I am having trouble exporting MXDs to PDF. If I export and MXD to PDF some point symbols appear as black dots (not the colored dots they should be) and others do not. This happens in different data sets in the same map.

I have embed fonts and convert marker symbols checked in the Export to PDF tool. I do not use non-USA thousand separators.

I have read this ESRI literature about diagnosing export problems:


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  • Based on that document link above I can export the MXD to EMF, open the EMF in MS Paint and the EMF looks correct.
  • IF I add the EMF to an MS Word document all the point symbols appear as crescents!?

I had the IT department rebuild my Citrix profile, reinstall the PDF drivers, and I did a reinstallation of ArcGIS 10.3 for Desktop. The first map exported after all this work looked fine, but all subsequent exports revert back to the black dot problem.

closed as off-topic by PolyGeo Jul 16 '17 at 21:59

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This problem cannot or can no longer be reproduced. Changes to the system or to the asker's circumstances may have rendered the question obsolete, or the question does not include a procedure to enable potential answerers to reproduce the same symptoms. Such questions are off-topic as they are unlikely to help future readers, but editing them to include more details can lead to re-opening." – PolyGeo
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  • 1
    A screenshot would be useful. – Fezter Nov 13 '15 at 1:16
  • Are you opening the PDF in Acrobat Reader? If so, is Acrobat running through Citrix or do you have Acrobat installed locally? Also, is ArcGIS Desktop running locally or through Citrix? – Chad Cooper Nov 13 '15 at 16:07
  • 1
    Install a PDF print driver like WinPDF or PDF995 and use this option to print rather than export. – MDHald Nov 13 '15 at 17:47
  • Chad, I am using a local installation of ArcGIS 10.3. I view the PDF using a locally installed version of PDF-Xchange PDF Viewer. – GBG Nov 13 '15 at 19:01
  • MDHald 1, thanks for the suggestion but this option will not really work for me for a couple of reasons. I primarily export to PDF using the arcpy mapping module. This method allows me to write to pdf, auto name the file and save it to the same directory, and log the file location, requester, and data to file. Also, I work for a Tribal government and do not have administrative rights on my computer. The IT department is understandably wary of third-party software. – GBG Nov 13 '15 at 19:17