11 Replies Latest reply on Feb 11, 2013 6:43 AM by allisonblake

    Text shifting on imposed PDF; distill vs export

    allisonblake Level 1

      Hi experts. Please help me solve a mystery!

      Mac OS 10.7, InDesign CS5 7.0.4

      Here's the problem: I export a PDF (using modified version of the built-in X-1a PDF export preset to include bleed and crop marks)

      Fonts are embedded, no problems when preflighting in Acrobat.

      The printer imposes the file by placing my PDF into spreads in InDesign CS6 on Mac (OS unknown) and exports to PDF using unknown settings (The PDF producer is Adobe PDF Library 10.0.1).

      The imposed PDF I get back from the printer has text shifting (the PDF i send to him looks fine--no gaps).

      It looks like there are random blank spaces in the text and misaligned numbered lists. (left image, image on right shows original ID file)

      Screen Shot 2013-02-07 at 3.12.48 PM.pngScreen Shot 2013-02-07 at 3.14.47 PM.png

      Our production person insists that my exporting the PDF is to blame and says we must use distiller for sending files to the printer.

      When I print to postscript then distill, the shifting does not occur in the imposed PDF i get back from the printer.

      Everything I have read on here for years has said the postscript/distill route is bad/old/unnecessary/proof I should get a new printer.

      Production claims fonts are not properly embedded when exporting PDF (patently false as the document info show that fonts are embedded).

      Unless I can explain, and fix the shifting type problem, I will have to stick with postscript/distilling workflow.

      (Although this is also not a guarantee--i have had the text shift/gap happen in PDFs that went through distiller. There the problem seemed to be a bullet glyph that was CID-H encoded.

      When I switched the font from a TT to PS version of the font, it used different encoding and the shifting/gap was fixed in the PDF i got back from the printer.)

      Please share your thoughts!

      Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Text shifting on imposed PDF; distill vs export
          MW Design Level 4

          Why not ask them for their PDF settings file?

           

          Take care, Mike

          • 2. Re: Text shifting on imposed PDF; distill vs export
            Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

            For placement of PDF into InDesign, PDF/X-1a isn't the best choice, PDF/X-4 would be much better. And for that matter, your printer shouldn't be using InDesign as an imposition tool. Your production person's explanation is pure bunk.

             

            Nonetheless, we have never seen anything like what you are experiencing. We would like to look at this at Adobe. If you can e-mail me some samples of those exported PDF files that fail when placed into InDesign CS6, I analyze what's going on. (You can reach me at isaacs@adobe.com.)

             

                      - Dov

            • 3. Re: Text shifting on imposed PDF; distill vs export
              BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              Your production person should be sent for proper training in modern PDF

              workflows.

               

              Bob

              • 4. Re: Text shifting on imposed PDF; distill vs export
                allisonblake Level 1

                Thank you. I have emailed you some PDFs.

                • 5. Re: Text shifting on imposed PDF; distill vs export
                  allisonblake Level 1

                  Bob, I agree, but how to explain that the "new" way is causing problems?

                  I have asked him to get further details of the printer's workflow to see if I can glean any information from that.

                  • 6. Re: Text shifting on imposed PDF; distill vs export
                    BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                    There are two factors here. Flattening PDFs and placing then in a

                    pagelayout app to impose. The only thing worse than this would be

                    placing them in Quark.

                     

                    Both are archaic methods for print work and have been for over a decade.

                     

                    Bob

                    • 7. Re: Text shifting on imposed PDF; distill vs export
                      Jeffrey_Smith Most Valuable Participant

                      When I switched the font from a TT to PS version of the font

                      After switching to the PS version, does your document have any remnants of the True Type version? I suspect that somewhere in the imposed document, pages contain both version of the font, and with the new PDF, there is an encoding issue while dealing with the multiple versions of the same font.

                      • 8. Re: Text shifting on imposed PDF; distill vs export
                        Daniel Flavin Level 4

                        Bob, what if the Place and Impose were part of the normal assembly of a larger document - a placed Ad for a journal. The methods are the same.

                        I infer from your post that Live Transparency be maintained - flatten as late in the workflow as possible -

                         

                        Your thoughts...

                        • 9. Re: Text shifting on imposed PDF; distill vs export
                          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                          Then as Dov already pointed out, it would be done with PDF X/4 document,

                          not an X/1-a.

                           

                          Bob

                          • 10. Re: Text shifting on imposed PDF; distill vs export
                            Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                            OK. I've gotten the original PDF files that were exported from CS5 and then placed into a new CS6 document and then exported from the OP. By the way, the problem is not limited to exported PDF, but also with PDF created by distillation of PostScript from CS5.

                             

                            I cannot replicate the problem by simply creating a new InDesign CS6 document and placing pages into the new document and exporting.

                             

                            However, I noted that some crop marks in the original CS5-exported PDF file were not in the CS6-exported file. That leads me to believe that something edited the CS6-exported PDF file. Furthermore, the CS6-exported PDF file was not only labelled as PDF/X-1a, but it also had the Trapped True key on. For exported PDF, InDesign provides no trapping function and absolutely no way of setting that trapping key in the PDF file. But Adobe Illustrator does provide the means of doing trapping and/or labeling a PDF/X file as being trapped with the Trapped True key.

                             

                            At this point, I believe that some combination of the following events occurred:

                             

                            *     The CS5 exported PDF file(s) were edited, possibly in Illustrator or with object editing in Acrobat Pro either with native tools or third party plug-ins and then resaved with the resultant PDF file(s) placed in the CS6 document. This editing may have messed up spacing of text that used ligatures, alternate characters, old style figures, etc. even though such text was not directly edited.

                             

                            *     The CS6 exported imposed spreads were subsequently opened in Illustrator or some other third party trapping engine and resaved with the Trapped True key set. In the process of resaving the file, problems per (1) above occurred.

                             

                            Conclusions:

                             

                            (1)     Whether PDF/X-1a or PDF/X-4 was used for export anywhere in this process is irrelevant. The designs in question didn't use any transparency or color management. Furthermore, no CID-encoded fonts were involved and no font name conflicts were involved. However, the fonts used in the original InDesign documents were OpenType CFF fonts with extended character sets which were in fact accessed for ligatures, superscripts, subscripts, etc.

                             

                            (2)     Previously non-disclosed steps were used in the workflow between the CS5 export and the resultant files I got to see. Using Illustrator as a PDF editor or as trapping software for PDF files in general is a possible / likely cause of the problems. If not Illustrator, then some very defective PDF workflow software for trapping and/or editing was used.

                             

                            (3)     Although InDesign is not designed as an imposition tool, the fact is that it is used for amalgamation of content such as magazines, journals, etc. where ads and other content as PDF (and other formats) is placed within InDesign pages. This appears to be working correctly and is not the source of the problem.

                             

                            The OP is dealing with problematic workflow, but not with InDesign problems.

                             

                                      - Dov

                            1 person found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: Text shifting on imposed PDF; distill vs export
                              allisonblake Level 1

                              Thanks, Dov!

                              I have asked my production guy to ask the printer what they are doing with the file once they receive it. Thanks for weighing in everyone!