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Acrobat Woes...Unable to highlight text on certain pages

Posted on 2011-09-09
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have a weird issue going on with Acrobat Pro v7.1.  I can only highlight text on certain pages.  I'm really not sure where to start with this...very strange issue.  Would anyone have a suggestion as to where to start?  We only have this issue on some of our pdfs.  
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Question by:Masterworks-Helpdesk
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21 Comments
 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 36513938
hi

is the text selectable or copyable, same font/formatting?

That's where I'd start...

capt.
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Author Comment

by:Masterworks-Helpdesk
ID: 36514115
The text is not selectable on certain pages.  The font/formatting changes throughout the document.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 36514205
If the text is not selectable it is likely to be an image and hence you cannot  highlight this.

Did you create the PDF? you may want to run OCR on it to make all text selectable...
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Author Comment

by:Masterworks-Helpdesk
ID: 36538982
Maybe it would be helpful to include this pdf.
16925-05MW.pdf
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 36539126
Could you let me know which text you like selectable that doesn't? there are quite a few pages...
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Author Comment

by:Masterworks-Helpdesk
ID: 36539265
Odd number pages starting at page 3 are challenged in this way.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 36539422
I can select all text on page 3 & 5 apart from the signature and 'PS:' which is an image. Page 7 all but the large lettering and the logo, again because these are images. Do you want to highlight these or are you talking about others?

If the latter there may be a local problem.
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Author Comment

by:Masterworks-Helpdesk
ID: 36539463
We are working with Acrobat 7 Pro.  I'm guessing you have a newer version.  I know, we are a bit behind times.  This would suggest that more than likely the file has not been saved with backward compatibility.  Sound about right?
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 36539838
This could well be the case, I have saved this as v6 compatible and attached it. Is this different?

I am using v9.4
16925-05MWv6.pdf
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Author Comment

by:Masterworks-Helpdesk
ID: 36539993
Bummer, pages 3 and 5 still refuse to allow text to be highlighted.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 36542026
Hi

Sorry had to go to sleep was late over here...  ;o)


Which text on 3 and 5 are you trying to highlight? can you do a screen grab or describe which, otherwise it is hard to investigate.

thanks
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Author Comment

by:Masterworks-Helpdesk
ID: 36543476
Pretty much the whole page on both pages.  The letter/main body of text is unselectable.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 36544500
Font is the same on both pages there are no layers. Can only point to an app issue rather than document...

Can you update to the latest v7 from Adobe:
http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/product.jsp?product=1&platform=Windows

You will need to do incremental installs so it may be a few installs depending on your exact version, but it is worth excluding a bug.
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Author Comment

by:Masterworks-Helpdesk
ID: 36550003
Good thought, but I do have the latest version installed.  
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 36550082
7.14?

Hm, let me have another think on this whether there may be something else...

I am sure you know what you're doing but as  a sanity check, bear with me:

You are using the selector cursor and you cannot select text
You use the highlight tool and you equally cannot highlight text
This only happens on the odd pages 3&5
This happens for all users on your machine
You have 7.14 installed

I will see if I find an old A7 install around here and test it there and feed back.
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Author Comment

by:Masterworks-Helpdesk
ID: 36550125
Before you go to the trouble, maybe it is time for me to contact the original creator of the file and make sure they are saving it with backward compatible setting enabled.  Don't you think this would have been a great place to start?
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LVL 31

Accepted Solution

by:
captain earned 500 total points
ID: 36550270
Good point but in my experience, it is never a good answer ubnless it is clear how the author/creator can prevent the issue, if he/she knew this the PDF would probably not have been created like this in the first place. Saying that it may be helpful to know the application/PDF engine type used...

Ok, I have managed to reproduce and correct the issue using Acrobat Pro v 7.10.

It appears that any A7 version will have a problem with your PDF. After being out for a few days being at work office today again I finally have access to earlier versions and I could replicate all the issues above.

It is not a compatibility setting, but it may be worth speaking to the creator for future reference.

The issue is cause by a hidden layer in the PDF that is removed when the document is flattened. In Acrobat 7 Pro you can "flatten transparency" in the Tools>Print production menu. After doing so the layer was merged with the underlying copy and the text is now selectable.

I have attached the file as flattened.

You should inquire with the creator if there is an option to flatten the document before submitting or you can do this yourself using the method above. Best try the latter see if you can duplicate the result.

hth
capt. 16925-05MWflattened.pdf
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Author Comment

by:Masterworks-Helpdesk
ID: 36552213
I just went through the steps to flatten the image/transparency and it worked!  Thanks so much!

Now I'd like to understand how the problem was created.  Forgive me if I don't get it from your description of the issue.  Can you maybe explain more as to what the source of the issue might be?
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 36552485
Hi

It could be anything really, not knowing what source application was used makes it hard.

Usually I would look for a text or image layer, but it could also be an effect. Particularly as it does not affect later versions of Acrobat I am not sure is the honest answer.

It would be interesting to see the source file and compare page 4&5, to see what the difference is, it could be an image mask for the signature that overlays the rest of the page.

Best speak with the creator and see what application was used, if it was Word or Illustrator it will be something I can help you with, something more 'obscure' like Publisher or Corel Draw is not my expertise...

Sorry that I cannot be more precise, but it's like stabbing in the dark.

Capt.
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Author Comment

by:Masterworks-Helpdesk
ID: 36552569
Great, thanks for all your help.  We only run into this once in a while so maybe the workaround you shared is good enough for us.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Masterworks-Helpdesk
ID: 36552573
We found a workaround that was good enough for my needs.  We didn't go far enough to find the source of the problem because a workaround was good enough for me
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