A PDF of a PDF - cause poor print results?

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SpongeBob
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A PDF of a PDF - cause poor print results?

Post by SpongeBob » 08 Mar 2006, 17:50

I send a lot of adverts to magazines, usually as high resolution (300dpi) PDFs with medium jpeg compression. The print quality in one publication has been very poor, with very dull colours. The magazine publishers import the PDF adverts into QuarkExpress and then send the finished file to the printers as an exported PDF.

I'm wondering if the creation of a PDF of a PDF could cause the poor print results. Could anyone tell me if this is likely or am I barking up the wrong tree? (the client :evil: is demanding answers!)

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eyoungren
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A PDF of a PDF - cause poor print results?

Post by eyoungren » 08 Mar 2006, 18:37

I'm unable to quote specific details since the technical things regarding PDFs are not my forte, but if's very likely. The PDF import XT for XPress does not handle PDFs very well. You would be better served having your client save out an EPS from Acrobat of the PDF you send them and then importing that EPS into their document and not the PDF. XPress handles EPS files much better because it does not internalize the postscript code like it does from a PDF. EPS files are passed off to the print device for processing and XPress does not enter into the equation.

BTW, that's what we do here at my job (small newspaper). Every PDF a customer sends us is saved out as an EPS. We avoid a lot of problems this way.

a.hayton
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A PDF of a PDF - cause poor print results?

Post by a.hayton » 09 Mar 2006, 10:11

If the printed image is pale then it sounds like the original pdf could have been in RGB instead of CMYK or it could be that they do not have a very good press where it was printed.
I agree with eyoungren that Quark handles EPS files better and we also create eps files from the pdfs rather than using the pdfs. We also preflight the pdf's first to check that they are suitable.

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Glenn McDowall
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A PDF of a PDF - cause poor print results?

Post by Glenn McDowall » 09 Mar 2006, 10:38

Ask for a copy of the final pdf from you publishers. Does this match yours. Bear in mind the printers may be repating the pdf into quark exercise as the publishers :roll:

There are hundreds of topics on this forum explaining why placing PDF into quark is a bad idea.

proflex
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A PDF of a PDF - cause poor print results?

Post by proflex » 09 Mar 2006, 17:26

BTW, that's what we do here at my job (small newspaper). Every PDF a customer sends us is saved out as an EPS. We avoid a lot of problems this way.[/quote]

Do you encounter any problems with saving as EPS??? Any type / font problems ....Any overprinting issues...There are also some settings that I am unsure of due to not using this function often, such as ''''
Convert all text to outlines-Yes or No-----
ASCI or Binary and PS level 2 or 3
Convert all TrueType Fonts to T1 fonts---Yes or No...
Just curious

I have been placing PDF's in Quark for some time now and have had no complaints or have not noticed any problems. Just would like to have another option if I get into a jam
thanks

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eyoungren
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A PDF of a PDF - cause poor print results?

Post by eyoungren » 09 Mar 2006, 18:20

proflex,

[quote:052ff3e581]Do you encounter any problems with saving as EPS??? Any type / font problems ....Any overprinting issues...

In the four jobs that I have had in the last seven years in this industry I have had very few problems with EPS files saved out from an Acrobat PDF. And most of the issues I had with those problems was because I was inexperienced at the time. Many of my later issues had to do with the fact that the original PDF was incorrectly made to begin with. And the one issue that burned me was because I trusted XPress' PDF filter and didn't personally check my copy.

"Convert all text to outlines (Y/N)"

I usually leave this checked, but so far I have not seen where it makes any difference, unless of course it's referring to something entirely different. I'm sure rzacherl (Robert) can better answer that.

"ASCII or Binary and PS level 2 or 3"

The answer is, it depends. We have a postscript 3 printer here, so I tend to save out at PS level 3. 3 is more advanced than 2 and 2 more than 1, so take advantage of the higher levels when you can. If your printer is PS level 2 then it will probably have problems with a level 3 eps.
Since our printer is level 3 it also means it can handle binary. So I usually save as binary. If I were going to print to our Laserjet 4m, however, I would save as ASCII. That printer is old and it chokes on binary code. So, again, the answer depends on ultimately where that file is going to go.

"Convert all TrueType Fonts to T1 fonts. (Y/N)"

I always have this option checked. We use Macs and it has been my experience that most EPS files saved from a PDF that was created on a PC either error out or give me grief if this option is not checked. I qualify this though by saying that since I started doing that in Acrobat 4, things may have changed since then. But I don't know because I've never unchecked the option.

I should mention here that you cannot save a level 1 postscript EPS that contains an RGB colorspace. Acrobat will give you an error because PS level 1 can't process an RGB color space. Lvl 2 and 3 can. I bring it up because it was the first issue I ran into when I first started.

BTW, the PDF that burned me was a full page black and white Wells Fargo ad. Because I was trusting XPress I brought in the PDF and not an EPS saved out. The Wells Fargo logo dropped out and the press guys never caught it. Since the ad was in a monthly that mistake was out there for a full month. Consequently, I only bring in PDFs now when it's my only option.

a.hayton
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A PDF of a PDF - cause poor print results?

Post by a.hayton » 10 Mar 2006, 01:48

I would disagree about converting text to outlines as some rips can't handle all the extra postscript information and you can get rough looking text.
A lot of the problems we have had when bringing in PDF's is that most that go wrong contain OPI in them and when that is removed the images etc go wrong. If the original PDF is set up correctly then most times it is ok to bring into Xpress otherwise the EPS method is fairly failsafe. If I have converted to eps I have never had one go wrong (Yet!)

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Glenn McDowall
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A PDF of a PDF - cause poor print results?

Post by Glenn McDowall » 10 Mar 2006, 04:03

Converting text to outlines, Yes or No, is the hot topic on the PitStop forum at the moment. I think the consensus is that it can slightly fatten your output. Personally the effect is reminiscant of doing the same in Illustrator, on screen it looks fatter but when output to a decent Film/Platesetter it is impossible to tell with the naked eye.
It should be noted that the from Acrobat the text ONLY gets converted to outlines if there is a transparent object on that individual page.
The likelyhood of this producing "rough looking text" is that the text is being pixelated as part of the flattening, rather than being outlined, this can apparently be resolved by changing the stacking order of objects using PitStop (I havn't had to deal with this problem, and then place into Quark)

a.hayton
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A PDF of a PDF - cause poor print results?

Post by a.hayton » 10 Mar 2006, 04:07

We recently had a pdf that had a lot of text that was created with outlines in LaTEX and it looked ok on screen but when it went through our Apogee rip the text was rough. ie all the rounded edges had been straightened, a Zero looked more like an octagon.

If there is only a little etxt then you are probably ok but when there is a lot of text then it puts a lot more info into the file and can cause problems.

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Glenn McDowall
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A PDF of a PDF - cause poor print results?

Post by Glenn McDowall » 10 Mar 2006, 05:05

Hi easternherp
I suspect you have pitstop since you have apogee, does that outlined text have a smoothness in the prepress inspector. Or if you run a Pitstop profile check does it detect a flatness above 0.02 in the 'line art' check.
I often see this effect through our Delta Rip when an early Illustrator eps is re-saved as Illus 10 or above then output separated out of quark, I then have to set the document resolution in Illy to 2400dpi to resolve OR going composite ps and distill to pdf has sorted it too (which is the opposite of your problem?!).

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