Friday, February 1, 2008

Working with PDF files


A question was sent in asking about the options when saving to PDF. Many folks are choosing to save to PDF for archival purposes and are wondering which preset to choose. Here's a look at the preset descriptions ... with a plain English translation:
  • High Quality PrintUse these settings to create PDF documents for quality printing on desktop printers and proofers.  Created PDF documents can be opened with Acrobat and Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 and later. An excellent choice for local printing. For archival purposes - there's a better option.
  • Press Quality - Use these settings to create PDF documents best suited for high-quality prepress printing.  Created PDF documents can be opened with Acrobat and Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 and later. An excellent choice for sending your files to a press shop for printing. Again, for archival purposes - there's a better option.
  • Smallest File Size - Use these settings to create PDF documents best suited for on-screen display, e-mail, and the Internet. This option introduces the most compression. Nice for sending contact sheets by e-mail. Not so good for archival purposes.
  • PDF/X-1a:2001 - Use these settings to create PDF documents that are to be checked or must conform to PDF/X-1a:2001, an ISO standard for graphic content exchange. Created PDF documents can be opened with Acrobat and Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 and later.  This option excludes PDF features not suitable for long-term archiving. PDF/A documents are 100% self-contained, thus ensuring that these documents can be reproduced accurately in the future. This is the most popular choice for archiving with PDF.
  • PDF/X-3:2002 - Use these settings to create PDF documents that are to be checked or must conform to PDF/X-3:2002, an ISO standard for graphic content exchange. Created PDF documents can be opened with Acrobat and Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 and later. This option allows the inclusion documents saved in the LAB colour space, colour managed RGB, CMYK, and Spot Colours. If you are saving your LAB or managed documents as PDF files, choose this option.
  • PDF/X-4:2007 - Use these settings to create PDF documents that are to be checked or must conform to PDF/X-4:2007, an ISO standard for graphic content exchange. Created PDF documents can be opened with Acrobat and Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 and later. This option is virtually the same as X-3, but moves the compatibility up one version, from 4 or later to 5 or later.
There is an X-2 option, but its not a published ISO standard so Photoshop does not support it (not a save option).

Also, although PDF documents support encryption, none of the PDF/X standards allow it to be included.

Enjoy.

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