Problem: Certain ArcMap EPS exports cannot be distilled with Adobe Distiller


When certain ArcMap EPS files are Distilled to PDF, the resultant PDF is invalid.


The fonts contain composite glyphs. These composite glyphs cannot be processed properly by Adobe Distiller when they are embedded to the EPS Level 3 specification in certain character positions. Known problem fonts include, but are not limited to, 'Ravie' and 'Eras Medium ITC'.

Solution or Workaround

The following are several different workarounds, based on the usage of the font, i.e., labels, character marker symbols, etc.

  • If the problem fonts are used only in Character Marker Symbols, such as highway shields, etc., use the 'Convert marker symbols to polygons' option when exporting the EPS. This will polygonize the marker symbol and create a readable EPS.
    [O-Image] Convert Marker Symbols option
  • If the problem fonts are used elsewhere, i.e., in labels or text elements such as the legend, choose the 'Postscript Level 2' option when exporting the EPS. This will cause the fonts to be embedded as Type1 fonts instead of Type 42. Some font information, such as 'hinting', used to display the font legibly at smaller sizes, may be lost in this conversion.
    [O-Image] Postscript Level 2
  • If the EPS will be used by another user who also has all the document's fonts installed, uncheck the 'Embed all Document Fonts' option when exporting. Note that this will result in the text elements being lost if the EPS is opened on a machine that does not have the appropriate fonts installed.
    [O-Image] Uncheck Embed
  • Rather than using Distiller, a PDF can be exported directly from ArcMap using the 'Embed All Document Fonts' option.
    [O-Image] Export PDF

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