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how to convert PDF text to vector outlines - and other elements

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  • how to convert PDF text to vector outlines - and other elements

    *SCENARIO:* you need to manipulate or extract vector information in a PDF - +but+

    illustrator or indesign, without the proper installed fonts the document calls for, won't open it properly for manipulation

    *NEEDED* - Indesign & Illustrator (opened at the same time -)

    *STEPS:*

    1. Open InDesign & Illustrator (make a new document in each program)
    2. in InDesign, place the pdf needed.
    3. under LINKS menu, choose that pdf, right click, embed file.
    4. Get out of LINKS menu, go to the Indesign document, and drag the pdf from Indesign to the new document in Illustrator and drop it there. (you can do this buy draging the pdf to the Illustratror icon on the taskbar, waiting till illustrator comes up (be patient) and then releasing into the document.

    +Voila!+ previously unavailable text has now been converted to outlines.

    Edited by: Chris on Nov 9, 2007 2:25 PM

  • #2
    Re: how to convert PDF text to vector outlines - and other elements

    Chris,

    Thanks for the workaround. Nice. Would be better if we didn't have to do this, but if it works in a situation and allows us to get a job out, then so be it. Thanks again.

    Don

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: how to convert PDF text to vector outlines - and other elements

      Hrmm; didn't work for me. I got the pdf file into Illustrator, but the font information was still there, and without the fonts loaded, it was kinda messy.

      Two questions for clarity;
      1. What versions of Illustrator & InDesign are you using, and on what platform? (I'm using CS3 on Mac.)
      2. In step 4, am I dragging the placed pdf from the InDesign workspace to the Illustrator workspace?

      Thanks!
      --
      Dave

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: how to convert PDF text to vector outlines - and other elements

        I got some of the text to convert when I tested, but not all. I can't figure out why some gets converted and some doesn't.

        I'll bet you can invoke some nasty color changes, too.

        rich

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        • #5
          Re: how to convert PDF text to vector outlines - and other elements

          Chris,
          I tried your workaround. It would not work with CS2 on a Mac. It behaved the same as if one opened the PDF directly with ill. What do you get if you open from ill?
          Thanks anyway. These little tricks help with my survival.
          Jason

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: how to convert PDF text to vector outlines - and other elements

            OR....

            Using pitstop, open pdf, open pitstop inspector, do a "select all" and click "convert text to outlines".
            By the time I walk out of here, I'm going to be a lean, mean, prepress machine...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: how to convert PDF text to vector outlines - and other elements

              Kevin,
              I could not find the convert text to outline tool in Pitstop. I am using 6.52 Maybe I can't with this version. I wish I could.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: how to convert PDF text to vector outlines - and other elements

                that's a feature of 7.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: how to convert PDF text to vector outlines - and other elements

                  Open the pdf in InDesign (or pitstop 6 and below).

                  Make a box near the artwork, fill it with a colour, set to 0% opacity. This introduces transparency to the document.

                  In Acrobat choose the transparency flattener or export out of InDesign as 1.3, - in your flattener presets make sure "convert all text to outlines" is selected.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: how to convert PDF text to vector outlines - and other elements

                    what the hell, whats up with the first name business?!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: how to convert PDF text to vector outlines - and other elements

                      Another way to convert text to outlines, particularly good when fonts haven't been embedded or you get RIP errors:

                      Launch InDesign
                      ---
                      Open the Transparency Flattener Presets and build a new preset:
                      Raster/Vector Balance = 99
                      Line Art and Text Resolution = 2540
                      Gradient and Mesh Resolution - 317
                      Convert All Strokes to Outlines = yes
                      Convert All Text to Outlines = yes
                      Clip Complex Regions - yes
                      .
                      Save as a custom preset (i.e. - text_to_curves)
                      ---
                      Create a new InDesign document the correct size of your project.
                      Place your page/s.
                      Place a box filled with "Paper" color - over - the entire page.
                      (or - just over the text blocks you wish to turn to curves.
                      Apply a Transparency of "1" to the white boxes you just created.
                      (This will do nothing to the look of the items below)
                      ---
                      Either:
                      - Export to PDF 1.3
                      - Write postscript - using your "text_to_curves" Flattener Preset in the "Advanced" tab then Distill
                      - Export to EPS - using your "text_to_curves" Flattener Preset in the "Advanced" tab.

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                      • #12
                        Re: how to convert PDF text to vector outlines - and other elements

                        I think this method is easier than the others:

                        (I tested this using Acrobat 7 professional on the Mac)
                        -- Open PDF file in Acrobat
                        -- Save As 'Encapsulated Postscript' format
                        -- Select the "Settings" button
                        -- Uncheck 'Convert TrueType to Type 1"
                        -- Click OK and Save
                        -- Open new eps file in Illustrator

                        When Illustrator opens the file it will display the font problems window with missing fonts listed. Just click OK, and the font window will show again, with no fonts missing. The missing fonts have been converted to outlines. The other fonts are not converted.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: how to convert PDF text to vector outlines - and other elements

                          Woohoo! Thanks for the tip Chris; flattening transparency is the trick!

                          I used similar steps and got it to work right in Illustrator (CS3);
                          1. Place the pdf file in an empty Illustrator file
                          2. With the placed pdf selected, pull down in the Object menu to Flatten Transparency...
                          3. Make sure Convert All Text To Outlines is selected,
                          4. Hit OK.

                          And that's it.

                          Man is that gonna save me some time!
                          --
                          Dave

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: how to convert PDF text to vector outlines - and other elements

                            We've used this when fonts have licensing restrictions, it works for that, too.

                            Sarah

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: how to convert PDF text to vector outlines - and other elements

                              Please be aware that conversion of font/text->outlines does NOT remove
                              any licensing restrictions!! You are still in violation of the
                              copyright restrictions on the typeface itself and the foundry still has
                              the rights to sue you.

                              Do so at your own risk - especially now that you've posted to a public
                              forum.

                              Leonard

                              Comment

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