14 Replies Latest reply: May 8, 2014 4:13 AM by Luke Jennings RSS

    illustrator opens PDF with corrupted characters

    v3ktordotse Community Member

      Hi,

      When i open a PDF in Illustrator the characters become corrupted. It looks like "#D)9! etc.

       

      Apples preview and Acrobat shows the text right. But when opened in illustrator everything is wrong. The font I use is plain Arial.

       

      Viktor

        • 1. Re: illustrator opens PDF with corrupted characters
          Luke Jennings Community Member

          Illustrator is not a universal PDF editor. You can usually open a PDF that was created in Illustrator (with Illustrator editing capabilities) but a PDF created from any other program is a risky. What is it you are trying to do?

          • 2. Re: illustrator opens PDF with corrupted characters
            v3ktordotse Community Member

            I did a presentation of a website in Illustrator with several art boards (pages) and saved as PDF.

             

            Unfortunately I opened and saved it in Acrobat because I needed to change the default view size to 100% 72 dpi.

            Now when I have to go back and open the PDF in Illustrator to make changes the characters in my PDF have become totally corrupted.

             

            Also Illustrator dont get the artboard/multiple pages concept. It only want to open one page.

             

            Guess the best solution is to stay away from PDF in the future and use Powerpoint or Keynote instead.

            • 3. Re: illustrator opens PDF with corrupted characters
              Monika Gause MVP

              Did you save the PDF with Illustrator compatibility?

               

              You should, if you want to have the ability to edit the PDF later.

              I don't get your point about opening single pages of a multiple page PDF in Illustrator. You might want to explain what exactly you did.

              • 4. Re: illustrator opens PDF with corrupted characters
                v3ktordotse Community Member

                First i did a PDF with multiple pages (artboards) in Illustrator and saved as PDF.

                Then I opened it in Acrobat and changed the view option for the PDF (to 72 DPI / 100%). Then save in Acrobat.

                Then I needed to edit it again in Illustrator.

                But when I open the PDF in illustrator (that have been saved in Acrobat) all text is corrupted. But it looks fine in Apple preview and Acrobat.

                My problem is that the text looks like !#9D"% when opened in illustrator (but Acrobat renders it fine).

                 

                (Guess the artboard functionality got lost when I saved in Acrobat.)

                • 5. Re: illustrator opens PDF with corrupted characters
                  Luke Jennings Community Member

                  I just tried this in Illustrator 6 and Acrobat 10 and it worked fine. I suspect you used an earlier version of Acrobat that did not support multiple artboards? If you used the Illustrator default to save your PDF, the fonts should have been embedded and should not have changed after saving in Acrobat. You can check for embedded fonts in Acrobat (File> Properties> fonts). Did your file originate in Illustrator? PDFs from Powerpoint, and Publisher can be problematic, because of un-embedded fonts, even when placed in Illustrator.

                  font issue.jpg

                  • 6. Re: illustrator opens PDF with corrupted characters
                    v3ktordotse Community Member

                    Hi Luke,

                    I use Illutsrator CS6 and Acrobat 10.1.1. And I have checked that box on your screenshot.

                     

                    But you solved one thing. The type that is messed up comes from a flowchart that was created in Powerpoint. I used Illustrator to clean it up and changed the fonts to Arial. The textblocks that was originally created in Powerpoint is the ones that are messed up.

                     

                    This is how it went:

                    1. Flow chart created in Powerpoint and exported as PDF.

                    2. PDF is opened in Illustrator - everything looks nice.

                    3. I change some view settings in Acrobat and save.

                    4. Open the file again in Illustrator and it looks like ****.

                     

                    Anyway, I have recreated the artwork.

                    But it's still a mystery for me why Acrobat and preview show it fine and Illustrator don't.

                     

                    Skärmavbild 2013-02-23 kl. 15.59.24.png

                    • 7. Re: illustrator opens PDF with corrupted characters
                      Larry G. Schneider MVP

                      The problem comes from the Calibri font used in MS Office. It's the same with Excel when copy/pasting a chart from Excel to AI if the Calibri(Theme Body) font was used. You must make the change in PP before moving the file to AI.

                      • 8. Re: illustrator opens PDF with corrupted characters
                        shoimthewoim Community Member

                        I experience the same issue. My workaround is to open the pdf in Acrobat and save it as eps. Illustrator (CS6 in my case) will open the eps file and the text will display correctly.

                         

                        My experience is consistent with Larry Schneider's answer in that my problem documents all come from MS Office using Calibri(Theme Body).

                         

                        I routinely use Illustrator to tidy up plots of scientific data which I originally create by printing and saving to pdf in other apps (mainly Kaleidagraph and Omnigraffle) and I have never had an issue with any of these files.

                        • 9. Re: illustrator opens PDF with corrupted characters
                          shoimthewoim Community Member

                          I should add that the text appears correctly but as compound paths, so this work around may not be that useful if you need to retain the text editability.

                          • 10. Re: illustrator opens PDF with corrupted characters
                            Monika Gause MVP

                            In order to outline a text you don't need this workaround. Instead place the file in Illustrator (don't embed) and then flatten transparency ("outline text" checked)

                            • 11. Re: illustrator opens PDF with corrupted characters
                              shoimthewoim Community Member

                              Thank you, Monika. Yours is a superior way to get the file opened in Illustrator in the same form as my workaround.

                               

                              Do you know of a way to avoid the outline text? My preference is to have editable text, correctly displayed.

                               

                              I'm not a very experienced user and am baffled by the apparent interaction of transparency and correct display of text. Can you recommend a reference document that explains what is happening?

                              • 12. Re: illustrator opens PDF with corrupted characters
                                Monika Gause MVP

                                As Larry already mentioned: avoid Calibri.

                                In other cases (nor relevant for Excel) ligatures force outlining of text, so they need to be avoided.

                                 

                                But sometimes even that won't help and you just have to live with it.

                                • 13. Re: illustrator opens PDF with corrupted characters
                                  shoimthewoim Community Member

                                  In  my case, my co-author has embedded Excel charts in Word and I don't have access to the original data or charts. The charts use Cambria as the font for labels. I've taken the Word file, selected all and changed the font to Times by applying a new style. I've also selected some chart labels and changed the font from Cambria to Times. All the text that was changed from Calibri or Cambria to Times correctly displays as editable text in Illustrator now. All the text that remained in Cambria is corrupted.

                                   

                                  Thank you for your advice, Monika and Larry, and note that Cambria should join the list of fonts to avoid as well.

                                   

                                  Wish I was clever enough to figure out how to select all text within the embedded charts and change them all to Times or Helvetica.

                                  • 14. Re: illustrator opens PDF with corrupted characters
                                    Luke Jennings Community Member

                                    Not sure if this will work for you, but save the Word file as a PDF, Open it in Acrobat and go to Tools> Content> Edit object (this step varies, depending on which version of Acrobat you have). With luck you will be able to select just the chart. If you can, control-click it and choose edit object. Save it as a new file, edit it (change the font) and place it into your Illustrator file. You can choose which application with which to open the chart by going to Acrobat> Preferences> Touch up. If you have Pitstop, an Acrobat plug-in, you should be able to change the font right in Acrobat.