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  1. #1
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    Disappearing text from Word to PDF (Word 2000 SR-1, Acrobat 5.0)

    I'm still troubleshooting this one, but if someone's seen this before and has an answer, maybe I can save myself some trouble.

    We have some training documents that include graphics with callouts. These callouts were created manually using text boxes. When distilling the Word doc to PDF, *some* of the text in the text boxes disappears in the final PDF.

    Nothing seems to be different in the Word doc between the text boxes that work and the ones that don't. I've checked the Format settings...all seems consistent, as far as I know.

    Here's the fun part. In Acrobat, the text IS there--it's just not showing up. It appears that the distilling process resulted in some of the text boxes stacking incorrectly--that is, the white box of the text box wound up on top of the text itself. When I use Acrobat's TouchUp Text tool, I can select the invisible text boxes and drag them out from under the white boxes.

    Any idea why this might be happening? And why it might be affecting some, but not all, of the text boxes?

    A few more miscellaneous factors:

    Three people have distilled the same .doc file, with exactly the same results. The same text boxes disappear for everyone.

    I copied and pasted the entire document into a fresh Word doc, prior to which I copied over all of the styles from the original doc. When I distilled this new pasted version of the doc, all of the text boxes looked fine in the PDF. (The problem was that a few other things didn't survive the copy-and-paste process too well.) The new, pasted version of the doc had the Normal.dot template attached. See the next paragraph for more on the template situation.

    The original doc seems to have been created as a template and then had its extension changed manually to .doc from .dot. If I choose Tools / Templates and Add-Ins, nothing appears in the Document Template field, and the Attach button is greyed out. However, we tried saving the doc file as a template to the Templates folder, then opening it, saving it again as a doc file, and then attaching one of our standard templates to it, but this did not fix the disappearing text box problem--so we think the templates issue may be a red herring.

    There is a chance that this document was originally created in an earlier version of Word, several iterations ago, but we're not sure.

    I'm not sure how this behaves using Acrobat 4.0. We've only noticed this issue since upgrading to 5.0, but we haven't always delivered these guides in PDF.

    OK...I think that's all the info I can provide. Anyone?

    Thanks!

    Tom (cryptique) <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>

  2. #2
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    Re: Disappearing text from Word to PDF (Word 2000 SR-1, Acrobat 5.0)

    Yes, I've seen that one before!

    Good news is that it has no connection at all with the type of Word File. Acrobat simply arranges the drawing objects and text objects in a different order than Word does. This also explains why a different behaviour was observed when you pasted the object into a new file. They were pasted in a different order.

    Indeed, if you use a very slow machine to open the erroneous PDF you might just be able to see the hidden text for an instant before it disappears behind a callout or other object.

    So you need to:
    (a) Select the object which seems to hide the text, and on the Drawing Toolbar, choose Order|Send Behind Text.

    ([img]/forums/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] Recreate the PDF.

    If you have more than one object hiding the text, or a very complex object, you may need to do this to all objects except the text box. For this, you may need to ungroup all objects, group the drawing objects separately and the text boxes separately, send all the drawing boxes behind the text and then group the text and drawing objects together again.

    Please let me know if the problem does not disappear after you have followed these points. If possible, attach the Word and PDF File (reduce it to one page which shows this behaviour to save every one's time on the Lounge). Also, delete all macros int he file before you post it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Disappearing text from Word to PDF (Word 2000 SR-1, Acrobat 5.0)

    Actually, there's not really a way to do what you say, because the object that's obstructing the text in the PDF is the Word text box that contains the text itself. In Word, such a text box exists as a single entity, including the text it contains, and it only gets separated into "white rectangle" and "bunch o' text" when distilled to PDF.

    So there's not really a way to make the obstructing object (text box) move behind the text (which is part of the text box)...because it's just *supposed* to be that way naturally. Acrobat apparently doesn't see it that way, though...

    My latest attempt to resolve the issue had me doing the following: for each affected text box, I ungrouped the box from its accompanying arrow, made sure that both the box and arrow were "In Front of Text" (right-click / Format...), then brought them both to the front (right-click / Order / Bring to Front).

    This worked some of the time. It did not work all of the time. And, in a few cases, it caused a nearby text box that previously worked to suddenly stop working.

    Frustrating. I'd go on a tirade about my history with Microsoft AND Adobe, but it's probably not appropriate for this board.

    I would post a one-page version of the affected file, but every time I chop this 118-page document down to 1 page, the problem disappears. I can't duplicate the behavior in a smaller version of the doc.

  4. #4
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    Re: Disappearing text from Word to PDF (Word 2000 SR-1, Acrobat 5.0)

    An old thread, I know, but I haven't been up on the Lounge in quite a while, and in case someone else ran into this issue, I wanted to pass on our eventual solution.

    We fixed it through lots of trial and error, and I'm afraid I still don't know the exact solution, but here goes:

    In Word, choose Acrobat / Change Conversion Settings and click the Office tab.

    Unmark any checkboxes you don't need. (We only keep "Convert Document Info" and "Cross-References and TOC Links" marked, because we don't really need any of those other features.)

    Make the PDF.

    That fixed it. In particular, I think it was the new "Embed Tags in PDF" feature that had caused this problem, but since we unmarked a bunch of checkboxes at once and it suddenly worked, I don't recall whether we ever did sufficient followup testing to determine exactly which checkbox was the culprit.

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