"Export to PDF" yields jibberish

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"Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby stebbinsd » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:13 pm

When I write a document in OpenOffice Writer, and then export it to PDF, I get this scrambled mess:

https://s4.postimg.org/teb6svlpp/Open_Office_Writer.png

That's what I get when I try to open the file with Adobe PDF Reader or Google Chrome! When I open it with Firefox, it's a completely blank page!

Documents which were exported to PDF before today are able to be read by Adobe PDF Reader flawlessly.
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby floris v » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:38 pm

Did you install anything between exporting those documents that did give good PDFs? Is there perhaps anything special about that file - maybe an inserted graphic in a weird format, anything out of the ordinary? Btw, it's always better to attach a real document instead of a screenshot so that we can test it on our computer to make sure that it's something in the file and not something bad on your computer.
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby stebbinsd » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:45 pm

floris v wrote:Did you install anything between exporting those documents that did give good PDFs?

Not to my knowledge, no.

Is there perhaps anything special about that file - maybe an inserted graphic in a weird format, anything out of the ordinary?

No. it's just text. I've bolded and underlined some words, but it's nothing I can't do with basic OpenOfice features.

Btw, it's always better to attach a real document instead of a screenshot so that we can test it on our computer to make sure that it's something in the file and not something bad on your computer.

Well, I have my privacy to worry about!

Here, I'll attach a makeshift document I created using your post, so I don't risk giving away any personal info about myself.
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby John_Ha » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:40 am

The square boxes tell you that it is a problem with your fonts. The document is calling for a font which you do not have installed and the PDF uses square boxes instead. Remember that the font displayed in the document's Font selection box is the font the document is calling for at the cursor position. This may not be the font being used to display or print the document because, if you do not have the font being called for installed on your PC, Windows (or other operating system) will silently substitute an alternative, available font without telling you.

The Testfonts add-on is invaluable to check which fonts are being called for in a document, and which are missing and have therefore been substituted. Note that some fonts do not have a font file for, say, Italic; and in that case, when Italic is called for, Windows itself applies a slant to the font to simulate Italic.

Upload an example .odt file and the PDF you create from it so someone can have a look.

This .odt file uses Times New Roman which you probably have installed - how does it look as a PDF?

Create a PDF/A-1a file with File > Export as PDF > General ... This embeds the fonts in the PDF. Open the PDF, go File > Properties > Fonts. What fonts have been embedded?

Search the forum with pdf boxes - there are several posts such as Exporting to PDF not working correctly. Search google as well.
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby stebbinsd » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:11 pm

John_Ha wrote:The square boxes tell you that it is a problem with your fonts. The document is calling for a font which you do not have installed and the PDF uses square boxes instead. Remember that the font displayed in the document's Font selection box is the font the document is calling for at the cursor position. This may not be the font being used to display or print the document because, if you do not have the font being called for installed on your PC, Windows (or other operating system) will silently substitute an alternative, available font without telling you.

That's impossible! I'm using Times New Roman!

Again, as I said earlier, loading older PDF documents (which also use Times New Roman) causes them to load without issue! So obviously Adobe PDF Reader hasn't lost the ability to render Times New Roman.
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby John_Ha » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:15 pm

stebbinsd wrote:
John_Ha wrote:The square boxes tell you that it is a problem with your fonts. The document is calling for a font which you do not have installed and the PDF uses square boxes instead. Remember that the font displayed in the document's Font selection box is the font the document is calling for at the cursor position. This may not be the font being used to display or print the document because, if you do not have the font being called for installed on your PC, Windows (or other operating system) will silently substitute an alternative, available font without telling you.

That's impossible! I'm using Times New Roman!

Again, as I said earlier, loading older PDF documents (which also use Times New Roman) causes them to load without issue! So obviously Adobe PDF Reader hasn't lost the ability to render Times New Roman.

1 The square boxes are telling you it is a problem with your fonts. If you do not want to believe that, then that is your choice.

2 What old PDFs do is irrelevant. If your fonts have been corrupted recently, then new PDFs will not be created properly.

3 Please read the thread I pointed you to - it explains in great detail.

4 Please download the .odt I took time to create - does it view OK? What happens when you create a PDF from it? When you create a PDF/A-1a from it?

5 Are you really using OOo 3.0.X on MS Windows Vista? If not, please say what you are using.

No-one can help you any more until, as requested above, you upload a .odt file and the PDF/A-1a file you created from it.

As a matter of interest, if you do not know what the problem is, then how do you know it is not the font causing the problem?
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby John_Ha » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:32 pm

Try viewing this PDF which has the TNR font embedded in in.

Is it a problem with your PDF Reader?
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby robleyd » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:36 pm

Opening the sample Untitled 1.pdf in my primary PDF viewer and looking in the properties of the document under Fonts I see no fonts included; only the images are displayed. Other pdf files on hand have entries in the fonts under properties.

Looking at the sample with a binary viewer, I found these lines:

Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
% CreateFontSubset failed for font "Wingdings" weight=5
% CreateFontSubset failed for font "Times New Roman" weight=5
% CreateFontSubset failed for font "Times New Roman" italic weight=5
% CreateFontSubset failed for font "Times New Roman" weight=8


So it seems that for some reason, fonts were not included. What were the exact steps you took to produce that file, including any options that you set?
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby RoryOF » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:44 pm

Adobe Reader reported that untitled.pdf was damaged; it opened it showing garbage characters, mostly boxes; Properties reported that there were no fonts in the file. However the picture of floris v's pussycat was as attractive as ever!

I confirm that John_Ha's sample file displayed correctly in the two pdf viewers I tried.
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby John_Ha » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:09 pm

robleyd wrote:Other pdf files on hand have entries in the fonts under properties.

That is interesting - I had always thought that you had specifically to embed fonts but it appears not.

These are PDFs created from the .odt.

times new roman - no fonts embedded.pdf ... did not have embed fonts or PDF/A-1a ticked
times new roman - no fonts embedded.pdf
did not have embed fonts or PDF/A-1a ticked
(22.79 KiB) Downloaded 25 times

times new roman - embed standard fonts.pdf ... had embed fonts ticked but PDF/A-1a was not ticked. It appears identical to times new roman - no fonts embedded.pdf
times new roman - embed standard fonts.pdf
embed fonts ticked but PDF/A-1a was not ticked
(22.79 KiB) Downloaded 25 times

times new roman PDF slash A 1-a.pdf ... had PDF/A-1a ticked. This ticked, but greyed out, the embed fonts. It is a larger file.
times new roman PDF slash A 1-a.pdf
had PDF/A-1a ticked. This ticked, but greyed out, the embed fonts
(29.4 KiB) Downloaded 23 times
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby stebbinsd » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:11 pm

John_Ha wrote:
stebbinsd wrote:
John_Ha wrote:The square boxes tell you that it is a problem with your fonts. The document is calling for a font which you do not have installed and the PDF uses square boxes instead. Remember that the font displayed in the document's Font selection box is the font the document is calling for at the cursor position. This may not be the font being used to display or print the document because, if you do not have the font being called for installed on your PC, Windows (or other operating system) will silently substitute an alternative, available font without telling you.

That's impossible! I'm using Times New Roman!

Again, as I said earlier, loading older PDF documents (which also use Times New Roman) causes them to load without issue! So obviously Adobe PDF Reader hasn't lost the ability to render Times New Roman.

1 The square boxes are telling you it is a problem with your fonts. If you do not want to believe that, then that is your choice.

2 What old PDFs do is irrelevant. If your fonts have been corrupted recently, then new PDFs will not be created properly.

3 Please read the thread I pointed you to - it explains in great detail.

4 Please download the .odt I took time to create - does it view OK? What happens when you create a PDF from it? When you create a PDF/A-1a from it?

5 Are you really using OOo 3.0.X on MS Windows Vista? If not, please say what you are using.

No-one can help you any more until, as requested above, you upload a .odt file and the PDF/A-1a file you created from it.

As a matter of interest, if you do not know what the problem is, then how do you know it is not the font causing the problem?

So ... I should reinstall Adobe PDF Reader?
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby John_Ha » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:16 pm

robleyd wrote:So it seems that for some reason, fonts were not included.


1 Start > Cmd. Click cmd.exe to open the window.
2 cd ..
3 cd .. to take you to C:\
4 cd windows\fonts to take you to C:\Windows\\Fonts
5 attrib t*

What does it show?
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby RoryOF » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:17 pm

All John_Ha's latest sample files opened correctly; my computers do have explicitly installed the standard fonts, and I'm not running on Windows.
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby John_Ha » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:24 pm

stebbinsd wrote:So ... I should reinstall Adobe PDF Reader?

No. That was an error on my part because Roblyed's post is showing that you are not creating a good PDF - you are not including the fonts.

This is probably because there is something strange on your PC which means that AOO is not finding the fonts.

PLEASE ANSWER THE QUESTIONS YOU ARE ASKED. In particular 5 Are you really using OOo 3.0.X on MS Windows Vista? If not, please say what you are using.
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby stebbinsd » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:33 pm

John_Ha wrote:
stebbinsd wrote:So ... I should reinstall Adobe PDF Reader?

No. That was an error on my part because Roblyed's post is showing that you are not creating a good PDF - you are not including the fonts.

This is probably because there is something strange on your PC which means that AOO is not finding the fonts.

In particular 5 Are you really using OOo 3.0.X on MS Windows Vista? If not, please say what you are using.[/color][/b]

Huh? The hell is OOo 3.0.x?

I'm using Open Office Writer.

John_Ha wrote:4 Please download the .odt I took time to create - does it view OK? What happens when you create a PDF from it? When you create a PDF/A-1a from it?

Define "looking okay?" It definitely looks like letters, but it appears to be in some foreign language.

Here's what it looks like: https://s2.postimg.org/60eor8gkp/Times_New_Roman.png

Is that what it was supposed to show?

No-one can help you any more until, as requested above, you upload a .odt file and the PDF/A-1a file you created from it


Ok, fine. Here's an ODT and a PDf file that are supposed to be identical.

As a matter of interest, if you do not know what the problem is, then how do you know it is not the font causing the problem?

Because the font renders just fine when I type in Open Office Writer. If I don't have the right font, then shouldn't it not render when I type in that font?

It's like how ... if I'm firing up VideoPad Video Editor, and I'm trying to load a project that relies of audio & video files, and/or images that have been deleted, corrupted, or otherwise unusable, then VideoPad will omit those from the project and simply have a blank space where the file used to be.

Or if I'm launching a game, and I've recently uninstalled a mod, the game will tell me out-right that this save file relies on mods that are no longer present. If my save was in an area that has been deleted as a result of the mod being uninstalled, then I would likely appear in "glitch zone."

Like so ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I07jImtemgI

On a similar vein, I reasonably expected OpenOffice to not be able to render fonts it doesn't have. But it renders times new roman just fine.
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby John_Ha » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:02 pm

Right.

The .odt file you uploaded is OK. I create a good PDF from it. So it is not the .odt file causing the problem.

The PDF you uploaded is bad - the fonts are not included with it. So a bad PDF is being created. The question is why?

You see my file OK - it is Latin Lorem ipsum ... So you have TNR installed and AOO sees it when displaying the .odt file.

Your signature says you are running OO03.x on Vista. Please update it (See User Control Panel)

I am trying to do a formal, structured diagnosis of what is wrong with your PC. You need to give me the answers to my questions.

Question 1. What happened when you downloaded my PDF files? Did they view OK?

Question 2. What level of AOO are you running? Help > About OpenOffice. Is it 4.1.3?

Question 3. What version of Windows are you running? Vista? W7? W8? W10?

Question 4. What happened when you ran cmd and checked the fonts? Upload an image.

Question 5. Start > type cmd. r-click cmd.exe > choose Run as administrator. Type sfc /scannow in the Administrator cmd window which opens. What does it report? See the post I referred you to for more details and how to extract information from the log if errors are reported.

As a workaround, install a PDF creator like PrimoPDF.
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby stebbinsd » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:33 pm

John_Ha wrote:Your signature says you are running OO03.x on Vista. Please update it (See User Control Panel)

I'm using Windows 7 Ultimate, 64-bit.

Question 1. What happened when you downloaded my PDF files? Did they view OK?

I didn't see the PDF version of the file at first. Sorry.

Now that I saw it, yes, it appears identical to the ODT version.

Question 2. What level of AOO are you running? Help > About OpenOffice. Is it 4.1.3?

It says Version 4.1.1.

https://s3.postimg.org/62havziyr/Apache ... _4.1.1.png

Question 3. What version of Windows are you running? Vista? W7? W8? W10?

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit

Question 4. What happened when you ran cmd and checked the fonts? Upload an image.

It just says "the system cannot find the path specified."

Question 5. Start > type cmd. r-click cmd.exe > choose Run as administrator. Type sfc /scannow in the Administrator cmd window which opens. What does it report?[/quote]
It says it will take some time. I'll get back to you when it is complete.
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby stebbinsd » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:44 pm

Question 5. Start > type cmd. r-click cmd.exe > choose Run as administrator. Type sfc /scannow in the Administrator cmd window which opens. What does it report?

Image
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby John_Ha » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:03 pm

stebbinsd wrote:
Question 4. What happened when you ran cmd and checked the fonts? Upload an image.

It just says "the system cannot find the path specified.".


You must have typed something wrong. Try typing attrib C:\windows\fonts\t*

Everything else looks OK.

What appears to be happening is that AOO uses the TNR font OK to display the document on the screen. But for some reason, AOO cannot copy the font files into the PDF when creating the PDF. This could be because of a permissions or owner problem with the font files which is why I need to see the font file attributes.
Last edited by John_Ha on Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby stebbinsd » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:13 pm

You must have typed something wrong. Try typing attrib C:\windows\fonts\t*

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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby John_Ha » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:26 pm

The font files look OK. Try replacing them - this will show if the fonts folder is corrupted even though the files themselves look OK. I noted from robleyed's post that several fonts, and not just TNR, are not being copied suggesting a "font folder" problem or a problem affecting all font files - which could, of course, be a problem with your AOO installation.

If you have access to a different pc, copy the four TNR fonts from that PC.

Delete the four TNR font files from your PC.

Replace them with the files copied from the other pc - right click them and choose install.

If you don't want to mess with TNR choose a font you don't normally use.
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby John_Ha » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:32 pm

Three more things to try.

1. Reboot and start the pc in Safe Mode. Is it now OK?

2. Un-install AOO choosing the option not to keep your data. Re-install AOO. Reboot. Is it now OK?

3. Add a new test user on your PC. Install AOO for them. Does it work for them?
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby John_Ha » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:44 pm

robleyd wrote:Opening the sample Untitled 1.pdf in my primary PDF viewer and looking in the properties of the document under Fonts I see no fonts included; only the images are displayed. Other pdf files on hand have entries in the fonts under properties.

Looking at the sample with a binary viewer, I found these lines:

Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
% CreateFontSubset failed for font "Wingdings" weight=5
% CreateFontSubset failed for font "Times New Roman" weight=5
% CreateFontSubset failed for font "Times New Roman" italic weight=5
% CreateFontSubset failed for font "Times New Roman" weight=8


So it seems that for some reason, fonts were not included. What were the exact steps you took to produce that file, including any options that you set?

One should always read error messages carefully. I wonder if it is the weight causing the problem?

Do a test - make sure the text in the document is set to black or change it to a different colour like blue. What error message does the PDF now show?
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby John_Ha » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:08 pm

stebbinsd wrote:Here, I'll attach a makeshift document I created using your post, so I don't risk giving away any personal info about myself.

Please upload the .odt file from which you created the .pdf file.
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby John_Ha » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:16 pm

It could be a permissions problem between user_1 installed the fonts and you are now user_2 who does not have full access to them. You might ned to change yourself to an Administrator user and/or re-install the fonts while you are Administrator.

A few seconds searching Google with cannot embed font in pdf found Why won't a font allow embedding in a .pdf? Will it print right anyway? which says
I know this is old, but I have been searching EVERYWHERE for a solution.

Problem: Barcode fonts would print to the printer, but would not embed in PDF.

I tried reinstalling the fonts and the PDF creator, and upgrading Adobe Reader. The fonts were licensed. I just could not get them to embed in a PDF no matter what I (thought) I tried.

Solution (for me): Uninstall all the troublesome fonts first!

Make the Windows User (this is important) who will be using the embed feature an administrator on the PC. Usually just log in as Domain admin, change the user account type to administrator and log off. Log back in and make sure the fonts are indeed deleted from the admin folder. Reinstall all the troublesome fonts. Now try to create the PDF. Demote the user.

Why this worked for me is the fonts were usable in many programs but, since they were not installed as administrator, I could not get the licensing to function - which PDF's need in order to embed.

I hope this works for someone else

If this solves the problem, please view your first post in this thread and click the Edit button (top right in the post) and add [Solved] in front of the subject.
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby John_Ha » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:47 pm

What does Font embeddability show for your TNR font?

Clipboard01.png

See Fonts

Clipboard02.png
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Re: "Export to PDF" yields jibberish

Postby John_Ha » Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:05 pm

If you still have the problem, it would be very interesting if you could remove your Times New Roman font files from C:\Windows\Fonts and replace them with some correct Times New Roman font files.

1 Go to https://www.dropbox.com/s/nd9yy3tmciim7 ... s.ttf?dl=0 and download times.ttf. Repeat for https://www.dropbox.com/s/m820o1rdzmytl ... d.ttf?dl=0 (timesbd.ttf), https://www.dropbox.com/s/1w2iuemp8otfx ... i.ttf?dl=0 (timesbi.ttf) and https://www.dropbox.com/s/ij3wy68mk6k40 ... i.ttf?dl=0 (timesi.ttf).

You now have my copies of times.ttf, timesbd.ttf, timesbi.ttf and timesi.ttf font files.

2 Create a new folder on your desktop by r-click the desktop > New > Folder. Call it TNR

3 Navigate to C:\ Windows\Fonts. Click More options ..., to set the window to Details as below

Clipboard02.png

4 right-click Times New Roman > Copy.

5 Go to the TNR folder on your desktop > right-click inside it > Paste. This pastes a copy of your Times New Roman fonts so you do not lose them

6 Go back to C:\Windows\Fonts. right-click Times New Roman > Delete. This deletes them

7 right-click each of my font files > Install. This installs my font files for you.

8 Reboot your PC.

Does this fix the problem?

Note: See Why Some Fonts Can’t Be Embedded In PDF which suggests that you may have some very old, non-embeddable fonts on your system. Note that you can have several, say, Times New Roman Italic font files in the folder, with names like timesi.ttf, timesi__1.ttf, timesi_____1.ttf etc.

Rogue Fonts

Q. I followed with interest your series about PDF font embedding. I hadn’t realized that some fonts weren’t being embedded in my files ... Can you explain this?

A. Some fonts are actually prohibited by their creators from embedding in a PDF. You aren’t doing anything incorrect; the font has been deliberately constructed to prevent PDF embedding.

Some Solutions

... Use fonts that will embed! You may wish to contact the foundry (the font creator from whom you purchased the font) about an updated replacement copy of the font that is licensed to permit PDF embedding.

You may not have purchased these problem fonts individually. For example, Corel software such as Draw and WordPerfect used to install vast numbers of non-embeddable fonts on its host computer. Even if WordPerfect was later uninstalled the fonts remain, usable (but not embeddable) by any program. Corel does offer replacement embeddable versions free of charge.

Another example was Apple, whose Macintosh system fonts circa OS8 were also unembeddable.

Old Font, New Font

When Acrobat was new, some founders were concerned that fonts might be extracted from PDFs, so they restricted embedding. The PDF format has become so common that most type foundries have realized that a font that won’t embed has very little value. If a font manufacturer is still deliberately restricting PDF embedding make a mental note to stop doing business with them! The problems their unembeddable type will cause for you in this PDF-connected 21st century are simply not worth the headaches.
AOO 4.1.6, Windows 7 Home 64 bit

See the Writer Guide, the Writer FAQ, the Writer Tutorials and Writer for students.

Remember: Always save your Writer files as .odt files. - see here for the many reasons why.
John_Ha
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