Friday, 25 December 2020

When pdf bookmarks are incomprehensible

One of the most useful things in pdfs is the ability to create bookmarks. They can be used as a document outline, highlights of key phrases, or to take me to important places.

All we need to do is to bring up the left-hand document navigation pane (F4 if you can't see it). then we simply highlighting the text we want to show in our bookmark, then click on the bookmark icon (that's the one that looks like the end of a ribbon). 

Once we have created all our bookmarks, we can then move them around, and next them underneath each other to make a tree (you can also get a bit of free kit, thanks to keen volunteers, which allows us to print out a bookmarks list, which can be viewed here). 

However, recently I got a new pdf, and started making my usual outline of the document... only to find that the font on each bookmark was gobbledygook. For some reason my computer was reading the font as something other than English, and was doing its best to make sense of it... and having an epic fail.

I went looking for a solution, but suspect that my wording or syntax was inadequate for the task, because I couldn't get a solution. I tried going into Edit, then selecting each object, and setting the font to Times New Roman (as it is so ubiquitous) but that didn't work either. 

So I created a new file from the original, by printing to pdf. The file then had to be rescanned using OCR, and resaved. There is probably an easier way, but for now, at least, I can create my bookmarks.  


Sam

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