I have a very strange situation where my content appears perfectly normal in a PDF viewer, but when I print it, the letter 'f' is replaced with a box with some kind of shading within. Here's a couple of examples:

enter image description here

It seems like any word with a double 'f' will display the first f correctly, then the second will also appear as above. Also, capital 'F' is displayed fine, per above.

I can't for the life of me understand what's going on here. I've tried forcing a \clearpage then sticking in some random words that aren't rendering correctly on the prior page, but they render fine in the new page.

Possibly related, I've noticed that my book title in the header also appears completely messed up:

enter image description here

It's using smallcaps, and all lowercase letters are appearing with the same strange shaded box.

My first guess was that this is some kind of font-related problem. I've already checked that fonts are embedded (they are):

enter image description here

Even if they weren't, I'm printing from a machine that does have those fonts, so I doubt that's the problem.

My hope is that it's actually just a printer/print driver problem, and I will have no issues when sending my book off to be printed for real. However, I'd like to know that for sure before I do.

Can anyone point me in the right direction here?

EDIT: turns out, this problem is only present if I print from Chrome. If I instead print from Adobe Reader, it looks perfect. I have no idea what this means in terms of the underlying problem, but I'm hoping it means it's not a problem with my document per se.

  • 3
    it is most likely the fi ligature not being understood, but hard to say what is wrong without an example – David Carlisle Mar 26 '18 at 6:53
  • 1
    Most likely a problem with the fi ligature (and ff, etc). (E.g. you probably don't have the problem with words like “of” or “perfect”.) Try to reduce your document to a minimal example and add more details, then it may be possible to figure out. – ShreevatsaR Mar 26 '18 at 6:54
  • Possibly if you try to see the file in Preview before printing (if such an ability) the problem will be there ... And it is not only an f problem, but a problem with ligatures... May be some settings with language support or printer driver settings would help – koleygr Mar 26 '18 at 6:54
  • Why would forcing a new page with \clearpage cause it to suddenly work if it's ligatures? – Kent Boogaart Mar 26 '18 at 7:02
  • @DavidCarlisle Just updated my question. It only happens when printing from Chrome - Acrobat reader prints the same document just fine :/ – Kent Boogaart Mar 26 '18 at 7:23

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