Unicode Characters Look Fine in Form but Appear as Boxes in Adobe

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Problem

Users enter an answer containing Unicode characters on a form, and while the answer looks correct in both the interview and at the Form Document tab, when the document is saved as a PDF, those characters appear as boxes.

Solution

When a user enters Unicode characters in a HotDocs answer field, if the font specified for that field doesn't contain glyphs for some or all of those characters, Windows attempts to present those characters using a different font. This is why all the characters are able to appear on screen. However, when a form document is saved as a static PDF, the characters are always presented in whichever font was specified for that field in HotDocs Automator. If that font doesn't contain glyphs for one or more of the characters, the "missing character" glyph (usually a box) is used instead.

To correct the problem, make sure fields in your form have a font assigned to them that can support the expected characters users will enter as answers. You should use the Script field at the Font dialog box to verify whether the selected font contains the necessary characters or not. For example, if you are automating a Japanese form template, use a font that supports the Japanese character set, as shown in the following example:

Unicodefont.png

At the same time, HotDocs may have trouble saving a form as a PDF if the correct fonts are not available. Therefore you should take care to choose only fonts that your users are likely to have installed on their machine (if you are automating a form for use in desktop HotDocs) or which will be installed on the server (if you are automating a form for use on HotDocs Server).