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  1. #1
    Grnofslt is offline Member
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    Default PDF to Illustrator Font Issues

    Our major outsourced service provider who makes our flexo mats will not accept PDF files for camera ready artwork. They require either Illustrator, Freehand, or eps files only. Since we allow our customers to submit their artwork as PDF files (not my choice, you can be sure of that) this means that we have to convert those PDF files into Illustrator, Freehand, or eps files.

    One of the major issues we have with the conversion of PDF files to Ai files is missing fonts. The customer having used a font family that we don't have in our system. So when we open the PDF file in Illustrator and are confronted with having to substitute fonts we have for the fonts we don't have. This has causes us to have problems with angry customers because we didn't use their font choices.

    Trying to think through this problem I found out that I could resave the PDf file as an .eps file. Since we have one obscure program in our system that turns font objects into outlines or paths when exporting to an .eps file, I thought that maybe by converting the PDF files to .eps files all text objects would be turned to paths which would eliminate the missing fonts issues when converting to AI files. I was sad to find out that text objects weren't converted to paths when converting a PDF to an eps file and we would still have the missing font issues.

    Is there any know way of converting text objects (embedded sub sets of the fonts) to outlines or paths? software? Any work arounds you might have discovered? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    toronar is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    An Action List in Enfocus PitStop Professional can do that.
    Or create a transparent object on the page and use Acrobat Professional to flatten transparency and use the option to convert all text to outlines.
    "Real" PDF-Editors like Enfocus Neo (now called PitStop Extreme), Onevision Solvero/Speedflow Edit can convert text to outlines. The automated server solutions from both vendors can do that, too (PitStop Server, Onevision Asura/Speedflow Check).

    If you really depend on converting all text in PDFs all the time to outlines, I would suggest having a look at the automated server solutions like PitStop Server or Speedflow Check which can do much more than just convert text to outlines - preflighting is important, too

    All major PDF-workflows (ApogeeX, XMF, Prinect ...) should be able to do that, but that solution would be a bit pricey.

    Or tell your service provider to jump to the present and use a PDF-workflow

  3. #3
    Grnofslt is offline Member
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    Default

    Thanks Toronar, That is a solution that looks like it will help big time. Considering how we allow our customers to submit art created from a wide variety of originator programs (quark, Word, Excel, Ai, and InDesign, etc) and us not having a whole lot of fonts on our system, converting the text objects in PDF's to regular objects will eliminate a major headache of trying to substitute fonts.

    I wish we had an image setter in our shop but we don't. CS3 is the most modern tool we have and already it has been upgraded.

    Thanks again

    Bill J

  4. #4
    Al Ferrari is offline Senior Member
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    You need to realize that any software that converts type to outlines does it by using information about the shape of the individual characters contained in the font, In other words, the font must be present and installed. Only after the conversion will it be possible to retain the shape of the characters as outlines without the font. So this will not be the solution to your problem of not having the font since you need the font in order to make the outlines.

    You really need a vendor that can accept pdf files.

    Al

  5. #5
    toronar is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Ferrari View Post
    You need to realize that any software that converts type to outlines does it by using information about the shape of the individual characters contained in the font, In other words, the font must be present and installed. Only after the conversion will it be possible to retain the shape of the characters as outlines without the font. So this will not be the solution to your problem of not having the font since you need the font in order to make the outlines.
    If the font is embedded in the PDF, all this information is present.
    So there should be no problem there. If the font is not embedded in the PDF, you are out of luck anyway

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Ferrari View Post
    You really need a vendor that can accept pdf files.
    I second that again.

  6. #6
    Hopkins Printing is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Grnofslt. If PDF is all we have and the customer didn't build the PDF right thus producing a PDF with unembedded fonts, we use Curves by intellipdf.com to save time.

    IntelliPDF Inc. (Acrobat Plug-ins Developer) - IntelliPDF CURVES - PDF font plug-in

    It converts fonts to outlines right in the PDF (it's an Acrobat plugin). We've had remarkable luck with it and have found it to be worth the $249.00 they want for it. We just used it this past week on a job that contained several pages of PDF advertisements and a couple of them had unembedded fonts. Curves outlined the fonts just fine (and maintained their shape!).

    I only mention this in case you don't have Pitstop as this product is about half the cost of Pitstop. I believe later versions of Pitstop can now outline fonts (we got Curves before Pitstop had this ability) but it seems that Pitstop requires that the offending fonts be installed on the computer before it can outline them. Curves does not seem to have this requirement.

    Cheers,
    Jon Morgan
    Hopkins Printing

  7. #7
    toronar is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Morgan View Post
    Hi Grnofslt. If PDF is all we have and the customer didn't build the PDF right thus producing a PDF with unembedded fonts, we use Curves by intellipdf.com to save time.

    IntelliPDF Inc. (Acrobat Plug-ins Developer) - IntelliPDF CURVES - PDF font plug-in

    It converts fonts to outlines right in the PDF (it's an Acrobat plugin). We've had remarkable luck with it and have found it to be worth the $249.00 they want for it. We just used it this past week on a job that contained several pages of PDF advertisements and a couple of them had unembedded fonts. Curves outlined the fonts just fine (and maintained their shape!).
    No offense, but I seriously doubt that any plugin could outline fonts in a PDF that are not embedded.
    For fonts that are widely known (such as Frutiger, Garamond and so on) that may produce not too bad results, as even Acrobat approximates them for screen viewing if they are not embedded.
    But any lesser known fonts (like Starburst Free Font Download - STARBURST font | UrbanFonts.com ) that are not embedded will certainly come out very wrong.

    But I am interested to see the results, could you convert the text in the attached pdf to outlines? The first A-Z is set in the font Starburst from above, but not embedded; below is what it should look like.
    And please don't load the font before you convert to outlines, as that would be cheating

    Kind regards,
    toronar
    Attached Files Attached Files

  8. #8
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    Default PDF to Illustrator

    Acrobat 8 Professional (and I'm sure 9) will do what you need without a 3rd party. Open the file in Acrobat and "Save as" eps including all embedded and referenced fonts. Then open in illustrator and save as an Illustrator pdf. Illustrator will give you a missing font message, but the font is already converted to outlines. No Pittstop needed. See the attachment I made from your file.

    Illustrator is adding features that use to require Pitstop. Acrobat Version 7 will not do it.

    Connie
    Attached Files Attached Files

  9. #9
    toronar is offline Senior Member
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    This did work as expected Connie.

    The first 3 textlines come out as only dots, but they should be the same as the 3 text lines below.
    The 3 textlines at the bottom have already been converted to outlines in the original PDF I supplied

    I attached 2 screenshots: one with your converted version (starburst_connie.png) and one how it should look like if the font would have been embedded in the PDF or if the font is installed on the system (starburst.png).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Lukas Engqvist's Avatar
    Lukas Engqvist is offline Senior Member
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    Default A pdf can be svaved as eps

    You even get the choice to convert to truetype to type1 and a whole lot of other goodies. The other option is to include referenced fonts, incase you didn't get them embedded in the first case. Oops you already said that, shud have read more carefully :-S
    Last edited by Lukas Engqvist; 01-27-2009 at 08:49 AM. Reason: font note


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