Illustrator – points are turned into squares?

I have created the plot below using R and exported the figure as a PDF-file.
I would like to add additional elements to the plot, and I typically use Illustrator 2020 for such jobs.

Original R plot

However, when I open the PDF-file in Illustrator the points (the cirles) are turned into small squares with a cross inside (I have enlarged on point so it is easier to see). If I make the plot in R with squares instead I do not have the problem.
PDF opened in Illustrator

Does anyone know how to fix it?

The PDF-fil can be downloaded here:



Since I was beaten to the better answer I will offer an alternative 🙂

In this case, you can also resolve within Acrobat Pro if you have it.

First, change the font of the circles. This can be achieved with Edit PDF. Change them to a common font or one installed on your system like Arial. In this case I just dragged a box over all the circles and changed the font en masse. If you have add-ons like PitStop Pro, then there will be tools that replace fonts en masse more easily.

Next convert the font to outline via Preflight. This tool can be found under Print Production. Just type outline font, and it will appear on the list. This function will make you save the PDF as a new file.

Open the .PDF in illustrator, and it should have the circles intact. There is a drawback and that is the text around the axis and the legend will also be outlined. However, you can easily re-type or just pull from the original version.

Source : Link , Question Author : Palle Duun Rohde , Answer Author : Community

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