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creating SAME SIZED pdf from two pdf's

Nov 19, 2012 7:53 AM

i am probably not following instructions very well and i am not finding an explanation in the documentation so i am hoping someone can help me out here.

 

i have two pdf's. one is a cover page of a magazine and the other is a page inside the magazine where my work is mentioned. i wish to combine these two pdfs into a SINGLE pdf but in a way that both the pdf's are the same size. i feel like i am missing a settings somewhere for this as each time i do this the inside page is printed into the pdf document at half the size of the cover page.

 

i have tried saving out as png and making sure they are the same size and resolution but this prints (out of Preview) with white borders all around.

 

i have tried saving out as Optimized pdf and setting the sizes to 8 x 11 and 72 dpi but this then prints out of Acrobat as a highly rasterized document that is unreadable.

 

can anyone help me with a step by step on how this can be done? it seems like i should just be able to open two random pdf's in the CREATE pulldown and then tell Acrobat to print them at some specified size (this would be very easy!) but i must be missing something.

 

TIA

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2012 8:11 AM   in reply to hotwheels222

    Well, the problem seems to have happened early on. There isn't a solution in Acrobat for this because you shouldn't be arriving at the problem. The PDFs should have been the right size when they were made. The first thing is to find which one is wrong.

     

    To find the page size of a PDF, move the move over the bottom left corner of the page. A size should appear. Repeat for both files.

     

    Now, which file is wrong, and how was it made? Did the magazine send you the PDF when you got the rights?

     

    On no account try to fix this by any kind of export to a bitmap, or by using Photoshop. You will lose everything that made (hopefully made) it a quality PDF in the frst place.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2012 9:02 AM   in reply to hotwheels222

    Ok, how was the cover made? If you didn't make it, use Ctrl+D and see what it says about "Creator" and "Producer".

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2012 9:21 AM   in reply to hotwheels222

    No, really, this isn't a natural or normal thing to do with PDFs (except in pre-press where there are pricy plug-ins that do it). To have any hope of doing this and keeping quality we need to get as much info as we can. So, let's not just say it was created by Bob (especially as both "Creator" and "Producer" are supposed to be the names of a piece of software, and Microsoft stopped selling Bob before 1999).

     

    So, if Ctrl+D isn't cutting it use File > Properties instead.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2012 2:32 PM   in reply to hotwheels222

    It seems to me that this is an issue because Acrobat doesn't do this. Maybe there's a simple solution that we both missed - and there are several possibilities that might work depending on the kind of PDF. I realise being on your half of the conversation can be frustrating but the reason we ask questions is to narrow the issues down, rather than trying to explain all the possibilities, which we don't have time for and few readers have the interest. So...when someone asks a question, I'd recommend that you just answer it.

     

    From your answers I can see that the first PDF is image only. (I've also checked the example, to confirm it). So far as I know, there is no way, without an extra plug-in, that won't degrade this a little bit, but we can probably do it so it won't be too noticeable.

     

    The best and safest way to fix this is with Photoshop. Do you have Photoshop? (If you do, then I'll recommend the way which produces the minimum degradation).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2012 2:57 PM   in reply to hotwheels222

    You don't need to touch the other PDF. I used my knowledge of the PDF creation software you finally reported, which I know converts image files to PDF, keeping them as images.

     

    To confirm this I used a private tool, but I think there are probably Acrobat tools too.

     

    PDF files don't have a resolution. Each image has a resolution, of course, but a PDF file can contain thousands of images (as well as non-images) and each image can be different. In a sense, since the one and only image in the first file is 72 dpi, you can think of it as a 72 dpi PDF for this special case. Of course, the page should be much smaller, and the resolution would really be correspondingly higher.

     

    Ok, my Photoshop is rather old and doesn't understand how to open this PDF. I hope yours is more up to date. Use File > Open. Check that the page size matches what you know it to CURRENTLY be, and leave the resolution at 72 dpi. Now use Image > Image Size. RESAMPLE IMAGE must be OFF. Change the width to the required width in mm or inches. Now save the PDF (don't lose the original).

     

    You will be offered a choice of quality settings. Experiment to find the best acceptable one. Reopen in Acrobat to confirm sizes now match.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2012 3:15 PM   in reply to hotwheels222

    Since you have a different resolution you may need to play with these instructions. The aim is to avoid changing the resolution either when opening or when resizing.

     

    I'm not sure how you turned "You don't need to touch the other PDF." into the rest of these instructions (take the inside page and change the resolution to 72?). You need the page size the same. You only have to change one PDF. There's no need to harmonise resolutions or mess with the second in any other way.

     

    Once you have two PDF files with the same page size, I assume you already know how to combine these into one PDF in Acrobat. Why on earth would you be printing to PDF, I've spend the past several messages trying to save you from that.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2012 3:17 PM   in reply to Test Screen Name

    Anyway, I'm away for a day or two now. Do try to read what I said and follow what I suggested (adapted as needed) rather than what you believe needs doing. A little knowledge... but I'm sure you know that.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 20, 2012 4:58 AM   in reply to hotwheels222

    Did not see it mentioned, but you may be able to use the crop tool to resize the cover page to letter or A4 size. Then save it that way. Actually, after reducing the cover page, you may want to save with either Reduce File Size or PDF Optimize to reduce the bit resolution of the reduced cover page.

     
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  • George Johnson
    11,671 posts
    Aug 11, 2002
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 21, 2012 11:57 PM   in reply to hotwheels222

    If you're interested, you can use a very simple technique that I use to shrink pages using a button. You can set up a button to import a page from a PDF to use as its icon, and then flatten it. The following simple PDF contains a single button on an 8.5x11 page that is as large as the page: https://workspaces.acrobat.com/?d=c3MgZbyuLmfQo3kcj9AVNw

     

    It is not protected, so you can examine the JavaScript in the Mouse Up event of the button to see how it works.

     

    When you click anywhere on the page, you will be prompted to select a page from a PDF (or image file, etc.). For your PDF, it scales perfectly. If you then Shift-click the page, you are prompted to flatten the page, which converts the button appearance to regular page contents. After you do this, save to a different file.

     

    When I did this with your file and examined the results using Preflight, there was no degredation of the image, as expected. Everything that Preflight reported on for both images was identical, it was just shrunk to fit a smaller area. You can add the other page to the flattened one and you will have what you want.

     
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  • George Johnson
    11,671 posts
    Aug 11, 2002
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 22, 2012 10:25 AM   in reply to hotwheels222

    Were you able to download the file? If so, all you need to do is open it in Acrobat and click anywhere on the page. After you import your cover page, Shift-click to flatten the page. It's that simple.

     
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  • George Johnson
    11,671 posts
    Aug 11, 2002
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 22, 2012 12:08 PM   in reply to hotwheels222

    Yes, if you've flattened the page you can go ahead and insert your other page at the end. The cover page that you just created is 8.5x11. The effect you noticed when you Shift-clicked is not relevant to any of this, it's just the way I set up the button to behave (invert) when it's clicked. I could have selected a push effect, outline, or nothing.

     

    This type of flattening refers to taking the appearance of an annotation (e.g., form field, stamp, markup, and other annotation types) and converting it to regular page contents, removing the annotation(s) in the process. So the result is a regular PDF, which in your case just contains a single image.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 22, 2012 6:41 PM   in reply to hotwheels222

    Hotwheels222

     

    In post #10 you mentioned: . . .opening the cover page (the one i linked to) gives me 104.5 MB, 17.7 W, 22.9 H and Resolution of 300 pixels/inch.

     

    Photoshop doesn't set the resolution by somehow getting the resolution from the PDF. How could it? As Test Screen Names explained, a PDF may have many images with each having a different resolution. So what resolution should Photoshop use when opening such a PDF.

     

    The settings that Photoshop uses to open/rasterize the PDF is simply the last settings that you used to open your previous PDF.

     

    The cover PDF is a single image: 1275 x 1650 pixels at a resolution of 72 pixels per inch.

    This was determined by the Object Inspector in the Output Preview panel in Acrobat Pro,

    This 72 ppi resolution was also confirmed by using PitStop - a prepress tool.

     

    So when you opened the 72 ppi PDF image in Photoshop at 300 ppi, it had to interpolate additional pixels. This interpolation upwards actually degraded the image quality since it can't create additional image detail out of thin air. Can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

     

    Anyhow, it looks like you got your problem solved. I hope you gained a little bit of knowledge about PDFs

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 24, 2012 7:36 PM   in reply to hotwheels222

    Hotwheels 222,

     

    It might help to think of PDF as a container that can have many things such as text, photos, graphics, vector elements,etc all wrapped up inside it.

     

    Normally the content is created in another application such as InDesign, Illustrator, MS Word, or many other appliations. In the application you create a blank document and add or place images, type text in any font you desire, place or create some vector elements (if the application actually have any vector tools), and even other multimedia like audio/video as long as the application supports them,

     

    The photos can all have a different resolution, the vector elements have no resolution (I'll explain), the text may be in many different fonts and they all retain their separate characteristics inside the PDF.

     

    A PDF created from an application like Photoshop will just have one resolution because PS is a pixel based image editor and a PS document can only have a single resolution.

     

    . . .the idea that two adobe products cannot communicate from acrobat to photoshop in terms of a pdf resolution in photoshop seems very inconvenient. . . Again, since a PDF may have many photos with different resolutions, even if PS could get this info (which it can't) what resolution should PS decide to use? PS leaves this up to the user to decide based on what they want their final output may be.

     

    You mention a document you have that "appears to be no images inserted" and "it appears as if it is one image"?

    Are you referring to the Cover pdf?  The PDF producer is "Adobe Acrobat 10.0 Image Conversion Plug-In" is a tip off to "Test Screen Name" and myself that it came from Photoshop. 

     

    While its possible this document was completly created in Photoshop, it is also likely that it was created in another application like InDesign, etc. exported from there as a PDF and then the PDF was opened in Photoshop which rasterized the content and flattened it into a image file with the resolution that you chose when opening in PS and then saved again as just an image in the PDF format. The graphic artist that created this probably did this because they didn't want to give you a print quality PDF that you might try to extract elements from.

     

    You mentioned you thought the doc was from Adobe Illustrator (AI)  AI is primarily a vector creation tool which also allow for the inclusion pixel based raster images (with a specific pixel resolution) to be placed in an AI document if wanted.  Strictly speaking, vector objects don't have a resolution. They are based on math,

     

    It basically says, place a point at such & such X, Y coordinates, now place another poing at some other X,Y coordinates, it takes into account the arc or angle between the two points and says draw a straight line, or draw a curved line ,etc. Since these are only mathematical instructions. this can be enlarged as big as you want and the relationship between the 2 points and the arc of the curve or line will dictate how the enlarged line or curve will be redrawn. 

     

    Vectors are "resolution independent" you can draw a vector logo at 1 x1 inch, and enlarge it to 50 x 50 inches or even as large as a house and it will still print crisp and clean. Note, this only applies to the vector content in your document; any pixel content is stuck at the resolution it was created at.

     

    To inspect elements in a PDF use the Object Inspector in Acrobat Pro. Since a PDF may contain many differing objects you need to click exactly on each object to get any info about the selected object. So if you had 10 photos in your PDF you would need to select each in turn and it would give you the pixel dimension, resolution, color space and profile, etc. if you clicked on text it will identify the font. It is well named, an Object Inspector rather than a Document inspector. Try it yourself with different PDFs you may encounter. If for example, it gives you the exact same info (resolution, pixel dimensions. etc) no matter when you click, then you are likely dealing with a whole single image. If you get different pixel dimension, resolutions when you click in various different areas you are dealing with a PDF that had separate distinct elements.

     

    . . . i can't see why i shouldn't be able to get a document that is 17.7 x 22.9 at 72 ppi down to one that is 8 x 11 at 300 ppi.

     

    In Photoshop, go to the Image menu, Image Size. This will show the pixel dimensions (width & height) at the top. If you don't interpolate (Resample) Photoshop can only put the same number of pixels into different size documents. When you squeeze the same # of pixels into a smaller doc the resolution goes up. When you place the same # of pixels in a larger doc the resolution goes down.

     

    Remember, that resolution is PPI (Pixels Per Inch)! If you do the math this will start to make sense.

     

    Below note that each dialog box has the EXACT same pixel dimensions.

    In the first box it shows the 1275 x 1650 pixels in a document of  17.708 x 22.917 inches. This yields a resolution of 72 PPI.

    In the second box I changed the document size to 8.5 x 11 inches and the same 1275 x 1650 pixels now increase the resolution to 150 PPI.

    In the third box I changed the resolution to 300 PPI and the same 1275 x 1650 pixels now decrease the document size to 4.25 x 5.5 inches.

     

    72.jpg  150.jpg   300.jpg

     

    If you click the Resample Image box, Photoshop will interpolate (resample) the image by throwing away pixels or by adding pixels, but there is no magic involved, and the results are never as good as one might hope for.

     

    Like Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, some things are best when they are "just right"

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 4, 2012 8:56 PM   in reply to hotwheels222

    Glad you came back!

     
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