Publisher files saved as PDF do not appear as expected


When you save a Publisher file as a PDF, the file's appearance may differ from the original. The file may experience any of these symptoms:
  • Output appears in wrong order
  • Output may be incomplete
  • A particular font is not used as expected
  • The PDF file may not contain the correct colors


This issue may occur for any of these reasons:

  • The file was not saved by using optimized output options
  • The default printer is a black & white, not a color-printer
  • You are using a third-party PDF writer


To resolve the issue, use one or more of the following methods starting with Method 1. If the problem remains, try Method 2 and then test again. Continue through the list of methods until the issue is resolved.

Method 1: Use the Save as PDF Option within Publisher

When you use Publisher 2010, you do not have to use a third-party ‘save as PDF’ add-in. Instead, follow these steps to use Publisher’s built-in feature:
  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Save As.
  3. In the File name box, enter a name for the file, if you have not already.
  4. In the Save as type list, click PDF (*.pdf).

    Optional steps to customize the PDF output: Steps 4-8 are optional steps used to customize the PDF output
  5. Next to Optimize for, click Options.
  6. In the Publish Options dialog box, click the optimization in the Specify how this publication will be printed or distributed list that matches the needs of the publication. For example, if you will print the PDF for proofing, and the quality of the printing is more important than file size, click High quality printing.
  7. Click OK.
  8. In the Publish as PDF dialog box, if you want to open the file in the Adobe Reader immediately after you save it, select the Open file after publishing check box.
  9. Click Save.

Method 2: Change the default printer

If the fonts on your screen are in color and the PDF output is black, the default printer used is black & white & not color. To learn how to change your default printer in Windows 7, click the following link:

Change your default printer

Method 3: Try a different font

If a particular font does not look the same in the PDF file as it does on your screen, try to use a different font such as Arial or Times New Roman. For more information about fonts, reference this link:

Method 4: Install a newer version of Adobe Reader from Adobe's site

If you use an older version of Adobe Reader, install a newer version from the Adobe site:

Download new and previous versions of Adobe Reader

More Information

For more information about this topic, read the following Office website article:  

Save as PDF

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