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Text missing from PDF

Jul 27, 2006 5:02 PM

I am a long-time and very experienced user of FrameMaker, Acrobat, and all associated tools. My XP-SP2 system is thoroughly debugged and fully updated.

When I create PDFs in Frame, sections of the text come up missing. The document remains correctly formatted and organized - there are simply missing sentences, paragraphs, etc. in no discernible pattern. I have tried every fix I can think of and all those I have found by searching online - to no avail.

These documents are created from scratch in Frame 7.2p158; I have updated the installation at least once without solving the problem. The PDFs are being created by every known process: print to Distiller (7.0) within Frame; Save As PDF; print to generic PostScript and pass to Distiller. The missing text remains consistent within all processes.

The fonts involved range from junk of unknown origin to (most of my fonts) true Adobe Postscript. Changing fonts does not cure the problem, although it sometimes changes which parts disappear. There is no particularly complex formatting involved (no equations, no unusual character overrides). These documents are mostly contracts and other simple but rigidly formatted documents. None involve imported graphics.

I have tried all variations of saving to MIF and RTF and re-importing. This sometimes changes the faults, but does not cure them.

This problem occurs ONLY with FrameMaker. I can export perfect PDFs, some from very complex source documents, from Word, InDesign, CorelDRAW and a dozen other tools, using any fonts on my system.

(I am dismayed at how hard Adobe support has gotten to use - as the owner of nine of their most expensive apps, I should be able to get better online support without calling in and begging permission!)

If anyone can point me to a known bug, a known fix, or a good starting point for unraveling this problem - or confirm that they've seen a similar error - I would appreciate it!
 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 27, 2006 6:02 PM   in reply to NitroPress
    Can you post a Frame document that only uses Adobe PS fonts that we
    might own that has this problem to see if we can duplicate the problem?

    Mike
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 27, 2006 6:33 PM   in reply to NitroPress
    I'm assuming that you are using the Adobe PDF printer instance when
    creating the output from FM. The dropped text issue can sometimes be
    resolved by changing the default setting for the printer instance
    Graphic > Print Quality to 600 dpi (located under the Printing
    Preferences > Layout > Advanced and also under Properties > Advanced >
    Printing Defaults > Layout > Advanced - change it at both locations).
    This is described in the following technote:
    http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/324972.html

    This 600dpi setting only affects the object placement granularity on
    the page, not the actual resolution of the objects. There is a magic
    number based upon the page-size, font height and the graphic
    resolution that causes all sorts of phunnies if you leave this setting
    at the default (4000dpi, I think).
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 27, 2006 7:45 PM   in reply to NitroPress
    Make it 300 dpi instead of 600. 600 works for most people but we had to drop to 300 for the fix.

    Cheers, Rebecca
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 27, 2006 9:21 PM   in reply to NitroPress
    Dov Isaac's take on it about 18 months ago was that they couldn't reproduce the bug but were trying. I agree with you that it's crazy it's been around so long. At least now that tech note documents the fix!

    You shouldn't need to change anything but the settings Arnis described. They affect the granularity of text placement (nothing to do with graphics), and general feeling was that 300 dpi has no visible effect for almost everyone. Lower than that might. Others may have more info than I do on that.

    Cheers, Rebecca
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 28, 2006 7:40 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    Dov, or any other Adobe people listening in ....

    I think there are more than enough people who would be happy to provide sample documents for testing. ;- ) This is not a rare bug; it's depressingly common.

    Just as a PS... another work around I've found that works for me is to use my Xerox PS driver to print a ps file and then distill that. May work with other PS drivers too.

    Cheers,
    Art
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 28, 2006 1:31 PM   in reply to NitroPress
    All I can offer is a related experience-- I have a 300 page document that would print OK when I printed from FraeMaker, However when I generated a PostScript file and then generated a PDF, I ended up with missing text. Missing means that on a page I would have some text but not what I started with. I fund out that the problem was in the set-up of the postscript printer. Im my case I have Windows 2000 and it allows me to select a printer from the printer list and depending on what printers you have used, may or may not require you to need the Windows CD. What turned out to be the cause of the mising text was the I didn't use the CD or down-load of the printer files needed to install the printer. The second think that was important was that I embedded the fonts used in FrameMaker in Distiller. In my cae these were Type-1 fonts. Once these two things were corrected the missing text no longer occured. Although a lot of people on the forum believe that the only way to generate a PDF is using the Adobe PDF printer, Adobe tech support and the help files will tell you otherwise. Any PostScript printer will work if setup using the printers's installtion software and the one used has the resolution you need (note- you don't need to have a PS printer available to setup a PS printer, no one has an Adobe PDF printer, there is no such printer ever made by Adove). Both the Adobe PDF printer and the PS printer can create a PDF file (PS does require two setps). The resulting PDF is the same. The one thing that the Adobe PDF printer can do is allow you to set the page size to custom (not limited to pater try size of PS printer). And last never stop the generating of a PS file from a book by clicking the "Cancel" button, doing so crashed a Windows NT and 2000 system.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 31, 2006 5:21 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    What I experienced recently (independent of the printer driver software , on both NT4 (with the kernel mode printing system) and XP (with the user mode running stuff)) is that, whenever using TrueType fonts which are downloaded incrementally, it happens that the initial part of the font program (the part containig the Type42 interpreter) is downloaded more than once, which causes the set of glyphs of the previously loaded instances get undefined (i.e. replaced by .notdef) and thus appearing as white space.

    I suspect that this is an issue of the Windows GDI, as I never encountered this bug with applacations which generate their own PostScript code, like InDesign.

    Helge
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 1, 2006 6:08 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    Suggest that he next time you have a project, avoid using the generic PS driver that MS allows. Even if you do not have a PS printer, get the software for installing what ever printer from the mfg's web site. It does make a difference both in the PDF color output and it corrects other problems that come up. If you have distiller, the Adobe PDF printer will work.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 20, 2006 6:35 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    Maybe a little bit late, but I can confirm exactly the same bug as NitroPress described. My configuration:

    - Win XP Pro on a P4/3GHz, 2 GB RAM
    - Acrobat 3D
    - FM 7.2, latest patches applied (but happens with 7.0 as well)

    Documents, that have been saved to PDF in February this year without any problems now come out with large blocks of text missing. I've been trying several things (before discovering this thread), including several uninstalls of Acrobat 3D, installation of the original FM 7.2-Distiller (which always seemed to work), re-installation of A3D ...

    I haven't been able to recognize any system behind the erratic behavior. FM-Distiller works - A3D 7.0.7 works - 7.0.8 doesn't - (re-install) - 7.0.7 doesn't - FM-Distiller works - A3D 7.0.7 works ... and stops working some hours later...

    Interesting enough: I created a PS file using the Acrobat Printer to be distilled on Mac. Same result. The bug definitely occurs on writing to PS, not in distiller.

    I've been doing this silly game for about 3 days. Now, after discovering the 300dpi quality solution, A3D 7.0.7 works again. I hope, for more than the next couple of hours.

    Bernd
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2006 7:16 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    Nitropress- ran into the same problem weeks ago using FM 7.2 and Distiller 7.x. and was able to solve the problem.

    The company I work for has either HP or Lexmark printers, and even a few that do PostScript printing. However, the PostScript printers have never been set up to print asa PostScript printer. When I installed FM 7.2 on a PC, I added a Tektronix Phaser 550J 1200 dpi as my PS printer. In do this I forgot to use HP software and instead used Windows 2000 (in my case) to add the printer. I had no problem with a small FM document. When the document got bigger, I found missing test and throughout the document. I then delated the printer and installed it using Tektronics software from their web site. That fied the missing text.

    I know that may people want to generate a PDF directly through FM, but I've been using FM from it;'s first release and find that creating a PS file first and then using Distiller is the best way to be able to control what one gets. Even FM and Adobne support agree. If you think the Adobe PDF printer is the cause, try this suggestion
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2006 8:44 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    There is a Frame support document online that offers troubleshooting suggestions, at http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/329942.html

    Also, although I habitually print to a PS file generated by a Xerox 2450 driver and distill that, I've noticed that I have fewer problems if I turn off "Fast WWW view" and set the dpi to less than 600.

    I agree with the general thesis however -- this whole area is a major bug that's been dragging on far too long.

    Art
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2006 9:07 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    NitroPress,

    just FYI... after it turned out that reducing the pdf/printer resolution didn't cure anything, I found something else which currently works. But as all solutions until now just have been temporary remedies, I'm not sure if it will continue to work tomorrow... but currently I've been able to finish the PDF export of about 20 manuals that refused to do so before.

    What I did: once again I deleted all the AdobeFnt??.lst files and (this one was new) additionally the FNTCACHE.DAT file from the Windows/system32 folder. After restarting my PC all PDFs came out as expected.

    About ID: I share your thoughts. Things I'm doing within a hour in FM take several hours in ID. This is quite annoying especially during work on early versions of any manual, when infos are changed on a daily basis. Currently I'm working on manuals in several languages, with about 60% of the languages done in FM, the rest is done in ID (was necessary for languages like Arabic). This gives a quite good workflow comparison...

    Bernd
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2006 10:05 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    Hi, Bernd:

    If you have the time and interest, perhaps you could start a new thread in which you compare the tasks you do quickly in FrameMaker, and which are more tedious to do in InDesign. This could invite some suggestions for workarounds or different work methods, and also become the basis for product enhancement requests for new InDesign releases.

    ________________
    Regards,

    Peter Gold
    KnowHow ProServices
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 22, 2006 8:27 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    Additional thoughts-- Have you ever generated a list of fonts and took a look at the page(s) that you have the problems with? Maybe we should have asked if this document was writen from scratch or imported from an existing document or even MS word? I have seen this happen where the imported text looks like it was formated with your document sytles, but you may have missed something (text was using a font from say MS word that is not part of your document). When you create a PDF, the font was not found and and you never embedded it in Distiller, result would be this missing material.

    Using Windows 2000 or later (platform that FrameMaker is designed on) seems to work better with FM than Windows XP. Seems that a great number of problems with FM are Windows XP users!
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 22, 2006 9:02 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    Sherman,

    yes, of course checking the fonts (documents and system) has been one of the first steps. Like NitroPress, I'm quite familiar with things that *can* happen to a document (I'm working with FM since version 3.1 on Mac and Win), and all documents are as clean as they can be.

    The symptoms definitely would be different in case of overridden paragraph formats. At least, it couldn't happen that one day PDF export works flawlessly, the next day it won't, the third day it works for three hours before it stops doing so... all with the same documents.

    A great number of problems with XP users? Well, yes, on my Mac I definitely had less problems ;-)

    Peter: Yes, a comparison thread could be a good idea. Just let me finish my currently not-so-fluent-but-still-urgent PDF creations (updating *many* manuals)...

    Bernd
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 22, 2006 9:06 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    Hi,

    In Adobe Distiller font settings, try setting "When embedding fails" to "Cancel job."

    Check the Never Embed area and make sure it's empty.

    Retry the PDF. Was the PDF created or not?

    Regards,

    Sean
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 22, 2006 9:36 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    >I'm not sure what this would fix

    Hi. It won't fix anything. I was curious about what would happen and it didn't seem like it'd take too much effort.

    Given the randomness of it all, though, maybe that won't tell us anything.

    >I have a very solid understanding of Frame and text processing and programming and system operation... and I can't figure out a possible root cause for this problem. I don't feel bad, though.

    Please believe I am not questioning that. I'm just thinking about a way to troubleshoot this that has not been tried.

    Cheers,

    Sean
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 22, 2006 9:48 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    Sean,

    since the process has been working yesterday (the whole day) and didn't work again today, I was in the lucky position to check this option, too. No difference, PDFs come out exactly as NitroPress describes.

    NitroPress: What just (right in this very moment) *DID* re-enable the creation of correctly written PDFs, was the same thing I already wrote yesterday.

    1. PDFs corrupt
    2. Delete FNTCACHE.DAT from Windows/system32 folder and reboot
    3. PDFs work :-)

    ... for today ;-)

    Bernd
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 22, 2006 9:51 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    Bernd, what fonts, from where did you get them?

    Sean
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 22, 2006 10:06 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    Sean,

    Fonts used don't seem to matter. This bug happens with manuals completely based on the Berhold Imago (PS) as well as with completely different manuals, written using the FF Meta (PS).

    It's just deleting the FNTCACHE.DAT from the Windows/system32 folder that *definitely* makes a difference. This file is automatically recreated on Windows start, so I get a new one that works for one day.

    Bernd
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 22, 2006 10:20 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    Bernd,
    Thanks so much for posting the FNTCACHE.DAT fix/workaround.
    Nothing readily visible on the MS site about it. Interestingly, there isn't too much about it or its inner workings. It seems to be recreated in the same size after the reboot, so it must survey the available fonts. Also, apparently some viri writers hide things in it...

    Nitro -- Stone Sans is also one of the fonts on my system that may be related. Or it could just be a coincidence...

    Cheers,
    art
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 22, 2006 10:23 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    But, does this happen with Helvetica, Times, etc? Am wondering if we can get a list of affected fonts.

    Hmmmmm ... you might want to change fonts anyway, given the requirement for password-protected PDFs.


    You may embed the Font Software into electronic documents for use on computers that are NOT Licensed Computers, subject to the following restrictions: (a) the electronic documents are distributed in a secure format that allows only printing and viewing, and prohibits editing, selecting, enhancing or modifying the text; and (b) the electronic documents are for personal or internal business use. If you are unable to limit access to the document to view and print only, then the electronic document may not be used on computers that are NOT Licensed Computers.

    You may embed the Font Software into electronic documents for use on computers that are Licensed Computers provided that the electronic documents are for personal or internal business use.

    Without the purchase of an additional license, you may NOT otherwise embed the Font Software. For example and without limitation: (i) You may NOT embed the Font Software into your hardware, software or other products, such as, application programs, electronic games, e-books, kiosks, printers, etc.; (ii) You may NOT embed the Font Software into your web pages; and (iii) You may NOT embed the Font Software into electronic documents that permit editing, selecting, enhancing or other modifying of the text.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 22, 2006 10:38 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    Art,

    are you saying the (semi)fix works for you, too? Well, this could be a hint... maybe it becomes possible to really FIX this thing one day.

    Sean,

    I know (possible) license restrictions of fonts, but this is definitely the wrong track. All documents *have been working* for years and *still work* after deleting this §$%& DAT file and also still work on other computers. All fonts I'm using allow PDF embedding. So a font could possibly result in a distiller error message or in the not-creation of a PDF, but wouldn't pretend that all is well and create a PDF that's missing random text blocks.

    Bernd
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 22, 2006 10:41 AM   in reply to Art Campbell
    > Thanks so much for posting the FNTCACHE.DAT fix/workaround.
    > Also, apparently some viri writers hide things in it...

    Yup. To quote some conversations on the net:


    "...the next day i found a trojan backdoor virus on windows xp with a file it had created called FNTCache.dat.

    The FNTCache.dat is merely camouflage, and has nothing to do with fonts (necessarily). Font caches are common system files, and
    using them as a place to store viruses or virus data is just a little bit of social engineering on the virus-writer's part to keep
    you from noticing they're there. Update your virus definitions and see what your virus checker tells you."


    "I am seeing FNTCACHE.dat file in C:\WINNT\system32. Is this a bad file? Can I remove this file?

    FNTCACHE.DAT (FoNT CACHE) comes with a clean install of Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional."


    Meaning: FNTCACHE.DAT is a legit system file, but it may contain viruses.
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 22, 2006 10:43 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    Oh, sorry, not what I meant. As an aside I meant that given the requirement that you must password protect your PDFs, you might want to change fonts anyway.

    But, I am really wondering if we can get a list of affected fonts.

    Cheers,

    Sean
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 22, 2006 11:00 AM   in reply to NitroPress
    Sean,

    why should this become necessary? A PDF *only* allows editing, if the used fonts are installed on your local system (and thus assumes that you're a licensed user), no matter if you embedded fonts or not. So the license restrictions forbid anything that allows a direct download of the font file, but not embedding within a PDF.

    Thomas,

    I've been checking the Fntcache files using a HEX editor. Well, I'm not a programmer, but the working and the corrupt version definitely look like a... well... a Fontcache ;-)

    The question is: What has the Adobe PDF Printer to do with this special cache file?

    Bernd
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 22, 2006 12:22 PM   in reply to NitroPress
    Yup. Am WAGging, too. I was not assuming the problem could only be a Distiller one, though. I wanted to also consider other factors, like seeing if it was certain fonts or not, thus the list.

    Cheers,

    Sean
     
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