11 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2011 11:23 AM by Peter Spier

    Text to Outlines



      I've read a few different articles and forums on this, but didn't really get anything except more questions from them.  I just embedded some fonts with a PDF the other day and the Italic style printed super italicized(fortunately the print shop is re-printing at no charge, but one-time only thing)... so I need to convert to curves/outlines from now on.  The reason I avoid this before was that I lost my bullets, the layout goes goofy sometimes, and hate busy work.


      Is there a Best-Workflow for converting fonts?


      Does anyone have any hints converting to outlines/curves? Like how to keep/replace bullets?  Or keep the layout locked in place? 


      Or is there a better way than converting to outlines in InDesign?  Maybe it would work better at the PDF level... I don't know.


      Thanks For Your Help and Input


        • 1. Re: Text to Outlines
          Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

          The real question is why your “print shop” had problems printing a PDF file exported from InDesign! I think the onus would be on them to show what the problem is, not to make you jump through hoops to deal with what likely a problem at their end. There could be any number of reasons why they had problems ranging from an ancient, obsolete RIP for their printer to use of questionable workflow practices in processing the PDF file you provided to them.


          There is no best workflow for converting fonts. The best workflow maintains text as text rendered with fonts with the fonts embedded in the PDF file.


          You may need to find a new print shop, preferably one that is more professional and up-to-date in its software and practices.


                    - Dov

          • 2. Re: Text to Outlines
            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

            If the font can be embedded, there's no reason to convert to outlines. What does"super italicized" mean? Did you have an italic font? Was it embedded? Did the print look like the font? Did you try to enhance or fake the italic by adding an incline value?


            If you have to convert to outlines (and if the printer says embedded fonts won't work, find a better printer) thr best wey is to do it during export, but there are some things you need to know. See http://forums.adobe.com/thread/660696

            • 3. Re: Text to Outlines
              mckayk_777 Level 2

              Solution is simple really!


              Here is a link to the best way I have found to do it



              • 4. Re: Text to Outlines
                Klegg72 Level 1

                Thanks for the input.



                McKayk: Thanks I like what that article says, but whenever I save using Acrobat 4 / PDF 1.3 I get lines around every object with transparency.  And they most definitely show up on the print. Now the lines are a problem of it's own but I've spent so much time trying to figure that one with no success I've switched back to PDF1.4; I'd rather convert to outlines than have stitch lines all over my print.




                Peter:  It's not that embedded fonts aren't accepted; it's that one time, one font was messed up.  I'd like to fix it on my end so that it can't happen again (Murphy's Law dictates that if it does happen it will be when my customer needs the prints yesterday). 


                I had 3 fonts embedded.  14pt normal, 14pt italic, & 16pt bold.  All from the same typeface; Adobe Carlson Pro.  "Super Italicized" means it was slanted past where it should have been... The Italic font I want is about 15 degrees, and the printed font was correct except that it was almost 45 degrees.  All the other type was OK. 


                Is my problem Adobe Carlson Pro?  Are there fonts I should avoid?


                I would prefer to simply embed fonts.  Are the guidelines for this?  Tips?  Recommendations?


                I read Dov's Workaround from the discussion you me linked to, but that still requires exporting as PDF1.3 to use the flattener. (right?)



                Dov:  Thanks for your judgment of the print shops in my area, but if you're not going to post something constructive don't waste my time! 


                I know you know more than that... Aren't you part of the PDF BrainTrust at Adobe?  I'd be greatly honored to read some of your vast knowledge and find a solution, but your criticism and arrogance only makes me want to look somewhere other than Adobe for my design solutions. (does that last part mean you're going to stop being condescending? No.  Then why would a print shop change based on a threat from me looking elsewhere for print?)


                Yes, I will agree that ideally all print shops would use Ghent PDF Workgroup standardsActually, the ideal situation is one where I get paid for my good looks and lived on the Mediterranean.  But I live in the real world, and in the real world I have to make due with what I have!


                My problem is crooked text; I need a solution.

                The print shop's problem is poor handling of embedded fonts; they need a solution.

                It is my job to solve my problem not the print shop's problem.



                Peter and Kayk Thank You


                Any advice on making embedded fonts easier for print shops to swallow will be greatly appreciated. 


                Or can you think of any reasons PDF 1.3 is showing the stitch lines?


                For the time being I will continue to convert to outlines.  My print is only 14 pages; I'll be fine tonight.  When it comes time to do a 100 page catalog I've got lined up I'm going to be hurtin.


                Thanks Again!

                • 5. Re: Text to Outlines
                  jocstone_me Level 1

                  is there a chance that you own Pitstop Pro?

                  With Pitstop you can convert all text to outlines in your pdf's by using an action.

                  • 6. Re: Text to Outlines
                    Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    The solution really isn't to make outlines. What decade are we living in?


                    I recently discovered quite by accident that a printing company I used were convering fonts to outlines. I paid a handsome price for my font and so it would reproduce crisply on different devices. And all that was destroyed on creating outlines of the font.


                    It's not the solution. At least it should be the last resort.

                    • 7. Re: Text to Outlines
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      Dov doesn't need me to defend him, but in fairness, he didn't, I think, say anything I didn't say as well. He just types faster.


                      The link I sent you to discusses the limitations of the falttening method discussed in the InDesign Secrets article, which was released prior to CS5 when the outlining  of fonts was fixed. Dov explains how to be sure that the fonts on all pages will be outlined, if that's your intent, and yes, you must flatten the transparency to do it, so stitching is going to be a problem for on-screen viewing or low-resolution printing if you have "real" transparency interactions elsewhere on the page.


                      But as I think we all agree, outlining of the fonts is not the goal. I've never had a problem with any style of Adobe Caslon Pro, and wouldn't expect you to either. You didn't say if the font was over-salnted when you viewed your PDF or when printed as a proof on your own printer, but I'd be VERY surprised if it was. If it was normal in the PDF when it left your desk, then the problem MUST BE in the handling at the print shop, and there's really not something you can do on your end that is not destructive of your file other than to ask the printer to tell you exactly what he was doing the first time, and what he's doing differently the second time (and if he can print it right on a do-over, why can't he print it right the first time?), and make a choice of whether this printer remains your best option.


                      My guess would be that this fellow did something bad like put your PDF into Quark to impose it or tried to print from Preview or some other oddball workflow. Is this going on a press or a copier? If the former, your printer SHOULD have professional imposition software for making up a press sheet, but in some backwaters it's still possible to find ones who don't, and at the rate printers are disappearing entirely you may not have a choice. If it's going on a copier and needs to be imposed you could consider doing the imposition yourself, by script in ID for simple saddle-stitch jobs (If stitching artifacts in a flattened PDF are a problem, you cannot use Print Booklet to impose and then print to PDF or Postscript), or by buying something like the Quite Imposing plugin for Acrobat.


                      On the other hand, if the problem is apparent in your PDF before it leaves your studio, then yes, you need to fix it. Either you did something dumb, like applied a character style with some slant as well as changing the font to italics, or there's a possibilty that your copy of Adobe Caslon Pro Italic has become corrupt, in which case you should remove it and replace it with a clean one. Neither of these problems requires font outlining to correct.

                      • 8. Re: Text to Outlines
                        Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        I back 100% even 1000% on what Dov said

                        1. My problem is crooked text; I need a solution.

                        2. The print shop's problem is poor handling of embedded fonts; they need a solution.

                        3. It is my job to solve my problem not the print shop's problem.


                        Look at what you're saying here.



                        You supplied italics text. It was embedded in the PDF. It was correct on the PDF it was a PRINT READY PDF.


                        Ok so did you get Proofs of the print job? If you did, was it correct or incorrect on the proofs?


                        If you didn't get proofs, why didn't you?You should get proofs from now on. And only get proofs that have gone through the printers RIP. Nothing else will do.


                        I understand there isn't always time in a project to get proofs, but at least get something from the printers RIP - even a few pages just to check.




                        Absolutely the Print Shop is at fault here - not you. Right?



                        It is not your job to solve the problem. You did not have a problem. You provided a PRINT READY PDF to the printers with italics text correct in the PDF.


                        You don't have a problem here. The print shop do. And they need to resolve things that end.




                        Again I agree with Dov. They are doing something wrong.


                        And I echo his advice.

                        • 9. Re: Text to Outlines
                          mckayk_777 Level 2

                          Which version of ID are you using.


                          Also in Acrobat Pro there is an option to flatten your pages, in doing so will convert your fonts to outline,


                          Adobe seems to be keeping this much disliked option in acrobat which is very handy for my workable work flow.

                          Man I wish I had the equipment these guys enjoy every day instead of a machine that was new when my 18 year old was just a baby.

                          But hay work is work and the rent needs to be paid, and thats what the boss bought just last year, upgrading from the previous unit

                          How about that, upgrading an image setter in 2010 to a machine built in 1993.

                          But to everyone's surprise this machine still outputs quality work, it was well made by agfa even back then.

                          • 10. Re: Text to Outlines
                            Klegg72 Level 1

                            Thanks Again for all your input.  I do appreciate it... sorry if it didn't seem that way last night.  It was midnight


                            I did get proofs, and I denied them.  So I'm not responsible for the print charges because I did not approve the proof, but it added time to my job.  Also, my proof at home was good, and the proof from the sales office printer was good.  It was only the final proof that was bad.  So I know it is their problem... I just wanted to take it out of their hands.


                            It is a digital print not offset... on a Xerox 800 so I'm surprised that the software with a printer that new will have problems.  It must be somewhere else in their workflow.


                            I think I may have described the two prints wrong.  The print that got the UV coat was printed at a different location... it wasn't a re-do.


                            (A side note: Is "copier" the correct term for a digital printer? Or are you refering to something else all together?)


                            Joc: I don't have PitStop


                            Kayk: I'm using CS5... I'll look into that again.  Peter recommended something along those lines for a transparency issue I was having but it created a stitching problem.  After his last post I have confidence that they will not show up when printed properly.


                            The print that showed stitch marks was from a shop that i have determined to suck more than the rest, and I won't bring them anymore work.  I'll look into flattening again and the results when printed at a higher res.


                            Dov, sorry I went off last night, but your answer didn't provide any useful info.


                            Peter thank you... now I know what to ask my print shop when discussing this with them.  I'm going there now... wish me luck.



                            • 11. Re: Text to Outlines
                              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                              I often use "copier" and "digital printer" interchangeably here, though perhaps I shouldn't. Many commercial shops use some sort of "copier" device that has "off the glass" or scanner  capabilities in addition to just the ability to print, and most of these are more sophisiticated (even ones that don't do more than print) and generally have better output, than even a high-end office printer.


                              As far as stitiching lines go, I would be more surprised if they DIDN'T show in a digital print than if they did, but you might get lucky on a machine that prints at 1200 dpi.