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Corrupted Prints from PDF files

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After hundreds of successful pdf exports to my local imaging company, I?ve started to get feedback from the contractors that all sorts of ?weirdness? is appearing on the final 2-D construction drawings. Some of the prints have text that has been converted to illegible symbols and others have had random tick marks throughout the sheet. The worst example is a print where some of the walls shifted and are free-floating in space. The image files all looked perfect, as always, when I sent them.

Some time after the first of the year I upgraded my Mac to OS 10.4.11 and also

upgraded VW to 12.5.3. I suspect the strange prints began around that time. Most of the funkiness did not get reported to me because it was minor in nature. However, this week a contractor received a badly corrupted print and brought it to my attention. In this case, I had originally forwarded the pdf?s to the contractor, who in turn sent it to the imaging company. When alerted, I sent the VERY SAME pdf attachments back to the imaging company directly and both the data files and prints seemed fine on their end.

Is this an example of Mac and PC not playing well together? Or is it a case of the imaging company reader being incompatible with my recent upgrades? For what its worth, I have Adobe Reader 7.0.9. Also, my average file sizes run about 5-7 MB. The imaging company has something other than Adobe. (I?ll find out what tomorrow.) So much for WYSIWYG.

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PDF is very sensitive to translation ( versioning ,etc. ) and also to font embedding.

Perhaps, the contractor lacks the necessary fonts and / or encoding ( 10.4.11 uses unicode > UTF8 ). If the Contractor saved your original PDF using something other than Acrobat and without fonts ... weirdness will result ( recall that OSX use PDF for GUI & printing this is NOT the case with PC ) .

And there are flavors of PDF which use vectors and / or raster images.

Print & Imaging Companies usually have excellent font libraries and also upgraded PDF versions of Acrobat Professional.

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Just an update....

After much back and forth with my imaging shop, it was determined that they had a defective workstation that was corrupting my pdfs. I eliminated fonts as a probable cause and upgraded to the latest Adobe 8.1.2. I suspect that the one print where walls were floating in space was caused by routing the pdfs to a contractor with a different platform and software. So, in conclusion its best to send pdfs for final printing directly from the native computer. I've also advised my contractors to notify me of any funkiness in past or future prints, no matter how insignificant. Such things as random pixal lines through drawings, disappearing fonts, and offset items were not reported to me, or the source of the defect would have been discovered sooner.

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