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Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview

May 28, 2013 8:49 AM

Tags: #preview #printing #dots #os_x #cs6

Here's a mad problem.

 

When I print a PDF from OS X's Preview app that has been created from InDesign CS6, the output (Text and lines) appears noticably "dotty". Even straight lines have, under a loupe, visible dots along the edge. When printing from ID directly or Acrobat, I get no such dots, only smooth lines and curves.

 

However:

Printing directly from InDesign: No trouble.

Printing PostScript from ID and Distilling to a PDF: Problem occurs when printing from Preview.

Other content from other apps, using the same Distiller settings: No trouble.

Some older PDFs of similar content created in earlier versions of CS (CS3): No trouble.

Combined PDF of pages from ID CS6 and other apps: only trouble on the ID Cs6 pages.

Printing from Acrobat: No trouble.

 

In short, it's not the printer settings, as a combined PDF of pages from multiple apps will only display the problem on the pages that came from ID.

 

My printer is an HP 5200 DTN.

 

Answers other than "don't use Preview" welcome.

I'm presuming Preview may well be at fault, but as InDesign has much more configurable options, I'm looking to adjust the output from there.

 

Any thoughts, or anyone else notice this? Thanks.

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2013 8:55 AM   in reply to benwiggy

    Sorry, you don't want to hear this but: Preview is a substandard PDF application. Apple has no intention of fixing it because most of their users are ordinary folks who just want to print out simple documents. It was never intended to be used for professional use, and you're welcoming a load of hurt by continuing to use it.

     

    And since the alternative, Adobe Reader, is free, there is really no reason to do so.

     

    'Nuff said.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2013 10:07 AM   in reply to benwiggy

    You've already gotten all the detail you need. If you want to keep using

    Preview, knock yourself out but you'll continue to have problems. You

    will note that when you create a PDF with InDesign it is specifically an

    Adobe PDF.

     

    All other readers besides Acrobat and Reader are going to be hit or miss.

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2013 10:35 AM   in reply to benwiggy

    But Apple does not implement the full PDF standard, so use Acrobat or Reader. You claim that Preview is not showing or printing your PDFs properly but use it because it shows them better?

     

    But I see you use Print and Distiller for creating PDF files. This you should avoid too. Export PDFs from InDesign or save them from Photoshop or Illustrator but don't use the Distiller, because it is a PostScript based workflow like EPS and is outdated since many years.

     

    But why do you stick with Apple Preview?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2013 10:52 AM   in reply to benwiggy

    Why? PDF is a published, open standard. Anyone can implement a PDF reader just as well as Adobe.

    All evidence is to the contrary. And why are you using what can only be described as an archaic workflow by using distiller?

     

    Exporting is the recommended method of PDF creation.

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2013 10:59 AM   in reply to benwiggy

    What are your display settings in Acrobat?

     

    And in your original post you specifically said "Printing PostScript

    from ID and Distilling to a PDF: Problem occurs when printing from

    Preview. "

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2013 4:22 PM   in reply to benwiggy

    On behalf of Adobe Systems Incorporated ...

     

    The reason why creating PDF by distillation of PostScript is considered archaic and obsolete is that PostScript is only a subset of the imaging model supported both by InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Acrobat/PDF.

     

    Creating PDF by distillation of PostScript is potentially a very lossy operation:

     

    (1)     The PostScript output from InDesign is not optimized for PDF creation, but rather, for printing to actual PostScript printers.

     

    (2)     PostScript doesn't create live transparency or color management at all. Transparency is flattened and you lose ICC color management causing various image artifacts and other problems. You may very well lose the ability to use text touch up in Acrobat or search for specific text.

     

    We are not aware of any situations in which Apple's Preview software provides objectively better display or printed output than either Adobe Reader or Acrobat.

     

             - Dov

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2013 9:16 PM   in reply to benwiggy

    Did you check your preferences in Acrobat? It could be that your settings in Preferences > Page Display > Rendering … are not set up correctly. That could cause a bad representation of your PDF on your screen. It is not rue that Apples Vorschau/Preview is better on the screen because it does not even support all possible objects from a pdf.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 31, 2013 2:36 AM   in reply to benwiggy

    1. Where did you ever tellanyone which color mode you use.

    2. A colour mode should not be a problem for correct printing.

    3. And yes, you use outdated workflows when you use postscript.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 31, 2013 3:17 AM   in reply to benwiggy

    No one should tell you which colour space is to use neither wich colour mode. It is not our problem and it is not a problem at all. Why should WE know what YOUR output intent should be?

     

    Hey, don't claim others guilty for the … you are doing yourself.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 31, 2013 5:09 AM   in reply to benwiggy

     

     

    I should not have to receive such scornful contempt for having an unfashionable workflow. I came here to ask for your help and experience. Nothing else.

    Go back and read your original post. You came here and dismissed the correct answer right off the bat. You are using an archaic workflow and Preview is the wrong application for anything but, previewing.

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 31, 2013 6:56 AM   in reply to benwiggy

    I think this thread has reached the end of its useful dialog and I'm going to lock it.

     
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