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I needed to download a pdf version of this book: http://www.earth.illinois.edu/sustain/sustainability_text.html but when I use Adobe Reader the text is super-faint and a pain to read on my computer. What is causing it? Is it the reader or my computer? How can I fix it so I can read the textbook comfortably?

Win 7 Pro.

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It looks like crap on my computer too. – Nifle Aug 18 '12 at 9:34
    
It looks like it is is not the reader or the computer, but the display on both is just as bad. – Rory Alsop Aug 18 '12 at 10:08
    
@RoryAlsop: on both? – verve Aug 18 '12 at 10:19
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@verve - I meant to say: have tried it in foxit and adobe. both as bad as each other. – Rory Alsop Aug 18 '12 at 11:23

The PDF uses PostScript Type 3 fonts, which PDF reader have problems rendering. You should contact the author and tell him to recreate the PDF with Type 1 fonts. If he has questions, point him to tex.sx (since he uses TeX).

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What's TeX? And, it is the source that's the problem for sure? – verve Aug 22 '12 at 8:56
    
@verve: TeX is the software used to produce that PDF. The author uses wrong settings. – Martin Schröder Aug 22 '12 at 12:16

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