I have created a document in InDesign and exported it to PDF. When printing, a certain letter ('m') and number ('2') of a certain font family (Oswald) display incorrectly in the printed document. They do not display incorrectly when the PDF is viewed on a screen; they only display incorrectly when printed. They print incorrectly on multiple pages, and always print incorrectly (there are no instances where the lowercase 'm' or '2' of the Oswald font family prints correctly in the document). No other fonts have issues. When printed, the 'm' and '2' look heavily distorted and pixelated.

I have tried exporting with a variety of settings (including PDF/X-4:2010 and Acrobat 7 compatibility), tried using a different printer, and tried reinstalling the font. The problem has not gone away.

What may be the issue, and how might I solve it?Photo of the issue showing a distorted lowercase 'm' for the Oswald font.

  • Does the font print correctly directly from InDesign or from another program? And are you by any chance using a web-font version?
    – Cai
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 18:33
  • Are you able to delete the font files and re-install them?
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 22:55
  • Sorry, I've been away for a few days. How might I check to see if I'm using a web font version? Yes, I've tried uninstalling the font files and re-installing them. It didn't solve the issue. Is there a more thorough way to clean font files from my system?
    – stevemn
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 18:05
  • Font problem. Replace it if possible and thats it.
    – lmlmlm
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 9:56

1 Answer 1


You may used a "truetype" typography (for exemple, helvetica.ttf), but you must use a postscript (helvetica.ps) or opentype (helvetica.otf) format, wich are better for printing. In fact truetypes are optimised for screen display. Postscript are better in qualities and usually used for profesionnal printings, (but they are most of the time harder to find and more expensive). Opentypes are okay for printing too.

  • 2
    The main difference between the font formats is the degree of Bézier curves employed. But with a higher number of anchors, also second-order curves can be as precise. Also, I do not know anybody who can tell the difference between the two. The error in question is certainly not solely caused by the type format, it is much too severe for this.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 14:58

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