Tagged: PDF

Don’t fear the white lines in your PDFs created by InDesign

InDesign CS5You’re working on a brochure under a tight deadline, and upon opening the PDF you just exported from Adobe InDesign, you notice thin white lines around certain objects. Don’t miss your deadline spending too much time troubleshooting the InDesign file. More often than not, those white lines are simply a display glitch in the PDF caused by transparency flattening in the export process.

If you’re concerned, you can check your file in two ways. The first method is to simply open the PDF and zoom in and out – if the thin white line disappears when you zoom in and out, it’s just a display glitch.

The second method is to just run InDesign‘s Package command (Command + Option + Shift + P); when the report dialog appears, make sure you have no RGB images in use. When RGB images overlay CMYK images, transparency flattening problems can occur. If this is the case, then you definitely should convert those RGB images to CMYK before exporting your file as PDF.

Adobe InDesign turns ten: Free e-book documenting its history and future

InDesignTo celebrate the 10th anniversary of Adobe InDesign, the layout tool for print and digital publishing, Adobe is releasing a commemorative book titled “Page by Page: 10 Years of Designing with Adobe InDesign” that highlights the product’s evolution and features designers who have helped make InDesign a success.
Adobe InDesign celebrates 10 years

InDesign celebrates 10 years with free e-book download

Designed to provide an inside look at the company’s stewardship in moving publishing from print to digital solutions, the 10th anniversary book examines the role of InDesign and the InDesign Family in transforming the layout and editorial workflow at agencies, corporate publishers and traditional publishers worldwide. The book also details the evolution of InDesign from its public debut in 1999 to today and includes sample work created by designers for publications such as Marie Claire, publishers like Condé Nast, and cutting edge design agencies such as Modern Dog and Mucca Design.

Optimize PDF files with better results

Most people who work with PDFs in Acrobat versions older than version 8 know you can quickly reduce the file size of a PDF by going to the File menu and selecting Reduce File Size. The problem with using that method was that it virtually destroys your images, making them so blurry that you can barely see what they are. Thankfully, with Acrobat 8 and 9, a new PDF optimization method is available. The PDF Optimizer can be found in two places. The first place is in the menubar under Advanced>Print Production>PDF Optimizer. The second, and more handy location, is in the Save As dialog box, where you click the drop-down menu and select Adobe PDF Files, Optimized as seen below. Clicking the Settings button offers you complete control over how your PDF files get optimized. The first thing to do is figure out what’s taking up so much space in the file. You do this by clicking the Audit space usage button in the upper right corner of the PDF Optimizer dialog box. A window will open offering you a breakdown of what’s eating up all the space (see image below). As you can see in the image above, the images in my test PDF file are what’s taking up the most space, so that’s where I need to focus my attention. Close the Audit window to return to the PDF Optimize dialog box. In the panel list on the left side of the PDF Optimizer you can choose which areas of the PDF file you wish to work with. In the case of my test file, I chose Images. As you can see in the screenshot below, you can downsample your images, select the quality settings, and more. This as opposed to older versions of Acrobat where the program just decided for you to reduce everything to the bare minimum. The new PDF Optimizer gives YOU the control and the choice. Selecting other source items such as Transparency, Discard Objects, Fonts, and Clean Up are also available. I recommend you take a look at all of these to see where you might be able to save a few “k” in file size. It all adds up. I also recommend you don’t overwrite the original PDF file, just in case you’re not happy with the results. If you wish to see the PDF Optimizer in action, visit the Acrobat 9 PDF Optimizer page at CreativeTechs, where they have a brief video you can watch to learn more.

Adobe CS4 Printing Guide available for download

adobeAdobe has posted the Adobe Creative Suite 4 Printing Guide, which serves as both a detailed technical reference for handling Adobe Creative Suite 4 Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Acrobat files from your customers, and as a training tool for your staff. If you want to know more about graphics, exporting and printing, font issues, working with book files, output troubleshooting, color management and more, you’ll find this downloadable PDF guide extremely helpful. Direct-download links: CS4 Print Guide – low-res (PDF, 4.6mb) CS4 Print Guide – high res (PDF, 18.1mb) If you’re still using Adobe Creative Suite 3, you can download the Creative Suite 3 Printing Guides here: CS3 Print Guide – low res (PDF, 6.6mb) CS3 Print Guide – high res (PDF, 24.4mb)

Create desktop printers for faster PDF printing

If you generally print a lot of PDF files at a time, it can be tedious to open each file individually and deal with the print dialog box for each file. Thankfully, OSX provides you with a faster way. Open the Print & Fax preference pane from OSX’s System Preferences icon in your Dock and select the printer you’d like to use to print the PDF files. Once the printer is selected, drag it to your desktop, which will create a Desktop Printer.

Desktop printer icon

Creating a desktop printer in OS X

Now, when you’re ready to print your PDF files, simply drag & drop them all on the newly created Desktop Printer icon and a printer dialog box will open and allow you to print the files. The great part of this tip is that neither Preview nor Acrobat Reader will open in order to do the work. This tip works with all file types, except that PDFs are the only file type that doesn’t require the host application to actually open in order to print.

Quickly convert your .eps or .ai files to PDF without Illustrator

PreviewIf you need to send a copy of your Adobe Illustrator .eps logo to a client or someone without the ability to use .eps files, you probably want to send them a PDF. Don’t waste time firing-up Adobe Illustrator, Apple has made it easy with Preview (check your application folder). Preview is obscenely fast at opening PDFs, .jpgs, .eps and even .ai files. Open your .eps or .ai file in Preview and save the file. Preview will automatically choose PDF as the file format. The great thing about doing this is that the resulting PDF file can still be opened and edited in Adobe Illustrator.

Dealing with screen artifacts on transparent PSDs when exported as PDFs

If you place a PSD file with a transparent background into Adobe InDesign and export it as a high-res PDF, you may notice that the edges of your placed image look horrible. There’s usually a black & white halo around the edges of the transparent PSD (see the image above for example). You won’t see them on a placed TIF file, and they generally don’t print anyway, but they’re annoying nonetheless. Fortunately, Bob Levine at InDesignSecrets has finally spilled the beans on what the problem is, and how to fix it. In most all cases, it’s as simple as turning off the Smooth Images feature in Acrobat. Read Screen Artifacts on Transparent PSDs in Exported PDFs Can Be Deceiving…Most of the Time for more information.

Avoiding the white box around shadows in your PDFs

“I have an issue with drop shadows and spot colors in Adobe InDesign. When I use a drop shadow in front of a spot color background it looks fine in InDesign, and prints properly as spot color separations. But a white box shows up around the image in Acrobat when I make a PDF to show the client. Is there a way around this problem?”

An excellent question, and one that comes up a lot for designers working with spot color. There are several ways to make sure your spot color jobs preview properly in Adobe Acrobat. My friends over at CreativeTechs have the scoop on avoiding the white box around shadows in Adobe InDesign.

PDF font subsetting explained

I’m often asked about Font Subsetting when exporting and creating PDF files using Distiller or directly from InDesign, so I thought I would post this explanation of what Font Subsetting is. When generating a PDF, it is possible to include only those characters in a font that were used in the document. This partial font is called a “Font Subset”. You adjust font subsetting in either the Acrobat Distiller job options or InDesign’s export dialog under “Subset fonts below X%”. The percent represents how much of the font is used in your document before it gets embedded in the PDF file. So a setting of 100% would mean that the entire font would be subsetted in the PDF file, while a setting of 5% would mean that you would have to use nearly all the characters available before the font would be subsetted. The primary advantages of subsetting fonts are that it not only reduces the PDF file size, but RIP’s (raster image processors) are forced to use the subset font even if the system has the full font available. Your PDF is slightly larger than other PDF files, but is also less likely to have problems with substituted fonts when output. Disadvantages of font subsetting are that it prevents your output provider from making edits to the PDF file if necessary, while still maintaining font integrity.