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Adobe Acrobat Pro 9.x not displaying some PDFs correctly

Posted on 2014-04-01
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Last Modified: 2014-04-07
I have a client with two identical machines (one at his office and one at his home), both running Windows 7 Pro fully patched, Office 2013 Pro fully patched and Adobe Acrobat Pro 9x fully patched,  This past weekend he purchased an item online and received the receipt in PDF format from the vendor.  He opened the PDF on his home machine and all of the text was garbled (see incorrect.jpg).  Today, he opened the PDF file on his work machine and it displayed correctly (see correct.jpg).  I compared all settings within Adobe Acrobat on both machines and they are identical.  I also used the basic troubleshooting steps offered by Adobe by going to Edit > Preferences > Page Display and unchecking Use local fonts, but this didn't resolve.

Any ideas?

Edit 04/01/2014 @ 0349am - I compared the installed fonts on both machines and they are identical - 243 fonts, all the exact same names.
incorrect.jpg
correct.jpg
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Question by:Yort
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Expert Comment

by:Eirman
ID: 39969032
Perhaps it has something to do with embedding fonts (which stops substitution) as mentioned here ....
http://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/missing-or-garbled-text-converting.html

I also came across this ...
"try changing the option on displaying with local fonts (under Display Preferences)"
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Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 500 total points
ID: 39969954
Hi Yort,
A couple of questions:

(1) Is he viewing the same file on both machines? If it's the same exact file in a shared location (like a server or network drive or flash drive), fine; but if they're different files, such as one on each of the hard drives of both computers, then maybe the files aren't really the same. If there are two versions of the supposedly same file, I suggest doing a bit-for-bit file comparison to be sure they're identical.

(2) I'm not saying this is the permanent solution, but as a troubleshooting step, try opening it in another PDF reader/viewer on his home computer. Here are three excellent (free) ones:

Foxit Reader
http://www.foxitsoftware.com/downloads/

PDF-XChange Editor
http://www.tracker-software.com/product/pdf-xchange-editor

Nitro Reader
http://www.nitroreader.com/

If these other PDF readers/viewers also can't open the file on his home machine, then the problem is likely with the PDF file; but if they can open it, then the problem is likely with the Adobe installation on his home PC. This will be a valuable piece of troubleshooting info. Regards, Joe
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Author Closing Comment

by:Yort
ID: 39984131
The issue turned out to be malware on the system that couldn't open the PDF file.  After executing the steps as listed above and confirming that the same file would open on one workstation but not the other, I decided to scan for malware and sure enough...now the problem is solved.
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 39984171
Yort,
Thanks for posting the solution — good to know! Regards, Joe
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