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Library: InDesign

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Two easy ways to create better PDF files

Added on Friday 15th of May 2009 11:25 pm EST
Application: Adobe InDesign 2/CS/CS2
Operating Systems: Macintosh, Microsoft Windows
I exported a document from InDesign to PDF format, and then distributed it throughout my office. Several people commented that there were missing text characters. Can you please offer me some guidance as to why this happened, and how I can prevent it from happening again?
There are a couple of things that provoke this sort of bad behavior regardless of the method you use to create PDF files, but it all boils down to a single instigator—fonts. Missing fonts can cause characters to drop out or be substituted in PDF files just as easily as they can in your InDesign documents.

Reasons for font issues in PDF files:

• You aren’t using the most recent version of InDesign, which includes updated Unicode tables that help prevent font issues.
• You’re subsetting fonts in PDF files, rather than embedding them.
A subset contains only font characters required by the PDF or EPS file in which it’s embedded. Since InDesign disregards all but the first font subset it encounters in a document, characters required by other PDF or EPS files placed in your document may drop out because they’re unavailable.

Ways to prevent font issues in PDF files:

• Upgrade to the most current version of InDesign.
• Completely embed fonts in PDF files, rather than embedding a subset.
This increases file size a bit, but it ensures text in your files displays correctly.

To embed fonts exported or printed from InDesign to PDF, do one of the following:

• Enter 0% in the Subset Fonts When Percent Of Characters Used Is Less (Subset Fon...