Fixing Character Encoding Failed PDF | Resolving Weird Symbol Problems

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character encoding failed pdf

A portable file in document format (PDF) that stores printed documents as electronic images. Sometimes you may encounter character encoding failed pdf issues that make text dirty. Users often look for ways to fix this, as shown in a post from the Adobe support community:

“I have a PDF document and when I try to copy some text and put it in a Word or tablet document, I get a junk letter instead of a copy text. I need help fixing this problem and can copy the text. Any help would be highly appreciated.”

So how can you solve the problem of character encoding failed PDF? This article will give an overview of this problem and present four potential solutions to solving the character encryption problem in PDF files.

Understand Strange Characters in PDF Files [PDF Corruption]

PDF files can be damaging and display very badly in various situations, including uploading, downloading, aggregating, or just copying. These abnormal PDF files may be the result of viruses or malicious software present on your computer. Also, opening PDF files with unsupported software may cause strange character display.

Common symptoms of character encoding problems in PDF files include:

  • The normal font in the PDF will turn into a strange symbol when converted to Word.
  • Text copied from a PDF file will appear as a mystery.
  • Characters in text objects cannot be transmitted to Unicode
  • ️The text in the PDF file will appear as a square
  • ️PDF file cannot be read or has an empty page that switches with dirty text

Solution for editing PDF character encryption [4 options]

Character encryption issues may make you unable to view PDF files properly. No matter how many times you open and close a PDF application, then what do you do to fix this problem? Here are 4 different ways you can try:

Solution 1. Upgrade your PDF Viewer

First of all, check for updates to your PDF viewing software and make sure you’re using the latest version, because malicious software may be the cause of the corrupted text problem. You can start by trying to repair your PDF file using Adobe Acrobat by following these steps:

  • Step 1. Enable Adobe Acrobat on your computer
  • Step 2. Go to “Help” and select “Check Updates”.
  • Step 3. After downloading and installing the latest version, open the problematic PDF file again to see if the strange characters will disappear.

Solution 2. Repair corrupted PDF files online

If your PDF file has a character encryption problem and you want to fix it using a free web method, there are five online tools you can try. After extensive testing, one of the tools has proven to be the best option for repairing damaged PDF files with dirty character Encryption problems. Here are the recommended websites:


For a step-by-step guide on repairing PDF files online, see this article, which provides an overview of five popular and powerful online PDF repair tools.

Solution 3. Reinstall your PDF reader

If your default PDF reader, Adobe Reader, can’t open or read a PDF file with a font encryption problem, you can try other PDF readers to check if the problem is your own reader or file. Installing a new reader often helps fix the conflict and restore the default. Follow these steps to install a new Adobe reader in Windows:

  • Step 1. Download the installation file from your website or app store and save it to your computer.
  • Step 2. Extract zip file and open Setup.exe file
  • Step 3 If you save the zip file in the folder “Adobe” on your desktop, the path will look like this: C:UsersDesktop/Adobe/Acrobat_2020_Web_WWMUIAdobe Acrobat/Setup.exe
  • Step 4. Double-click the Setup.exe file to start the installation process.
  • Step 5. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation.

⚡️ Warning: Avoid starting Setup.exe from inside the installer’s zip file to prevent installation problems.

Solution 4: Restore previous version of PDF files

Windows users can restore previous versions of inaccessible PDF files using the built-in backup tool. Follow these steps to restore backup and gain access to your PDF files again:

  • Step 1. Click “Windows” and select “Settings” to access “Update and Security”.
  • Step 2 Updates the backup version of the PDF file so that it can be accessed again.

If you haven’t created a backup yet, you can try the File History tool to restore previous files. Follow these steps:

  • Step 1. In Windows Explorer, select your file and click on “Properties”.
  • Step 2 Go to the “Previous” tab
  • Step 3. Check the previous version of the PDF file and click on the latest version you believe will restore your file.

How to Recover Lost/Damaged PDF Files

Users are often faced with data loss situations where saved files are lost after a system update or virus attack, and sometimes these files are damaged. If you find yourself in this situation, do not do anything that could cause the files to be rewritten. Check your recycling bag to see if the files are missing. If not recommended, use data recovery software to restore your files.

One of the most powerful data recovery software is WinfrGUI, which can handle various data loss situations such as recovering files deleted by antivirus, repairing files from formatted hard drives, backing up files recovered from recycling crates, and so on.

To recover lost or damaged PDF files using WinfrGUI, follow these three steps:

  • Step 1. Start WinfrGUI and select the drive where you lost your data. Click on “Find Lost Data”.
  • Step 2. Use file format filters to minimize scanning or preview files to find the files you want.
  • Step 3. Select the files you want to recover and click on “Recover” to restore them to a secure location on your computer or cloud drive.


In conclusion, while PDF documents are generally considered safe and reliable, there are some situations that may lead to character encryption problems. Fortunately, this article has four ways to fix such problems in PDF files. Do not hesitate to download the software. Follow the instructions and fix the character encrypting issues you encounter.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fixing Character Encoding Failed PDF

Here are four more questions about character encoding problems in PDF files along with their answers.

Why is text copied from a PDF file becoming brutal?

When you copy text from a PDF file and it becomes an anomaly. It is usually caused by problems with the font used in the PDF. If the PDF font does not have a Unicode table or does not translate the glyph index as a character using standard encryption, you will encounter junk characters during the copy and input process.

How do I edit a PDF text that appears as a square?

When your PDF text appears square, it means that the PDF file needs to be repaired. You can use one of the online PDF repair tools mentioned in Solution 2 to fix this problem. These tools are designed to repair damaged or damaged PDF files.

What are the common causes of PDF file corruption?

PDF files can be damaged if there is a sudden malfunction or failure of USB hard drives, flash drivers or SD cards. Various factors such as overheating, electrical speed. Incorrect connection or disconnection can lead to hard drive failure and PDF file damage.

Why are my PDFs printed in strange fonts?

There are several reasons why PDF files may be printed with strange characters. The characters used for the characters may not be integrated. Or a PDF creator may use non-standard sample encryption. Also, the affected characters might not be able to map Unicode properly. In most cases, the writing file needs to be edited and a new PDF file created to fix this problem.

>>Also Read: 4 Effective Methods to Fix Corrupted or Damaged PDF Files