PDF Export has illegible rendering for ticked checkboxes

Steps to reproduce

  • Command Palette > Show debug info > Sandbox Vault
  • Add an unchecked and checked task, like so:
  • Command Palette > Export to PDF. Notice how in the exported PDF the checked task box is not rendering the check.
  • Switch to light mode
  • Export PDF again. The exported PDF also does not render the check

Expected result

  • Ticked checkboxes should be legible in the exported PDF

Actual result

  • Ticked checkboxes are not legible in the exported PDF


  • Operating system: Windows 11
  • Debug info:
    Obsidian version: v1.1.8
    Installer version: v1.1.8
    Operating system: Windows 10 Pro 10.0.22621
    Login status: logged in
    Catalyst license: none
    Insider build toggle: off
    Live preview: on
    Legacy editor: off
    Base theme: light
    Community theme: none
    Snippets enabled: 0
    Restricted mode: off
    Plugins installed: 0
    Plugins enabled: 0


Additional information

I can’t reproduce


Hmm, I just checked again, and Chromium Edge and Mac Preview can render those ticked checkboxes. Other viewers don’t, though:

  1. MuPDF-based viewers, like Sumatra PDF, which I’m using, and to my understanding is a popular lightweight viewer, has the problem: It’s also present in the WASM MuPDF viewer, and in the console it has this warning:


  1. I’m not sure what PDF library Affinity uses, but when I try to load up the file in Affinity Publisher, the problem is also present:

  1. I tried again in OneNote, which also has the same problem

Looks like whatever function used to render that checkbox, it’s not universally supported?

1 Like

Interesting; when I try the PDF insert feature for OneNote on the Mac, the problem is not there. Looks like this problem is only present on Windows?

1 Like

this is a problem of your pdf reader then

Yeah, it’s a problem with SumatraPDF and MuPDF-based viewers, but I’m not seeing how it’s also present in Affinity Publisher and Microsoft OneNote. Maybe we can leave this open to track it until someone with OneNote and/or Publisher can see if they’re also having the problem :thinking:
Edit: oop didn’t notice it’s been moved to Bug Graveyard. Well for other users in the future comment if you’re also having the issue!

I can reproduce the bug with Evince, which is based on Poppler, running on Fedora Linux 37.

As such this is not just “a problem of your pdf reader”, but probably due to the usage of some non-standard features of some PDF readers. I doubt inserting a check mark ✓ requires anything sophisticated that is not commonly supported.