Hardware, Software, Firmware, and Everything

LibreOffice: Problem exporting as PDF with PDF/A option


What Adobe Reader users saw when viewing my resume. The font for the position title displayed as blobs.





I should blame my own frugality, because I use mostly free tools for Office tasks.  I’m using LibreOffice for tasks that most PC users would use Microsoft Office to accomplish.  LibreOffice Writer serves as my Microsoft Word.  Frugality also entered into my decision to use Foxit rather than Adobe Reader for viewing PDF file.  You see, Adobe tends to bog down slower machines and I’ve had my share of slow machines over the years.

So there I was, happily editing my resume in LibreOffice, and exporting it as PDF (or M$ Word if needed), and emailing or uploading these LibreOffice PDF files to recruiters and job application sites.  One day, as I sat in a recruiter’s office handing over a paper resume, I offered that an electronic version is available on-line.  I pointed the recruiter to my website, she downloaded the PDF resume (when I use the Chrome browser, PDFs just show in the browser; some browsers insist on downloading them), then opened it up with Adobe Reader.    And we saw the font problem shown in the above figure.   Initially, I (silently) blamed the recruiter’s inability to configure and operate a PC, but made a note to look into it.  And today I fished into a box ot tuits and got a round tuit.  Around to it.

Opening the PDF in Adobe Reader, a notice popped up:   Cannot extract the font ‘EAAAAA+TimesNewRomanPS-BoldItalicMT’ Some characters may not display or print correctly.    Reader also indicated at the top of the page “This file claims compliance with the PDF/A standard and has been opened read-only to prevent modification.”    And some of the characters were blobs as shown above.

My Solution:

There is an option in LibreOffice Export as PDF on the General tab:  PDF/A-1a.   I’m not sure if it is enabled by default or if I (in a not so clever attempt at compatibility) enabled it.    I unchecked it, and now Adobe Reader does not complain about fonts or PDF/A, and the fonts display just fine.

Export PDF options

Un-checking PDF/A-1a fixed the problem.








This is more acceptable.

I get 2 benefits out of this.  First, a presentable PDF resume without font problems.  A second benefit is  a reminder to test more scenarios when making changes to my frugal setup.  Rather than just checking my PDF files in Foxit Reader and the Chrome browser, I also need to check them in Adobe Reader.

 I hope this improves the chances of my resume getting looked at.



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1 Comment

  1. Select to generate a PDF file that shows the page contents without zooming. If the reader software is configured to use a zoom factor by default, the page shows with that zoom factor.

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