Converting Text inside a PDF to Curves

Written by Jeff Harrison
August 30, 2010

While CorelDRAW offers the a feature to open a PDF as curves, there has always been confusion over this. It’s never really worked as users expect. AFAIK it works if user has identical fonts used in PDF on their system. But.. that defeats the point for most users.

Corel needs to realize the VALUE of converting a PDF to curves is primarily to simplify potential problems with fonts altogether. Therefore the “real” solutions for this issue are using one of 4 choices, none of which Corel can currently do:

  1. (249 USD – ouch!)
  2. 30.00 usd
  3. Adobe Acrobat – 500.00 USD +
  4. My sneaky method using ghostscript and GSView:

GSView can do it, with specific settings. Link to GSView 4.9

You’ll be prompted GSView installer to download ghostscript if you don’t have it installed. Look for the Windows install .exe’s at the bottom of the page.

I installed the 64 bit versions of each on my system today, since my system is 64 bit.

After installing each, run this program:

Then press this button:

Then run this command:

Choose a PDF file. Then enter these details exactly: (you must use PSwrite, not PDFwrite)

After pressing OK, be sure to add a .ps extension to the file name.

Bring that file into CorelDRAW. Choosing text or curves in the import dialog won’t matter, since the fonts are already curves inside the new file you’d made. Hopefully this technique will help you in your production work for some files.

NEW IDEA! April 2/ 2011


Another option is to download Foxit Reader (free) It has an option to “print text as graphics” under preferences.

I see that option now, I upgraded foxit here, then I printed to PDF Creator instead, worked good!

Post Discussion


  1. Andrew

    Hey Jeff,
    Your a star – this worked great and will save me hours each week.

  2. Office

    I have also printed the document to CutePDF and have had success with that. Make sure your settings will change the way the PDF handles the fonts.

  3. Jeff Harrison

    one new idea I learned last week:

    the free foxit pdf reader can print text as curves – check the options. Then, print to a new pdf using PDF creator

  4. Fairuz Su'da

    Thank you so much for this! 😀


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Jeff Harrison

Jeff Harrison is a media "Jack-of-all-trades", familiar with most of the major media applications on the Windows platform. Whether it's 2D/print, 3D, audio, video, or web-related - he's working on mastering everything that comes his way. He's a past Alpha and Beta tester for Corel, and has instructed students from all over the world. He runs the popular site, the #1 place for CorelDRAW macros. Also check out his youtube page, and his gallery at

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