Can we assume that you are exporting PDF, not somehow creating PDF via distillation of PostScript? PDF via distillation of PostScript is not reliable.
And exactly what PDF joboption preset did you use when you exported PDF?
Quite frankly, I somehow suspect that neither you, the MacOS version, the InDesign version, nor the PDF file itself are the problem.
The fact that your printer is mumbling about “In Design (sic) sometimes doesn't distill a PDF correctly” leads me to believe that your printer may be the problem. Quite often, printers muck around with perfectly fine PDF files, opening them in (gasp!) Adobe Illustrator “just to check things out and to ‘fix things’.” The problem is that usually there really isn't anything to fix and that Adobe Illustrator is not, repeat not, repeat yet again not a PDF file editor. The only PDF files that Adobe Illustrator can safely open and edit are PDF files saved from Adobe Illustrator if and only if the “save editability” option is selected when such a PDF file is saved. Otherwise, it is very possible that text and other PDF objects may be lost or otherwise modified, colors changed, etc. The damage occurs when the PDF file is opened in Illustrator and becomes permanent when such a file is saved, even if nothing is explicitly done to the file by the user!
Alternatively, your printer may have a wonky PDF workflow system with very out-of-date components or a very, very out-of-date RIP/DFE.
Generally speaking, if you can open the PDF file in Acrobat or Adobe Reader and print successfully to a local print device, you should have no problems of the type you describe.
I appreciate the quick reply! I am creating an In Design file, then exporting to PDF using the press quality setting. I haven't had this problem of disappearing text in 5 years with this printer, so that's 60 magazine issues without a problem. I just talked to the pre-press guy, and they haven't changed their RIP or anything, nothing has changed with them. They never mess with my PDF files, either so they aren't doing anything to it.
We talked about my work habits, and this is one POSSIBLE problem….I copy a page over and over….so I'll take last month's ad page, duplicate the whole file and re-name it for the next issue, and make changes on the new copy. He thought perhaps over doing this multiple times some unseen "damage" to the In Design file may have occurred. He suggested I create a new file to work from since the two files I had a problem with have been copied as I described at least 20 times each, maybe more.
I have Adobe Acrobat X version 10.1.10. Should I open the In Design created PDF into Acrobat X to "check" it out, or is that necessary?
The more theories I hear espoused by your “printer,” the less respect I have for him. He is grabbing at straws, and not even any good straws at that!
I have reused content in the manner that you describe for many years over many “new” InDesign documents without any such problems.
If you can simply open a PDF file exported from InDesign in Adobe Reader or Acrobat, see all the content, and print it successfully to a cheap office printer, then the PDF file should be “good to go” for professional printing, at least in terms of rendering text properly.
Thinking about this some more, the only areas where things could start getting wonky is if you are using strange combinations of transparency, overprinting, and spot colors in the areas where the text “disappears.” If you have a sample PDF file that you can share, we can analyze whether indeed there is anything non-kosher about it or whether your “printer” is in fact corrupting your work.
How can I get the actual "problem" PDF to you? The email's I've received from this board are "no reply" type emails.
You can post the file on a cloud service like Dropbox, and provide a link to the file.
You can send a private message to me on the forums with a pointer to the file after receiving such an e-mail, I can give you my e-mail such you can send the file (if less than 50MB) via e-mail.