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Robert Koepke
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Grey boxes with question marks

Jan 2, 2013 12:46 PM

When I view some PDFs, a grey box with a red question mark inside appears. I cannot move, edit, or delete these boxes. I searched the web and most of the responses indicated that such boxes indicated corrupt images, but my documents do not have images. Mine appear at the start and end of text blocks. They do not appear in thumbnail view. I am running Acrobat Professional, version 8.1.


What are these boxes and how can I get rid of them?


Attached is a screen shot of what I am seeing.



grey box.GIF

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 2, 2013 1:08 PM   in reply to Robert Koepke

    How do you know that this document from 1959 is not a scan or partially scanned? Can you select individual words on the page? Questions can also come from fonts that are not properly embedded in the document. It is also possible that the fonts used in 1959 were not available when the tried to pdf the document?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 3, 2013 8:13 AM   in reply to Robert Koepke

    Do you have any 3rd party plug-ins for Acrobat installed? What Operating System are you running Acrobat 8 on?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 3, 2013 9:23 AM   in reply to Robert Koepke

    Could you send me a link to an example file? You could post the PDF on <> .

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 9, 2013 6:20 AM   in reply to Robert Koepke

    These appear to be some sort of annotation but they don't appear in the Comments pane only the Content panel. They're titled APEX:Zone. Are you aware of some sort of 3rd party tool related to this?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 9, 2013 10:30 AM   in reply to LoriAUC

    A little more info to follow up the excellent diagnosis.


    When Acrobat opens a PDF and it finds annotations of an unknown type it shows these boxes. The way to get them to disappear (or change to something else) is to install a specific plug-in designed to show them.


    Older versions of Acrobat would just show nothing at all.


    Acrobat 5 would show nothing.

    Acrobat 7 would show the boxes.

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