Specified character spacing is not preserved when exporting to PDF with ArcMap 10.5.1

Last Published: April 25, 2020


When exporting a map document to PDF with ArcMap 10.5.1, the specified character spacing of labels are not preserved, resulting in the label characters appearing as unevenly spaced or compressed. For example:

Sample screenshot of uneven character spacing


This is a known limitation for ArcMap 10.5.1. The hotfix patch QFE-1041-DT-350481 resolves this issue, but reoccurs if the hotfix patch QFE-1041-DT-353299 is installed.

Solution or Workaround

This issue is resolved in ArcMap 10.6 but for users with hotfix patch QFE-1041-DT-353299 installed, use one of the following workarounds:

Export to PDF from ArcGIS Pro
Instead of using ArcMap to export the map document to PDF, use ArcGIS Pro by importing the map to ArcGIS Pro and use ArcGIS Pro to convert the map document as PDF.
  1. Import the map document to ArcGIS Pro. For detailed steps, refer to ArcGIS Help: Import an ArcMap document.
  2. Export the map to PDF with ArcGIS Pro. For details steps, refer to ArcGIS Help: Export a map or layout.
Export the map document as an EMF and then convert it as a PDF
  1. With the map document open in ArcMap, go to File > Export Map.
  2. Export the map document to the EMF file format.
  3. Use a third-party file converter (such as EMF to PDF Converter) to convert the EMF file as the PDF format.
Export to PDF with OneNote
Print the map to file, and export the file to PDF with OneNote by following the steps below. For more information on printing maps, refer to ArcGIS Help: Printing a map in ArcMap.
  1. Switch the map document to a Data View to enable printing to file.
  2. Click on File > Print.
  3. Check Print to File.
  4. Save the file as an OneNote file (.prn).
  5. Open the file in OneNote.
  6. Go to File > Export.
  7. Under Export Current, select what is to be exported. 
  8. Select PDF (*pdf) > Export.

Article ID:000017641

  • ArcMap

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