[nSLUG] Acroread & Openoffice

gnwiii at gmail.com gnwiii at gmail.com
Sat Jan 6 17:49:11 AST 2007

On 1/6/07, Gerald <linux at zdoit.airpost.net> wrote:

> I have some PDFs I get that Adobe prints badly. Many missing letters and
> many repeated letters. Other PDF viewers don't have a problem with them.
> I am trying to find out how they are made. Is this similar to your
> experience?
> J. Paul Bissonnette wrote:
> > I have discovered an annoying feature with Adobe Reader 7.0.8 It prints
> > any pdf files except those made with OpenOffice. Has anyone else notice
> > this?

I have some pdf files created using pdftex a couple years ago.  Lots
of people have viewed/printed them on various OS's.   Recently I
wanted to view one at work (Adobe Reader 7.0.7) but all the maths
symbols were "invisible".  I regenerated the file using newer fonts
and a current pdftex and the document is now fine. I don't know for
sure whether the problem was with the fonts or with the .pdf, but it
certainly looked like a problem with the font rasterizer.  My guess is
that Adobe is being stricter with fonts in recent Adobe Reader
versions (to avoid someone crafting a font that generate buffer
overflows) and that some old fonts have silent bugs (e.g., overflowing
some buffer into unused memory).
It is quite possible that such bugs exist in some older fonts and or
in the pdf output of some tools.

You can use "pdfinfo" and "pdffonts" to get some information about the
fonts in a PDF file and the app that created the file.

btw -- fonts are one of those famous unsolved problems.  For years
I've been fighting an uphill battle against the subsitution of Arial
or URW Nimbus Sans for Helvetica.  Now I have run across the
Heavenetica font, yet another "Helvetica" clone (which seems to be
provided by Artifex with commercial ghostscript intepreters used by
SGI and others).   Last week I had problems with a PostScript file
that used an encoding containing "Euro".  This glyph was not present
in early ghostscript fonts, but was later added to the fonts but
omitted from the .afm files.  The workaround was to copy the URW fonts
and metrics from a recent debian to the ghostscript fonts directory
(the names are same, only the contents have changed).

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia


More information about the nSLUG mailing list