displays PDFs with missing or distorted text

Discussion in 'macOS' started by BackInTheSaddle, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. BackInTheSaddle macrumors regular


    Aug 20, 2002
    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    I've been having intermittent problems with the Preview app showing PDF files with either missing text or distorted fonts. The PDFs all display correctly if I use Adobe Acrobat (Reader or Professional).

    The one I can consistently get to malfunction is the PDF generated by the Postal Service label generator. The barcode always prints incorrectly by Preview, yet if i pull up that very same file in Adobe, it displays and prints just fine.

    Any ideas on what could be wrong?
  2. larkost macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2007
    It is probably using an Adobe font (built into Adobe Reader), and not embedding it in the PDF. So when Preview goes to read it it has to substitute a different font, with different metrics.
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    The thing that you need to understand is that the "PDF standard" is not very standard. Adobe Distiller is the gold standard for producing PDFs. There are other utilities that also do a fantastic job. However, there are utilities that produce crappy PDFs.

    Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat will properly handle the widest variety of PDFs. However, not even Adobe products can properly handle them all. I have seen Preview handle with ease a PDF that absolutely choked Reader.

    Hopefully, someone will see the need to standardize the standard. Until that day, you must do the best you can. Use whichever utility that works to read your PDFs.
  4. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    preview is compatible with probably 99% of pdfs. You can download the regular adobe pdf reader from the adobe site and read those files.

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