All of Visual Integrity’s products are built upon the same framework. Some are scaled for enterprise use and some are packaged for ease-of-use on a Windows desktop. No matter which product you use, it is built upon our proven and reliable engine, a framework which has withstood the demands of many of the world’s most respected companies for more than 20 years.
No, neither Acrobat nor GhostScript are required. All of our products are standalone tools, completely self-contained, and based on our powerful engine developed, improved and extended over almost two decades. Our products are not based on print drivers as brokers so the conversions are more pure and accurate. Everything that you need to run them on your desktop or to use them for you development is included in your delivery download.
PDF Conversion Options
Below is a summary of all PDF conversion options available in pdf2cad, pdf2picture and PDF FLY. These options and more are also available to developers via the PDF Conversion SDK/API or command line tools.
General Settings Tab
Characters as Strings. Combines characters into words, and words into text strings, based on context.
Convert Characters to Curves. Creates a visual graphic match for text defined with unknown or unavailable fonts.
Rotate: Rotates drawing any degree in either direction.
Scale Text: Enlarges or reduces the size of the text in the converted file.
Emulate PDF cropping: Cropping removes unnecessary outer areas of a drawing. PDF supports cropping but some vector formats (WMF, CGM, DXF and HPGL) don’t. Without cropping, these formats would transfer unwanted elements during conversion. Activate ‘Emulate PDF cropping’ to ensue clean borders. Using this feature, the resulting file will match the original.PDF.
Show Font Warning: If the fonts in a PDF file are not installed on your computer, the text will not look right. Font mapping ensures the closest match possible. It also compensates for different font naming conventions across systems.
Ignore paths, text images: Turn certain elements on or off during conversion.
CAD Format: Choose your output format. DWG for AutoCAD, DXF for most engineering and technical programs and HPGL for plotter specific applications.
Font Mappings Tab
Page Settings Tab
The Page Settings control options that apply to all files. All of the other option vary depending on whether you choose a vector or bitmap output format.
Crop Picture: Remove Margin: By default, the margins of the PDF file are used. This setting can adjust or remove white space.
Page Size: pdf2cad will automatically figure out the page size. If you want to force a standard or custom page size, select it or enter dimensions.
Convert Range: pdf2cad, by default, will convert all pages of a file. You can set a page range if you only want selected pages.
Page Mapping: By default, a multi-page PDF file converts into a vector page for each PDF page. Other choices included include merging all pages into one file and applying horizotal or vertical alignment.
DWG and DXF Format Specific Options
Advanced DXF and DWG Options
Expert CAD Options
PDF Fonts Not Displaying Correctly?
Using the perfect font can make or break the impact a document has. Fonts are also complicated. If you have a PDF file which is not displaying well, it’s likely that PDF font mapping is the culprit.
A PDF document expects to have its fonts installed wherever it’s viewed. When it’s opened, the PDF matches its referenced fonts to the local system’s fonts. If all the fonts are available, the document looks great. Success relies on the set of fonts available of the viewing PC. Using standard system fonts as much as possible will help prevent font mismatches. An exception is branding, where the font used is a valuable, recognizable asset. It should never become compromised.
Listing of standard fonts by system
- The 14 standard PDF fonts are Courier (Regular, Oblique, Bold, Bold Oblique), Helvetica (Regular, Oblique, Bold, Bold Oblique), Times (Roman, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic), Symbol and ITC Zapf Dingbats.
- Fonts available on all Windows 10 systems
- Fonts included with MacOS
- Fonts included with Adobe Cloud subscriptions.
Top 5 Reasons Fonts Don’t Display Right
1. Font Substitution
When the PDF file can’t find the same font on the reader’s PC, it will choose the closest substitute. This may be almost impossible to see or very obvious. It all depends on the font chosen as a substitute. There are three basic options when dealing with font substitution:
- Accept the substitution if it’s a minor difference
- Buy the missing font and install it on your system
- Define a font-mapping (see below) if possible
Example of a font substitution with a minor difference. Adobe does a very good job when substituting fonts. They get close in most cases. Close enough that there’s no need to purchase fonts or spend a lot of time troubleshooting. In the example below, substituted text (yellow) is placed over the original embedded font text (red). The visible red marks show where the substitution deviates from the original font.
Yellow substituted font text is placed over original red embedded font text.
2. Embedding Fonts to Avoid Font Substitution not Possible
Several PDF creation tools allow you to embed fonts or font subsets. Embedded fonts travel with the PDF file and ensure accurate display on any system. Be careful because they will increase file size, usually at least doubling it. Due to license restrictions, embed fonts at your own risk. You can only embed fonts with permission. Even free, open source fonts can have restrictions. Example of Adobe’s Font Embedding Policy
A note about Visual integrity Software and Embedded Fonts. In compliance with font rules, our programs do not embed fonts by default. We reference the fonts by their names. If fonts, with the same names, are on the target PC, the file will open and display as intended. If the same fonts are not on the PC, which is much more likely, the text includes the closest allowable font. If you need fonts embedded for a project, we can do that for you as a custom service, with proof of license.
How to see what embedded fonts your document contains.
Open the PDF in either Reader or Acrobat. Bring up the document properties (Ctrl-D or Cmd-D), then go to the Fonts tab. Here, you can see the state of each font. The two examples below show the same font when it’s embedded and when it has been substituted.
3. When PDF Document Font Names Don’t Match PC Font Names, Use Font Mapping
For fonts to display as intended in a PDF file, the same font with the same name must be on both systems. Unfortunately, the exact same font may go by several different names. Arial Bold on your system, for example, may be “EHJPKB+Arial-Bold” in the original file. Even though these are identical fonts, the PDF does not know it because they have different names. You have to tell it with a PDF font mapping. In this example, map “EHJPKB_Arial-Bold” as “Arial” with font style “Bold”.
Mismatches are common. Resolve them whenever possible through font mapping. If mapping the font is not possible, it’s substituted as described above.
4. Unknown Font in the PDF Document
Ensure an exact match by converting formatted text to bezier curves. When you need a precise match, but the source font is unknown or not available, it’s best to convert the text to a graphic. This is an excellent approach for logos and other brand assets. It’s also recommended for technical text like equations and formulas. Once converted to graphics, they are no longer editable and there’s no possibility to introduce error during font substitution.
A note about Visual integrity Software and Text as Curves. Our programs offer a “Characters to Curves” option. Using it, each character renders as a bezier curve object. This graphical representation of the character uses font information stored in the PDF. If the font was not embedded in the PDF, we refer to the /fonts/ directory in the installation folder. Add Type 1 or TrueType fonts to this folder as needed to ensure a perfect match. To outline specific fonts during conversion, contact us.
5. It’s a Kerning Issue, Not a Font Issue
When PDF is converted into vector formats such as SVG or EMF, kerning may be the culprit if the text doesn’t look right. Kerning is the process of adjusting space between characters to make the text more visually appealing. This feature is only available for use with proportions fonts; not fixed width fonts. Please contact us if you need more information how to configure thus. Turning this option on could improve the WYSIWYG matching of the text strings.
Look for Font Warnings. Many programs that output PDF produce error and warning logs. Check these if you create or receive a PDF file that doesn’t look right.
Contact Us. We have 25+ years of expertise built up around PDF, file formats and fonts. We may be able to help you make sense of your font issues.
It is easy it is to create a PostScript file from virtually any application on a PC. Most PC’s are likely to have a PostScript printer driver configured in its printers settings. If not, you must Install a PostScript Printer Driver before going any further.
- Open your file within your application and then select “File…”, “Print”
- Choose your PostScript printer. Note that you can use any PostScript driver included with Microsoft Windows without having the actual printer since you will simply be printing to a file.
- Press “OK” to print to file. Note that the PostScript tab under Properties should be set to Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) for best results.
- You will be prompted for a file name and location. If you do not assign .ps as the extension, the default in Windows will be .PRN. Both are valid input extensions.
- Open your Visual Integrity software and when prompted for a PostScript file to convert, go to the location chosen in Step 4 and select the new .ps or .prn file for conversion.
- The extension does not matter – Some systems give printer files a default extension, like .prn or .plt. This does not matter. If the file has been created using a PostScript printer driven, the result will be a PostScript file that Visual Integrity software can convert.
- Watch out for PCL: Most HP printers use a printer language called PCL. The default mode on HP PostScript printers is usually PCL. PCL can not be converted by TGC. Be sure that your HP printer is in PostScript mode to ensure a successful conversion.
- Save directly as PostScript or EPS files – Many applications allow you to save your files as PS or EPS through their “Save as…” menu. A few even produce PostScript by default. This results in good input for our conversion engine.
- Fonts – Try to use standard PostScript fonts like Helvetica and Times New Roman. Non-PostScript fonts, such as Type 1 fonts and TrueType fonts should be embedded so that the text data is available in the PostScript file. This gives our software the best chance to preserve the fonts during conversion.
The font glyphs of the 13 standard PostScript fonts are included.
If you need to convert to an image format or the text to curves/polys (= emulate) in a vector format either the font must be one of the 13 standard fonts or the font should be embedded within the PDF or PostScript file. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to add font glyphs.