35 Replies Latest reply on Jan 4, 2018 2:02 AM by Test Screen Name

    Enhance Thin Lines Off!

    thin line Level 1

      Adobe needs to make the enhance thin lines option a document specific property; like initial view magnification or layout.


      Too often does this view preference cause elegant subtle lines to be viewed as bulky eye sores. As a designer when I set a line weight at .25 pt or .125 pt, That's the line weight I want it to be viewed at! on screen or on print. It does not make sense to need to ask clients to change their adobe acrobat preferences to uncheck enhance thin lines off, so that they can view a document properly.


      .PDF documents need to have the ability to be initially viewed with the enhance thin lines option unchecked.


      Who's with me? How do we get adobe to make this important change?

        • 1. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
          sabaki1 Level 1

          I couldn't agree more!  I also have the problem that the reader and acrobat are adding white lines at the edges of my documents (typically lower and right sides).  It also seems to be cropping the stroke/frame that I sometimes use at the outer edge of an image.  This might not be too bad, except it doesn't crop the edges evenly, so any frame you have placed in Illustrator comes out looking uneven and (as with the white lines) very amateurish.

          • 2. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
            MikeGondek Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            I am 100% with you that the preference enhance thin lines should be document specific.

            • 3. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
              Designher Level 1

              This is a topic I've been hoping that would get addressed. As a designer it is important to have 100% transparency between how I view my work and how I want my clients or viewers to view my work. I find it frustrating to not have this and more importantly I feel that it is awkward to direct my clients or even institutions on how THEY SHOULD view or do something by telling them directions on turning off this option. I just find it offensive and a turnoff to them. I already sent in a request to Adobe to expand the specific/customizable intitial view settings for specific pdfs. I was wondering if there were any updates on this issue or any tweaks/fixes/known scripts or anything?!

              • 4. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                browntimmy Level 1

                I can't believe there's a default preference that makes certain fonts look horrendous on screen. I wonder how many hiring managers have looked at resumes and assumed the applicant was a sloppy typist. How has Adobe missed fixing this over multiple versions?

                • 5. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                  maxwyss Level 4

                  It might be an idea to have this setting document-specific.


                  However, this setting only makes sense if your display unit has a resolution of 600 dpi or more (if looking at your document at 100%).


                  It is simple math. Take your monitor's resolution and calculate the narrowest line it can display, considering that 1 pt is 1/72 of an inch.


                  Next simple math example: calculate which resolution your monitor needs to display a line 1/8 of a point wide.


                  Hope this helps.


                  Max Wyss.

                  • 6. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                    Manolo_Folcarelli Level 1

                    This needs to be solved!

                    A major point of adobe is to know how the recipient sees your content.


                    Just stupid that non serif letter Capital i and and non capital L - becomes bolder if enhance thin lines is active.



                    • 7. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                      Hitender Prakash Adobe Employee

                      Hi All,


                      You can put your bug report or feature request for any Adobe Product at :






                      • 8. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                        lrosenth Adobe Employee

                        [admin - insulting comments removed ]


                        The "enhance thin lines" setting ONLY WORKS on vector lines.  So if you were to leave your text as text - which is what you should be doing anyway - then you would NEVER see this.

                        • 9. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                          Manolo_Folcarelli Level 1

                          My point was that generally I would like to have my content appears as I intent. The PDF/Adobe reader combi has been very good at this.


                          I recognise that as programs evolve they optimise for different types of users.

                          My preference would be "Not to have" the Enhance thin lines option.


                          As to the point of vector vs. text - I generally don't convert text to vector but in illustrators PDF export it's a problem.

                          Please note that there are many threads about this problem.



                          • 10. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                            lrosenth Adobe Employee

                            >I recognise that as programs evolve they optimise for different types of users.

                            >My preference would be "Not to have" the Enhance thin lines option.


                            Exactly.  For you, you'd like it not to do that.  For other users, they want it to happen.   That's why it's a preference


                            FWIW: That setting was created to work around a problem in some 3rd party PDF creation applications for office-class applications where the lines of a spreadsheet or table would disappear when viewed in Acrobat becuse they were "too thin".  Given that were more of those out there than 'outlined text'-based PDFs, we set the defaults to match the more common case.


                            As to issues with Illustrator' PDF export - I am not aware of any problems with text export in that application.  If you know of a thread or a specific bug number, I am happy to investigate.

                            • 11. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                              Manolo_Folcarelli Level 1

                              Enhance thin lines could be programmed to work for lines over "X" lenght - Say 10 mm that way most font i and l would not be affected -


                              Might be a solution that could benefit both user types.



                              • 12. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                lrosenth Adobe Employee

                                Thin lines does NOT affect text.  It ONLY affects vectors.  So as long as you keep your text as text – no problems.

                                • 13. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                  RAMSA-Graphics Level 1



                                  You seem very adamant about your position, and I applaud your passion, however...


                                  We are an architectural firm and generate primarily vector PDFs with text as text. For years now staff has been confused when opening PDF's and the percieved lineweight on screen does not match those chosen in the authoring software. Some staff members (since it is their responsibility to design and not know all of the preference options) have gone as far as to re-generate new PDFs with different settings to try and get the lineweights to display correctly.


                                  We have since changed the preference to OFF in our staff installation. What is most unfortunate about this setting (other than the fact that the deault is inaccurately displaying information) is that up until we changed the setting staff was unable to use Acrobat as a presentation tool. Vector drawings presented via Acrobat were unable to read and destroyed appearance of the artwork. I belive this default "blunder" has placed Acrobat years behind of where it should be for on screen presentation.


                                  Sure, we can turn it off, and we did. Thanks adobe for the heads up(actually not). This reminds me of when the distiller settings were shipped with defaults for internet sharing (2003-ish). I believe we are still recovering from designers who are afraid making a PDF will ruin their artwork... because the are not aware of setting distiller preferences. Education is key, but focusing on the lowest common denominator is a shame.

                                  • 14. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                    lrosenth Adobe Employee

                                    RAMSA – I don't think it's "lowest common denominator", but "MOST common denominator".


                                    As mentioned earlier in the thread, this feature (and it's default setting) were added to address a problem with the display of tables and spreadsheets created by Office-class documents.  We knew that by making this change we would be impact two other uses – architecture and also prepress (where text is converted to vectors).  However, the simple fact is: there clearly exist MANY MANY more Office-class PDFs in the world than those other types.


                                    It's one problem with Acrobat and Reader being used by the EXTREMELY diverse users that it has – we have to make decisions that are good for some set of users and not for others.  It is close to impossible to make everyone happy – no matter what we do.

                                    • 15. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                      geeksci999 Level 1

                                      I know it's been a while since the last post but I'm running into this problem now. Enhance Thin Lines is ruining how my image is displayed when opened in acrobat. I'm up against a deadline for publishing these and I have at most a day or two to fix this problem.

                                      Is there any way at all to include metadata in the pdf file that displays the content without enhancing thin lines?

                                      Please help. My only other option is to sacrifice the resolution and rasterize these images.

                                      • 16. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                        RAMSA-Graphics Level 1

                                        Enhance thin lines has no effect on your artwork. It only changes the way it is displayed on the monitor of the computer you are using.


                                        Your artwork will print perfectly with the feature on or off.


                                        Just tell anyone viewing it in screen to turn the feature off

                                        • 17. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                          geeksci999 Level 1

                                          I'm aware of what this setting does. My problem is that it changes how the image is displayed on the monitor. I have no way of telling people to change their viewing settings. Even if I could, most people who will read my publication online wouldn't have the patience to bother with that anyway. Furthermore, this isn't artwork that I'm trying to publish, rather it's scientific data and accuracy is key. All I need to know is if there is a way that I can control the "Enhance Thin Lines" setting from within the document so that anyone who opens the document will automatically view it WITHOUT thin lines enhanced.

                                          • 18. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                            RAMSA-Graphics Level 1

                                            Unfortunately the answer in No, I ended up turning it off in the installation for our 300 users. But you cannot store that setting within the document. Yes, I now understand how rasterizing the PDF would benefit you.

                                            • 19. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                              geeksci999 Level 1

                                              Thanks for your answer. It's a shame that "Enhance Thin Lines" doesn't seem to be among the display settings that one can program into the document. Hopefully adobe will get working on that. Now I'll have to rasterize my vector images, and thus sacrifice resolution, just to ensure that their default settings don't interfere with work. Ugh.

                                              • 20. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                                maxwyss Level 4

                                                IMHO, it is a non-problem, and there is no particular way on document level to "solve" it, because the effect will differ from user to user, depending on the screen size (in pixels) and the resolution their Acrobat/Reader is set.


                                                What you can do on document level, would be set it to open at 100%. This may minimize the effect. But, as soon as the users start to change the zoom level, the effect may happen, but always in different ways.


                                                That said, you will have to decide between seeing a line, or seeing no line at certain zoom levels (which may be small when the PDF is viewed on a tablet or a phone).

                                                • 21. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                                  thin line Level 1

                                                  I found this article which may have a work around:http://www.underconsideration.com/speakup/archives/004301.html

                                                  The article is discussing a work around for text that gets distorted, but I think it might be applicable to all thin linework.


                                                  I found that in Illustrator if I outline strokes it helps to keep the linework from being distorted, and adding extra points to the stroke, as the article suggests, will help even more.


                                                  As I stated in my original post, Adobe should make "Enhance thin lines" a document specific property instead of a preference. We have been requesting this for years.

                                                  • 22. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                                    lrosenth Adobe Employee

                                                    As Max points out, making it a document preference would actually cause more harm than good.


                                                    The need to "enhance" is entirely based on the users viewing environment – resolution, zoom factor, etc. - combined with the specific attributes of the PDF line(s) in question.   So a document has NO WAY to know if that setting will matter – only the viewer does.


                                                    As Max said, the right thing to do is prepare your document properly.  Use non-fractional widths for your line weights.  Set the default view settings for 100% (or something else that works for you).

                                                    • 23. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                                      geeksci999 Level 1

                                                      This is a special case in which the document does know better than the viewer what the "Enhance Thin Lines" setting should be. I'm displaying an image with scientific data - it's content should not change with the viewer's preferences. If it did, it wouldn't be data. I realize that mine is an unusual case but I'm sure there are plenty of others out there.

                                                      • 24. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                                        geeksci999 Level 1

                                                        Thanks so much for sharing that article, thin line. I was able to find a workaround based on it. I turned all of my lines from being a path specified by stroke weight to being shapes of the same width as the stroke. I did this by selecting all the problem paths and doing a Flatten Transparencies on them. Thanks again!

                                                        • 25. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                                          lrosenth Adobe Employee

                                                          Can you post a URL to such a file, since I don't really understand if you are looking for something more (such as non-scaling widths) or not?

                                                          • 26. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                                            joshfee1212 Level 1

                                                            I am also running into this issue, and there is a bug with this "feature" that causes undesired results. I am generating PDFs from HTML using Qt and Webkit, and tables with thin borders experience the issue others above are bringing up.


                                                            The major issue here is that the feature behaves differently depending on the color! Thin black lines are actually improved by the "enhance thin lines" feature, however any variation of gray renders completely differently.


                                                            This is how my test html page renders in Google Chrome. The top table has 1px borders colored #000000. The bottom table has 1px borders colored #010101.


                                                            Using the open source wkhtmltopdf, I convert this to PDF. This is how it looks with "enhance thin lines" off at 100% zoom.


                                                            And again, with "enhance thin lines" on at 100% zoom.


                                                            This feature actually seems to work really well for the top table, as those lines look much nicer than with the feature off, however anything but "standard colors" renders horrendously. What I mean by "standard colors" are the 8 colors you get when the R, G, and B components are either #00 or #FF (i.e. #FF00FF works fine but #FF00FE does not). Those colors render perfectly fine (in fact better with the "enhance thin lines" turned on), but the slightest deviation from those colors yields unpredictable behavior.

                                                            • 27. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                                              UNCDC Level 1

                                                              I strongly believe that the line enhancement should be a preference that can be saved with a document by the author.  I imagine the preference can be split into two in the user preferences panel: a global default that's used when one isn't specified by the document, and another one to optionally override the document-level preference set by the author.  When Acrobat is first installed, the global default would be set to enable the thin line enhancement, but the document-level override would not be selected.  This would satisfy a lot more people; most end users wouldn't know the difference since their office applications/spreadsheet outputs would be unaffected, and those of us with technical illustrations, etc. could share PDFs without having to tell everyone to disable this preference manually.


                                                              The workaround for converting strokes to outlines can require a lot of extra work and increases the file size needlessly.


                                                              I have two examples where line enhancement is highly undesirable: grid lines on graphs and hatching on CAD drawings.  These elements make the graphic look terrible at lower zoom levels with enhancement.  In these cases, it's highly preferable that the thin lines disappear/fade rather than be enhanced.


                                                              I may be mistaken, but it seems that Acrobat Reader for Android doesn't implement thin line enhancement at all, or at least does so much more intelligently.

                                                              • 28. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                                                ryantoyota Level 1

                                                                Another example where thin line enhancement looks awful is vector logo designs that contain rectangles (often as the letter I or L). If you have a small logo in the corner of the document, it makes the logo look unbalanced and wrong. Granted, this is easier to fix manually than the issues you list (by adding points to the vector or slightly modifying the rectangles to be imperfect) but this shouldn't be necessary.

                                                                • 29. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                                                  hakimio Level 1

                                                                  Acrobat reader must be the worst PDF viewer nowadays. I've tried 4 different PDF viewers and they all displayed PDF generated with wkhtmltopdf exactly as intended, but not Acrobat.... It has to "enhance" everything to look as horrible as possible. Here are some pictures of exactly the same PDF rendered by Foxit Reader and Acrobat Reader.


                                                                  Foxit Reader


                                                                  Acrobat Reader


                                                                  • 30. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                                                    lrosenth Adobe Employee

                                                                    Without seeing the PDF in question – it’s impossible to actually compare the results and determine which is actually more correct according to the spec.


                                                                    However, the general issue is simply what to do with values that are not on even “pixels” (eg. 0.5)…The PDF Standard (ISO 32000-1) does not give specific guidance (on purpose!) nd you will find that pretty much everyone who has ever written a graphics engine has their own preference on the topic.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                                                      hakimio Level 1

                                                                      I can send the PDF in question to you personally if you can give me your email.

                                                                      I know that Foxit Reader (and all the other PDF viewers) renders the PDF in question correctly because I know how html which was used to produce the PDF using wkhtmltopdf is rendered in Chrome browser.

                                                                      The top border (the one in the header) is supposed to be exactly 1 pixel and that's how it's rendered in Foxit reader. Your "enhance" thin lines feature makes at least double, if not triple the size.

                                                                      Also, as you can see in the image I posted, Acrobat reader is unable to render dashed line in the line graph. I don't think that's related to half pixels either...

                                                                      • 32. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                                                        lrosenth Adobe Employee

                                                                        You can send it to leonardr@adobe.com<mailto:leonardr@adobe.com>


                                                                        If Enhance Thin lines impacts the rendering, then it is because the line width is < 1 PDF user unit (which is not pixels or points, as the web understands it).

                                                                        • 33. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                                                          afrophysics Level 1

                                                                          Here to complain about the same thing. Acrobat is so commonly used that I end up compromising a good number of my designs to work around this feature. It's costly in time and research (as the user has no immediate way of knowing why their lines have been bastardized), and I'm going to be real with you, there's a way for us and the thine-line graph puppet masters you supposedly made this feature for to be happy. Make it a document preference that's enabled by default. Then us smarter folks can switch it off when we have to make stuff with subtle lines.

                                                                          • 34. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                                                            Thom Hayes Level 1

                                                                            Can't believe its 2018 and we're still having this conversation.

                                                                            Adobe is a creative set of tools, and one of its own tools for showing off said creativity is breaking the designs of the paying creatives.


                                                                            Reading this thread is frustrating, as Adobe's only answer seems to be 'well, some people like it so we need to keep it on by default'. This is the wrong way of looking at it; Adobe have a considerable amount of paying users for whom this 'feature' (read: BUG) is making their working lives a nightmare / the program unusable. This should mean that Adobe are working hard on ways to resolve the issue.


                                                                            From a personal point of view, asking all clients to adjust their preferences before viewing any artwork is frankly ridiculous.


                                                                            As afrophysics has said above; the obvious solution is to set this preference at DOCUMENT level. Enable it by default if you really have to, but at least this would allow us to have control over how the end user will be viewing our artwork.

                                                                            • 35. Re: Enhance Thin Lines Off!
                                                                              Test Screen Name Most Valuable Participant

                                                                              The world has moved on substantially. Most PDF files are no longer viewed with Adobe software. An Adobe specific preference wouldn’t affect most of them.