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  • Thick L's and i's in pdfs.

    When making pdf proofs for our clients, they often show thick L's and i's on screen. If you zoom is really close, then they look okay, and they print out fine. However, our clients get all panicky about these l's and i's showing up looking very chunky compared to the rest of the text.

    We've had this problem for a while and can't seem to figure out what the cause is. We've tried making the pdfs through various methods, and have gone through a couple of different versions of Acrobat, but the problem seems to continue. It also seems to make no difference whether the font is outlined or not, altho the problem seems to only occur with san serif fonts.

    Does anyone know about this problem and how we can fix this?

  • #2
    Re: Thick L's and i's in pdfs.

    It's the basic physics of output vs. screen resolution. A screen simply cannot display all the "dots" in the file, so elements will appear thinner or thicker at various screen resolutions. Looking at a high-resolution file on screen is simply not an accurate method of proofing. There is nothing to "fix" here, because the problem is inherent in looking at print files on a monitor. Zooming in as much as possible results in the least amount of distortion.

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    • #3
      Re: Thick L's and i's in pdfs.

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      • #4
        Re: Thick L's and i's in pdfs.

        I've seen this before, but only when someone thought that they were doing someone a favour by "outlining the text" instead of maintaining use of the text using fonts. This technique of "outlining text" causes all sorts of problems, this being one of the sure symptoms of such a technique.

        If in fact you are doing that (i.e., outlining text), the question is why?

        - Dov

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        • #5
          Re: Thick L's and i's in pdfs.

          I understand the difference in print vs screen resolution. But I find it hard to accept that explanation because of the inconsistency in where this 'bolding' happens and when it doesn't happen. If all the L's get thicker, but the T or the H right next to it doesn't, then that doesn't make sense to me. That says to me that the screen is capable of displaying that thickness of a line.

          The screen seems to show other parallel marks of the same thickness in it's proper size, and yet only the l's (always lower case) and the i's are always the ones affected. Even if I draw a vertical line of the same thickness as the letter, that doesn't get affected. Only the l's and the i's. And every now and then, even if another file is using the same font, sometimes it doesn't happen.

          If it was the inadequacy of the screen rez, wouldn't it happen in more random letters or objects, and wouldn't it happen every single time?

          There are so many images and text files that we turn into pdfs. The screen resolution is always excellent in everything else. Why would these 2 things differ? It's driving out clients (& us) batty.

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          • #6
            Re: Thick L's and i's in pdfs.

            Sometimes, tho not very often, we get client files that are already outlined. However, this thickening of the l's and i's happen whether the text is still a font or not.

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            • #7
              Re: Thick L's and i's in pdfs.

              Can you email or post a copy of a PDF that demonstrates this? I'd be very
              curious to see a case of "real text" that has this thickening...

              Thanks,
              Leonard

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              • #8
                Re: Thick L's and i's in pdfs.

                Another possibility is that you have what is known as an "unhinted" font. An unhinted font does not have information about the glyphs are to be rendered at lower magnifications (i.e., combinations of lower point size and/or device resolution). Unhinted fonts act like "outlined text" at lower magnifications.

                If in fact you have text in a non-hinted font, the question is how you got that?!? All fonts from reputable foundries have hinting! However, I know of two ways of getting a non-hinted font. The first is by doing an el'cheapo conversion of a font from TrueType to Type 1. This either may be done manually via various conversion programs OR by using various print driver or application options to convert TrueType to Type 1 when generating PostScript. Such driver font conversion options do not preserve or apply any font hinting in the resultant font. The other way of getting an unhinted font would be via licensing (or otherwise obtaining) poor quality fonts from questionable sources. Note that to be very clear, this is not a Type 1 versus TrueType font thing. Both font formats provide for font hinting, but such font hinting does require hinting information in the font itself.

                - Dov

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                • #9
                  Re: Thick L's and i's in pdfs.

                  We sometimes see this exact issue, but only with specific fonts. I
                  can't think off the top of my head which ones, but those fonts
                  display this behavior consistently--like you said, always the
                  lowercase l and i.

                  David Wolfe

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                  • #10
                    Re: Thick L's and i's in pdfs.

                    We have problems with "CJK" fonts reproducing, so we outline quite a bit.

                    T

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                    • #11
                      Re: Thick L's and i's in pdfs.

                      Very interesting about the 'unhinted' fonts. Never heard of that before. That would mean that everytime we use that exact font, then we should encounter the same problem. I'll have to do some testing and see if it has that consistent result.

                      I tried attaching a sample, but it was rejected saying that the file was too large. (It was only 292 kb.)

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                      • #12
                        Re: Thick L's and i's in pdfs.

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                        • #13
                          Fix thick "L"s and "I"s in PDF files!

                          Open Adobe Acrobat.
                          Go to Preferences
                          Select Page Display, then under Rendering, click Off the "Enhance thin lines" option. FIXED!


                          Originally posted by rin View Post
                          When making pdf proofs for our clients, they often show thick L's and i's on screen. If you zoom is really close, then they look okay, and they print out fine. However, our clients get all panicky about these l's and i's showing up looking very chunky compared to the rest of the text.

                          We've had this problem for a while and can't seem to figure out what the cause is. We've tried making the pdfs through various methods, and have gone through a couple of different versions of Acrobat, but the problem seems to continue. It also seems to make no difference whether the font is outlined or not, altho the problem seems to only occur with san serif fonts.

                          Does anyone know about this problem and how we can fix this?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Aighhh! It's a zombie thread from 2007 brought back to life!

                            Comment

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