I discovered some text cannot be selected in the exported PDF of a catalog. The text descriptions of products needs to be copy-able so that vendors can reuse the original descriptions easily.

Once a style was established, I used Alt click to copy and drag to the next section. Sections typically have small paragraph, image spread, in-depth paragraph, and a table with the usual short description, sku, and pricing. All of the table data can be selected.

At first, I thought there was a layering issue as some paragraphs overlap product images. Some of the select-able paragraphs already do overlap with images. First, I made the effort to reshape the bounding boxes to not overlap with any other elements. Next, I made a layer just for the paragraphs and that made no difference to whether text can be selected.

I also tried several options in the export dialog.

  • A side effect of "inner glow" was the dimming of text color. I had obviously applied CMKY Red to a word and it appeared brown. Nothing I tried could get the red to pop. Fixing the text selection problem also fixed my color problem.
    – Krista K
    Apr 3, 2018 at 21:17

1 Answer 1


Maybe a setting was changed to experiment and then it was copied and used in an inconsistent manner?

Try checking the object for Effects. Select the text block then go to the menu Object -> Effects. If Inner Glow is selected, I found that can cause text to not be able to be selected in Adobe Reader.

You can also right click on the block and check Effects there, however this method does not have the "Clear Effects" option but the menu does.

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