PDF Docs Contain Jumbled or Scrambled Letters

Problem: PDF documents display jumbled or scrambled letters.
Cause: Those docs contain non-standard fonts that can not be reliably read or processed.
Solution: Re-scan and re-upload the doc to Pipeline.


After uploading, breaking apart, merging or rotating a PDF doc in Paperless Pipeline, the information within the doc may appear jumbled or scrambled in Pipeline's doc previewer (accessed by clicking the document name).

Docs that have been broken apart, merged or rotated may also be scrambled when you view the doc via Open Original Doc. Docs that have simply been uploaded will display properly when opening the original doc.


This problem is caused by PDF docs that contain non-standard fonts that are not embedded within it. In order for docs to be readable by all sources, they must either use standard fonts, or if they use non-standard fonts, those non-standard fonts must be embedded within the doc. So docs that contain non-standard fonts that are not embedded can not be reliably read or processed.

Learn how to tell if a PDF has non-standard unembedded fonts here →


  1.  Send us the doc. If you encounter a doc with jumbled letters, send a message to help@paperlesspipeline.com letting us know. We may be able to add support for the unembedded font. Be sure to attach the original PDF to your email.
  2. Print, re-scan, and re-upload the doc. A scanner always produces image-versions of pages instead of type-fonts. Locate the original doc, if necessary, then print and re-scan the document to fix the problem. The doc may then be uploaded to Pipeline.
  3. Embed fonts. If you are the originator of the doc, ensure that all fonts used within the doc have been embedded using the instructions in this article →