Author Topic: Poisonous pdf?  (Read 1736 times)

Karela

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Poisonous pdf?
« on: July 03, 2014, 06:51:34 pm »
I created a brochure (in pdf for print) for a client in French, with no major problems.

Now they have sent me the English text (as an rtf document) and I copy-pasted the translation in all the relevant sections and created a pdf to send them.

But this pdf seems to be poisonous! Every programme that opens it crashes immediately (Mail, Preview, Photoshop).

I originally saved it with a group off of the page according to the pre-flight verifier (I could not see it, and did not need it so I figured it would be ok). After I had trouble with the first version I took the time to scroll waaaaay out and locate it and delete it. No change. I also changed the document name, but to no avail.

Does anyone else have experience with this?

GarryP

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Re: Poisonous pdf?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2014, 02:49:34 pm »
Karela, without being able to look at the actual document this is a bit difficult to diagnose.

However - and I could be very wrong about this - I have a feeling that the problem might be with some strange control characters which could have been copied over from your RTF document.

If, for instance, an unusual control character - some formatting or something - has been included in the text it could cause problems with an embedded font which - for whatever reason - can't handle that character properly. That might cause the PDF document to "crash" when something tries to read it and display a character that can't be displayed properly. (Scribus may handle unexpected stuff differently than PDF readers and the like, which could be why you don't have the same problem in Scribus.)

Free fonts don't always behave well and can cause various problems.

I could be way off the mark but if I was you - and if you have the time and your document isn't very long - I'd copy/paste the text into a very basic text editor to eliminate (or make obvious) any strange characters and then copy/paste it again from that editor into Scribus (after clearing the text from the frames if you really want to make sure). This should give you a "clean" set of texts which might fix the problem.

Your problem may be nothing to do with this but "cleaning" text by putting it through a basic editor first is a good step to think about putting in future workflows. It's a bit of extra work but it makes certain that there are no hidden gremlins.

P.S. If you click on an item in the Pre-flight Verifier, Scribus should automatically scroll to where the object is making it easy to select (and delete if necessary). That should save you having to manually scroll around to fix issues that have been flagged.

Karela

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Re: Poisonous pdf?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2014, 06:11:47 pm »
Hi GarryP,

That is what I suspected, since the previous text had not been sent in rtf format.

I started by re-exporting the original french document to pdf, no problems there.

Then I dealt with the English translation again. Strangely, the document had been opened using "text editor", but I re-saved it as .doc (randomly chosen from the options available) and then pasted the text blocks in, checking every page (only 4 pages, phew) to see. No problems at all.

In the previous programme that I used before Scribus (Freehand) I put every paragraph through a text editing programme (Notepad)  to remove unwanted formatting. I was kind of happy to not have to do that until now with Scribus.... any tips on what to do next time? (Since the file was actually in the text editing programme in the first place).

Also, any tips about not removing "wanted" formatting? I get a lot of concert programmes which have bold, italics and regular all mixed in on every line, and people spend a lot of time getting it homogenous and then I wipe it all out and spend a lot of time adding the italics and bold back in.

Nermander

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Re: Poisonous pdf?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2014, 08:17:14 pm »
Pull it through Open/Libre Office Writer.

GarryP

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Re: Poisonous pdf?
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2014, 02:45:29 pm »
Karela, unfortunately if you need to make sure no strange characters are in your text the only way to remove them is to do some kind of conversion/cleaning process. You could try a web search for "text remove special characters batch" and see if there's anything useful. (There might even be an Automator solution somewhere; since you're using Mail and Preview I'm assuming you're using a Mac.)

As for keeping wanted formatting there isn't - as of 1.4.4 - any way to keep character formatting, which is what it would take to get what you want. I think some of the developers were looking at this a while back but I've not been keeping up-to-date so I've no idea if this went anywhere or was just discussed.

Sorry I can't be of more help but these are two things that Scribus doesn't quite handle well enough - out-of-the-box, at least - at the moment.