Spurious 'faux bold' in InDesign PDFs

elliot100's picture

Hi there

I just opened up an old InDesign CS2 document, made some edits and output a new PDF. In both Acrobat and Foxit Reader some of the edited words appear bold where they are not. This affect is much worse when zoomed out, and can't be seen when zoomed right in. I don't think it appears in print, but then the only printer I have to hand isn't great quality.

I can't find any difference between affected and unaffected text in InDesign. It does look like a rendering issue, as if some words have been converted to outlines, but I can't see why this would be.

It's not a complex document, there are no images, and the problem affects a couple of fonts.

Anyone come across this before?

riccard0's picture

Could it be a hinting problem (i.e. fonts not optimized for screen viewing)? Is it worse or the same at full magnifications (i.e. 100%, 200% zoom levels)?

Theunis de Jong's picture

It's a common InDesign bug, unfortunately. You don't mention which version you have now; I only saw it once, using CS. Not as yet with CS3 or '4.

If you examine the PDF in Acrobat Pro or Illustrator, you will find that the phrases are doubled, over eachother. Fortunately, it's a problem for screen only, since imaging the text twice on a prepress plate maker won't make a difference and hence printed output will appear normal.

Some folks have reported switching off "Export Tagged PDF" when it was on helped; others claimed the exact opposite. I only had it in a multi-lingual book; all phrases in "other" languages were bolded. IIRC, toggling Tagged did help in that case.

elliot100's picture

Not sure why I never came back on this, probably because I was concentrating on getting the document, my CV, to a potential employer, but thanks Theunis.

It was CS2 and while I didn't try toggling Export Tagged PDF, your comment "I only had it in a multi-lingual book; all phrases in “other” languages were bolded" made me notice that while the document was in UK English, the affected text was US English. Probably the result of editing on PCs with different defaults. Once corrected, the issue disappeared.

The document would have been read on screen so the issue would have been rather distracting and not but my skills in the best light!

Thanks again -- Elliot.

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