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Unable to use Helvetica on XP - Acrobat X Pro

Oct 17, 2013 12:09 PM

Tags: #acrobat_10 #touchup #helvetica

I have a user that created a document on her MacBook in InDesign and exported it as a PDF. The document in question is a simple flier with a date/time on it for a meeting. What they want to be able to do is simply edit the PDF and save it as a new PDF with an updated date/time for each meeting, however we can't seem to do this while keeping it in Helvetica font. The Helvetica font is installed on the Windows machine however when we go to edit the text and go into TouchUp properties, every time we select Helvetica from the dropdown, it instantly auto-reverts to Arial (which I've read is the Windows equivelant to Helvetica.) I've verified that we can use the Helvetica font in word documents just fine, and it is the same font. I've checked Distiller to make sure it has the WINDOWS\Fonts path set.


The nature of it instantly auto-reverting without an error or anything seems like a bug to me but we tested on a second machine with the same setup and verified it has the same auto-revert issue.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 17, 2013 7:02 PM   in reply to Aric_

    On a PC, Arial is the replacement for Helvetica and there is no native Helvetica on Windows. The Helvetica you installed may not be the same as the Helvetica on the MAC system (just the name being the same does not meant they are the same). What you want to do is probably best done with a form anyway, and just leave the form text to be the default font -- don't force it.


    So, what is the problem with Arial? It is basically an equivalent font. If you want to edit the file on a PC, probably best to just let it revert to Arial and forget it.

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    Oct 18, 2013 2:10 AM   in reply to Bill@VT

    Also, don't assume Helvetica is installed just because you see it in font lists e.g. in Word. There are reasons it may appear in that list without being installed. Check the Fonts control panel.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 18, 2013 3:28 PM   in reply to Aric_

    The relationship between Helvetica and Arial in PDF is more complicated than you might imagine.


    Helvetica and Arial are considered absolutely interchangeable.

    Helvetica has a special significance, it never needs to be embedded; all PDF viewers must display it.

    Early releases of Acrobat included a copy of Helvetica and used it.

    Later released of Acrobat switched to including a copy of Arial (they don't use the system Arial for that) which substitutes for Helvetica.

    But if it is embedded, Acrobat might or might not show it, or might show a system Helvetica (if available), or Arial, according to settings.


    I seem to remember comparing them and not seeing any differences. What letters do you see different?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 18, 2013 4:38 PM   in reply to Test Screen Name

    It odd Helvetica  started out as an Aodobe Font and the original Fonts used on the first Mac were licensed from Adobe. Helvetica was so Popular Microsoft came out with Arial as an equivalent.


    However there were differences so Apple came out with a licensed a version of Arial  and MS licensed a version of Helvtica. So Both platforms have, or are supposed to have Both Arial and Helvetica on their systems.


    What adobe chooses to do is up to Adobe. If  the same font is on Both systems Acrobat or indesign or whatever is supposed to honor it. Whether they do or not who knows.  I've sent PDF to people on PCs using. And they have had no issues. Even to the point of having to do touchups and same from me touching up stuff from PC's.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2013 6:35 AM   in reply to Aric_

    If you arange for the OpenType version of Helvetica to be installed throughout the organization, you ought to have no problems, as OpenType has cross-platform support for Windows and mac 

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