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  • Illustrator to PDF bolding issue

    Hello all. I have an Illustrator file (CS3) that has the text converted to outlines. When I save as a PDF, some of the letters look bold ( especially the "L"s. I looked around here and didn't see this posted, so sorry if this answer is in front of my face. I have also tried using the illustrator default preset as well as the smallest file size preset. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
    Chad

  • #2
    Re: Illustrator to PDF bolding issue

    That seems to be just a display issue with Acrobat. When you print the file, all of the text is fine, and if you zoom in on it, it eventually straigtens out.

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    • #3
      Re: Illustrator to PDF bolding issue

      It isn't always +fine+ when you print. There is a reason why outlining of text is considered a very poor print workflow practice. It changes font scaling from "intelligent scaling" to simple geometric scaling. You lose all the "hinting" in the font. And of course, you end up with a bloated PDF file that is not searchable and cannot be subject to text touch-up. At large point sizes and higher resolutions, of course you are correct that it is unlikely that you will see a difference, but at small point sizes and digital print resolutions, you often can see the artifacts of non-intelligent font scaling.

      Outlining of text can be justified primarily for special effects, typically at large point sizes, that cannot otherwise be reasonably generated using text realized by fonts. Such outlining does not make rendering any more reliable than otherwise unless you have a very unreliable RIP.

      - Dov

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      • #4
        Re: Illustrator to PDF bolding issue

        We always outline fonts in our PDF workflow. Sometimes the font isn't recreated accurately in our ripping output devices and we get burned. (all CJK fonts?)

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        • #5
          Re: Illustrator to PDF bolding issue

          Is it possible this is two different issues, Dov is converting text to outlines the same as outlining text as you're describing? I have noticed problems with strokes applied to small text say in Indesign to add weight and then when we use Indesign's built-in trapping we would get all kinds of weird angle lines and things shooting off the text, so we'd simply not use trapping for that job.

          I haven't done much of converting text to outlines but have some Illustrator jobs coming up so I'd like to know if you think that presents the same problem, converting text to outlines, as small stroked text?

          Thanks,
          Terry

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          • #6
            Re: Illustrator to PDF bolding issue

            The original issue that Chad is posting about is, I believe, a preview issue. Zoom in and things generally look okay. It happens not only text that has been converted to outlines, but intact text, too - especially i's and l's. Whether it's an Acrobat issue or an OSX issue I don't know.

            To Dov's point, back in the bad old days of EPS's, we used to notice a slight boldening (for lack of a better word) in type that was converted to outlines. I don't know if this is the geometric scaling you spoke of or not.

            rich

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            • #7
              Re: Illustrator to PDF bolding issue

              From what I've read, it's a case where Acrobat converts simple box shapes (like sans serif i and l) to a stroked path. So when viewing the pdf, the different objects are rendered, um, differently. There's a thread about it on the Adobe forums: [http://www.adobeforums.com/webx?14@@.3bbef99f/0]

              The only real solution out there seems to be "stop outlining text". The alternative we've adopted at our shop is just to reassure the customers that the files will print fine (which they have) and hope that when we finally manage to upgrade our antiquated RIP we can modernize our workflow a bit.

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              • #8
                Re: Illustrator to PDF bolding issue

                I have had issues with saving to a PDF in Illustrator CS3 also, one way I have found to correct some of my problems is not to "save as" PDF. I print to a PS file then distill it with Adobe Acrobat distiller. Then when I preview the PDF in Acrobat 8 almost all of my problems are cleared up. For your problem it is a display only problem, whether you turn the font to outlines or keep it as text the display will always trick you. You must also remember that you are going from a high resolution program to a low resolution display. Your monitor is only 72dpi no matter what you do to it.

                Bobh

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                • #9
                  Re: Illustrator to PDF bolding issue

                  Chad, try and turn off the options to smooth graphics or text in Acrobat. Turning this on only distorts the display of art in Acrobats as it tries to smooth everything on screen. I dunnot who uses this feature?

                  Good luck

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                  • #10
                    Re: Illustrator to PDF bolding issue

                    Now that I can talk about it...

                    This issue has been resolved in Acrobat/Reader 9.

                    Leonard

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                    • #11
                      Re: Illustrator to PDF bolding issue

                      I have found that if illustrator files have text, images and transparency, the bolding of text occurs. It seems to be when the files are ripped or flattened for output the transparency and type are almost trapped or flattened together, causing a knockout box with masks around it (many layers). The best way to prevent this was always having text on its own top layer, above all graphics and transparency.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Illustrator to PDF bolding issue

                        In regards to the initial post, about screen preview, I think prepressguru has the right answer.

                        In case you were wondering those options are under: Preferences - Page Display.

                        Glad to hear it's a non-issue in 9, though.

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