[reportlab-users] PDF created in ReportLab looks awesome in Foxit, awful in Adobe

Marc Tompkins marc.tompkins at gmail.com
Mon Jul 16 18:41:40 EDT 2012

On Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 4:35 AM, Robin Becker <robin at reportlab.com> wrote:


> It's still not clear what the underlying problem is though. I assume that

> the issue doesn't have anything to do with our technology per se since if

> all are TTF it may be assumed that the PDFs have the same information in

> them; we subset the fonts by default. Could it be that the hints need

> things that we are ignoring in our sub-setting procedure? I'm using windows

> xp and don't appear to have consolas, but I assume that if we are including

> the sub-setted font in your document it shouldn't make a difference. When I

> look at the sample document on windows with acrobat reader 10 I don't see

> much of a problem with the sample document.


> I checked on arch linux with acroread 9 and the document looks awful.

> Presumably the acroread rendering is just busted for this font.


It's not just Consolas, though - I tried about twenty monospaced fonts, and
at least five of them had rendering problems in Adobe Reader (they all
looked good in Foxit, though.) In nearly every case, the worst mangling
happened in the letter M - either uppercase or lowercase. It seems to get
folded in on itself.

As I mentioned previously I didn't keep notes of the websites from which I
downloaded the fonts, and I'm afraid that I just deleted the rejected fonts
from my machine as I tried them. It didn't occur to me until after I had
my list of survivors that taking notes might have been a good thing. I do
recall, though, that one of the other fonts that gave me trouble was
"Excalibur" (http://www.fontoteka.com/download-font-excalibur-monospace.htm),
if that's any help. (Perhaps having a bunch of fonts that work properly,
and a bunch that don't, might help to narrow down the problem?)

It did occur to me that this might be an Adobe problem - breaking backwards
compatibility with previous versions (and with their competitors.) "Surely
Adobe would never do such a thing", I hear you say. Well... actually, I
don't hear you say that at all, do I? <g>
Sadly, I don't have any machines available for testing with older versions
of Adobe/Acrobat Reader - since maliciously-crafted PDFs seem to be more
and more common these days, I've become obsessive about keeping my and my
clients' machines up-to-date.

Again, thank you for ReportLab. I love you guys!
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