browser config. issue.
Mis-configured web servers can corrupt files, and/or send the wrong MIME type which can do odd things on the receiving end.
Or something on her network could be corrupting the files.
Or even some firewall/antivirus app is out of control.
Is she the only one with this issue?

Can you post the same link she used to download the PDF?
Then we can see if we can download it OK.

If you send her a ZIP with the PDF inside via email does that PDF work?
Can she open the ZIP?

If you upload the PDF to someplace like workupload.com, does that PDF work for her?

Can you provide the PDF from your image above?
The text issues look like an encoding issue.
I would like to see what is in there.
 

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Thanks for all the insights! Attached are a few of the files, the initial Design Days one (where the text turned into squares but then I resaved it and sent it as a Google Drive link and it worked fine), and then a few others where she just got fed up, so I started putting JPGS instead of PDFs in her Drive.

If the problem with the Design Days Booklet is font embedding, why can some people see it fine and others can't even if everyone doesn't have the font? I thought you were supposed to be able to read PDFs no matter what, just trying to edit them might turn into a problem.

Thank you!

INK Design Days Booklet.pdf 2558 AAR BVM Ads PROOF.pdf 2558 AAR Tent PROOF2.pdf

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Hi @RenWaller,

I can't see any issues with any of your PDF files, regardless of the PDF Reader or Browser used to view them and likewise, I can't see any issues with the font embedding, all appears to be pretty standard and as expected here... maybe others can spot something I'm missing.

I would say the 'issue' is 100% at the client's end, has she perhaps tried viewing on a different PC/Mac or even mobile device?

 

 

Affinity Designer 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Photo 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Publisher 2.3.1.2217
Affinity Designer Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Photo Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Publisher Beta 2.4.0.2294

Affinity Designer 1.7.3 | Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.8
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.8

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4 hours ago, RenWaller said:

If the problem with the Design Days Booklet is font embedding, why can some people see it fine and others can't even if everyone doesn't have the font? I thought you were supposed to be able to read PDFs no matter what, just trying to edit them might turn into a problem.

Yes, anyone should be able to view the PDFs exactly as created if the fonts are embedded (which includes the shapes), or if the entire document is converted to shapes (no actual text codes behind those shapes).
PDF viewers usually just show whatever is there.
The encoding issues usually only arise when trying to edit the PDF, where the codes behind those shapes matter. Still, viewing should be no problem.
If someone did create the PDF with actual text, and did not embed the fonts, then the encoding and the availability of the fonts on the users' system matters.
But you embedded all the fonts. There should be no problems.

On 7/20/2023 at 4:30 PM, RenWaller said:

She said she tried opening  w/ Adobe, Edge and Google and all three showed up like this:

image.png.d6396207ced4dd0f6d8a6b7bef101185.png

And today she said, "I’m not sure what’s going on with your files, but I can only open them on the web and any downloaded version says it is corrupt."

That is what a PDF can look like when there is an encoding issue while the PDF is being created. And if that is the case - an encoding issue during creation - anyone opening that PDF would see that mess.
That look can also be the result of font cache corruption, again, while being created.

I looked at the PDFs you attached above and they display fine in multiple PDF viewers and PDF editors.
There is just a bit of embedding/encoding weirdness on the Arvo font, but just on characters included in the full font, but that you did not use in the document. So even though it is a bit odd, it should have no effect on viewing the PDF.

So I agree with @Hangman 's opinion that "the 'issue' is 100% at the client's end"

And this...
"And today she said, "I’m not sure what’s going on with your files, but I can only open them on the web and any downloaded version says it is corrupt."
... seems to confirm that.

If the corruption issue is perhaps somehow caused during the upload of the PDF to make the file available for download, then others should see the same issues - which is why I asked for the actual download link you gave her.
If we can download it from the same link, and it is fine, then the issue is definitely at her end.

 

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I once encountered a similar problem with one of my clients. It turned out that she had replaced the system’s PDF reader with a free PDF not utility reader that also allowed her to modify PDFs to add annotations, for example. Removing this tool was complicated, but it solved the problem.

6 cœurs, 12 processus - Windows 11 pro - 4K - DirectX 12 - Suite universelle Affinity (Affinity  Publisher, Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo).

Mais je vous le demande, peut-on imaginer une police sans sérifs ?

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