Kerning problem between Print mode and final PDF

I’m encountering an issue in Dorico where whenever I use the í glyph, it looks fine in Print mode, but the final output in the PDF has an ugly offset. See attached.

Has anyone else seen this? The font in question is just plain old Constantia (standard on any Windows system). It doesn’t seem to reproduce in Times, so it might be something to do with the font. Is there any kind of workaround? It really makes the resulting scores ugly to read!

I’m on on Windows.


Did you print to PDF, or export to PDF?

Export to PDF.

I just tried printing to both the “Adobe PDF” and “Microsoft Print to PDF” drivers and the kerning problems go away, though the overall quality of the output is significantly worse.

Are you doing anything to stretch or otherwise change the tracking of those characters?

No, nothing special. In fact, I’m attaching a tiny dorico project file that demonstrates the problem. All I did was create a single voice, add three notes, and then type in the text. I also typed the same text without the í to see how it looks with just a plain i. Hopefully easy to reproduce.

(Also would love it if Dorico were smarter about bar line placement with long, left-justified text like this, but that’s another issue.) (294 KB)

Here’s what it looks like on my end when I export to PDF.

I’ve stumbled across this situation too. Fortunately I did not need to use the file for anything but practice and exploration. Could not figure a solution.

Just checking back to see if the repro case worked and what the chances are that a fix is forthcoming?

The forum is great, but I really wish there was a formal issue tracker so that we could be sure that things we raise are getting attention. I know this is a seemingly minor thing but it is really negatively impacting the score I’m working on.

The team reads every thread and tracks every problem that is presented. Be assured of that!

Have you tried modifying the character spacing in Adobe Acrobat or InDesign? It would be a bit of a pain, but it should allow you to fix it.

It’s almost as if the two sentences were related in some way… :laughing:

As for the issue of how Dorico handles lengthy falsobordone bars, check out Daniel’s blog about making the William Smith Responses.

I can’t always respond to every thread right away, particularly those that require investigation. You might have noticed that I’ve not been on the forum at all this week. I’ve been travelling for meetings, trying to get my actual day-to-day job done, and catching up with the rising tide of emails I receive. I know, I know, boo-hoo. But I will come back and look at this thread properly as soon as I can.

What strikes me about the screenshot is that there appears to be some glyph substitution going on, i.e. it’s actually printing different characters to those displayed on the screen. My hypothesis is that the characters you’re using in the program are synthesised or substituted, and the result is not the same when the text is rendered to the printer. I would suggest trying an alternative font, one with perhaps a wider range of accented characters. You could try e.g. SIL Charis, a similarly-readable serif font, freely available under the SIL Open Font License, which has a very wide range of accented characters, to see if that helps.

Oh, I believe it! But the forum moves fast and it is easy to see how things get quickly overwhelming. Also, minor issues are often easy to put off, but if the forum is where they are tracked, then they end up even closer to the bottom.

Interesting idea. That might be a reasonable workaround for the short term. Thanks for the suggestion!

Hi Daniel, I appreciate your response. As I mentioned in my last post, my concern is not that you guys read the forum – clearly you do! – but that small issues that are not “hair on fire” get put off and then slide off the bottom of the forum. The forum has a lot of activity and even within a couple of days I see items start to fall off the bottom of the page.

Interesting theory. From the first screenshot, the í character looks pretty close to the same in both to me (within antialiasing error). I can confirm that the font I am using has that character for sure, so unless Dorico is doing the substitution itself, or failing to include all the necessary characters (does it embed font subsets?), I don’t see how we would be getting substitution in this case.

It does occur to me to see if I can look at the generated PDF on the technical side a bit more closely to see if something seems funny. Not sure I have the right tools to do so, but I’ll see if I can dig up anything.

I don’t let issues slide off the bottom of the forum: I keep the tabs open until I find the time to dig into them. Sometimes that can take a while, because I’m very busy and have a lot of demands on my time. But I do appreciate your patience in waiting for me to look into it.

For what it’s worth I believe this to be a bug in the underlying Qt framework that Dorico uses, and which I have reported to their developers here. For the time being, your only viable workarounds will be to use another means of exporting a PDF, or another font.

Thank you for looking into it! I will track the issue at the link you gave.

In my experimentation, I tried loading the original Dorico-generated PDF into Illustrator and surprisingly it showed up ok. If I Save As from Illustrator into a new PDF, the final result looked good in Acrobat.

Even more intriguingly, if I load the original Dorico-generated PDF into Acrobat, it displays and prints incorrectly as before. But if I merely use Acrobat to save to a different file, the resulting PDF seems to have the problem fixed(!)

So I guess a workaround for now is to load the generated PDF into Acrobat and re-save. There must be some subtlety in the way the original PDF is generated that Acrobat doesn’t like, but which it seems to fix in the process of re-saving. Weird.

Edit: Ok, it’s not as simple as that. I tried reproducing the “fix” and it doesn’t happen again. I will have to retrace my steps to figure out what I did to “fix” it.

Update: Arrrgh, I tried so many different ways to reproduce it, but could never make it happen. My current suspicion is that Acrobat and Illustrator share an engine underneath, and something I did in Illustrator had a side-effect of making things render differently in Acrobat. But it’s a pretty weak theory. Hopefully the Qt folks can figure it out!

Unless you are unbreakably wedded to Constantia, I would recommend you try using another font.

I also faced same issue but now it solved for me. Thank you for the help.