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The Acrobat 4 Bugs Depository


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Acrobat4 bugs

While Acrobat 4 represents a major improvement over the previous versions, it also contains a new set of irritating bugs. It appears that Adobe decided to dispense with their reputation of a provider of quality software and follow the winning MicroSoft Model.

This page lists only the major bugs discovered in Acrobat 4 as well as the information on how this may affect VTeX users and what we are doing to solve the new problems.

Shall you find more Acrobat bugs, please let us know about them.

The missing Times & Helvetica fonts.

Acrobat4 (both the reader and the distiller) no longer include the PostScript-standard Times and Helvetica; they provide Times New Roman and Arial instead.
Some valid Level II PS files cannot any longer be compiled by the Distiller. In the absense of these fonts, VTeX/GeX will fail to initialize properly.
Both the VTeX and the Distiller users, albeit in different ways.
VTeX solution
We currently recommend installing Acrobat 3 as a source of Times and Helvetica fonts. This does not interfere with using Acrobat 4 as the default Reader. VTeX 6.4+ will correctly recognize the fonts from both the Acrobat 3 and the Acrobat 4 distributions.

The missing lower parts of Math Extention fonts.

Lower parts of Math Extention Symbols are not printed.
Lower parts of Math Extention Symbols are not printed on HP PCL (and many similar printers). This happens even to documents which worked correctly in Acrobat 3.
Anybody who does mathematics in PDF files and either uses HP printers or distributes his PDF files.
VTeX solution
VTeX 6.4 has a transparent workaround to this problem.
Discovered by
Timothy van Zandt

The inverted images.

Acrobat inverts the colors in some images.
Some images which were "black-on-white" suddenly become "white-on-black" when printed on HP PCL (and many similar) devices. Specifically, this seems to be happening to the /Indexed 2-color images which have a palette with the 1st entry larger than the 2nd.
Anybody who uses black and white images in PDF files and either uses HP printers or distributes his PDF files.
Test file
See for a full example. While the example involves a TeX file, the problem can easily be reproduced without VTeX. Notice that the two included images picgood.bmp and picbad.bmp are both valid bitmapped images which will be shown identically in PaintBrush, or by Acrobat preview/PS print; however, after inclusion into PDF, picgood.bmp prints correctly (on all printers), but picbad.bmp gets reversed (on HP's).
Secondary Symptoms
Documents which contain large affected images will often print much longer. [it takes longer to print black than white.]
VTeX solution
VTeX 6.45 has a transparent workaround to this problem.

Last Updated: June 19, 1999.
(C) MicroPress Inc., 1999. All rights reserved.