I'm printing some business cards and I'm not sure of what it is asking; when I upload my PDF file it says to outline my text so that it wont move and stay fix. How could a text move during printing??

My guess is that its asking to rasterize the layer but this lead to a quality loss, also how can the uploader determine if my layers are rasterized or not since I save a PDF format and not a PSD?

What is the best practice in this case?


In Photoshop... you can highlight your text layer and choose Type > Convert to Shape from the menu. Then save as a PDF.

This changes the live type to just a vector shape layer (so do this on a copy, not the original). Rasterizing is different. This will keep the type vector, just not a live, hinted font.

Many print providers ask users to convert text to outlines in order to eliminate any "that font is wrong" complaints later. In theory, you really shouldn't need to outline any type if supplying a PDF, but without knowing the production workflow specifically, there are instanced where having type as a shape makes sense. So, if that is what is requested, I wouldn't argue about it.

  • hi again! I did like you said and the proof quality improved a lot. Out of curiosity, do you know how do they notice that a text was not rasterized/outlined in a PDF file? May 30 '17 at 20:14
  • The PDF will list the fonts included. It's really easy to view the Document Properties for a PDF and see the fonts in the file. AcrobatProX: File > Properties from the menu then just look at the fonts tab. Not sure if the menu location is the same in Acrobat 11 or DC. -- Also their production system may present alerts when a font is present. So it's hard to be definitive.
    – Scott
    May 30 '17 at 20:18

In my experience, fonts behave very differently (and unpredictably) depending on the manufacturer, particularly display fonts. I've had a number of problems over the years and so would always convert text to outline before exporting to print artwork PDFs.

  • Why cant we switch as default this option when saving pdf? May 31 '17 at 10:33

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