Adobe Indesign - PDF display issues.


Well-Known Member
Hi guys,

I'm having a problem with Indesign / Adobe Acrobat and have been having the problem for months. It's really starting to naff me off. :rant:

I'm doing an annual review. In it are 3 infographics I've previously created in Illustrator. They're fine. Before I copy them from Illustrator into InDesign, I have to outline everything. Something odd happens with their appearence in InDesign after I've copied live text boxes from one to the other, so by converting it all to shapes solves that problem. After that, everything is fine, right up unto I'm exporting the finished document into PDF format. Those outlined IG's now have some mental appearance issues with 1 particular letter of the text content. Lower case letter L's appear bold (see attached images). When the documents are printed they look perfectly fine, but for docs that only need to be viewed online or as PDF, they look awful.

Has anyone experienced this before? Can it be fixed?

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 11.36.08.jpgScreen Shot 2014-05-20 at 11.36.19.pngScreen Shot 2014-05-20 at 11.36.31.png
Don't copy and paste from Illustrator to InDesign - they use completely different modules for interpreting how things are represented, for example, complex shapes, masks, objects etc. are not using the same modules, probably because InDesign doesn't carry the same complex modules as Illustrator has for working with Illustrations, because InDesign is not an Illustration tool.

It's best to save your file as *.ai with a pdf compatible file (pdf compatible file is necessary for displaying a preview of the object in InDesign or other Adobe products, it's compressed within the *.ai file but essentially the *.ai file is output, the *.pdf that travels with the file is used for display purposes only).

This results in a slightly higher file size, but it's negligible and don't worry about it.

You can then use File>Place to place your *.ai file inside InDesign and when you see the preview it's only the PDF portion of the *.ai file that see you as a preview.

When you export InDesign file to PDF you are seeing the *.ai portion within your exported file from InDesign.

Hope that helps.
Plus you should not need to outline any text in Illustrator. You can keep live text - and this makes it easier to edit the file within Illustrator at a later date.
Ah right, I was always taught you could copy from Illustrator into InDesign. How amateur! Anyway, thanks for the help my problem is finally sorted!

I don't usually outline text, but the infographics had to be done using their brand typeface, Helvetica Neue, and for some reason (I assume licensing issues) PDFs can't contain this particular Helvetica Neue typeface, hence why I have to outline everything. If I don't outline the text it'll appear with symbols and squares. Annoying really.
Whomever taught you that should be castrated!

Fonts are software, and written within the software is the coding to allow the embedding of a font in a PDF.

Free fonts don't usually have this encoded in them. But Helvetica Neue should have this!

If you have purchased the font t then contact the font vendor who you bought from and ask them to supply you with the correct font with the correct embedding bits.

If it was a free font, then you get what you pay for.
The brand identity/ guidelines and fonts were chosen and paid for by another design agency who no longer work with them. When I've asked for correct font files to use in new pieces of work, these are all I get. So you're right, they do get what they paid for.
No wonder - they probably supplied you with a crappy version of Hevetica Neue - else they took the cost of the font and downloaded a free version to use and then passed on to you.

Either way - you don't have the correct legitimate version of the font.