15 Replies Latest reply on Jan 3, 2012 9:26 AM by steverile2

    Word table border problems after pdf'ing

    Level 1
      Sorry if this has been brought up before. What can be done about the faint lines that appear in some Word tables that have been pdf'ed? I say some because the problem only occurs in merged, shaded cells. Half the vertical lines of a cell are normal and half are noticeably thinner and print that way. If shading is removed before pdf'ing, there is no problem. Does anybody have a workaround for this other than not shading table rows? I'm currently using Acrobat 9 Pro Extended but it has happened in older versions too. thanks.
        • 1. Re: Word table border problems after pdf'ing
          Bill@VT Level 7
          Change the width of the border to 1 pt or change the display resolution in the Adobe PDF printer properties to 300 dpi (maybe 600) rather than the default 120 dpi. Yellow lines are really bad!
          • 2. Re: Word table border problems after pdf'ing
            Level 1
            thanks, but I can't seem to find anything called "display resolution" in the Adobe pdf printer properties. I am using High Quality Print and the resolution there (under File Options) says 2400. I changed the borders to one point all around but still the same problem. Can you tell me where to find the display resolution menu you mentioned?
            • 3. Re: Word table border problems after pdf'ing
              Bill@VT Level 7
              It is similar on various versions. I will tell you for AA7 that I have on this machine. I go to START>Settings>Printers and right click on the Adobe PDF printer to select the properties. On the General tab, select printing preferences. On the Layout tab select Advanced. Printing Quality is the first item under Graphic items. I set mine to 300 dpi.

              This may not solve the problem (I worked with a guy once before on this and gave up after a bit - but I did not drive it into the ground), but at least it gives you something to try. Maybe some of the WORD folks will come by and chat. This is not a new problem and has been pointed out before.

              One of the issue is if you are looking at the printout or on screen. It might still print fine or look OK if you zoom. In that case it is likely the sampling done for the 96dpi screen. The lines are typically small (often 1 pixel) and when you look at it with 2400 dpi and put it on the screen, you see almost nothing with the average process that is apparently used to reduce the dpi for the screen. At least I am pretty sure this is basically the issue. The resolution is a different matter.
              • 4. Re: Word table border problems after pdf'ing
                Level 1
                Thanks again for working with me on this. The graphic resolution is set at 1200 dpi. I think the problem has to do with the way Adobe handles shading. You can actually click on a shaded cell with the touchup object tool and move the shaded box out of its cell while leaving the remaining cells shaded. When you move the shaded area of an adjoining cell, the faint and thin upper half of the line that divides the cells becomes thick like the lower half of the line, which is the way it should be. The shaded areas were actually covering part of the line. Again, this problem occurs only in cells that have been merged in Word. I can live with the screen resolution problem but it's inexcusable to have a printed document that contains table lines with two different thicknesses and shades. I don't think there is a solution to the problem. As valuable a software as Acrobat is, something small like this can destroy its worth as far as document production goes. If you have any other suggestions I'd love to hear them. Thanks.
                • 5. Re: Word table border problems after pdf'ing
                  Bill@VT Level 7
                  Sounds like a transparency issue. You might search on transparency, something that Acrobat has not handled well over the years.
                  • 6. Re: Word table border problems after pdf'ing
                    Level 1
                    Have you tried changing the page margins, reducing the point size of the border, adding extra columns/rows, manipulating the cell padding of the table or recreating the tables? Sometimes this can help.
                    • 7. Re: Word table border problems after pdf'ing
                      Level 1
                      Now here comes the solution that really works. I have to convert a lot of word-documents to pdf for business / on a fee basis.

                      I finally found a way round this annoying problem.

                      Say, your shaded cells have got the following RGB values 192,192,192

                      Now, select the entire row that has already been shaded, go to Table-Table Properties - Borders and Shading - Borders (tab).
                      Then choose 'contour' for the border setting and choose the same colour than the one you applied for the shading, i.e. RGB values 192,192,192 and apply this setting to the 'cell'.
                      Repeat that for all rows or let a macro do this.

                      I got the german version of Word, hopefully I translated everything right, if not, let me know.

                      Print your PDF, the jagged/faint lines should have disappeared.

                      Please let me know whether it worked!

                      Regards, Andreas
                      • 8. Re: Word table border problems after pdf'ing
                        Level 1
                        Andreas, Thanks for your post. I tried what you said, but I don't have a "contour" setting in my Word v. 2003 so I used "All" and then for the second try "Grid". If I understand correctly you are saying to change the lines so they match the same color as the shaded cells. This has the effect of showing no vertical lines between the columns. My tables are usually designed with border grids so the headings are easily distinguished. In other words, gray shading with black lines between the cells. Please let me know if I am misunderstanding.
                        • 9. Re: Word table border problems after pdf'ing
                          Level 1

                          Hey Mike,


                          sorry for the delay. Ok you are right, my workaround only applies to shaded cells where the border lines match the shaded cells. Why do you need vertical lines in the first place? Modern table layout usually does away with vertical lines, only alternately shaded horizontal rows are usually used. Along with my "trick" you have got regular borders.


                          Regards, Andreas

                          • 10. Re: Word table border problems after pdf'ing
                            Bill@VT Level 7

                            On the AA7 I have on this machine, I selected the printer properties (under Start>Printers>right click on Adobe PDF). Under the layout tab, select the advanced button. For AA7 there is a Display Quality setting that I changed to 300 dpi a long time ago and that resolved many of these issues. The job settings file I used comes from IEEE and has a Resolution of 600 dpi (general tab). Generally I have found that the 1200 and 2400 dpi do nothing but cause problems for screen display (96 dpi typical). I used to have problems with a graphics packages where the yellow lines created could barely be seen. Going to the 300dpi and use points rather than pixels for the lines fixed the display problem. I think this is related to your vertical lines problem and is why I brought it up.


                            If you go back a few years, the Calcomp plotters that were used for computer graphics (and many newer plotters) had a resolution of 0.01 inches. This is basiclly about what the human eye can discern and was also consistent with the pens that were used in the plotters. I find 300 dpi to be fully adequate, but there are several who prefer 600 dpi. The 1200 dpi is just setting up for wasted storage and often problem displays.


                            Don't know that I have helped, but maybe I have given you some thoughts. Bill

                            • 11. Re: Word table border problems after pdf'ing
                              JMGriesemer Level 1

                              This discussion was extremely helpful!  I'm disappointed that Adobe has figured this out yet.  But it's

                              a relief to be able to use the TouchUpObject tool to remove the extra filled boxes that overlap the borders. 


                              Thanks to all.

                              • 12. Re: Word table border problems after pdf'ing
                                shell_l_d Level 1

                                Converting Word (table) to pdf - lines screwed up - googled as far back as 2004.
                                BUG STILL exists. HELP/FIX PLEASE?


                                Trying to convert any word doc with tables (& shading) to PDF
                                - basic table, black borders throughout
                                - shaded headings, black outline border
                                - shaded subheadings, black outline border


                                However when convert to PDF:
                                - 'displays' NO top cell border for some/all shaded rows
                                - shows diff thickness lines
                                - each conversion, diff lines missing/incorrectly sized
                                - however converted pdf prints perfectly fine


                                Adobe know about the bug, per PRMW's (Paul's) post on 2009-07-15 15:44:34, however only offered a painful time consuming workaround using non-freeware Adobe Pro:
                                http://acrobatusers.com/forum/pdf-creation/word-pdf-table-lines-missing-or-faded#comment-7 8139
                                - "It is not feasable to edit 200+ tables in the PDF every time the PDF is generated, as we maintain the original in word.
                                - "This complete issue seems to have been passed off by Adobe as no problem and that there is a work around. I consider this an unsatisfactory response from a major product supplier.


                                Microsoft TechNet & NitroPdf said it's an Adobe issue & to contact Adobe to fix the bug.


                                Tried, but proble exists:
                                * Word 2010 > File  > Save & Send > Create PDF/XPS Document
                                * Word 2010 > Save As > Pdf
                                * Word 2010 > Print > PrimoPdf  (even tried properties > advanced > dpi 300/600/2400) > Custom
                                * Word 2010 > Print > doPDF v7  (even tried 'high quality images)
                                * Word 2010 > Print > PDFCreator
                                * Word 2010 > Print > CutePdf Writer      (even worse)
                                * Nitro Pdf Reader  > Convert From File > (even worse)
                                * www.pdfonline.com > Word to Pdf         (even worse)
                                * www.wordtopdf.com > email: Sorry, an unexpected conversion failure occurred when converting your file.


                                * Word 2010 - tried with .docx & .doc (97 to 2003)
                                * Adobe Reader 8.2.6 (freeware), then upgraded to Adobe Reader X 10.0.1 (freeware)
                                * GhostScript 9.01 w32 (freeware)
                                * CutePdf Writer (freeware)
                                * PrimoPdf (freeware)
                                * Nitro Pdf Reader (freeware)
                                * doPDF 7.2.361 (freeware)
                                * PDFCreator 1.2.0 (opensource - www.pdfforge.org)


                                Seems to display better at 300%, but lines still not right (even at 2400%), but who views pdf's at this zoom?


                                Message was edited by: shell_l_d

                                • 13. Re: Word table border problems after pdf'ing
                                  The Real Remster Level 1



                                  I think I've found a (slightly clunky) solution to this problem. First, set your table borders to at least 1/2 pt in Word. Then, having converted your document to PDF, follow the instructions in this post for moving the shaded boxes to the back.


                                  Best wishes



                                  • 14. Re: Word table border problems after pdf'ing
                                    FetFlexF Level 1

                                    Has this ever been fixed. Many people must be affected of this?

                                    • 15. Re: Word table border problems after pdf'ing
                                      steverile2 Level 1

                                      I have similar problems with the latest RH 9.0.2 patch. I'm fixing the missing table top borders in the Word version manually. It's getting quite dull now