My first guess is that whatever process you are using to create the PDF (either Acrobat or using the MS Word PDF engine) is not embedding the fonts so they are being substituted. Not really a Reader issue. You'll want to go to a forum for whichever one of those applications you are using and ask how to embed the fonts when you create the PDF.
Just to be sure, when you open the file in Reader and go to File>Properties>Fonts, does it sady "embedded" or "embedded subset" next to all of the font names? If not, that's the issue.
I should have specified this happens to pdf documents I receive. I do believe they are not embedding the fonts when created but how can you set reader to display arial if a font is not embedded? When these documents are opened on other computers with windows 7 and reader they display arial. Thanks.
Try going in to Reader preferences>Page display and toggle "Use local fonts" to see if that does the trick. If not, there is no way I'm aware of to force Reader to substitute missing fonts with anything specific.
The best bet for your situation is to have the creator of the PDF embed font information. Especially since the visual aspect of the item is important. It's just good practice.
Thanks for the input the toggle didn't seem to work. Use local fonts was checked, when I checked the settings, and I tried both unchecked and re-checked and no difference.
I still find it strange that when other computers open the same document they display arial. Same happens when I open the document with google docs, the strange font goes away and I see arial. At this point I assume it has to do with my fonts in Windows. Does reader look in the regular windows font folder?
It does yes but it could be that your particular version of Arial isn't the exact version used in the document. If it doesn't find that version (could have been made a different year...etc) it will substitute whatever it thinks is the best which, as you have seen, isn't always the best.
Again, best practice is to embed fonts when the visual aspect is of high importance. That's why that option is available...
I have the same issue in multiple documents on Windows 7 with Adobe Reader X 10.1.0. Multiple others on my team can open the same files and do not have the issue. I have done a terse check and we have similar installed programs, etc.
Since I am not creating the documents, I have no control over how they are created. Also, I seem to have the issue on my computer and others do not.
Is there any way to troubleshoot font substitutions? Is there any way to verify fonts? Certainly I can see some fonts are not embedded in a sample I have, but I cannot see any way to know what font was specified and which was picked. If I could find out that, I may delete the strangely spaced one so a better choice is picked. It picks this odd font for what should be Arial...I think...but I am not sure. On this one sample doc I was able to get the creator to embed all fonts and it looks correct on my machine. However the previous version without embedded fonts shows like this:
Here is what it should look like:
Both version look fine on other machines.
Properties on bad font substitution version (I expect the circled are the issue):
Any help would be appreciated.
Not a "fix" - just something to try — bump up the page magnification.