5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 10, 2014 2:43 AM by keywords

    Save as PDF Inconsistency - How to Fix?




      I haven't seen any posts regarding this specific problem, though possibly related in nature.


      The basic problem is that there is a significant and problemmatic difference between PDFs that are created

      by FileMaker using the Save As PDF command versus Preview / Printing.


      I have a solution that I thought would cleverly allow me to control where pages break in FileMaker reports.

      It works!


      Except sometimes when a mysterious blank page is inserted in the middle of my document (for instance, between page 5 and 6 of a 6-page document).


      The problem has to do with font metrics and/or substitution, etc.


      When I manually save the report from a Print dialog, it always looks great, with no problem.

      However, the same report, when using the Save as PDF command, contains different font / metrics,

      occasionally causing the wonky page break and "extra" page (I presume multiple instances of an extra page are also possible, though I haven't seen that yet).


      Evidently, there is some difference in the PDF engine that FileMaker uses for "Save as PDF" as opposed to Preview or Print.


      What can be done about this? Ideas?


      This occurs (though differently) using FileMaker Pro Advanced 13 in both Windows and Mac (including older OS X desktop and on a MacBook with newer OS X Mavericks and Retina screen).





      Here is a dropbox link to a ZIP archive containing images and pdfs that illustrate the issue.

      Two sample PDFs and two screen shots that more clearly demonstrate the difference in font / metrics.

        • 1. Re: Save as PDF Inconsistency - How to Fix?

          Isn't it good that on a Mac we have a Print to PDF option. Perhaps if we all used US letter it might work better...

          I'm not sure what the problem is, but I agree that there is one.


          - Lyndsay

          • 2. Re: Save as PDF Inconsistency - How to Fix?

            Is it possible that there are fonts I can use that (on the same platform) will appear the same in a PDF as when previewed/printed ?

            I'm perfectly happy to create different layouts for Mac and Windows if I need a different font for each.

            • 3. Re: Save as PDF Inconsistency - How to Fix?

              The problem is occured on 'GillSans-SemiBold' font, it is embeded in 'FM direct PDF' as 'GillSans-Bold'.


              My OSX 10.8 seems having only GillSans / GillSans Light (and bold/italic variation in a .ttc file), do your all mac have SemiBold ?

              Is the field using SemiBold font showen as 'bold' button on ?


              Try to test with converting .ttc file to .ttf, or use only .ttf font.

              • 4. Re: Save as PDF Inconsistency - How to Fix?

                Erik, I have taken a look at the files you have uploaded and there does seem to be a font issue. Attached are some files to help you work it out:


                1.     Screenshots of the bottom part of page 4 in each pdf. Note that the text finishes closer to the bottom of the page in the FMdirect version. Also note that the appearance of the Installation Option heading is materially different.


                2.     Screenshots of the Acrobat Font Properties window for each file. Note that for the FM direct version it is a very short list of Gill Sans, whereas in the other file the list is extensive, only part of which is shown. The coding is also different.


                The foregoing suggests that the fonts are being handled differently by the two processes. They may not be being properly embedded by FM when exported to PDF, hence the shorter list, or alternatively embedded by a different process.  Since font embedding is the key to consistent text transfer in any PDF I suggest you investigate your FM file further. In particular:


                1.     Make sure font usage of fields and any text objects in your report layout is consistent (eg. use only True Type fonts, use the same font version everywhere, etc)

                2.     Make sure all fields and text objects are fully saved as theme styles and that the theme itself is fully saved—this helps FM to avoid object by object rendering of the layout

                3.     Further to point 2, as far as possible, use the default styles rather than making your own

                4.     Run further tests to see if any of the above makes any difference.


                I'll be interested to see how you go. All the best!

                • 5. Re: Save as PDF Inconsistency - How to Fix?

                  Further to my above post, I have just run some test myself with interesting results.


                  1.     Setting all fonts to Gill Sans resulted in the FMdirect version with Gill Sans embedded, whereas the Print to PDF version had Lucida substituted.

                  2.     Setting all fonts to Lucida Sans resulted in identical outcomes by the two processes. Ditto using Verdana and one other.


                  It therefore may be that Gill Sans is itself causing trouble, so another test you should run is trying a different font altogether.