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PDF export from Publisher does not contain text information


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A friend of mine is struggling with the problem that the PDF files she exports from Affinity Publisher version 1.10.5 for our neighborhood magazine do not contain any text information. The PDF only contains the graphic image of the finished page, not the corresponding text.
Where / in which settings should she look for enabling text export?

 

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Hi @Rainer-Uwe Bielefeld and welcome to the forums,

Do you mean that there is literally no text on the exported page or that the text is there but is rasterised and non-selectable?

Could you confirm the font your friend uses in your neighbourhood magazine?

All of the standard PDF presets should export text so it would be helpful if you are able to upload perhaps just a single page from the magazine so we can take a look at what might be causing the issue...

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1 hour ago, Hangman said:

All of the standard PDF presets

image.png.4b95165250f2e36a40a1f39adade7420.png

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I read the original post as there was no text at all appearing on the exported PDF rather than the text was being rasterised but I may have misinterpreted what was meant here so awaiting confirmation from the OP.

Edit: And I was clearly wrong...

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2 hours ago, Hangman said:
Do you mean that there is literally no text

Hi @Hangman,

it means that you can not search the PDF for text, because it contains no text. Only curves looking like characters.

You can download one of the affected .afpub files here. May be examination tells you some  more?

And I will attach a PDF result "2024_3_17_KKI_WAApril2024_final_red.pdf" for examination here, too!

Hi @Pšenda

Thx. for Hint, "PDF/X compatibility" and "Text as Curves" preferences might be related?

CU

 

Rainer

2024_3_17_KKI_WAApril2024_final_red.pdf

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Hi @Rainer-Uwe Bielefeld,

As @Pšenda mentions above this is likely caused by the PDF export settings used... It looks as though your friend may be using the PDF (flatten) preset which will cause everything to be exported as an image...

The PDF/X options should maintain selectable and editable text, do you know the specific PDF/X settings your friend is using when exporting the file?

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I downloaded your file - I exported as it was offered to me and as it was set in the document, we loaded the resulting pdf back into APublisher - and the text is normally as "text", i.e. it is further editable.
image.png.47c645a279d2a24e8b8ff98ce810d31c.png

 

Your pdf is only one "image".
image.png.a6b714939f743f654ffd8489e89c9aed.png

Edited by Pšenda

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I can only assume if using one of the PDF/X export options that Rasterise is set to Everything for some reason...

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Exporting your 2024_3_17_KKI_WAApril2024.afpub file to PDF using any of the PDF/X presets, exports the file correctly with Layers and editable text unless you have Rasterise set to Everything under the More settings...

Rasterise should be set to Unsupported Properties from the dropdown if it isn't already...

Settings.png.18ec642b9453d1895a1daf566744ad27.png

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12 minutes ago, Rainer-Uwe Bielefeld said:

I am not sure whether I understand correctly.

afpub of course. Since your pdf contains only one image, see my previous post, I would not be able to recreate all the individual texts from it.

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1 hour ago, Rainer-Uwe Bielefeld said:

I think I should check the PDF export settings with my friend first. Then we'll see ...

Because the output of the attached PDF was in PDF v1.6, my guess is that the PDF was exported with "PDF (Flattened)" preset. This method uses PDF v1.6 and does what it says on the tin, that is, "flattens" everything, meaning that it creates a single image of the whole spread. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding (fairly common in e.g. POD-context) of the term "transparency flattening", which only means that live transparencies should not be included in the PDF output. PDF 1.6, however, does specifically NOT do that, but just "flattens" everything to an image (but would enclose the whole spread in one transparency group using RGB blending mode, probably caused by outer F/X used in some picture frames in the design, so some extra confusion from there, too).

[Note that the industry also uses term flattening for things like layer removal = flattening everything to "paper" background without a transparency and flattening text = producing a file without embedded fonts but rather having the text content either in outlines or rasterized in high resolution, so the term "flattening" can indeed be confusing.]

If this is a collaboration article (e.g. something like "one self-contained press-ready device CMYK spread with all images and fonts embedded") to be included in a larger publication, the safest export method from Publisher would be using PDF/X-1a:2003 -- unless the complete magazine is created with Publisher, in which case it much depends on the final PDF press settings, which PDF version should be used in placed PDFs to avoid rasterization (e.g., if PDF 1.7 can be used in final PDF, any PDF version is compatible; if the final PDF needs to be in PDF/X-4, PDF/X-3 and PDF/X-4 can be used, but not anything else; if the final PDF needs to be in PDF/X-1a, any placed PDF is typically rasterized).

If the main publication is created with InDesign or QuarkXPress, it is basically free how the export from Publisher is made, as these apps can produce the kind of PDF needed in press without worries of "PDF compatibility" and inadvertent rasterization, which in Affinity Publisher context happens if mixing "incompatible" PDF versions in placed content.  

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Additional Question – I don't know whether related or not:

Another phenomenon, I don't know yet whether it is related to the subject of this discussion or not. Since last summer, every Donauviertel-double-page  in the neighborhood magazine "Weststadt aktuell" has contained a repeat of a report on the 2023 plant exchange market. You can recognize it by the word "Tomatenstrauch" in the text! Please simply search Magazine April 2024! You will see 2 highlightings on PDF sheet 20 for hits in some hidden background text behind the "text picture".

It might be that this report is in the files provided here, or that it "cheats" its way through the newspaper from month to month; the second possibility seems more likely to me. Can someone please check whether the word "Tomatenstrauch" appears as a string in the text when opening the two files with Affinity products provided here?

 

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1 hour ago, Rainer-Uwe Bielefeld said:

Another phenomenon, I don't know yet whether it is related to the subject of this discussion or not. Since last summer, every Donauviertel-double-page  in the neighborhood magazine "Weststadt aktuell" has contained a repeat of a report on the 2023 plant exchange market. You can recognize it by the word "Tomatenstrauch" in the text! Please simply search Magazine April 2024! You will see 2 highlightings on PDF sheet 20 for hits in some hidden background text behind the "text picture".

The April 2024 edition of the magazine suffers from the same issue with everything including the text being rasterised so while 'yes', two instances of 'Tomatenstrauch' are indicated when searching the text in Acrobat we would need to see the original Publisher artwork for Page 20 to see what is going on.

There is likely just a hidden layer somewhere in the Layers Panel... If you do a Find for the word 'Tomatenstrauch' in the original Publisher document, focusing on Page 20 you should see both instances highlighted and should then be able to determine where they both are and delete as appropriate...

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1 hour ago, Rainer-Uwe Bielefeld said:

It's linked in a comment of mine from yesterday, here affected .afpub file again (original source for the magazine pages).

Sorry, I hadn't initially realised it was the same version but exporting the two pages to PDF and then searching for 'Tomatenstrauch' reveals nothing in Acrobat Reader but if I download the April edition from the website Acrobat Reader identifies two instances of 'Tomatenstrauch' as you mention above.

Having checked the two-page Publisher document 'Tomatenstrauch' doesn't appear at all which may suggest it is sitting elsewhere in the document, i.e., not actually on Page 20. If you are happy to upload the complete April edition Publisher file I'm sure we'll be able to find out where the hidden text is lurking...

There are several empty, extraneous text frames on the two-page version you kindly uploaded which don't need to be there as they serve no purpose, one sitting entirely off the spread so the artwork could certainly be tidied up a little.

There are also duplicate versions of the logos in the Layers panel that appear at the bottom of the right-hand page which don't need to be there...

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Hi @Rainer-Uwe Bielefeld,

No problem, when time allows feel free to upload the complete April edition if you’d like us to take a more detailed look…

I think there are possibly quite a few unnecessary elements throughout the document which could be removed, more than happy to take a look if it helps.

Hope the event goes well in the meantime…

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