Here's a really technical issue I am having.
Client supplies us a PDF of their ad (created in InDesign CS5). We place PDF onto InDesign document (with our proof release info, etc). We place the InDesign document into another InDesign document (our complete magazine layout file). We Postscript & PDF the page. Text elements in the ad become distorted. Specifically text that was outlined with a stroke is distorted to look like "crackhouse" font; readable but totally distorted. Other text on the PDF is not distorted, including other outlined and stroked.
The only common element between some of the distorted text is that it somehow appears to be grouped inside of an invisible box, and all the text and elements are stuck together. Non-distorted text is not grouped.
This is exported (or PS-Distilled) using a setting that flattens PDFs to v1.3 (Acrobat 4 compatible). If I export the file using a higher level preset, such as PDF X-4, there is no distortion.
I have been trying to replicate the way they supplied a PDF to us, with the text items "grouped together" in the PDF. But I can't make that happen (from CS5, exporting directly). I tried grouping items, making text in Illustrator, etc. I can't replicate it. I'd like to know how they are getting that arrangement, so we can either fix it, or ask them to not do it.
(And to pre-answer some other comments, yes we will consider outputting to L1.4 or higher in the future but that's not my immediate concern. We can't change our workflow without a lot of testing so it could be a while.)
Thanks for any suggestions,
1. Example of text on original ad in color:
No clue what's happening in the last image, but the first one looks like maybe it's a placed illlustrator graphic. Thatmight have something to do with it, though I don't know why it would fail in distiller and not in unflattened export.
You might learn a lot more about what's going on if they would send you the ID file to examine.