A character appears blank when 'exporting as pdf'

I’m new to this forum, and not really a software person, so please bear with me. I have a character in a .odt (a ship’s anchor) which appears in the odt but not the exported pdf. I have sample files but I do not yet have enough points to be given upload rights.
I am using MacOS 10.12.6.
The problem exists for both LibreOffice and
I have started LO in safe mode and the problem still exists.
My Acrobat Reader version appears to be up to date: 2018.009.20050
A friend is able to create the pdf showing the anchors, using my .odt,and the same ‘Export to pdf’ settings as me. He is using a Linux system.
The anchor is a character, not a symbol.
If I copy the pdf to TextEditor, the anchor appears.
If I copy the empty space in the pdf where the anchor should be, and past it back into a .odt, the anchor appears in the odt.
I was able to generate the anchor in the pdf in early December, but not in mid December. Unfortunately I don’t have a record of the exact dates or the corresponding OS versions.The LO version was unchanged during that period.
Am I doing something wrong, or is this a MacOS bug? If the latter, what do I do next?


  1. The anchor character is almost certainly Unicode 2693.
  2. I now have enough points to upload attachments (thank you lib!), so here is a sample .odt that generates the problem. I cannot upload the pdf output file because pdf is not an accepted file type for uploading here, (which strikes me as a bit odd). So I have renamed it .odf in order to get it uploaded. if you open it with LO, it looks Ok, but if you open it with Acrobat Reader, the anchor is missing (on my computer at least).
    anchor trial-v1.odf
    anchor trial-v1.odt

Possibly related to this bug: https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=104403

Please note that not every font supports every character. The symbol you try to use has its repertoire of fonts supporting it.

When you use some arbitrary font (like Arial in the file attached), and insert a character absent in that font, LibreOffice does its best to find a font installed on system that has relevant character. But PDF has its own rules for that.

If you choose a font that actually has the glyph (like DejaVu Sans that ships with LO) for that text chunk would most probably fix the issue for you.

I carried out a test on Windows 8 and LO Opening your pdf in Acrobat Reader the anchor does not display but it does opening your Writer document in LO. If I export your document to pdf the anchor does display in Reader. Looking at your pdf in Reader the fonts tab shows the fonts as

AppleColorEmoji (Embedded Subset)

ArialMT (Embedded Subset)

Looking at my pdf the fonts show as

DejaVuSansMono-Bold (Embedded Subset)

ArialMT (Embedded Subset)

The AppleColorEmoji font is special to MacOS. Use a font that is in the list given by @mikekaganski. The DejaVuSansMono-Bold which is in my exported pdf is in this list.


I created a Writer document using the DejaVuSansMono font for the anchor and the anchor is shown when exported as pdf. I attach the Writer file so you can try exporting as pdf on your system.

Hello @kimk,

Assuming that the anchor character in question is Unicode 2693 ANCHOR “:anchor:”, i made a test document in Writer containing this character, and then exported it to PDF without any problems ( LO on Ubuntu 17.10 ).

The anchor characters were all visible inside the PDF ( using my default PDF viewer called “Document Viewer” ).

It sounds like the problem is inside Adobe Acrobat reader:

“If I copy the pdf to TextEditor, the
anchor appears.”

That means the character was indeed exported by LO, and is present inside the PDF document, but is just not being displayed by Adobe Acrobat reader.

i upvoted your question so that you could now upload an example.

Good luck, lib