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PDF with garbled text after editing on a Mac

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fabwhack View Drop Down
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Joined: 07 Nov 2012
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    Posted: 07 Nov 2012 at 2:17pm

Hi all, hope someone can help. I'm struggling to get to the bottom of a very bizarre issue. I have a number of PDFs that were originally created using ABBYY's FineReader OCR software. They display fine, and I can "copy" text from the documents to the clipboard with no issues.


However, as soon as I bring them over to the Mac side and make a change to the document using OS X's Preview, things go wrong. As soon as any changes are made, I can no longer copy text from the document to the clipboard - the text that ends up on the clipboard is garbled. However, the display text is still perfectly legiable.


For example. here's a link to a very simple and basic PDF document, that was originally a perfectly fine PDF but became mangled.


Broken PDF


Using Acrobat I've removed all the graphics and most of the text from the document, leaving just a single text box ("AUTUMN SPECIAL!").


So if I highlight the text on the page which reads:




what ends up on the clipboard is:


*)﴿*%& (﴾'"!# $  


I've done a whole ton of reading about the internals of PDFs and I'm pretty certain that this is something to do with the CMAP character-to-glyph mappings; but I've no idea what to do to fix it. Acrobat's PreFlight check for the PDF/A 2a standard tells me:


"Text cannot be mapped to Unicode"

"Type 2 CID font: CIDToGIDMap invalid or missing"


Also, an inventory report (available here) shows the letter "A" being mapped to a space, letter "C" to a exclamation mark etc - all obviously wrong. However, "Analyze and Fix" won't fix the problem 


Does anyone have any advice on how to fix this? I know it's definitely a bug somewhere on the Mac side and the obvious answer would be to avoid editing documents using OS X Preview, but unfortunately I have several hundred documents in this state. Is there any way to fix or edit the mappings, or otherwise return the text to a state where it can be accurately copied from the document?


Thanks very much in advance for any help or advice given.

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