iWorks Pages, OSX Lion, and Baskerville Font PDF Glitch

It pays to post solutions to online forums where you can find them again, because you may very well need to go back and fix the same thing later.

It’s been a booger of a computer year when one morning I attempted to log in and the computer would not comply. The hard drive was going bad, only I didn’t know it at the time, and ended up losing a whole month from the initial spinning beachball to the replacement hard drive and all of the installs that go with it. Among those installs, a clean install of my system software, and a reinstall of my word processing software.

I use iWorks Pages ’09 on OSX Lion. Yes, I know I’m a wee bit behind the rest of the world, but I’m of the school where if it isn’t broke, don’t mess with it, because in upgrading you WILL break something.

I’ve heard awful things about the newer versions of Pages, with missing features that users rely on for publishing paperback books — features that exist in Pages ’09 (version 4.x) but not in Pages 5.x as released in 2013 and later.

But here’s where the glitch came into it. Bad Dog to Best Friend was the first book I published in paperback back in 2010, and it was due for a few revisions. I made the revisions, and exported from Pages ’09 to a print-ready PDF as I’d always done, only the PDF was horrible. The primary font was totally corrupted, dancing all over the line with some letters higher, and some lower, as if all the letters were performing some sort of Broadway line dance and were frozen in motion.

In addition, some letters were faint, and some were bold, even in the standard font. The result was almost childish in its appearance and I was stunned. I’d been exporting to PDF for years with no problems, and the paperback books were always exactly as I’d laid them out.

The finger of blame pointed at the OS first, as I’d been forced to upgrade from Lion 10.7.2 to 10.7.5. OSX Lion didn’t come with disks to install the original version. I had to download it from my Apple account, and their system forced the upgrade.

Frustrated, I set out on a Google search to see if others were experiencing the issue and what the fix might be. Lo and behold I found it — in a forum post I’d written back in January of 2012!

I’d experienced this exact same issue when I first installed OSX Lion, then found the solution via Google, and posted the fix to a forum where other frustrated souls might find it. Who knew that three years later, I’d be that frustrated soul?

I am reposting the fix here, not that anyone else is still using OSX Lion, iWorks Pages ’09, and the Baskerville font for publishing paperbacks in 2015, but here goes anyway:

* * *

Originally posted on January 5, 2012:

I just upgraded my system from Mac OSX Snow Leopard to Lion. On Snow Leopard using iWorks Pages ’09, I didn’t have any trouble creating a PDF that CreateSpace blessed. I was delighted with the print copies of all three of my books.

Over Christmas I upgraded to OSX Lion, finished the fourth book, exported to PDF and when I opened the PDF, it was HORRID. The primary font was a mess. I tried downloading the iWorks Pages update for Lion — no change. I verified that I had the Baskerville font installed, and I did. I opened the PDF on my Snow Leopard system and even there, it was awful. I scoured Google for answers and found the culprit.

My primary font for print books is Baskerville, which has printed beautifully for me in the past. On OSX Lion however, the Baskerville font is corrupt which is a problem that several folks are having with it. While it looks fine on screen in iWorks and other programs, exporting to PDF fails. People are apparently having problems in some web browsers viewing web pages that use Baskerville as well.

I installed the Baskerville font from my Snow Leopard system over to Lion and the problem was solved. In other words, I installed an older version of Baskerville, overwriting the OSX Lion version. The one I now have installed is:

Version: 6.1d5e1
Unique Name: Baskerville; 6.1d5e1; 2008-12-29

In your System Library under Fonts, you can click on a font to highlight it, and then Get Info from the File menu or via Command-I, to find out which version of the font you have installed.

Just thought the info might be useful if anyone else uses Baskerville and has a problem exporting from iWorks Pages in OSX Lion to PDF.

* * *

Oh, and in case you’re curious about the book Bad Dog to Best Friend, it is the story of rescue dog Dakota, who’d been bounced from home to home for a myriad of problems until we adopted her. The book chronicles our first year with her, and it gives detailed descriptions of how we overcame her very bad habits of pottying in the house and destructive chewing. She metamorphed from a dog we couldn’t trust for 30 seconds, into a dog we totally trust with full run of the house. She has now blessed us with her quirky personality for many years, and our efforts in retraining her were totally successful.

You can’t yet get the new paperback version, but Kindle has the updated version and the other eBook vendors should be following suit shortly.

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