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Press pdf's photos look low res

Aug 2, 2012 11:47 AM



I wrote a press pdf of an Indesign file that incorporated photography. It looked great as usual. But I imported the same content for a resize and wrote a new press pdf and the photo part of the pdf looks very low resolution. I reimported the photos and tried again. But now I'm at a loss. Anyone help please?

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    Aug 2, 2012 12:23 PM   in reply to habanero_jefe

    I'm not following your workflow. Please describe more accurately.


    "But I imported the same content for a resize..." What was imported into which application?


    When you say "wrote a press pdf" what exactly did you do? Did you use File > Export > Adobe PDF from InDesign? Did you create a PostScript file and use Distiller? Which PDF settings did you use?


    How are you determining that the PDF "looks very low resolution"? Have you examined it with Acrobat Pro's Output Preview > Object Inspector? There you could measure the actual resolution (ppi) of the images.

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    Aug 2, 2012 2:51 PM   in reply to habanero_jefe

    In the second InDesign file - do the links show as Up to Date in the Links Panel and export without warnings?


    Verify that the first file has the images linked and not embedded, as well...

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    Aug 3, 2012 5:54 AM   in reply to habanero_jefe

    As you are finding, a lot depends on how you are creating the PDF. I assume it is with the export option in ID, not Acrobat. When you change size on a bitmap, a resolution change in PDF can cause a lot of problems because of the way the original bitmap may be down sampled and put into the new resolution. Always a danger when playing with scaling of bitmaps (why vector graphics are preferred when appropriate -- of course, not for photos and such). I suspect it all goes back to the sampling that is being forced. In the future, you might want to scale the graphic in an appropriate program (maybe PhotoShop) to get the desired size and resolution and use that in the ID layout, not just a copy, paste, scale. The graphics programs are more geared to properly scaling a bitmap.

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    Aug 3, 2012 7:28 AM   in reply to habanero_jefe

    IMO, a bitmap image would be appropriate for a black & white/monotone graphic, but a tonal image requires grayscale space.

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