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No "convert fonts" options when doing a save as pdf?

Discussion in 'Adobe' started by myront, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    I'm not a frequent user of illustrator but as we all know a good sign shop must have it, as well as, several other helpful software. I thought with the latest and greatest version of illustrator that an option to convert fonts on pdf output was added. Do you really have to do it manually?
    Don't even get me started on "embedding". We ask that any third party pdf's to convert the fonts but most of them don't understand the purpose and either refuse or convert one font and miss the others.
    Seems like such a simple task.
    This stems from a trouble client whom I've had words with before over this issue. She does all her layouts in illustrator but sends us png's for print. She'll drop us an email like " I need 1ea of these printed on blah blah blah." Doesn't tell us what size. Sales sends it back to me to check the files. The png's come in around 22" x 28" . Kick it back to her asking to send pdf's with fonts convert and btw "what size?"
    Her reply with attached pdf's "8.5 x 11".
    Wth. If we had print those png's they would have been much larger than she expected. Whatever!
    Anyway the pdf's don't have fonts converted. My only conclusion it that she isn't as good as she claims to be.

    Conclusion of my rant - Corel has a convert fonts option which can be set as default on pdf output. Does illustrator not have such a thing?
     
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  2. WYLDGFI

    WYLDGFI Merchant Member

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    In Adobe...you need to convert manually before "saving as". Its quite easy as well...just have to remember to do it. We run into that issues with clients as well...especially when we need to set up for contour cutting. Otherwise, it only embeds them for use in a rip or as placed document/image.
     
  3. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    You could record an action or script or whatever Adobe calls them and assign it a hotkey to select all the text, convert to paths & call up the "save as" dialog. Maybe add in any other pre-flight settings you normally use - embed all linked files etc. I think this should work. Might also be able to save a PDF preset with the fonts to paths on export active (not sure on this one).
     
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  4. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

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    This is going to be a little opinionated, but I can explain exactly why Illustrator doesn't have the option to convert fonts to outlines when exporting a PDF. The PDF format is meant to preserve objects (text, images, vectors) in their native format, so that it's as flexible as possible for the vendor receiving the file.

    Converting fonts to outlines before sending a PDF to a vendor is analogous to converting vectors to raster in the same PDF. It converts the object in the PDF to a less flexible format, which is in general a bad thing.

    I get that everyone has different workflows and requirements, but since PDF is meant to be a flexible format, telling clients to follow a checklist of steps is a backwards approach, unless you're a wholesale-only vendor. Converting fonts to outlines and vectors to rasters are steps that are needed in some scenarios, so they are the job of your pre-press operator, not your client. Illustrator doesn't have the function you're looking for because it's not a pre-press tool. Converting fonts to outlines is a function in Acrobat, in the Preflight window. As are most of the other functions you need to check a PDF for problems and fix them before production.

    If the person prepping your files for production is trying to do everything in Illustrator, they don't know what they're doing. That's as insane as designing a book in Illustrator instead of InDesign, or designing a logo in Photoshop instead of Illustrator. Pre-press is done in Acrobat. Learn how to use the right tools for the right job.
     
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  5. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    An action or script would be ideal. I use a lot of macros in corel for things like this. Usually if I just can't quite get the pdf correctly I'll open in photoshop, flatten all then save as a tiff.

    I also thought that if you do a "place" in illustrator that you'd have the option to convert the fonts or it would be automatic but no. Corel gives you the option to import with text or convert to curves.

    "Linked files" - there's another can of worms altogether. Corel offers that option too but we never use it in the sign business. Once again you must kick it back and wait another couple of days for a response. Then they just send the image as a separate item and figure you could just drop it in. My time is money! And yes we add an art fee by this time. How about you get your *&%$" together and send me a print ready file like I asked for.
     
  6. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    We have Acrobat Pro only for viewing pdf's. I cannot tell what size the pdf nor can I make mods such as moving things around. imo it is most certainly the job of the designer to make the file as "universal" as possible if they don't want extra fees tacked on. The best way to do that is convert the fonts and use the actual images instead of linked. I have many methods to "get the job done" but don't go griping about any art fee.

    p.s. been at this for over 25 years
     
  7. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    It's stupid really, Corel IMO is much better set up for production work, yes Illustrator is the industry standard for design, but when it comes to a production environment CorelDraw works circles around AI.

    In Corel you can set presets for exporting files as PDF's, so you can have one for "4Over Printing" where it converts all font to curves, sets all bitmap images to 150 dpi (or whatever you want) adds any bleed and/or crop marks needed and saves the 2 page PDF into 2 seperate files as per 4Over's specs. In AI all of that has to be done manually, which introduces designers forgetting a step. It seems like a no brainer to me.
     
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  8. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    When it comes to fonts, I can't disagree more. Unless they know that that 3rd party outside vendor has access to the fonts, embed the fonts (which some fonts have DRM against that) or you are legally able to send those TTF/OTF files (which in most instances that is not the case, even though quite a lot do) along with the file, it doesn't work out in the majority of the cases. So not converting fonts to outlines is not making it as universal as it can be.

    Yes, some people suggest placing instead of direct opening, blah blah blah. That isn't a sure thing, I have never had that work for me. Not once. While I may be ignorant of how to operate computers, I would like to think that after all this time I've been doing this (since '94), I would have figured out a thing or two about this particular situation as it is fairly common.
     
  9. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    i just made a script in Adobe Acrobat, that converts a .pdf file to outlines. Now I just open the file, click a button, and then click another button and it saves over itself.

    steps are available via google if you need to do it yourself, basically requires you to add a watermark to the document to enable the convert text to outlines feature.
     
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  10. Marie

    Marie Member

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    When I don't have a font in a PDF that the customer supplies, this usually works for me: open a blank Illustrator file & place the PDF. Then with the PDF selected, go to Object, Flatten Transparency, slide raster/vector to 100% and check convert all fonts to outlines. I think that I got that tip from this site!
     
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  11. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    That's the one that I was referencing. Some say that it works, some say that it doesn't. I personally have never had that work with me, but that could just be me. I'm pretty sure you did get it from here, I know a couple that usually mention it on here as well.




    I personally would always advocate something that works every time, not just some of the time.

    The downside is that "you" have to go back to the client and for some that may cost the job as clients don't typically liked to be disturbed by that. "Handle it, handle it". And that is a gamble.
     
  12. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    Opened problematic file in Acrobat Pro 9. Went Advanced/Print Production/Flattener Preview. Checked "Convert All Text to Outlines", hit apply then saved. Imported that pdf and all the text was good but it took the one raster image (transparent png) that was in the layout flattened it and "chopped" it into 5 pieces. And now the background color in that raster image doesn't match the background color that it sits on. Still not a viable solution to me as it takes time to do that. Converting the fonts in the first place would have saved a whole lot of time and $. Keep in mind that this is a single page pdf, roughly 10 words and a raster logo.

    Let's recap. My process for setting up a proof page with files provided.
    1. Import the file to Corel - fail with both options i.e. import with fonts & import converting to curves - the text scatters
    2. Open with illustrator - fail. Missing fonts.
    3. Open in Acrobat Pro and try the Flatten process - closer result but still not optimal
    4. Get any usable vectors I can and rebuild the file using the png as a guide and charge an art fee
     
  13. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    Have you tried placing the file in illustrator, then flatten transparency? Then export as pdf and bring into coreldraw? This work for me 95% of the time.
     
  14. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Yeah but the end goal of the pdf is a print... If I'm not mistaken everything eventually becomes raster before the printer pukes it out...

    I think we have hit the great debate once again, corel vs adobe.
     
  15. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    It can't be that great - there are no congressional hearings involved.
    Gotta find a happy medium in there between the file builder and the bottom of the production chain us printers.
    Covid has caused many issues with files I used to get that would be properly set up and 99% ready to print.
    Now I have missing fonts, missing linked files and multi-page pdfs that do not have the artboards for each page named.
    It's a good thing the rest of our business is dead slow - gives me lots of time to fix these layouts.
     
  16. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    Your post begins regarding converting fonts but then you say it stems from a client who sent you png’s for print at 22” x 28.” (The most common sign poster size in the U.S.) Why did you not just print her files?

    An old post from the year 2015…

    Dov Isaacs, Adobe Principal Scientist, says:
    “We are aware of various “print service providers” who are under the distinct wrong impression that converting text to outlines is somehow more reliable that leaving text as text realized by fonts. Other than some dicey, prehistoric RIPs based on non-Adobe technology going back over fifteen years or more, we are not aware of any problem during the RIP process due to fonts. If the font is embedded in the PDF and view correctly in Adobe Acrobat, it should RIP! If you have a “bad font,” you won’t be able to view the PDF file in Acrobat nor will converting text to outlines even work.”

    Dov further says:
    “Adobe specifically advises end users to avoid print service providers who demand/require PDF files with so-called “outlined text!”
    - Dov
    - Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe


    As for PDF destined to print, if you expect customers to submit ideal files that you consider best for your process, you’re supposed to return the favor by providing them with Acrobat Preflight Profiles which they import for use on their workstations.

    As for overall instructions for your customers, you might review and revise what you’re asking them to do. It seems the customer with the 22x28 PNG files ripped her own files and they should have been ready to print. If they were not, what more did she need to know?
     
  17. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    That is expected behavior except, in this case, you're not color managed on your end. Adobe has documents for print service providers explaining the technicalities.
     
  18. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Notice some key words in the above statement. Not all fonts are embedded, some do not allow for embedding (Letterhead, and Sign Fonts I believe have DRM in some, if not majority or even all of their fonts (and they aren't the only ones either, just ones that I know people here would recognize more often then not)). I have no experience with Letterhead fonts due specifically to their DRM (as it is platform specific, at least based on their website last time that I checked). Sign Fonts will actually generate a msg in Ai saying that it is not able to be embedded.

    I've never had text converted to Outlines/Strokes never work in any of my workflows (and yes, print is one of them). I have had the reverse not work. And yes, not even Ai brings them in despite trying different ways to "open" the file in question. Now, my Ai experience ends with CS6, so that could play a part into my experience as well.

    Keep in mind too, embedding fonts into documents could actually violate the EULA. Now, odds of getting caught may not be high, depending on how the DRM is implemented, but keep that in mind.
     
  19. karst41

    karst41 Member

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    I worked a number of years in Food and Beverage Packaging Design and Advertising.

    Here is the List of RULES for receiving ANY and ALL Artwork

    1. All fonts and Strokes converted to Outlines /Paths
    2. A list of any and all fonts Used
    3. A disk that contains any and all fonts used.

    4. A List of Pantone Colors and CMYK Values for non Pantone Colors.
    For Non pantone Colors a Color Swatch Must be provided with
    Light and Dark Tolerances

    5. Files must be saved in the Native AI format and also as a .EPS 3 Format.

    6. All Files must be at expected 100% or at a Specified %percentage along with
    the 100% expected Output or Final Size.

    This List is Non Negotiable. It is The Law of the land and as you see
    These Rules would have save you from all of your issues with this Client.

    When I receive a Job in and one of these Items are missing. I tell the client that
    I will do nothing further, unless they are willing to pay for design Fees at $250 hr.

    I hope this help you and anybody else that reads this.

    Cheers

    ps I started in June of 1981, these were the rules then as are now for Ad Agencies
    Designers.
     
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  20. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    This looks good.
     
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