11 Replies Latest reply on Aug 19, 2008 9:19 AM by Nini Tjader

    Convert PDF text to curves


      I need to do a couple of minor text changes to a menu that I have been sent as a PDF. When I open the file in Illustrator CS2, it all works except for the headings - which are in a font (Shelley Allegro) that I don't have.

      The headings look fine viewed in Acrobat 7 Pro, so obviously there is an embedded subset of the font in the PDF.

      Is there a way to convert the text to curves when opening the file? I don't need to edit the headings - but I don't want to rasterise them by opening in Photoshop either.
        • 1. Re: Convert PDF text to curves
          "Is there a way to convert the text to curves when opening the file?"
          However-make a copy of the PDF--open the copy in Acrobat Pro--save as EPS click 'settings' go to 'transparency and flattening(look for the check box that says 'convert all text to outlines'--then open EPS in illustrator and copy 'heading text'--open original PDF in illustrator--delete headings--paste copied 'outline text' into file....then continue with your edits...it's a bit of a workaround...but it should accomplish what you need...
          • 2. Re: Convert PDF text to curves
            Thanks Tman, your workaround sounded good, but unfortunately doesn't work. I still get an error of "the document contains fonts that are not on your system" even if I save as EPS with Convert Text to Outlines checked and when opened in Illy the font is definitely different (and I tried as a postscript file too, just in case, and i tried altering the raster/vector level to see if that helped, but no)
            • 3. Re: Convert PDF text to curves
              You can see if the fonts are embedded in Acrobat (file> properties) if they are, you may be able to make the edits in Acrobat using the select text tool (or pitstop if you have it). A PDF may appear to display properly without embedded fonts, but editing and printing is dicy. Outlining is old-school, but if you must, this will work: In Acrobat go to document> watermark> add> text> (hit space bar) opacity 99%> OK.
              Then, advanced> print production> flattener preview> convert all text to outlines> apply> save. The idea is to add transparency to the PDF (with an invisible watermark) then use the flattener preview to force outlining.
              Edit- These instructions are for Acrobat 8, for 7 use Tools> print production> transparency flattening.
              • 4. Re: Convert PDF text to curves
                Kurt Gold Rockstar
                I think tman's suggestion should work, but I haven't tried it. However, what works for me is:

                - Place the .pdf in InDesign

                - Give it an opacity other than 100%, for example 99%

                - Create a Flatten Transparency preset that forces all text to be outlined

                - Export the document to an .eps file and choose the above created preset

                - Open the .eps in Illustrator
                • 5. Re: Convert PDF text to curves
                  I was able to place the pdf in Illustrator CS3 and then go to Object/Flatten Transparency. In the pop-up window check turn fonts to outlines. I didn't need to change the transparency.
                  • 6. Re: Convert PDF text to curves
                    If you have pitstop, you can use this to convert text to outlines.

                    Tman's suggestion will work. Kurt's suggestion also works.

                    Another method, link place the pdf in Illustrator. Select the linked element, object flatten transparency with convert fonts to outlines.

                    All methods require embedded fonts in the pdf.

                    Every method, except using pitstop, will flatten transparency.
                    • 7. Re: Convert PDF text to curves
                      Steve Fairbairn Rockstar
                      Luke says that outlining is old-school.
                      All the same, if you want to be 100% certain that things get printed the way you want them, it's the only foolproof way to do things, especially if you're using unusual or homemade fonts.
                      Thing is that fonts are identified by a code number, so if your printer has a font with the same id-code as yours you will get his version - even though your font and his are totally different. No amount of embedding will prevent this.
                      I have seen it happen numerous times and it still happens every now and again.
                      • 8. Re: Convert PDF text to curves
                        Any suggestions for changing several long Pages (iWork '08) documents into CURVES or Line Art for printing? The above is great, but would take FOREVER to do page by page... and I'm new to this, if that's not obvious :-)

                        • 9. Re: Convert PDF text to curves
                          Nini Tjader Champion
                          Emily - why would you want that?
                          • 10. Re: Convert PDF text to curves
                            The fonts aren't embedded in the PDF files when I print to PDF or export to PDF from Pages, so they're not appearing correctly for the printer...
                            • 11. Re: Convert PDF text to curves
                              Nini Tjader Champion
                              Emily - did you check the file in Adobe Reader or Acrobat Pro if the fonts aren't embedded? What I can see Pages (in my case '08 version) embeds a subset by default. Just chekc the file Properties in Acrobat to see what it did. In Acrobat Pro and Preview you can also resave the pdf created as a PDF/X file.