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Richard S

Export as PDF - Faulty Text Ligatures in MS Edge Browser

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I've looked for similar posts, but not seen this reported: Faulty Text Ligatures when PDF is Displayed using MS Edge Browser.

Affinity Publisher 1.7.1.404 running on 64-bit Windows 10 Pro 1903

After creating a short booklet using Arial headings and Times New Roman body text, I wanted to export review copies in PDF format.

I chose Export... PDF (for Web), using Affinity Publisher's default settings.

Problem

When the PDF (for Web) file is viewed using the MS Edge Browser, Microsoft's default viewer for PDFs on Windows 10 PCs, several text ligatures are faulty.

When the same file is viewed using Adobe Reader, the ligatures are OK. But many PCs will be set to Microsoft's defaults, so will open PDFs using MS Edge.

Possible Temporary Workaround

Using the "More" option, change the PDF (for Web) preset to embed "All Fonts," making sure that the "Subset" option is ticked. Then "create this preset" with a new name.

This makes the PDF file slightly larger, but does give it a better chance of displaying correctly.

affinity-pub-lig-probs.gif

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23 minutes ago, LibreTraining said:

Have you tested PDFs from other sources to see if Edge is the problem?

Chrome gets it wrong, too. So does whatever my copy of Firefox is using for "Preview in Firefox".

ligatures-for-web.pdf


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1903 (18362.239), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.2.464 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.2.4464 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.2.471 and 1.7.2.458 Beta

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Something is wrong here inside the PDF.
I tested the ligatures-for-web.pdf in various applications.

Old Firefox (Waterfox) viewer (which is PDF.js viewer) - BAD, characters just gone.
I use this viewer all the time (near daily) and have never noticed an issue before.

PDF-XChange Viewer (my primary PDF reader) - BAD, but different bad.
Characters are all there, but the word character spacing is all broken.
I use this reader every day and have not had any issues before.

PDF-XChange Editor - OK, looks fine.

NitroPDF Pro (editor) - OK, looks fine.

Foxit Reader - OK, looks fine.

FlexiPDF Pro (editor) - OK, looks fine.

Oddly all three editors took a long time to render this one line of text.
It was like they had to think about it real hard.
FlexiPDF even displayed a non-responding dialog before the text finally appeared.

It appears that some PDF readers and PDF editors really don't like something in the way this PDF is structured. This would appear to be an APub issue.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks everyone. Yes, I believe that this needs to be fixed in Affinity Publisher: MS Edge Browser may not be the best tool for opening PDF files, but it is the default on millions of Windows 10 PCs. Also as has been shown, it looks as if many other PDF tools are using similar software libraries. The PDF tools used by consumers on mobile devices can be even more limited.

I have attached sample files:

  • A fragment of the Publisher document;
  • A faulty PDF exported using the default PDF (web) preset;
  • A fixed PDF exported using the PDF (web) preset, modified to embed subsets of  "all fonts";
  • Image showing the faults (again);
  • Image showing correct text.

hem-booklet2sample.afpub

hem-booklet2sample_web.pdf

hem-booklet2sample_fix.pdf

affinity-pub-lig-probs.gif

affinity-pub-lig-ok.gif

 

&tab=comments#.url

Edited by Richard S
add more files

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Interesting.
Even though I have those same fonts installed ... apparently some applications cannot display the ligature glyphs correctly when the font is not embedded.
Appears the way the PDF is created that some apps cannot connect-the-dots.

I opened both your PDFs in PDF-XChange Viewer.
The good "fix" one opened instantly.
The bad "web" one took about 15 seconds of thinking before it displayed, and it is broken.

So as you discovered, always set All Fonts to embed (as a workaround until this gets fixed).

 

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10 hours ago, LibreTraining said:

PDF-XChange Viewer (my primary PDF reader) - BAD, but different bad.
Characters are all there, but the word character spacing is all broken.
I use this reader very day and have not had any issues before.

PDF-XChange Editor - OK, looks fine.

That’s very interesting. When PDF-XChange Editor arrived on the scene I didn’t see any reason to keep using PDF-XChange Viewer, so I simply switched to using the new application as my primary PDF viewer.

/me waves to @Richard S


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.1.404 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.1.143 • Designer for iPad 1.7.1.1 • iOS 12.4 (iPad Air 2)

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11 minutes ago, Pauls said:

Thanks. But as you'll see from replies above, other PDF viewing software also have problems with PDFs created using Affinity Publisher.

At the very least, users of Affinity Publisher should be warned that their PDFs may not display properly on millions of Windows 10 PCs.

One possible temporary fix during the next update would be to change the preset settings, so that the Export... PDF (Web) embeds subsets of "All Fonts."

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3 hours ago, Pauls said:

The source of the PDF is not mentioned.
It could have the same problem.

Note that per above posts this is a problem in Edge, Chrome, and Firefox.

Producing PDFs for the web which have display issues in the three most used browsers is definitely a problem for APub users.

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3 hours ago, LibreTraining said:

The source of the PDF is not mentioned.
It could have the same problem.

Note that per above posts this is a problem in Edge, Chrome, and Firefox.

Producing PDFs for the web which have display issues in the three most used browsers is definitely a problem for APub users.

Agreed. The problem is even worse on my Android 7 mobile phone, even when using the Android version of Adobe Reader app. Here's a screenshot from my mobile:

pdf_android_faulty.gif

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35 minutes ago, Richard S said:

The problem is even worse on my Android 7 mobile phone, even when using the Android version of Adobe Reader app. Here's a screenshot from my mobile:

I had thought about testing on my Android phone too, but did not do it.
But you have inspired me ...
Tested in four different PDF viewers - all BAD.
Moon+ Reader Pro, FBReader Premium, Hancom Office Viewer, and X-plore PDF.
None display the PDF properly.

This is a problem.

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13 hours ago, LibreTraining said:

I had thought about testing on my Android phone too, but did not do it.
But you have inspired me ...
Tested in four different PDF viewers - all BAD.
Moon+ Reader Pro, FBReader Premium, Hancom Office Viewer, and X-plore PDF.
None display the PDF properly.

This is a problem.

Certainly looks like a significant problem. I used to do complete start-to-finish mini projects while testing Beta software, but did not have time for this Publisher. :-(

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