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How can I replace embedded PDF fonts?
November 16, 2009 4:07 PM   Subscribe

How can I replace embedded fonts in a PDF with "normal-looking" versions? I have a textbook I received from my professor for a class, and the text is incredibly hard to read.

Screenshot of PDF. (non-highlighted text is what the text looks like normally)

I'd also like to not lose text formatting. (italics/monospace etc)
posted by lwf to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
 
That PDF isn't made with embedded fonts, and was probably made by scanning a paper copy of the book. You can tell by looking at the same letter in different spots. They vary wildly. Your only hope is to run the PDFs through OCR software.
posted by zsazsa at 4:16 PM on November 16, 2009


I'll bet you, dollars to donuts, that those aren't fonts. They might have bee at one point, but I doubt they are now. If I had to guess, they're vector graphics, created either by OCR scanning the original or by converting the fonts to outlines.

Do you have Acrobat Pro? You can check to see if that's a font or not by going to File -> Properties... and clicking the Fonts tab, or by highlighting the text, right-clicking and selecting Properties...

Actually, if you can select the text at all, you have a font. If not, it a graphic.
posted by lekvar at 4:18 PM on November 16, 2009


Here's a proper PDF. Do future students a favor and send it to the professor.
posted by geoff. at 4:20 PM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Definitely OCR'd. I hope your professor isn't giving out pirated copies of that book.
posted by wongcorgi at 4:26 PM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


not even ocr'd. it's a scan put through an autotracer such as you'd find in adobe illustrator. ridiculously amateur.
posted by rhizome at 5:19 PM on November 16, 2009


Sorry, here's a image of it with the text highlighted.

It seems to be actual text, and I can portions it into another document without a problem.
posted by lwf at 5:21 PM on November 16, 2009


Wait, you opened it in InDesign? Can you not change the font using the Character palette?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:26 PM on November 16, 2009


Notice that the highlighted text looks fine. It seems to be replacing the image with a 'regular' font when you highlight it.
posted by delmoi at 12:00 AM on November 17, 2009


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