Lost Kerning and Spacing

sean's picture

I recently produced a PDF of a type design I am working on from Quark.
My prints are good, the file looks good in Quark and metrics look fine in FOG.

But my kerning and spacing are awful in the PDF.

What is happening?


eomine's picture

did you generate the pdf using acrobat?

sean's picture

Yes, Distiller.

It is frustrating. I tried using a different printer description, recalculating bitmaps, regenerating the type. I can't figure it out.

In fact, the pdf is kerning letters on it's own. Like two "T"s next to each other are suddenly touching when the FOG file and everything else shows them with plenty of spacing.



Miss Tiffany's picture

Have you tried saving the file as postscript and then plopping that onto distiller? Or exporting it out of distiller as an EPS and then re-distilling it? Which version of export to PDF are you using?

So. Just to understand. The PDF "visually" looks crap, but the PDF "prints" well?

Diner's picture

Y'know, This will sound weird, but try zooming in at different ratios, I have found at "Page Width" the kerning looks bad but zoom in and you're golden . . .

Stuart :D

sean's picture

>"Have you tried saving the file as postscript and then plopping that onto distiller? "

No. Seems like to much work when PDFs work for me all the time.

>"...the PDF "prints" well?"

No. The Quark file does.

>"...try zooming in at different ratios..."

I tell people this on a daily basis myself when I'm sending out proofs.
That is not it either.

I've attached some images to illustrate what is happening.
Nevermind the letter-shapes. That is another story.


Quark Snapshot



sean's picture

Has no one seen this issue but me?


eomine's picture

Seems like to much work when PDFs work for me all the time.

This means when you generate PDFs using other fonts you have no problem?

sean's picture


Yes, that is what that means. Can you help?


eomine's picture


i've never had this problem, so i'm not sure i can help you. i think the first thing you should try now is to generate a .ps file and then distill it, as tiffany said before. this can be too much work, but it may be worth after all.

did you try to change font's embedding settings? in pages 3 and 4, your gill sans was replaced by adobe sans here. set acrobat to "embed all fonts".

sean's picture


Thanks for the help. I finally started to trouble shoot the file really seriously today and found the issue was in one single line of text. If I deleted the box the PDF was good.

So I just replaced the type and what do you know it worked.

I was wrong. I blame Quark after all.

I am going to try what Tiffany said just for fun. The only reason I have not done it yet was that if a client had actually purchased this type I would not expect them to have to do this to make a PDF. They should be able to just do it. But now that everything seems cool, I'll give it a try. I will still carefully examine the bit of type I deleted. Maybe there was a bad character.

And embed all fonts is a really good idea.

Thanks again. I think this case is closed. :-)


eomine's picture

the issue was in one single line of text.

actually, i was going to ask you that. in page 2, there are 2 occurencies of pair "nd": one is in the word "standard" you showed us and the other is in the word "tandem". they have different spacings, but now it seems "tandem" is right.

good luck! ;)


ps: check my typeface Maest in critique forums!

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