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Rasterize plugin for indesign?

Sep 21, 2010 9:21 AM

Hi

 

I'm looking for a way to rasterize parts of an indesign document when exporting it to pdf.

Why?

- We don't like to send many vectorial stuff like a new logo for example to customers that didn't pay yet (we had some abuse in the past)

- Filesize: documents with links to complex illustrations can still be quiet big when exporting at "Smallest File Size" (10MB+, which can give email trouble)

- To be sure the file looks and prints the same at every computer (not talking about color, but to avoid strange pdf artifacts)

 

We use a great script (made by Kasyan from this forum) which exports a pdf and than rasterizes the pdf into photoshop. But offcourse than the whole pdf is rasterized. There are many cases that i need to rasterize some part but leave other parts as text or vectors.

Like for example, draw an area that needs to be rasterized, or tell what objects that should rasterize.

 

Is there such a thing for indesign?

I came across a plugin called Triple Triangle Raster Write for indesign CS2. Unfortunately it's been discontinued so i can't test it.

 

Thanks!

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 21, 2010 10:13 AM   in reply to dmtetard
    - We don't like to send many vectorial stuff like a new logo for example to customers that didn't pay yet (we had some abuse in the past)

    - Filesize: documents with links to complex illustrations can still be quiet big when exporting at "Smallest File Size" (10MB+, which can give email trouble)

    - To be sure the file looks and prints the same at every computer (not talking about color, but to avoid strange pdf artifacts)

    I don't know about "strange pdf artifacts" but I would assume that the way to do this would be to handle it at the linked-file level. You build your vector logo in Illustrator, and once you're done, you export to a raster format and place that file in ID. I'm accustomed to placing low-res .jpg placeholders and then relinking en masse to .ai files. Perhaps there's a plugin out there that will handle this at the level of ID document or PDF export, but I would expect it to be a print-workflow tool, not a document-management tool. In fact, if I absolutely had to do something like this, I would investigate Acrobat tools like Pitstop Pro - I don't know that it would do precisely what you want, but that's where I'd expect to find a tool that would do something like this.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 21, 2010 10:20 AM   in reply to dmtetard

    I don't know of a plugin that does this, but it could be done with a script. (It would do essentially what Joel suggested, but would call on InDesign itself to rasterize the page item, and then place that low-res image version in the file temporarily, and export the PDF.)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 22, 2010 4:59 AM   in reply to dmtetard

    The only real way to do this without getting too complicated is by exporting a PDF out of InDesign and then bringing that PDF into Photoshop at 300dpi (if you are printing it) and then resaving as a jpeg or tiff, and then using Acrobat to make a new PDF from the file. You could, of course, automate all of that work flow if you really wanted to.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 12, 2010 3:03 PM   in reply to dmtetard

    I am also searching for a way to easily create a pdf from InDesign that converts all vector graphics to raster of a chosen dpi. Like dmtetard I need it to quickly bring down pdf-sizes from around 30-60 mb to 3-7 mb intended for web-publishing. My work-around is to open every linked pdf / illustrator-file, saving or printing it as PDF - then opening this in Photoshop and saving it out as high-res .jpg (which I can always down-scale from the pdf-export-settings in InDesign). I'm aware that I can skip the Photoshop sted by exporting directly into raster from Illustrator. However this function often perform badly for various reasons. Alternatively, it would be so cool with a script that could be run from InDesign that converted a single selected inserted .pdf or .ai to .jpg or .png.

     

    Can anyone point to or merely towards a solution, as this issue has been causing me headaches for years now.

     

    I beg you all!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 13, 2010 3:14 AM   in reply to ThomasDamm

    You can set in the permission of a pdf to print with low resolution only.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 13, 2010 3:25 AM   in reply to Willi Adelberger

    Two things:

     

    I'm not sure what you mean by "permission of a pdf" - where is that?

     

    I am quite aware that I can produce low-res pdf's but the problem is that no matter how much I compress the raster images it does nothing to reduce the vector graphics. I am working in a company where this is a recurring issue since we often produce publications etc. for the homepages of different municipalities. However, we work in vectors and need to be able to print high quality documents as well as the compressed versions for the public to download.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 13, 2010 4:28 AM   in reply to dmtetard

    It simpy can't be "just us". I work in a company with 3000 employees and this is an issue for many. But until Adobe realizes this, I agree that a script could be the solution even though it would change the links. This would still be way better than without. Thought about trying to write the script myself although I have no experiences with scripting. But I am almost desperat enough ,-)

     

    But when both illustrator and photoshop  can rasterize vector artwork - why can't Acrobat 9 Pro / distiller? It could be so easy...

     

    Adobe?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 13, 2010 4:33 AM   in reply to dmtetard

    You can force your images through the transparency flattener.

     

    Set your vector images to have a 99.9% opacity.

     

    Then create a Transparency Flattener Preset (Edit>Transparency Flattener)

     


    Name: Vect to Raster

    Raster/Vector Ballance: (set to 1)

    Line Art and text res (150 ppi)

    Gradient and mesh res: 300 ppi

     

     

    Say Ok

     

     

    File>Export and choose PDF

     

     

    Then in the Compatibility section choose Acrobat 1.4

     

     

    Now go to the Advanced section and choose the Transparency Flatener you created.

     

     

    You export to PDF now the vectors should have changed to Raster.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 13, 2010 4:51 AM   in reply to Eugene Tyson

    I saw that tip yesterday on another site. Thought it sounded as an akward solution but now I have tried it. It works to some degree although the vector graphics become rather pixelated (can I control this using this work-around?). I also tried another suggested solution of temporarily moving the links folder so the pdf only prints previews of the vectors and this was almost equal quality and a lot easier.

     

    Anyways, thanks for the replies and "solutions". I still hope that Adobe - who I generally cherish - is out there listening

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 13, 2010 5:19 AM   in reply to ThomasDamm
    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

    It works to some degree although the vector graphics become rather pixelated (can I control this using this work-around?).

     

    Yes -- don't rasterize it. Rasterizing implies pixelating. If you don't want to be able to see it without zooming in, up the resolution (but your file will get bigger by the square -- 2 times as sharp will be about four times larger).

     

    As for your comparison between Photoshop/Illustrator and InDesign: if you were able to 'select all' and rasterize everything, how would InDesign decide what not to rasterize? Surely you wouldn't want your text rasterized? Underlining? Paragraph rules? Table rules? Simple rules? Simple filled objects? Lots of simple filled objects? Hey -- suddenly I find myself describing real artwork ...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 13, 2010 5:31 AM   in reply to ThomasDamm

    Well the more you up the PPI in the Transparency Flattener settings the larger your file should become.

     

    A simple solution is to open all your vector images in Illustrator and batch save them out as Web graphics.

     

    Then you'd need to use the Links panel in InDesign to swap out the illustrator graphics for the web graphics - and swap  them back again for the print version?

     

    I'm not sure if it could be scripted to duplicate and replace the graphics on another layer?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 13, 2010 5:45 AM   in reply to [Jongware]

    I don't like to rasterize vectors either but due to requirements for online file sizes this just something that have to be done and when I do it manually - the

    long tedious way through Photoshop - the graphics become reasonable even though it is all raster and the document is a tenth in size.

     

    I think it goes without saying that I don't want ALL vectors to be rasterized, but only LINKED content. Ofcourse there can be different scenarios that a "new function" must solve, but being able to rasterize either ALL LINKED CONTENT or ALL LINKED PDF's shouldn't be impossible to incorporate without rasterizing everything.

     

    Eugene: thanks for your reply. I will consider those solutions as well...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 13, 2010 5:56 AM   in reply to ThomasDamm

    Well I can see the usefullness of it.

     

    Another option of course would be to include a Raster version of the items you want on another layer in Illustrator. Then you can turn on or off the raster versions at your whim.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 13, 2010 9:02 AM   in reply to dmtetard

    Rasterizing is increasing the file size, so I would recommend never rasterize. But low resolution printing creates when printed a pixeled output and does not allow to missuse the file for high end printing. Personally I think rasterizing the whole file is never a good idea.

    Limit to low resolution is exactly the answer from Adobe to hinder people to use a PDF without permission for printing.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 14, 2010 12:52 AM   in reply to dmtetard

    Security is seldom an issue for me and not the reason for my inquiry. However, the pdf-security can often be broken with tools like http://freeware-pdf-unlocker.en.softonic.com/.

     

    About "the problem", it seems there are a bit confusion out there, so I will try to describe a specific work-flow - a work-flow I know I share with many people:

     

    Overall I produce my artwork in Illustrator as a combination of images and vectors. For instance, I often have an orthographic photo on which I draw my vectors (the combination of raster and vector produces huge .ai- and .pdf-files) This PDF (or .ai) is at some point put into an InDesign document but the process is always iterative meaning I go back an forth constantly making changes in both my Illustrator files and my layout in InDesign. When the document is finished, the customer asks for two versions of the final document; one for print/press and one for web.

     

    The final document often has a file size of 40 mb despite it containing 'only' 20-30 pages and only 10 inserted PDFs - this is due to the combination of images and vectors in the inserted PDFs. In order to get a good quality document for WEB I now have to open the PDFs in Photoshop in approx. 600 dpi and saving them out as JPG. Then I have to re-link everything in InDesign and saving that as a new FINAL document.

     

    This means I have spent a lot of time converting AND I am now juggling with two InDesign version of the same document. You may think, what's the big deal - it's the FINAL doc but in reality final documents have a tendency of being revised (over and over) for a million of equally valid reasons.

     

    Not to mention, that sometimes I make multiple different 'zooms' in InDesign in the same original illustration from illustrator. To ensure good quality I have to open the PDF in Photoshop in 1200 dpi and saving it as a huge JPG. Or I have to create multiple artboards in Illustrator only for that purpuse, which also has the annoying side-effect of me needing to re-align everything in the frames in InDesign...

     

    So there you have it. Sounds easy?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 14, 2010 1:00 AM   in reply to ThomasDamm

    @Willi


    - oh, forgot to mention that the 40 mb can easily be turned into 4 mb - in decent quality (10 mb = good quality, but customers prefer 3-5 mb).

     

    You are probably right about file size in many cases but it is simply not the case for my "kind-of-files". Also getting the vectors rasterized means that you can suddenly control the PDF file size - producing either big / hi-res or small / low-res PDFs from the same layout. Controlling file size seem to be something Adobe understands when I look at all the raster-downscale functions. And of course you can't really down-scale vectors due to their nature but you raster them in decent quality.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 14, 2010 1:04 AM   in reply to ThomasDamm

    @ dmtetard:

     

    The 99,9 % opacity technique doesn't produces decent quality (anti-aliasing is missing I think)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 14, 2010 5:55 AM   in reply to dmtetard

    Oh the old switcharoo with the numbers. Sorry about that.


     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 14, 2010 12:18 PM   in reply to Eugene Tyson

    I have now testet it and it's great. Thank you both for the tip and the elaboration.

     

    I would still like to ask Adobe, if this sort functionality could be implemented in the next version of Acrobat: I could do without all the messing about and the limitations of format this method has. Adobe?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 14, 2010 12:29 PM   in reply to ThomasDamm

    You're just a voice raging at the darkness here. Try lighting a candle: https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 15, 2010 12:11 AM   in reply to Dog of War

    I will light a candle immediately (didn't know they had that)

    thanks

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 8, 2012 6:45 AM   in reply to Eugene Tyson

    Does not seem to work. I tried a slight different approach as setting all vector images to 99.9% is too cumbersome.

    I made a noise bitmap the size of the whole page, and added that one at 1% opacity to the top layer.

    Weird thing is, the noise is applied, but the vectors and text are just as vector and text underneath. They don't get rasterized.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 8, 2012 7:18 AM   in reply to m2d3x4

    The flattener trick was reliable in CS4, but it took advantage of a bug that was fixed in CS5. See Possible bug: oulining text w/ flattener in CS5

     

    You could still use the 99% transparency on the vectors fairly easily, I think, if you used an object style.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 8, 2012 2:14 PM   in reply to dmtetard

    On a Mac, you can do it very easily with Automator I found out (the complete rasterization, not the partial stuff though), way easier and faster than with photoshop tricks. You can either make it as folder action, tackling all PDF export to that folder, or you can make a stand alone app. Trowing your PDF on that will do the trick.

    How to set up Automator?

    Add the following 2 actions to the program:

    • Convert PDF pages to images. Choose the intermediate file format: dpi, JPEG/PNG/TIF etc, CMYK or RGB
    • New PDF from images

    Save as application and done. Start throwing your PDF's on it to bitmapize them.

     
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  • Rob Day
    3,120 posts
    Oct 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 9, 2012 9:18 AM   in reply to m2d3x4

    Does not seem to work. I tried a slight different approach as setting all vector images to 99.9% is too cumbersome.

     

    I got it to work by drawing a frame over the page and setting its opacity to 0%, then Exporting to PDF/X-1a. Make sure you export a flattened PDF and with the custom flattener preset chosen in Advanced.

     

    An AI logo is rasterized to 120ppi on export

     

    Screen shot 2012-12-09 at 11.53.51 AM.png

     
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