Text overlaps when creating PDF file with Acrobat 6.0 Standard

Posted on 2004-09-15
Last Modified: 2008-02-26
When several of my users create PDF file, areas of text overlap; the letters of whole words sit on top of each other.  This can be corrected using the text touch up tool, but this is impractical for documents of upwards of 200 pages.  Any suggestions?

Adobe Acrobat v6.0 Standard
OS: Windows XP Pro and Windows 2000 Pro
Question by:dhienzsch
  • 5
  • 4
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 12066958
Does this happen when the documents are viewed on other computers only, or do the problems also show up on the computer they were created on?
Does this happen with all fonts (even the base-14 fonts)?
What application is used to create these documents? How are the PDFs created (e.g. printing to Adobe PDF printer, or PDFMaker for office documents).
Are the fonts embedded?

Author Comment

ID: 12067589
Good questions... first, some clarifications after speaking further with my users...

1.  This occurs on the machines that have the full version of Acrobat installed.  It occurs when the document is originally coverted from it's original format (DOC or XLS) to PDF.  It also occurs when a user drags and drops pages between PDF files.  One user has a 45 page document; he swaps out page one and suddenly on page 3 overlaps occur.  Finally, when the users print, the document starts out fine, but the printout has the overlaps and then after printing, the actual PDF file has the overlaps as well.  One user reported that after rebooting, he can print once with no issue, but each subsequent print causes the overlaps until her reboots.

2.  I am not familiar with the way fonts are handled with Acrobat and don't know what you mean by "base-14" fonts.  Can you educate me a bit?  Using the Text Touchup Tool and viewing properties of an area that has an overlap states that the font properties are as follows...

Font: TimesNewRomanPSMT
Permissions: "No system font available"
Embed: NOT checked / greyed out
Subset: NOT checked / greyed out

Font Size: 36
Character Spacing: 0
Word Spacing: 2
Horizontal Scaling: 100%
Fill: Black
Stroke: "?"
Stroke Width: 1pt
Baseline Offset: 0pt

3.  The documents are originally Microsoft Office docs (Word and Excel) that are created using the "print to PDF" method.  Individual sections from each of those generated PDF files are dragged/dropped around to create a final document which is a compliation of the others.

4.  I don't BELIEVE the fonts are embedded, but as I stated before, I'm not familiar at all with the ways fonts are handled.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 12068256
> Permissions: "No system font available"
I think this is your problem: It looks like Acrobat cannot find a font that matches the font requested by the PDF file. It has to approximate the requested font with one of it's multimaster fonts.
I don't know why this happens (this font should be part of your operating system). Acrobat does no longer install fonts, so the fonts that are provided by the OS are used (with the exception of the multi master fonts).

I guess you need to find out why the fonts are not available on your computers. Does this happen on all computers?
Simplifying Server Workload Migrations

This use case outlines the migration challenges that organizations face and how the Acronis AnyData Engine supports physical-to-physical (P2P), physical-to-virtual (P2V), virtual to physical (V2P), and cross-virtual (V2V) migration scenarios to address these challenges.


Author Comment

ID: 12069558
I did some tests with the user and this is what we found...

Prior to printing, with everything fine, the Font properties are as described above.
Looking at a section that appeared overlapped AFTER printing the Font properties are as described above.

Taking the original PPT file from which the page in questions was take and re-converting it to a PDF using the File... Print... Adobe Acrobat method, and then checking the font properties on the new page this is the result...

Font: TimesNewRomanPSMT
Permissions: Can Embed Font
Embed: Not Checked / Not Greyed Out
Subset: Not Checked / Not Greyed Out

Does this fall in line with your thinking?
LVL 44

Accepted Solution

Karl Heinz Kremer earned 500 total points
ID: 12070579
This time, the system "knows" which font to use. Does it fall back to showing the error when you open the file again, or when you open on another machine?

Which version of Acrobat are you running? If it's 6.0.0, you need to upgrade to at least 6.0.1 (but, you should ideally be running 6.0.2, which is the latest). Adobe fixed a number of serious bugs in 6.0.1 - I'm however not aware of anything font related.

Author Comment

ID: 12077984
I will check on the fonts and version numbers

Author Comment

ID: 12103162
As far as I can tell... it can only determine the font on the same machine from which the original PDF was created.

Adobe Acrobat v6.0.05/19/2003 on all of the machines.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 12103939
Upgrade to at least 6.0.1. If you want to go to the latest version (6.0.2), you need to install 6.0.1 first, and then the 6.0.2 upgrade.

Author Comment

ID: 12253454
I haven't forgotten about this question... I'm just waiting for the users to complete upgrading then actually do something to try to recreate the error.

Featured Post

Does Powershell have you tied up in knots?

Managing Active Directory does not always have to be complicated.  If you are spending more time trying instead of doing, then it's time to look at something else. For nearly 20 years, AD admins around the world have used one tool for day-to-day AD management: Hyena. Discover why

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

One of the questions I get asked again and again is how to validate a field value in an AcroForm with a custom validation script. Adobe provided a lot of infrastructure to do that with just a simple script. Let’s take a look at how to do that wit…
PaperPort is a popular document imaging/management product from Nuance Communications ( It is in widespread use by both individuals ( and businesses (http:/…
In this second video of the Xpdf series, we discuss and demonstrate the PDFimages utility, which, in a single command, is able to extract all the images from a PDF file and save each one in a separate image file (PBM, PPM, or JPG). Download and inst…
In this video, we show how to convert an image-only PDF file into a PDF Searchable Image file, that is, a file with both the image (typically from scanning) and text, which is created in an automated fashion with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) …

832 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question