Error in Adobe PDF Print Engine
caused by bad font data

Datalogics, distributor of Adobe software libraries for developers, has publisher a knowledge base article on a new error in version 3.0 of the Adobe PDF Print Engine (APPE) called NON-FATAL PDF Exception: Cannot extract the embedded font. This error message generated by the Adobe Common Renderer is caused by bad font data. The article describes settings which can prevent this error message (but adds the risk of wrong display of fonts).


Screening technology to avoid the orange peel

Martin Bailey, CTO of Global Graphics (Harlequin-RIPs), talks in his blog about tests to avoid the orange peel effekt for inkjet presses using special screening methodes.

When inkjet presses print on non-absorbent, poorly wettable media such as flexible plastics or metal, prints are characterized by a mottle effect that looks a bit like orange peel. This effect seems to be triggered by ink shrinkage during cure. This can be corrected with a halftone with specially designed characteristics.

In order to avoid these artifacts Global Graphics will soon introduce a new screen technology.

It’s interesting that the topic of screening becomes important again for the new printing technologies…

One year PDFX-ready Online Tools

In the morning of Octobre 26th, 2016 we have launched the PDFX-ready Online Tools. which I had developed for PDFX-ready. Right at the beginning we offered three tools:

There is a FREEWARE and PREMIUM versions for members of PDFX-ready.

The experience we made in the past year is pretty good. The Enfocus Switch server with the applications Callas pdfToolbox and ColorLogic ProfileTagger is running very stable. But of course there were a few problems.

Weiterlesen / ContinueOne year PDFX-ready Online Tools

Quality loss after color conversion
in Acrobat

In preparation of my new seminar PDF Color Management I have tested the image compression before and after color conversion in the most popular PDF tools.

In highend PDFs destinated for quality printing the images are usually compressed using JPEG maximum quality. Before color conversion the images must be decompressed and afterwards compressed again. Acrobat always uses JPEG medium quality for this recompression. The consequence is that there is an (unexpected) loss of quality of the color converted images (see table).

Weiterlesen / ContinueQuality loss after color conversion
in Acrobat

Problem with Enfocus PitStop Inspector
in Adobe Acrobat DC 2017

There is a problem with PitStop Inspector in Acrobat DC 2017. After starting Acrobat it is impossible to select an object with the PitStop Inspector tool.

This is also true for older versions of Enfocus PitStop. The reason for the problem seam to be a change in Acrobat DC 2017. Enfocus is working with Adobe to find a solution.

The recommended workaround is to open the window Adobe Acrobat DC > About Third-Party Plug-Ins > About Enfocus PitStop Pro… and close it. Afterwards objects can be selected as usual … until the next start of Acrobat DC 2017. Then you have to open the About Enfocus window again!

UPDATE: the problem has been fixed by Adobe in the November 2017 Update of Acrobat.

New MadeToTag version
with a clever form field function

The latest version 1.7.080 of the InDesign plug-in MadeToTag from Axaio, known for the features for the definition and export of tagged PDF (PDF/UA), now also comes with a feature for better export of form field properties out of InDesign.

Since longtime the Adobe layout application offers the possibility to define form fields directly in the layout. During PDF export they are converted to PDF form fields. Unfortunately the possibilities for the definition of the form field properties in InDesign are very limited, compared to what can be done in Acrobat. That’s why a lot of users still prefer defining their form fields in Acrobat. Which has the disadvantage that one has to update the form fields after each change of the form layout.

Weiterlesen / ContinueNew MadeToTag version
with a clever form field function

Can QuarkXPress 2016 edit PDFs?

Quark has announced XPress 2016. In the new version it shall be possible to convert imported PDF pages into native XPress objects which can be edited directly in XPress. This feature is demonstrated in a YouTube video.

However in the announcement of the PDF conversion feature I have detected the footnote *Restrictions apply. The quality of the PDF conversion will be crutial.

I will follow this topic closely and report in my findings in PDF-AKTUELL…

Adobe preflight signature has expired

On February 8th at 14:33:51 (CET) the Adobe preflight signature has expired. That’s why it is no longer possible to embed the preflight audit trail after a preflight with Acrobat Pro in a PDF:

Preflight AuditTrail Error
After embedding the preflight results the PDF is usually “sealed” with this generic signature. This allows to recognize immediately if the PDF has been altered after the embedding of the preflight audit trail which may make the results obsolete. Thanks to the signature it is even possible to undo these changes.

Unfortunately the Adobe preflight signature is only valid for 5 years. Therefore the signature has to be renewed during the life cycle of an Acrobat version. Last time the signature expired on 22.11.2012. I remember that day very well. At that time I was responsible for the prepress support at Novartis Pharma and I received the error reports from all over the world. Since embedding the preflight audit trail is mandatory for PDFs for packaging files for Novartis Pharma I had to find a solution urgently. I did found out that replacing the invalid preflight signature of Acrobat 9 and X by the newer signature of Acrobat XI solved the problem.

It took Adobe quite a while to do the same. In January 2013 updates of Acrobat 9 and X containing the Acrobat XI signature were released. This signature was valid until 8.2.2016. It was also delivered with the first versions of Acrobat DC.

But this time Adobe has reacted on time (I have pushed them a little bit). With the January update of Acrobat DC and the 11.0.14 update of Acrobat XI a new preflight signature is installed. Users of these applications only have to perform the free update. Afterwards embedding the preflight audit trail is working properly again. At least until 6.11.2020. Then the signature will expire again…

Since Adobe does not offer updates for Acrobat 9 and X anymore, users of these applications must help themselves.

Weiterlesen / ContinueAdobe preflight signature has expired

Quite Imposing Update
because of Acrobat bug

Quite Software informs that they encountered a random problem with inserting pages in the January Updates of Acrobat DC. The inserted pages may be in the wrong order, unexpectedly blank, or unexpectedly a copy of a different page.

Because Quite Imposing Plus adds new pages in many cases, it is particularly badly effected by this problem. Quite Imposing Plus 4.0f now checks that the result of every page that it inserts is correct, and if there is a failure it tries again. Quite Imposing Plus will not continue if it cannot correct the problem, and will instead stop with an error message.

Quite recommends installing this free update as soon as possible. The update is suitable for all users of Quite Imposing Plus 4, for Acrobat 9 and later.

Irritating dialog in Acrobat/Reader DC

Since the January update of Acrobat/Reader DC a lot of users get this strange dialog when they open a PDF:


This is only useful for people who are using assistive technologies (e.g. a screen reader). The annoying feature can be turn off in Preferences > General… > Accessibility by deactivating the option Enable assisive technology support. This must also be repeated in the Reader preferences to avoid that this dialog is shown when a PDF is displayed in an Internet browser.

Installation of Acrobat DC and Acrobat XI on the same computer

At the launch of Acrobat DC existing installations of Acrobat XI have been removed without notice. This raised a lot of protest in the Internet.

It took quite long until Adobe offered a solution. Since the October update there is now a setting in the installer which allows to choose if existing Acrobat installations are removed or not. By default they are still removed!

For a lot of users this new setting comes too late. For them Adobe has published instructions for the re-installation of Acrobat XI. First Acrobat DC must be uninstalled. Afterwards Acrobat XI is installed. The instructions don’t mention that one has to re-install Acrobat DC afterwards (of course without the option to remove older versions!) in order to use both versions on the same computer.

smallpdf – web service with free PDF features

I have discovered a web service called smallpdf (from Switzerland!) which offers serveral free PDF features. One can reduce PDF size, convert PDF to Word, PowerPoint, Excel and JPG and the other way around, split and merge PDFs as well as unlock password protected PDFs. In my test unlocking of PDFs protected (even with simple) open passwords was refused. However removing document restrictions did work well.

This free web service is an interesting alternative to some of the paid services of the Adobe Document Cloud.

The service uses the 3-Heights Document Converter provided by PDF Tools AG (also from Switzerland.

Enfocus warning for Acrobat DC users

As reported recently there is a new plug-ins folder in Acrobat DC on the Mac. Enfocus is still using the old plug-ins folder inside the application package. Enfocus published a warning because the plug-ins stored inside the application package could be removed during an upcoming Acrobat update. Enfocus recommends to manually move the PitStop plug-in files to the new location in Application Support. Users of CertifiedPDF also need to move a JavaScript.

Attention: Acrobat DC de-installs older Acrobat versions incl. plug-ins

I have received feedback from serveral readers of PDF-AKTUELL that the installer of Acrobat DC de-installs older Acrobat versions. This especially true for subscribers of the Creative Cloud since Acrobat DC is installed as update of Acrobat XI. (For other CC applications (e.g. InDesign) new versions are installed along the older versions. But not for Acrobat!)

At the beginning Adobe did delete the old version without any warning. After a lot of protest in the Internet the installer now displays a warning before deleting. But it’s not possible to skip the deletion.

Since on the Mac the plug-ins are stored in the package of the Acrobat application (show package content with a right mouse click) all third-party plug-ins get also deleted together with the old Acrobat software. That’s why you should make a backup of your plug-ins folder before you install Acrobat DC.

Be aware that you cannot use old third-party plugins on the Mac. But it’s good to save a copy in case you want to revert to the old version of Acrobat.

Before the installation on my Mac I have renamed the Acrobat XI folder (and to be sure also made a ZIP archive of this folder). With this I could fool the Acrobat DC installer.

In case you did loose the old Acrobat version you can try to re-install it. Here you can find the installers for Acrobat X or XI and Acrobat 9. Adobe does not recommend to install more than one Acrobat version on Windows. (Acrobat and Reader on the same computer are OK.)

In case the old Acrobat version should be removed by Acrobat DC one can try to re-install the old version and the third-party plug-ins. Here you can find the installers for Acrobat X or XI and Acrobat 9. On Windows Adobe does not recommend to install multiple versions of Acrobat on the same system. However Acrobat and Reader are OK.

Adobe has published a help page for regular users and one for Creative Cloud users.