With some fonts in InDesign (in this case, HEX Franklin), the PDFs that are exported show weird rendering issues (see screenshot). I tried reading up on this, but couldn't find a clear answer as to why this is happening, or what to do about it. InDesign itself displays the type correctly.

image showing rendering problem on intersecting shapes in a font, HEX Franklin

My findings so far

  • This seems to be caused by the even–odd fill rule, which can show overlapping areas of a polygon as transparent.
    (vs. Nonzero winding, which fills those areas, as desired)
  • Only a few fonts have this issue, not all
  • When the type is converted to outlines, everything is fine
  • It may be a display problem of macOS, not an error inside the PDF, according to EvenOddTT, danielchooper and a discussion on the fonttools Github

Is there a setting in InDesign (CC 2022) I can use to fix this? I'd like to keep my type intact if possible. Changing the font files themselves is also unrealistic, I fear.

I'm grateful for any help. Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    It may be the font file itself. 30+years of work and thousands upon thousands of fonts exported to PDF (using a Mac).. never seen this issue. But, I don't recall ever using a HEX foundry font or "FutureFonts". It is hard to imagine a $200 font would show this issue.
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 22:05
  • I have also for example encountered the same thing with Roslindale (Variable), a typeface by David Jonathan Ross. I suspect it's not a case of bad font file generation, rather a display error in macOS. If I display the same file in Acrobat, it renders fine! If I upload it to eg. Google Drive, the preview there renders fine as well.
    – oelna
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 22:11
  • What do you mean "display error"? If it renders fine in Acrobat.. how else is it being displayed showing the error?? -- Your question specifically states "PDFs that are exported show weird rendering issues" Aren't you seeing the error in Acrobat?
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 22:14
  • Are you using Preview to view PDFS? That can entirely be the issue. Preview is a piece of...
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 22:15
  • 1
    Yup. I'd wager Preview is the issue. Preview has always failed in some respects. It would not be the least surprising if it has a rending issue with some font construction methods. And it's not that you will "get burned" by Preview, rather you simply don't know what errors may be present until they are glaring. I also tend to avoid the bleeding edge MacOS. But that's me... Apple designs for the high school student any more and they rarely test adequately for higher-end professional use. It's not until four or five (or more) x.x.x releases that many bugs are worked out.
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 22:27


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