Adobe Acrobat and Siouan fonts. More.

R. Rankin rankin at
Sat Nov 20 16:41:24 UTC 2004

While trying to make acceptable .PDF files of some of my Siouan papers I made a
couple of discoveries that may be useful to others.  Some phonetic fonts can
apparently be converted to .PDF by Adobe, but others cannot.  The SIL Siouan
Doulos seems to be OK, but the SIL Siouan Manuscript (Courier) font came out
with English (?!) words in tables in which letters one space away in the
alphabet were substituted for the proper spellings.  It is very very strange.
The abbreviation OP, for Omaha-Ponca, came out "NO" (or PQ, can't remember
which).  KS for Kansa came out JR or LT.  Bizarre.

Acrobat also chokes on the Iroquoian-ABC font, changing all sorts of things and
having lots of trouble with the composite characters.  It was basically

Acrobat provides two choices for "creating" files (1) PDF writer, and (2) PDF
distiller.  The first of these doesn't seem to embed fonts for me at all.  The
second embeds most fonts with the caveats described above.  As long as you have
the phonetic fonts installed on the computer that is reading the .PDF file,
everything looks just fine, but this is deceptive.  If you send it to someone
and they do not have the TTF fonts installed on their own machine, some of your
file may look like gibberish to them.  I've been sending out files for quite
some time that I assumed were readable, but as it turned out, they were not.
The only way to find out what your correspondent will see on the other end is to
test the .PDF file you produce on a computer that has no phonetic fonts
installed.  If it looks OK there, it will probably be readable by anyone.  Pam
reports that such files can be read by Macs as well as PCs, and that was my only
remaining concern.

Acrobat just turns out to be a lot lamer than I had figured it was.  Maybe the
next generation will improve.


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