Photoshop save as PDF makes crazy font issue

Posted on 2011-03-19
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I can't figure this out.

I made a nice flyer for my company with the intention of printing it on a Laser printer.

I used a Boxed Art PSD file.  It looks fantastic.  So I thought I should save it as a PDF file to share with other employees.

I selected save as PDF, High quality print, I selected embed all fonts.  The PDF file automatically opens and it looks great.  See attached image - on the left.  I closed the PDF file.  Then reopened it and I get HORRIBLE FUZZY FONTS.  

Why in world would it look great in the PDF until I close it?  I didn't resave it or anything.  Wierd.

I've searched all over Adobe Forums looking for the answer .... there are lots of posts about CS4 problems like this ... but I use all CS5 and can't find switches for vector fonts or whatever.

I'm not sure what other information I should provide to you to hopefully get some help.  :)

I'd be more than happy to reset all my PS and Acrobat settings to all default if that would fix it.

I'll try to find a way to copy and post all the "settings" Adobe asks for.

Oh - and I've tried simply printing to PDF directly.  Same issue.

I have (in addition to a terrible headache):
Adobe Acrobat Pro 9 - I checked and no updates available.
Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended

My Laptop is:
System Information
Time of this report: 3/19/2011, 22:04:31
Machine name: 2009LAPTOP
 Operating System: Windows Vista™ Ultimate (6.0, Build 6002) Service Pack 2 (6002.vistasp2_gdr.101014-0432)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: TOSHIBA
 System Model: Qosmio G45
 BIOS: v2.20  
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU     T7300  @ 2.00GHz (2 CPUs), ~2.0GHz
Memory: 2046MB RAM
Page File: 2758MB used, 1571MB available
 DirectX Version: DirectX 11
Question by:aprillougheed
  • 2
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Author Comment

ID: 35174062
Well, I think it is all working fine now.  I have no idea what buggy thing happened.  

I saw a few other questions here at EE that sort of suggested some hidden data could cause this kind of problem.

So I went back to my original PSD file and removed any layer I wasn't using.  
I saved from Photoshop as PDF.  I turned off keeping it editable and I embedded ALL FONTS.  

So the file was like 45MB.  Ouch.

So I opened the huge PDF file and optimized it for fast viewing.

So now I can at least email a PDF version to my associates so they can see the file.

I'll keep trying to figure out a "best practices" way to handle this process.  Cause it's a nightmare right now.

I'll go look for some tutorials on the best way to create PSD files for flyers that will be printed on a Laser printer with embedded fonts - sent via a PDF file.  Surely that is a common task.

I'll sure try to limit the number of fonts I use next time.  Then maybe I will not have to embed all fonts - I'm sure that was a huge part of why the un-optimized PDF was so huge.

I'll be there was some crazy Photoshop layer that sent everything spinning out of control.  And ate up 15 hours of my life.  :O  But at least I'm not living in Japan - so I'll not whine about it

I'll leave this question open so some nice EE expert can earn some points.

LVL 83

Accepted Solution

Dave Baldwin earned 400 total points
ID: 35174341
I save a copy and flatten the file so that Photoshop renders the fonts into the image and I don't have to embed them or hope that the receiving party has them.  Then you can "Save As..." PDF or JPG.

Assisted Solution

olliefelde earned 100 total points
ID: 35174672
That's one solution. Another is that there are options for how Pshop exports the type. Photoshop was never intended to do anything but illustration with type. It describes an image. Type has to be rendered at a much higher resolution than an image for sharpness. does the best it can and sometimes just guesses. Try experimenting with the settings when you do the Save As. I'm not sure how it looks on the Windows side, or in CS5, but up to CS4 it really hasn't changed a lot so there's bound to be some things you can tweak. Sorry I can't be more specific but I'm glad you got it to look acceptable.

Author Comment

ID: 35185766
Dave - Brilliant.  I feel so stupid.  Why didn't I think of that.  What a waste of my time on this earth.  Pat yourself on the back.

I'm going to award some points to olliefelde too because he tried to help me remember that PS is a different animal and was not created for people to print to PDFs.  I also have Illustrator and InDesign.  Maybe I should think about my ultimate goal and choose a tool accordingly.

LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 35187175
Thanks, none of us started out knowing what to do.

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