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"An error exists on this page." - too vague!

Jul 24, 2012 7:37 AM


I'm using v 9.5.1.

I open a PDF which I have created and it says

"An error exists on this page. Acrobat may not display the page correctly. Please contact the person hwo created the PDF document to correct the problem."


Well, I can't see any problem. The document behaves fine in Excel. The error annoys my clients.

The Excel has a large graphic in the header which acts as a background for each page.


I'd like someone at Adobe to look at the file and tell me what's wrong, but I see no way to add an attachemnt or even sent Adobe support an email...


Help please..

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 24, 2012 7:42 AM   in reply to darrenii

    The error is vague, but from your reply the detail would not help you at all. The file has an error at the very lowest level of internal stuff - this is nothing to do with your Excel file, though it could possibly be a marginally corrupt graphic passed through. It's that or a bug in the PDF creator.


    This is a community forum. Perhaps you could point at a file on your web site for others to pick apart.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 24, 2012 2:59 PM   in reply to darrenii

    Ok, I've done some research. Here are my thoughts.


    1. The error message, anything like that is a Red Flag. Don't think of distributing a file with that kind of error. Different software, and even different releases of Acrobat will do different things. Some will show the page up to the error. Some will blank it out. Some will show the page, then blank it if you try to scroll. And so on.


    2. The problem is that the PDF is bad. The Bad Thing happens to be the last thing in the page, and not part of what you designed (I expect), so you might see everything else - but that's just good luck.


    3. You export the file from Excel. This what is doing the bad stuff. Try using the Acrobat toolbar in Excel, or printing to Adobe PDF.


    4. Technical details: the problem is that Excel includes two grey boxes scaled to 0%. 0% is an impossible size and causes errors. Maybe you added these boxes yourself - if so, you can remove them. The chances are it's just something Excel does, maybe there's an update.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 24, 2012 6:26 PM   in reply to Test Screen Name

    It does indicate that you used the MS add in as and export from Excel. The best solution is probably to print to the Adobe PDF printer to create the file. As usual, MS tends to mess up conversion software. Unfortunately, they also seem to try to put hooks in stuff that gets sent to the Adobe PDF printer, but the end result may likely be better when you print. In addition, your fonts are not embedded in the file. You can also print the current PDF to a new PDF or use


    Just as a test, I used an embed font fix-up from the preflight options. I then closed and reopened the file. I got no error on the reopening. The bottom line may be just the PDF creation process from MS. I suspect the creation does not meet the PDF standard. MS had the same problem with trying to change HTML. However, in this case the PDF is an accepted standard and is defined by Adobe.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 26, 2012 7:49 AM   in reply to darrenii

    Sounds like you are using Reader, not Acrobat. Reader is a different forum. That may be why we were wondering why you were creating the PDF by and export from Excel. Acrobat would normally be used for this job. If you do not have Acrobat and are not in the position to pay for it, then there are several free creation tools that do a reasonable job of creating PDFs.

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