Mark Stephens Mark has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and is a big NetBeans fan. He enjoys speaking at conferences. He has an MA in Medieval History and a passion for reading.

Odd text rendering issue in Adobe Acrobat on the Mac

32 sec read

I have been looking at a PDF file today which has a rather ‘interesting’ feature. If you look at the screenshot, you will see that in Mac Preview, the text is white, whereas in Acrobat 9.0 it is black…

The reason that Preview is displaying it white is because the color is set outside the text command block. I presume that Acrobat is ignoring the color setting for exactly the same reason. Acrobat goes to great lengths to try and clean up sloppy PDFs and display them rather than enforce the specification. Interestingly in Acrobat on one of our Windows boxes, the text is white…

This post is part of our “Understanding the PDF File Format” series. In each article, we discuss a PDF feature, bug, gotcha or tip. If you wish to learn more about PDF, we have 13 years worth of PDF knowledge and tips, so click here to visit our series index!



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Mark Stephens Mark has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and is a big NetBeans fan. He enjoys speaking at conferences. He has an MA in Medieval History and a passion for reading.

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2 Replies to “Odd text rendering issue in Adobe Acrobat on the…”

  1. Interesting… I wonder how it would print on a printer with Adobe PDF technology. My experience is that the interpreter in a printer is not as forgiving as Acrobat or Reader when it comes to buggy PDF. A lot of PDF files that Acrobat just repairs when it opens the file, will result in an error page when printed.

    Thanks for sharing another interesting PDF problem.

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