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The First Step to Making PDFs Without Pain

   Copresco’s production department continues to field your questions about the details of making printquality PDFs.

Help Is on the Way

   If you’re a novice, the following instructions will show you the easiest, most painless way to get started.
   If you’re an old pro, this will be a good review of the changes that have taken place in the everchanging PDF distilling process.
   The most important fact to remember is that print is only one of many uses for a PDF. A PDF that is properly prepared to serve as an e-mail attachment or a Web posting is not acceptable for printing.

Acrobatics Required

   You must have Adobe Acrobat (not just Reader) installed on your computer for the following methods to work.
   And, you need to adjust your Acrobat Distiller settings. You can’t just select print and choose Adobe PDF and print to file.
   There are thousands of settings that can be specified when creating a PDF; actually, 1,239,864 possible combinations, by one count!
   Every setting has a purpose.

Not Just for Beginners

   Experienced users may be tempted to skip the following instructions. Don’t! As PDF becomes easier to create, it has also become easier to inadvertently use incorrect settings, even for those who understand the use of proper print settings.
   The traditional method—the only way you can work with Acrobat versions 5 or lower—is a two-step process.
   1. File>Print, select a printer such as “Acrobat Distiller,” check “Print to File,” then press “Print.” This creates a PostScript file with a .ps or .prn extension.
   2. Open Adobe Acrobat Distiller. Using File>Open, select the Post-Script file you just created. Distiller then creates your PDF.

One Step

   The one-step method uses the same process, but Distiller works “behind the scenes.” This is so convenient that it’s easy to forget to double-check your settings.

Ready, Set, Go

   So, let’s talk about the settings.
   As we previously instructed, choose File>Print, then select Adobe PDF as the printer.
   Why not? Because you have no idea what settings are being applied to your PDF!
   Instead, press the Properties button in the Print dialog box on Windows operating systems. If you see “Adobe PDF Conversion Settings,” then your computer has a newer driver that allows the “one-step” printing process.

For Mac Users

   On Macs, click Printer and pull down the menu that probably says “Copies & Pages.” Select PDF Options.

Distiller Settings

   These settings are actually the Distiller job options that control every aspect of the PDF creation process.
   We hope you’ll see “Print Quality,” “High Quality” or “High Quality Print” displayed as the Adobe PDF Conversion setting.
   If you see “Screen Optimized” or “Standard,” you’ve found the reason your PDF files aren’t of print quality.
   The options noted are not settings themselves; they are merely file names for collections of saved settings.
   How do you know which settings to choose?

Out of the Box

   You’re welcome to make your own settings to meet your various job requirements.
   But, the good news is that Adobe has already constructed a Job Options setting that works pretty well for digital printing.

The Payoff!

   If you follow these steps and verify that you have the proper settings each time you create a PDF, you’ll have a top-notch, print-quality job.

A Most Important Point

   Don’t forget the final step that is essential for best quality. Send your PDF to Copresco!
   And stay tuned for more details on PDF workflow in the May issue of Overnight Lite.

And, Furthermore...

   When you need help with books and manuals, call the company that has the technical skills to make all of your print files look great.
   Call Copresco.

More on Acrobat Settings

   What’s the difference between “high quality” and “press quality” or “print optimized” and “press opti-mized?” You’ll see both settings when you follow the instructions in column two.
   Acrobat uses the term “press” for settings better suited to conventional offset printing, whereas “print” refers to digital printing.
   Will Acrobat’s “press” settings work at Copresco? Sure. The disadvantage: Your PDF file size will be larger than necessary.

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