22 Replies Latest reply: Apr 13, 2015 8:13 PM by damnadam86 RSS

    Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?

    Kieran-Ridley

      Border lines of tables in PDFs created from Word documents disappear at various magnifications / zoom levels.

       

      Here is an example Word 2003 document containing tables:

      Test_PDF.doc     https://acrobat.com/#d=vu-46eSDBMmv0HQHUuDgxQ

       

      Here is a PDF of the document created with Acrobat 9 Std:

      Test_PDF_(Acrobat_9_Std).pdf     https://acrobat.com/#d=4rLtlkXj9I9R54LDc1HzeA

      Note how the table borders disappear at as you zoom in and out when viewing the PDF

       

      Here is a PDF of the document created with freeware PDF Creator:

      Test_PDF_(PDF_Creator).pdf          https://acrobat.com/#d=tCuhNhiV2rnwxAH97l6Cjg

      Note how the table borders appear OK at all levels as you zoom in and out - none of the lines disappear

       

      Here is a PDF of the document created with Acrobat 9 Pro:

      Test_PDF_(Acrobat_9_Pro).pdf     https://acrobat.com/#d=YCo14dHH4eA9V96ME9sjDw

      Again the table borders disappear at different magnifications

       

      The issue is not present with PDFs created with the freeware PDF Creator which indicates the issue lies with Acrobat itself rather than Word or the sample document.

       

      This issue is widely reported with no obvious solution:

       

      http://forums.adobe.com/message/1184209

      http://forums.adobe.com/thread/305508

      http://acrobatusers.com/forum/pdf-creation/word-pdf-table-lines-missing-or-faded/

      http://forums.adobe.com/thread/844475

      http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/missing-table-lines-conversion-pdf-t878406.php

       

      Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?

        • 1. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
          Bill@VT MVP

          The differences likely occur due to the settings that you use for the PDF creation, not necessarily Acrobat versus freeware. You might try setting the display resolution to 300 or 600 rather than the default 1200. Many times the lines are 1 pixel and have major display issues at 96dpi when a 1200dpi setting was used. They likely print fine.

          • 2. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
            Kieran-Ridley

            Thanks for this Bill but the results are the same with display resolution set to 1200, 600 and 300 dpi

            • 3. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
              Bill@VT MVP

              What I was referring to (now that I am on a machine that has it shown) was the Print Quality under the advanced options of the Adobe PDF Converter. There is resolution mentioned several places, but this is the one I meant to steer you toward. I used to have a problem with some vector graphics that wiped out the lines on a projector. Changing the print quality solved that problem. A lot of folks have had problems with the borders in WORD tables over the years and I never really caught the exact solution that was found, but I do think it was a resolution issue. You might be able to change the line width in WORD and see if that helps things.

              • 4. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                Kieran-Ridley

                Thanks for this Bill but changing the Resolution under Advanced > Print Quality does not resolve the issue.

                 

                Regarding altering the line width of the table borders in the source document, I would prefer to change Adobe settings to produce a proper PDF.

                 

                Acrobat creates improper PDF’s of the source document when other software does not.

                • 5. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                  Kieran-Ridley

                  Can any Adobe staff or experts shed light on this?

                   

                  As per the original post the issue is with documents containing tables that do not convert correctly to PDF using Acrobat 9. The same documents convert OK using another application. Here is a link to an example source file: https://acrobat.com/#d=vu-46eSDBMmv0HQHUuDgxQ

                   

                  If anyone has any suggestions they would be more than welcome.

                  • 6. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                    Bill@VT MVP

                    I got a notice that the file was not available.

                    • 7. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                      Kieran-Ridley

                      The links work and the file is accessible –

                      – You need to sign in to Acrobat.com with an Adobe ID

                      • 9. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                        Kieran-Ridley

                        Apologies, the file is now published, can you try again?

                        https://acrobat.com/#d=vu-46eSDBMmv0HQHUuDgxQ

                        • 10. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                          Bernd Alheit MVP

                          Now I can access the file.

                          • 11. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                            Bill@VT MVP

                            Ditto. I will try to look at it today.

                             

                            OK, I looked at the DOC file and all 3 PDFs you have. I was not able to dup your PDF results with AA9 Pro. I tried both my IEEE job settings and the Standard job settings. In both cases I had no problem with the zoom. I both zoomed in and out to the places where I saw the problems in your PDFs. In your pro case you used PDF Maker and in the std case you used the Adobe PDF printer, but the result was the same. What is missing is the job settings that you used. So, did you use std or what?

                             

                            In my case I used both the IEEE and Std settings with a display resolution of 300 dpi. My PDFs did not show the problem you have. So what job settings? I am currently at AA9.5.0 Pro. I do not see what version you used -- 9.0 or 9.5? Bill

                            • 12. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                              Kieran-Ridley

                              Thanks Bill, I don’t understand this line:

                              In your pro case you used PDF Maker and in the std case you used the Adobe PDF printer, but the result was the same.

                               

                              The three PDF’s were created by opening the document in Word 2003 and then choosing File > Print

                               

                              Test_PDF_(Acrobat_9_Std).pdf was created by printing to the “Adobe PDF” printer with Acrobat STD 9.2.0 installed:

                              https://acrobat.com/#d=4rLtlkXj9I9R54LDc1HzeA

                               

                              Test_PDF_(Acrobat_9_Pro).pdf was created by printing to the “Adobe PDF” printer with Acrobat PRO 9.2.0 installed:

                              https://acrobat.com/#d=YCo14dHH4eA9V96ME9sjDw

                               

                              Test_PDF_(PDF_Creator).pdf was created by printing to the “PDF Creator” printer with PDF Creator (freeware) installed:

                              https://acrobat.com/#d=4rLtlkXj9I9R54LDc1HzeA

                               

                              As you can see the PDF’s created with AA9.2.0 STD and PRO are problematic but the PDF created with PDF Creator is OK.

                               

                              The PDF’s created with AA9.2.0 STD and PRO were created by printing to Adobe PDF printer accepting all defaults.

                               

                              Test_PDF_(Acrobat_9_Std).pdf and Test_PDF_(Acrobat_9_Std).pdf were both 1200dpi but the results are the same with Print Quality set to 1200dpi, 600dpi or 300dpi:

                               

                              Description: cid:image001.png@01CD0E8E.A1ECFBA0

                               

                              I am not sure what you mean by Std or IEEE settings?

                              • 13. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                                Kieran-Ridley

                                On further testing I can confirm the issue only occurs at 1200dpi and higher. At 600dpi and 300dpi the results are OK. The results are the same in AA9.2.0 STD and PRO and with PDF Creator 0.9.6. Thanks for your help with this.

                                • 14. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                                  Bill@VT MVP

                                  I got the information about the production from the document properites. Maybe I got them backwards. In the Pro version of the PDF, the information about the file said it was created with "Acrobat Distiller 9.2.0" using "PScript5.dll". For the Std version it indicated the creation with "Acrobat Distiller 9.2.0" using "PDFMaker 9.1 for Word".

                                   

                                  One difference, I used WORD 2007 (usually I have problems with 2007 versus 2003, particularly for graphics). In the WORD print menu, is you select properties for the Adobe PDF printer you have several choices of settings. I thought I had read that you used the press settings. The default settings is Standard. I have an additional settings file I usually used that was created by the IEEE for online technical publications -- it is not a standard in Acrobat. Many publishers have such job settings files. If you look at the printer properties, the settings available are listed under the Default Settings on the Adobe PDF Settings tab for AA9.

                                   

                                  Hope that clears it up a bit. In any case, both of your PDF files zoomed with the same result as you indicated. The PDF files I created from WORD 2007 and AA9.5.0 did not have the problem and performed just as your 3rd party result. This suggests either an issue with WORD 2003 that you can also update, or with some settings in AA9. If you do not have 9.5.0, you might check the results with updates.

                                  • 15. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                                    Kieran-Ridley

                                    Thanks Bill – are you able to create a “good” PDF of the document at 1200dpi Print Quality or higher?

                                     

                                    By “good” I mean a PDF that does not have the table lines disappearing at different magnifications

                                     

                                    I am only able to create “good” PDFs at 600dpi or lower Print Quality with my setup

                                     

                                    I have tried increasing the thickness of the table border lines from 1.5pt up to 6pt but this has not helped

                                    • 16. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                                      Bill@VT MVP

                                      OK, I created the file with the display resolution set to 1200dpi (my default is 300dpi due to such problems a long time ago). I see that the lines are supposed to be 1.5pts. After this PDF creation, I start losing the lines at 75% resolution. I had no such problem when I used 300dpi. I have been looking at some of the preflight scripts, but don't know how to read the results to see any difference. Maybe someone else, like Bernd or Dave, might have an idea. The workaround is to use a display resolution of 300 dpi. I am not sure why, when the lines are at 1.5 pts. 1.5 pts would correspond to about 1/50th of an inch for the line width (72 pts per inch). So something looks a bit strange.

                                       

                                      In the past I was using vector plots that had a line width of 1 pixel. At 1200 dpi that became a problem, particularly for screen projection with 96dpi. I started creating the lines as 1pt by default and also use the 300 dpi display resolution. I have not had the issue since.

                                      • 17. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                                        Kieran-Ridley

                                        Thanks again Bill – Bernd/Dave could you advise if we can PDF this sort of document at 1200dpi without the table lines disappearing at different magnification levels?

                                         

                                        [ private information removed ]

                                        • 18. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                                          Kieran-Ridley

                                          Thanks again Bill – Bernd/Dave could you advise if we can PDF this sort of document at 1200dpi without the table lines disappearing at different magnification levels?

                                           

                                          https://acrobat.com/#d=vu-46eSDBMmv0HQHUuDgxQ

                                          • 19. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                                            Bill at HNS Community Member

                                            It is kind of surprising that this problem has been discussed for years, apparently with no real solution.

                                             

                                            I read a message where someone suggested this, and it appears to work:

                                             

                                            In Word, change the top cell margin to 0. (Table Properties > Cell > Options) But, you have to do this for each table. Don't now if you could make it part of a Word style.

                                             

                                            A workaround, yes, but it appears to work.

                                             

                                            Meanwhile, it seems like Adobe should make the PDF output match what the printer "sees." This used to always be the case. (For this particular problem, the table lines are there in printed output, but not in the PDF as displayed by Acrobat or Reader.)

                                            • 20. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                                              Bill@VT MVP

                                              Part of the problem is that many of us have not been able to replicate the problem. I have just created PDFs from Excel and WORD with tables using borders. I varied the borders as thin, medium, and wide in Excel (apparently Excel refuses to tell you the pt size). I did the same in WORD using 1/2 pt, 1 pt, 3 pt, and 4.5 pt. I then both printed to the Adobe PDF printer and used PDF Maker (This is WORD 2010 and Acrobat 11). In all of the results, there were no disappearing lines or such. They were just as expected. I have seen posts before where the lines are not smooth, but vary in size -- so I understand it is real. It is just I have not been able to replicate the problem.

                                              • 21. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                                                Bill at HNS Community Member

                                                I wonder if your Word tables included shading. Many online messages about this problem seem to suggest you see the disappearing top table rule when the top row is shaded, as is often the case. I just did a quick test that seems to indicate this is not a problem if the top row is not shaded. (In my writing group we use a shaded header row.)

                                                 

                                                I tried what one poster suggested--I changed the cell spacing for the table in Word from 0.02 inch to 0.00 inch. This solves the problem (the line at the top of the table appears in the PDF), but it causes another problem--the top of the text appears crowded against the top table rule.

                                                • 22. Re: Any solution for this perennial Acrobat issue?
                                                  damnadam86 Community Member

                                                  I found the issue was to do with cell margins (generally when using another firm/persons word doc; and not 'fresh' word docs generated internally), and how lines rendered when the margins overlap, as confirmed by user "dunadry" and "Nic223" in this thread: https://acrobatusers.com/forum/pdf-creation/word-pdf-table-lines-missing-or-faded/.  I tried everything - pdf printing resolution; table borders and width sizing; paragraph spacing, alignment & indentation; font sizing/formatting; column & row sizing - nothing worked. In the end I found MS word (2010) kept it's default top margin despite me setting (and re-setting) the value at zero; I had to go into "Table Properties", to the "Table" tab and to "Options" down below, set it at 0.05pt to first give it a value that MS wouldn't override, and then set it back to zero. Hope that helps!