Every once in awhile I download a pdf that looks fine on screen but when printed the inter-character spacing is all messed up. See image below.

By fine on screen I mean in any browser's embedded pdf viewer, or in Adobe Reader, or in Foxit Reader.

And for printing I use Adobe Reader or Foxit Reader (this particular example was Foxit Reader but I'm nearly 98% sure I've seen it with Adobe Reader too.)

My current printer is a Lexmark C2425 with proper Windows 10 drivers installed. (Though it has happened with other printers, e.g., Brother, and Pixma, too.)

So, what's up and how do I troubleshoot it and fix it? I suspect a font issue of some kind - though the pdfs this happens to are all academic papers which are nearly always produced by some LaTeX system using standard templates so I'm not confident it's a font issue.

(To be clear: 99.9% of all PDFs downloaded from whatever source look fine on the screen and print absolutely A-OK. (But of course the one out of a thousand that is broken is the one I really want to read...)

enter image description here

(Please ignore the fact that I took a lousy photo with shadows of my fingers ... thank you ...)

1 Answer 1


I can't speak for Foxit Reader but for Adobe Reader I've been able to work around such quirks by selecting Print as image in the Advanced print setup. enter image description here

(Screenshot is from Acrobat Pro but the same option exists in Acrobat Reader.)

  • This worked with Foxit Reader. Thanks!
    – davidbak
    Dec 22, 2020 at 6:16

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