Getting OneNote text saved as PDF looking as expected

I heard from a user this past week who was saving OneNote pages as PDF files. When he opened them in Adobe's Reader, the font would look bold. This was not what he wanted or expected and wanted to let me know about this potential bug and whether there was some way to work around it.

I could not reproduce the problem using my laptop so he sent me a sample .ONE file and PDF file. The font certainly looked bold on my desktop here at work. Here is what it looked like in OneNote, using Calibri font, 11 point, no formatting.


And here is what it looked like in Adobe Reader:


Obviously, Reader was defaulting to a zoomed in level of about 200%, but changing that did not help.

So first thing I checked was the PDF file to see if the "bold" attribute had been applied to the font somehow, but it had not. I tried to copy from the PDF file to Word and OneNote to see what the font would look like, and I had to click the Edit menu to do this.

When I clicked the Edit menu, I stumbled across the Preferences dialog and saw these two settings under Page Display:


The interesting thing that jumped out at me was that Reader was using a different number of pixels per inch than my desktop. My desktop is set to use 96 DPI and Adobe uses 110 by default (at least on this one machine). I changed that to 96. While there, I also turned Smooth Text to be Monitor. Then I went back to my PDF and the text looked the way I wanted:

Here's the OneNote text: clip_image003
And here is what Reader now showed: clip_image004


Looks much better, and definitely not bold.

It looks like Reader has more settings you can tweak, but I will let you hop over to Adobe's site to read more about that.

And there is plenty of documentation on the web for DPI and how it interacts with monitors and displays, so I won't repeat any of that here.

Finally, astute readers would have latched onto why this was happening a bit more quickly than I did when they heard me say this did not happen on my laptop but did happen on the desktop. The most obvious difference between the 2 would be screen size. And on my home laptop, my Reader showed as using 120 pixels/inch, which was the same setting Windows was using on that config.

I hope this helps if your saved PDF files are not looking quite as expected.

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,


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