I have a 300dpi PNG in a Word 2003 Doc. I print to Adobe PDF using Press Quality -- 2400dpi, "Convert smooth lines to curves", and no image compression. I've zoomed in on part of the image as rendered in Word, and the same part as rendered in Acrobat after printing, at which point it looks awful. What can I do to preserve the image quality?
And in Acrobat:
Don't know if it's relevant, but image source is a PNG from AI with transparent background and gradient set in Word.
There won't be any optimizations for transparent images in that ancient version of Acrobat, I'm afraid. I don't know what's in the current version, but there are suggestions that something can help.
When you print to Adobe PDF, Word must flatten all of the transparency, so this is happening before Distiller sees it. You might get a nicer result if you set a matte colour of a mid-blue. But, come to think of it, a PNG is a strange choice when you can use an EPS.
I get the same quality problem whether I use an EPS or PNG. I also tried this without a transparent version of the image (and no background gradient): It's not as painfully glaring, but somewhere between Word and the PDF production it rasterizes in a similarly awful fashion.
If it's an image in EPS form this is bound to happen. Because you were using Illustrator I assumed this was a vector design. If it is an image, trace it in Illustrator to eliminate all bitmaps, and try EPS. Better still, combine with the background (still no images) in Illustrator.
Yes, origin is vector design in Illustrator.
So I've imported the image into Word and printed to Adobe PDF, and every one of the following variations produces comparably bad rasterization:
Again, because there are no rasterization artifacts visible in Word, nor when I print to physical media (which I just thought to test), I'm assuming the breakdown is occurring within Acrobat Distiller.
I guess I could post a .docx with the variant you think would be appropriate to test and someone with another version of Acrobat could see if it's a problem with this older version?
PNG is not a vector format, but a bitmap. Illustrator creates vector formats by default and that is how you should try to use it in WORD. One way is just to clipboard it from Illustrator to WORD (use paste special and select Windows Metafile. Another way is to export as an EMF file and import the graphic to WORD. You can also use the EPS (or maybe AI or SVG in newer versions of WORD) and import the picture.
I did this transformation with EPS and saw no rastering at 6400% zoom. It is a vector plot. The other forms gave some problems and were not as smooth.