Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I recently put together a neighborhood newsletter and experienced problems with PDF placement. 

One file, a comic strip created in Comic Life 3 (3.5.10) and exported to PDF (Comic Section.PDF), was corrupted in both graphics and fonts--everything was awry. When I re-imported the PDF into the latest version, I was pleased to see the graphics were correct, but the text and fonts left a lot to be desired.

The other PDF (exchange ad grayscale 3-30-19.pdf) was given to me by a designer who uses Photoshop and InDesign. The only problem with this import was the “f” logo for Facebook was corrupted.

I enclose a Publisher file with these two PDFs imported and the PDFs themselves.

Macbook
OSX 10.14.4
Affinity Publisher Beta 1.79.0.305

exchange ad grayscale 3-30-19.pdf

Comic Section.pdf

PDF placement issue.afpub

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see both like missing font issues. Though the PDF shows the fonts correct and even informs about them as embedded I can't either change text in Acrobat nor open the PDf in Illustrator without a missing font message there.

Can't you install the fonts? I guess the issues would not occur any more.


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tom,

This isn't a bug, but is the cause of not currently supporting fonts embedded within PDFs. For these to import correctly you would unfortunately need to have all the fonts installed, and even then you may not get a 100% accurate portrayal of the PDF, because of not having support for PDF pass-through.

With that said, these are both things we would like to add in the future though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Sean P said:

(...) not currently supporting fonts embedded within PDFs.

Hi @Sean P,

can you explain that a bit more, please?

I wonder why I see the fonts in Tom's PDF correctly – though I haven't its used fonts on my computer at all? They appear as embedded, otherwise I would not see them in PDF view (macOS preview or Acrobat).

Also I do experience definitely a difference on PDF export with / without activated font embedding: Only the export embed option "No fonts" results in a PDF with a replaced font occurrence on my computer (after de-installed font after export from Publisher).

What kind of difference is working here for "embed"? (besides 'subset')


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PDFs (generally) contain a copy of the font used in the document so they display correctly when opened in PDF viewers, or one devices that do not have those fonts installed.

However when importing these PDFs into Affinity you will get a message warning which fonts cannot be found on your system and if you want to make any substitutions. This is because we cannot read those copies of the font inside the PDF. 

See attached screenshot showing the PDF in Acrobat showing the embedded fonts, and also the import in Publisher and the resulting document when I turn off Font Substitutions.

Would you be able to take a screenshot showing what you get on the Font Import screen with those documents?

As for the export options, they determine if you want to import a copy of the whole font, a subset of just the used characters or no font at all.

Affinity Publisher_3.png

PDF Options.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Sean P said:

PDFs (generally) contain a copy of the font used in the document so they display correctly when opened in PDF viewers, or one devices that do not have those fonts installed.

However when importing these PDFs into Affinity you will get a message warning which fonts cannot be found on your system and if you want to make any substitutions. This is because we cannot read those copies of the font inside the PDF. 

This sounds to me that font "embed" does work - whereas only font "read" does not, – right?

How can I understand, that an embedded font appears not to be readable by AfPublisher or Illustrator - whereas it does by Apple's Preview.app and by Acrobat?

 

37 minutes ago, Sean P said:

Would you be able to take a screenshot showing what you get on the Font Import screen with those documents?

I assume my screenshots do not show any news to you. – In AfPub I first get the same font missing pop-up warning as you, than also the look appears to be the same:

1649800435_comicfont-publisherviewandmessage.jpg.7d69ca3212b9bd9d4aec4bb870e17333.jpg

 

In Acrobat I get the same document properties font info as you, describing as embedded subset ("eingebettete Untergruppe"):

277535061_comicfont-acrobatpropertiesembeddedsubset.jpg.1863fac4612c8a4cf12ed24bedebb38e.jpg

 

In Acrobat's Touch-up tool (to edit text content) I get your mentioned warning of not available system font as you – though the font is checkmarked as embedded/subset:

512842297_comicfont-acrobattouch-upembeddedsubset.jpg.699ccd8278ff249f2aef7d469a26dd42.jpg

 

In AI I get the font missing warning first ...

2016853414_comicfont-illustratormessage.jpg.2464a93e25b707a4ce330935d3a081d0.jpg

... but than a different text occurence: AI ignores alignment/layout –> no wrong spaces within words (as in AfPub):

937973300_comicfont-illustratorview.jpg.916563486b66e07f6f78ecf92a6291ca.jpg


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, thomaso said:

This sounds to me that font "embed" does work - whereas only font "read" does not, – right?

How can I understand, that an embedded font appears not to be readable by AfPublisher or Illustrator - whereas it does by Apple's Preview.app and by Acrobat?

Ahh I think you may have misunderstood me, when I said it doesn't support fonts embedded within a PDF. I was only referring to the opening and placement of PDFs - this is not currently possible and is something development would like to address in the future. Yes, you've got it correct with your second paragraph. :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Sean P said:

Yes, you've got it correct with your second paragraph.

I don't think so. It was questioning. I want to know what's going on, kind of technically, if an embedded font can be read by one but can not by another application. I assume it is not necessarily related to implemented font-reading code (cause for instance Illustrator does have it).


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To explain it the other way round:

  1. Most applications display PDFs correctly. Why? Because they display it. The PDF (normally) has everything incorporated, what is needed – especially the used fonts or subsets of them.
  2. Some applications allow editing a PDF. Acrobat Pro does it to a certain degree for example. Now, you sometimes can see, that the PDF, which was displayed correctly formerly, may change the fonts as soon as you try to edit the text.. The reason of this are (a) copyright issues and (b) sometimes the fact, that only a subset of the font was embedded (—> if the glyph „z“ isn‘t embedded, you can‘t use it.). Additionally it would need coding efforts to retrieve the embedded fonts from the PDF to re-use it. But, as I said, that is in most cases not only a technical, but also a legal issue. So: Acrobat Pro only enables us to edit a PDF, when the exact(!) same font, which is used within the PDF, is installed on our computers – and so does Illustrator.
  3. Affinity Publisher isn’t able to simply display a PDF, as, for example InDesign, QuarkXPress, Apple’s Preview or most other applications do. Affinity Publisher tries to import the PDF in a way, that makes it editable. And exactly that is the pitfall: Using a font, embedded within a PDF, normally(!) is only legal, if you own this font, respective, if you have it installed on your machine. Other apps don’t have to struggle with this problem, because they don’t try to (re-) use the embedded fonts.
  4. So, if you open/place a PDF with fonts, which are not installed on your computer, the font will change into a standard font. If Affinity Publisher had a PDF „Pass Through“ mode (see point 1.), this wouldn’t be an issue, but …

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, mac_heibu said:

Affinity Publisher isn’t able to simply display a PDF, as, for example InDesign, QuarkXPress, Apple’s Preview or most other applications do.

If you want this functionality, click on "File" in the main menu and select "Place ...".

This is called 'pass-through' which means you get to see a preview and when you create a high-resolution file, the information of the PDF is being pushed into your print file 1:1.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, mac_heibu said:

Now you sometimes can see, that the PDF, which was displayed correctly formerly, may change the fonts as soon as you try to edit them. The reason of this are (a) copyright issues

@mac_heibu, thank you! – Aha, "edit" + "copyright" in combination were the point that lacked my mind.

As far I understand now, this copyright protection concerns fonts, not the textual content. – So, one last question:

Am I guessing right that it is more a technical issue than a feature in purpose when I am not able to change the text content in a PDF by Acrobats Touch-Up tool if the fonts aren't installed on my computer? I would expect Touch-Up tool not to react with a missing font message in such case. (compare: I may alter text content when opening the PDF in Publisher or Illustrator, regardless of installed fonts)


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Jens Krebs said:

If you want this functionality, click on "File" in the main menu and select "Place ...".

This is called 'pass-through' which means you get to see a preview and when you create a high-resolution file, the information of the PDF is being pushed into your print file 1:1.

No, this isn’t true! Why don’t you simply try it?

  • Activate a font, create a test document containing this font, write a PDF, then (a) place and (b) open this PDF in Publisher ­­-> both works fine!
  • Now deactivate the font and and place/open the PDF again in Publisher. You will see that in both cases the font will be replaced by Lucida Grande.

If you want to try it without creating an extra document:

  • Download the attached PDF file „Font_Test.pdf" (It contains one of the the most ugly font, I have ever seen: „!Pepsi!“. I assume, you haven’t installed this font in your system.
  • Place this document in InDesign, Pages, Preview – whatever app you want, and you will see: It displays correctly.
  • Now open and/or place this PDF in Publisher, and you’ll see, what I mean: The font will be replaced in both situations.

Additional information: Acrobat Pro behaves exactly, as I described in my last post: Acrobat displays the document correctly. When you try to edit the text, this  works fine, when the font is installed on your machine. Otherwise the edits won’t be set in „!Pepsi!“, but in a standard font (Mignon).

Font_Test.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, thomaso said:

As far I understand now, this copyright protection concerns fonts, not the textual content. – So, one last question:

Am I guessing right that it is more a technical issue than a feature in purpose when I am not able to change the text content in a PDF by Acrobats Touch-Up tool if the fonts aren't installed on my computer? I would expect Touch-Up tool not to react with a missing font message in such case. (compare: I may alter text content when opening the PDF in Publisher or Illustrator, regardless of installed fonts)

Yes, I am not talking about the content. Fonts are subjected to copyright law. So you can’t simply hand them over as a font file or as an embedded element, so that another person can use it.

The „Touch Up“ tool in Acrobat Pro allows you to edit text. But the font, which is used for these edits will only be the one, which you are editing, if the exact same font (company, format, name, typeface, … is installed on your machine. It this isn’t the case, you can edit the text anyway, but Acrobat uses a standard font to do so. Of course you can change this font into another one, but not into the one, which is used and embedded into the PDF document. I don’t understand your last sentence, but Acrobat DC won’t alert the the missing font in this case, but – as explained – you can’t use it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, mac_heibu said:

Affinity Publisher tries to import the PDF in a way, that makes it editable. And exactly that is the pitfall: Using a font, embedded within a PDF, normally(!) is only legal, if you own this font, respective, if you have it installed on your machine. Other apps don’t have to struggle with this problem, because they don’t try to (re-) use the embedded fonts.

Using a font — or a subset of a font — embedded within a PDF is perfectly legal if the embeddability flags in the font file are set to allow it (i.e. if the permissions are ‘Installable’ or ‘Editable’, not just ‘Preview & Print’). Serif PagePlus can import PDF files for editing; unlike Affinity Publisher, it interprets any embedded fonts if they have the appropriate permissions set.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer 1.7.0.367 • Affinity Photo 1.7.0.367 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.0.135 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.9 • iOS 12.3.1 (iPad Air 2)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew, that you will chime in to tell us this. But this doesn‘t change anything of my comments.

Could you please tell us, what happens, when you open my sample file in PagePlus and try to edit – especially, if you try to type letters, which aren‘t contained in the sample text? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, mac_heibu said:

No, this isn’t true! Why don’t you simply try it?

You're right ... it doesn't work, not even in the Preview. I was under the impression it did, but that was obviously mistaken.

Even IF editing the file doesn't work because of font-related issues, placing / passing through NEEDS to function properly (e.g. ads in a magazine, logos ...).

Attached a file with an embedded font (PDF X-3, subset embedded, perfectly industry standard) that is created with Designer, works fine in InDesign and in Preview but doesn't display / print properly in Publisher.

test.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, mac_heibu said:

I knew, that you will chime in to tell us this. But this doesn‘t change anything of my comments.

Could you please tell us, what happens, when you open my sample file in PagePlus and try to edit – especially, if you try to type letters, which aren‘t contained in the sample text? :)

I was only addressing the issue of legality! If the fonts have been subsetted, then of course you can’t use any other letters. :)


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer 1.7.0.367 • Affinity Photo 1.7.0.367 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.0.135 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.9 • iOS 12.3.1 (iPad Air 2)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The „issue of legality“ never was denied! Of course you can embed font, if the font itself allows it. That is one case. The other is, to extract the font from the PDF.

No Adobe applications allows editing text, if only the embedded font (subset) is available. You always have to have the font in question installed. And Adobe invented PDF, by the way.

But this isn’t the point at all. What is urgently needed, is a way to place a PDF, whichdisplays the PDF content correctly. Editability is not the first goal, because PDF isn’t made for editing. It is made for the exact contrary: To keep a layout fixed and identical across all thinkable devices and use cases – from screen to printing press. So editability can (and often will) fail because of hundreds of issues, which depend on the source data, the intended purpose of using the PDF and the exporting application. Some of the most common pitfalls:

  • missing fonts
  • font conversion according to transparency needs (converting and „filling“ characters with image content)
  • line- and often character-wise text segmentation according to the needs of PDF output stragegies
  • image segmentation/tiling in consequence of transparency reduction
  • separation of elements from its attributes (example: a rectangle with a shadow will be separated into a rectangle with an underlying „shadow“ image. Both aren’t related to each other any more)
  • and, and, and …

Only to demonstrate the issues emerging, when editing a PDF:

So editability of PDFs is in many case an illusion, a pure utopian ideal especially in professional environments. In contrast to that: Display and print fidelity is a must. Much more a must than all these little „indispensable“ features, which are claimed all around here in the forum. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, mac_heibu said:

So editability of PDFs is in many case a pure utopian ideal especially in professional environments. In contrast to that: Display and print fidelity is a must.

… and this is why suggesting (as Serif do) that the best way to "convert" old PagePlus files to Affinity (especially as Affinity can't use embedded fonts) is pretty much a non-starter!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, mac_heibu said:

The „issue of legality“ never was denied! Of course you can embed font, if the font itself allows it. That is one case. The other is, to extract the font from the PDF.

No Adobe applications allows editing text, if only the embedded font (subset) is available. You always have to have the font in question installed. And Adobe invented PDF, by the way.

 But this isn’t the point at all. What is urgently needed, is a way to place a PDF, whichdisplays the PDF content correctly.

I completely agree about the urgent need for a way to place a PDF, but I think you misunderstood the point I was making about legality. You had written

20 hours ago, mac_heibu said:

Using a font, embedded within a PDF, normally(!) is only legal, if you own this font, respective, if you have it installed on your machine.

so I responded

11 hours ago, Alfred said:

Using a font — or a subset of a font — embedded within a PDF is perfectly legal if the embeddability flags in the font file are set to allow it (i.e. if the permissions are ‘Installable’ or ‘Editable’, not just ‘Preview & Print’).

In other words, editing of the text within a PDF file is possible without your own licensed copies of any installable/editable embedded fonts. The restrictions are practical, not legal.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer 1.7.0.367 • Affinity Photo 1.7.0.367 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.0.135 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.9 • iOS 12.3.1 (iPad Air 2)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the sake of god, if you like so,  the restrictions are „practical, not legal“, this may be so here (and Adobe is incompetent un this case :)). But why disputing? Wether the restricions are legal or practical – they are! And that is decisive.

Tiny sidenote: Some years ago a software company was sued, because it offered a way to extract a fully embedded font from a PDF and save it a TrueType font …

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, mac_heibu said:

The „Touch Up“ tool in Acrobat Pro allows you to edit text. But the font, which is used for these edits will only be the one, which you are editing, if the exact same font (company, format, name, typeface, … is installed on your machine. It this isn’t the case, you can edit the text anyway, but Acrobat uses a standard font to do so. Of course you can change this font into another one, but not into the one, which is used and embedded into the PDF document. I don’t understand your last sentence, but Acrobat DC won’t alert the the missing font in this case, but – as explained – you can’t use it.

In Acrobat I experience it different to "you can edit text anyway" and "Acrobat DC won’t alert the the missing font in this case":

In a PDF with embedded fonts that aren't installed on my computer I am not able to alter the text content (with ignoring fonts). The easiest would be to delete glyphs – instead I get a font missing warning which says I am not able to "neither add nor delete" text content. This "no delete" makes me wonder – since I don't need fonts to be installed to delete text. (compare: I can delete or alter text when opening the same PDF in AfPub for instance).

1274512055_acrobattouch-upfontwarning.jpg.9102ff07545485ba087b6b1ca88c84de.jpg

And, even with fonts NOT embedded I'd expect the ability to delete text content in Acrobat Touch-Up tool.

==========

Furthermore:

1. When opening a PDF in AfPublisher with fonts not installed I still get the information about the original used font as "? font name" ("? SatanasHumanumSalvator"). But that information about used font name appears to get lost when I export that PDF: it exports with its replaced font (Lucida) even if font embed option is set to "No Fonts".

2. Whereas when exporting, with installed fonts, a PDF file without embedding fonts, again the resulting PDF file will be displayed with the replaced font (Lucida) – but the original font name information is still available in the PDF file.

–> That different behavior (1. vs 2.) makes me wonder whats going on here vs. there – or whether the not exported information about used font name on export from AfPub might be a bug.


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, mac_heibu said:

Editability is not the first goal, because PDF isn’t made for editing. It is made for the exact contrary: To keep a layout fixed and identical across all thinkable devices and use cases

Hm. That was the initial idea when developing first PDF definitions, yes. I still do remember the advantage in early PDF of being able to send a layout to a client in high resolution but small file size – besides the advantage to use this as print file.

Whereas nowadays the needs and goals of PDF became developed, even by Adobe itself: that made them implement more and more edit tools in Acrobat or using PDF as one possible standard file format for editable Illustrator files.

So, PDF is not any more just a locked container for presentation of various file formats (– compared to ".mov" for instance, where its editability seems to develop backwards and replaced by advanced web standards, html skills etc.).


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, mac_heibu said:

But why disputing?

I was merely disputing your statement that using an embedded font is “only legal, if you own this font”. I didn’t expect this to blow up into a major argument!

Pax.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer 1.7.0.367 • Affinity Photo 1.7.0.367 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.0.135 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.9 • iOS 12.3.1 (iPad Air 2)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@thomaso

You editing issue (can’t edit text without the correct font) is not reproducible in all actual versions of Acrobat. I assume, you are using an outdated version. Correct?

Your point 1: Seem more than clear and logical for me, because text editing has much more implications than – well – text editing. Only one of many problems: In most cases editing text in PDF doesn’t allow to reflow in text boxes, but only is computer line-wise – what causes problems with justified text. Or If you edit and the font is embedded as a subset, what happens, if the character you typed are not part of the subset?

Your point 2: the answer of a developer would be necessary.

But I think we are that far from the initial question, that we perhaps should stop the discussion here to not cause insider confusions. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×