Sonoma - problems with fonts in .pdfs

It seems to Sonoma changed some of the .pdf printing plumbing that has caused issues where .pdfs display with boxes instead of characters and/or where the .pdfs cannot be printed.

For example
Another example

I’m seeing this when I try to print to .pdf from Word 365 using the Calisto MT font. (most other fonts are ok). The resulting .pdf replaces most (but not all) characters with boxes. Is anybody else seeing this issue or something similar? Any fixes (aside from awaiting an indeterminate time for a fix from Apple)?

I’ve tried:

  • deleting/reinstalling Word
  • confirming that the Calisto MT fonts inside of the Word package are not corrupted (Font Book says they’re fine)

For now, I can print to .pdf from the web version of Word and get normal .pdfs. But that’s not ideal and breaks years of command-p-p memory.

Might just be a Microsoft Word problem. I just created a document in Pages using the Calisto MT font. I printed it to PDF and then opened and printed the PDF with no problems. This is on Sonoma. Those square boxes occur when the font cannot be found or there are no glyphs for the character in the font. Postscript has been the fundamental formatting engine in Mac OS for decades.

I have read that this is a known bug in Sonoma. Hope they fix in 14.1.

Not anymore… From the Sonoma release notes:



  • macOS has removed the functionality for converting PostScript and EPS files to PDF format. As a result, CoreGraphics’ CGPSConverter returns an error when invoked, ImageIO no longer converts EPS files, NSEPSImageRep does not display EPS files, and PMPrinterPrintWithFile does not accept a PostScript file for non-PostScript print queues. (110019863)

This seems like a probable reason for PDF-issues that might happen going forward.

Allegedly 14.1 indeed does fix the issue:

Despite the lack of clear causation, developers with access to the macOS 14.1 Beta report that problematic PDFs are again normally printable.

Source: @ciaran’s link “Another example” - I have read similar reports (14.1 does fix this issue) on German websites. So, fingers crossed I guess…

I can confirm that the issue seems to have been resolved in 14.1 RC.

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I am looking forward to 14.1.

Yesterday I downloaded new credit card statements issued by my bank.

I do not even need to print them: boxes everywhere when I look at them using my Mac. This happens in Preview, it happens in Adobe Acrobat (on my Mac). It also happens in iOS when opening the PDF within files.

The PDFs are being displayed just fine within my bank’s app (apparently they use a different engine). The PDFs do also look just fine on my PC (including Adobe Acrobat).

Older credit card statements do work fine (apparently my bank has changed something on their end with the latest one). But still: no issues on PCs, no issue on iOS apps if those apps use a different framework (?). The “you are holding it wrong” motto does not help with PDFs I receive: no matter how bad they are, I want to be able to work with them and to see what is inside because I have to.

I am eagerly awaiting Tuesday’s 14.1 release to see if my issue will go away.

Has this issue been fixed with macOS 14.1? There was nothing in the release notes that were published on the Apple news sites. And I couldn’t easily find the release notes for 14.1 through Google.

It’s not mentioned in any release notes that I’ve seen, but the issue is fixed for me, both in the RC and now in the 14.1 public release.

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14.1 did not fix my issue, but my issue was caused by corrupt PDF files. It was a mistake on my bank’s end. They had changed something how they create those PDFs which caused my problems. They did fix the issue on their end.

I have no issues with PDF printing with MacOS 14.1. :slight_smile:

I can confirm that the 14.1 update has resolved the issue.

I was designing a document in Word using Calisto MT (what are the chances?!) - regular font gave boxes in print preview, PDF and even an import to Pages. Curiously the Bold variant rendered fine.