Without seeing the PDF in question, the best answer I can give you is that the PDF was created improperly...
While the PDF itself is Portable - the ability for certain aspects of the file format to be properly rendered require that the creator of the file follow the standard AND use best practices in preparing the file (eg. Embedding all fonts).
As the expression goes - "garbage in, garbage out".
Of course that's correct -- the file was improperly created. My question is: What can I do with it now?
This is a file that was created by sub-contractor designers, so I can't just regenerate the file "properly". My question is whether there's any way to make sure that a PDF file I can read can be read by everyone else too.
That's why I tried converting and opening it in different programs and saving in all sorts of formats -- I was hoping that there's some Adobe product that can always save a file "properly" (i.e. embedding all fonts etc.), given that it can read it.
Thank you for your help.
Ok, here's the solution I found:
Take the file that doesn't display correctly.
Open it in Preview on a Mac
Select Print, but then select the pdf option in the print menu and save as a ps (postscript) file
Convert the postscript file using the unix ps2pdf command.
The end result is a file that doesn't give any error messages under unix and displays properly in all viewers I've tested
Adobe Reader 9.2.0
Acrobat 6.0.6 Professional
Adobe Illustrator CS (Illustrator complained a bit, but displayed it correctly).
Acrobat 7.0 Professional
Adobe Reader 8
Since I cannot reproduce the file from source because it was sent to me as it was, I can't think of another choice but to "re-fry" it. Is there?
The problem is quite independent from my software -- I can read the file anyway, the question was: How can I make sure it can be read by anyone (without the option of recreating it using CS4, for example)?
I'm testing as many old and no-longer-supported and incompatible versions of programs as I can get my hands on. Again: My problem is that I want this file to be readable with any program anyone might still be using, without being able to re-generate it.
By the way: Which of the programs are incompatible with my operating system?
Ok, just dug through my programs to see where this pops up. The problem is
I use several programs to create the PDF - iWorks, Preview (some nice tools
in there - and communicates better with my printer than Adobe), and CS4
Acrobat Pro. I do a lot of graphics and send them via email for approval.
So in Acrobat I'll often use Document>Reduce File Size... and that is where
I get the choice of how I want it read. Might be in other places, but
that's where I get the prompt.
I had problems reading PDFs created (not my me) with Quartz Context on Mac. Graphs read on e-book reader Sony PRS-650 (running Adobe Reader) were faulty. Same graphs created with Adobe were ok.
I found a workaround using Ghostscript:
gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -dSAFER -sOutputFile=newfile.pdf file.pdf
The new files are perfectly readable on the reader now, and the pages are again text-based.
PDF files are not platform-specific.
How was the particular PDF file created? Programs? Joboptions?
What program (and version) did you view the PDF file with on the Macintosh?
What program (and version) did you view the PDF file with on Windows?
Assuming you used either Adobe Reader or Acrobat on both platforms, I might suggest checking whether you have the latest video driver on your Windows system and if not, update that and try viewing the PDF file again. The fact that the file opens on Windows and I assume doesn't yield an error message would be indicative that the file was not corrupted in the e-mail transfer.
Just to add to the mix: I downloaded PDF files and zip files containing PDFs from the net to my Mac. I then dragged them to a thumb drive and tried to open them on a PC. None would open. All Adobe products were current. Renaming would not work. However, several things did work--eventually. For the PDFs, I brought the drive back to the Mac and exported each PDF file back to the drive and replace the old file. All were now readable on the PC. For the zip files, I just opened each one on the thumb drive. Folders were created on the drive and all were readable on the PC.
A more complicated solution was to e-mail each file as an attachment and pick them up on the PC. They all opened.
There might be an easier way, but I couldn't find it. ( Working in Lion and XP2 service pack 3.)
I too am having problems with PC users viewing my PDFs. I have links in the PDFs to other PDFs, DOCs, PPTX, etc. and they are not able to open the links. Seems ok from Mac to Mac. I zipped the files for the PC users to download, could the zipping have something to do with it? (Acrobat 9, Mac OS 10.6.8)
I have a situation where my customer is using a Mac with a Windows emulation. When they scan an image on the Mac side, it saves a PDF, the image is clear and legible; however, when they open that image (PDF) on the Windows emulation the image is very distorted and the user cannot read the PDF at all. Are there any known issues that would cause this?
Please be specific and precise about the software being used to view the PDF, and the version. Also, if the PDF is viewed in a browser, email app etc. what is that app? There are lots of possible pieces of software so you'd need to start with that info. Don't assume Adobe Reader is involved, for instance.
I think you could usefully obtain from the customer a screen shot and share it with us. "Distorted" could describe so many things. Ideally, a screen shot from the Mac side of the SAME computer showing the "happy" file too.
Quartz PDFs are a constant nightmare where I work. They are slow to load, I get error operations and when you send these to print, they take forever to rip and sometimes won't print at all. We've tried everything. Even re-saving on the mac.
Mac Quartz PDFs are not reliable in my industry. I am a printer.
MacOS “Quartz Context” PDF files are no better or worse than PDF files from many other sources (including PDF generated directly by Microsoft Office under Windows and PDF files from many “freeware” PDF generators) and your exceptionally generalized observations are not borne out by the experiences of many other printers. Perhaps the content is more the issue that the creator.
If you can't print a PDF that opens and displays without a problem in Adobe Acrobat, perhaps your print workflow leaves something to be desired.