14 Replies Latest reply on Oct 5, 2015 5:49 PM by Arnis Gubins

    "Save As PDF" vs. "Print" as PDF


      Is there any real difference? With "Save as" you get a txt file with a report that seems to be meaningless. Are there any hidden advantages or disadvantages to either?

      Thank you


        • 1. Re: "Save As PDF" vs. "Print" as PDF
          Mike Wickham Level 4

          If you look on this message board, and in the FrameUsers group's long

          history of messages, you will see that those having problems creating

          PDFs are almost always using Save as PDF-- and that using Print to PDF

          is almost always the simple cure. Save as PDF works sometimes, but has a

          long history of being problematic. Print to PDF is very dependable and

          is virtually always the recommended choice.


          I know I didn't directly answer your question, but I don't use Save as

          PDF, so I can't remember what it is that it is supposed to do

          differently, if anything.

          • 2. Re: "Save As PDF" vs. "Print" as PDF
            Michael Müller-Hillebrand Level 4



            part of my job is to create automated publishing routines via script. And in those jobs I always use the Save As PDF feature. I also use it manually, but I have a rather clean Virtual Machine for my FrameMaker work.


            Adobe invested quite a bit to make the Save as PDF process better and better from version to version. Because it involves a possibly behind the scenes printer switch, there will always be system configurations which have problems. Therefore an additional recommendation is to have the Adobe PDF printer instance selected as the default printer.


            There have been reports of Save as PDF being a lot quicker than Print to file – and the contrary.


            - Michael


            PS: Until Adobe adds native PDF export to FrameMaker some people will always experience problems.


            • 3. Re: "Save As PDF" vs. "Print" as PDF
              David Coverston

              When we print to PDF, we don't get the bookmarks. Which is why we use Save As PDF. If you don't need bookmarks, print to PDF should work fine for you.

              • 4. Re: "Save As PDF" vs. "Print" as PDF
                Bob Niland (Error 7103) Level 4

                Is there any real difference?


                I see that this aspect of the question remains unanswered.

                And the question really is:

                Print-to-PDF vs. Save-as-PDF vs. Print-to-PS&Distill-to-PDF


                I have always Distill'd separately, due to the extra control provided,

                although in my present day job, it's the only useful path. We print to

                PS on FM7.1/Unix and Distill on Acrobat9/Win7-64.

                Print to PDF on FM7.1/Unix is completely inadequate.

                Therefore, I don't know much about current direct-to-PDF.


                Michael adds:
                Adobe invested quite a bit to make the Save as PDF process better

                and better from version to version.


                To what end? I can see that one of them would be expected by most

                users, as most Windows apps can export to PDF these days,

                by why two? And is there some conceptual difference?


                At first glance, because there is a Print-to, one might expect Save-as

                to provide round-tripping. I haven't looked into that for our copy of FM9,

                but I doubt it's the case. I assume the eventual round-trip alternative

                to .FM is .XML.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: "Save As PDF" vs. "Print" as PDF
                  Arnis Gubins Adobe Community Professional & MVP



                  You need to enable the "Generate Acrobat Data" option when using the Print command in order to have bookmarks and hypertext links created in the final PDF.




                  The other differences between printing and SaveAsPDF are (AFAIK):


                  SaveAsPDF always uses the Generate Acrobat Data option and sets the FM defined page-size as the PDF cropbox. The media size may be set larger in the user options and in that case the crop box is then reset to the specified media dimensions. There are also post-processing routines that FM runs on the FM generated postscript to perform "optimizations" prior to handing the temporary postscript file (.tps) over to Distiller.


                  Printing to the AdobePDF printer instance allows manual control (you don't have to generate the Acrobat data) and bypasses the post-processing routines. For press work, this is usually the better workflow (CMYK issues are a different matter).


                  Depending upon how the AdobePDF printer instance is configured and which port (FILE: or the PDF location) it is connected to could affect the speed of throughput as Michael indicates.


                  Features that can't be created via FM's postscript output route include live transparency, JPEG2000 compression, layers, (smooth shading - gradients ?) all of which can be done when the application directly exports a PDF (i.e. writes PDF code in instead of postscipt) like InDesign and Illustrator.






                  Are you using the Distiller Server version on your Win7 platform? If not. then hopefully you have the corresponding number of licenses on the Win platform to match those in use on the Unix ones, otherwise you might be inadvertently circumventing some of the terms in the EULA regarding server use.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: "Save As PDF" vs. "Print" as PDF
                    Michael Müller-Hillebrand Level 4

                    Have you automated the Save As PDF function in FrameMaker using FrameScript or ExtendScript? We use FrameScript for some of our production processes, but I have never had time to figure out the PDF process. Would you be willing to share it?


                    For this I have only used FrameScript. The basics are quite simple, as you just say


                    Save Book BookObject(lvBook) File(lvPDFname) FileType(SaveFmtPdf);


                    This relies on all the PDF settings already set correctly in all documents of the book. If you need to control those, you have to set them for each document before trying this. And, of course, your PDF creation process should be able to work as if you would use Save As PDF from the menu and don’t have to make any additional settings.


                    - Michael

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: "Save As PDF" vs. "Print" as PDF
                      Bob Niland (Error 7103) Level 4

                      Are you using the Distiller Server version on your Win7 platform? If  not. then hopefully you have the corresponding number of licenses on the  Win platform to match those in use on the Unix ones, ...


                      The latter.


                      Each Unix w/s has a dedicated PC with a full up CS.


                      Also have FM9 on these PCs, but we only use it for testing so far.

                      • 8. Re: "Save As PDF" vs. "Print" as PDF
                        Maike Roder

                        Hi Ian,


                        Only "Print as PS to PDF" allows mixed page sizes and orientations in one PDF, but can't save CMYK information.


                        - Maike

                        • 9. Re: "Save As PDF" vs. "Print" as PDF
                          Bob Niland (Error 7103) Level 4

                          Because questions related to this topic continue to arise, and gather mere snippets of the overall answers ...


                          It would be nice if Adobe would give us a statement of corporate intent regarding:

                          Save As PDF


                          If we look at other Adobe apps, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, it might easy to assume that PDF is becoming a round-trip* format, and possibly even a replacement for native formats such as PSD and AI.


                          Frame is not [yet] using PDF as a round-trip format, and therefore it would further be nice to have a feature comparison of:

                          Print to PDF vs.

                          Save as PDF vs.

                          Print to PS & Distill

                          Of course, that could be an unmanageable matrix, given the possibility of non-matching versions of FM and Distiller (and platforms).


                          * The way this is done is with Private Data in the PDF, which has major caveats and traps for the unwary.

                          • 10. Re: "Save As PDF" vs. "Print" as PDF
                            Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                            In the general case, PDF is absolutely not a round-trippable file format.


                            In Adobe Illustrator, you can only safely and losslessly open a PDF file that was created via the save as PDF feature from either the current or later versions of Adobe Illustrator and if you have specified the Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities option. You also would need to have all fonts referenced by the PDF file installed on your system to safely open the PDF file in Illustrator, regardless of whether the fonts are embedded in the PDF file or not! Note that if you do any editing of the PDF file in Acrobat or any other PDF workflow software, your ability to open the PDF file successfully in Illustrator is compromised! And yes, the data used by Illustrator in opening such a PDF file is actually not the PDF data, but “private data” shtupped into the PDF file format by Illustrator when saving. Also note that such PDF files are much larger than .AI files since virtually all visual data is effectively duplicated; very inefficient!


                            For Adobe Photoshop, the situation is similar. When you save as PDF, you only have a round-trippable PDF file if you save the file with the Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities feature, but you may have lossiness due to JPEG compression. The layers and other Photoshop attributes are saved as private data in a manner similar to Illustrator. Personally, I love PDF for output of graphically-complex Photoshop imagery, especially when there is live text or vector artwork as a final form file format, but not as the file format to save my work for subsequent edits. I typically use losslessly compressed TIFF with layer information or PSD. for that purpose.


                            Adobe has no intention whatsoever to make PDF a round-trippable file format for any other applications such as either InDesign or FrameMaker. Forget about it. I think (or hope) we learned our lesson on that!


                            In terms of ways of producing PDF from FrameMaker, all the methods ultimately require distillation of PostScript and for the most part, the Distiller has absolutely not change significantly, especially in how the PDF is generated, in many releases (it is one of the most stable pieces of Adobe software). The differences in terms of PDF generation are related to how the PostScript is generated. For example, if the CMYK option is specified, the PostScript is generated using the PostScript Level 1 generator derived from the UNIX version of FrameMaker. Otherwise, PostScript is generated along with EPS injections via the Windows GDI-based PSCRIPT system PostScript driver. Also, if links and bookmarks are required, FrameMaker injects PDFMark operators into the PostScript stream. The Print to PDF and Print to PostScript (file) and Distill methods of PDF generation are functionally the same. You should not get any different results; the former is simply an automated method of doing the latter. Save as PDF attempts to be more clever in terms of how the Distiller is invoked and optimizations that could or should be made as well as providing bookmark and link support.


                            Version compatibility issues tend to be associated with trying to use ancient (i.e., versions of FrameMaker earlier than 8) on OS versions that FrameMaker wasn't designed for with newer versions of Acrobat that FrameMaker likewise was not designed for.


                                           - Dov

                            1 person found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: "Save As PDF" vs. "Print" as PDF
                              Harpreet seehra Level 1

                              Simple answer


                              With "Save As" you cannot create a post script pdf file however if you use "Print" you will see that it creates a Post script file in a particular location that most of the times is a good option to print if you want to print clear using CYMK and RGB options given there as FrameMaker reads font information stored in the printer driver.

                              You also get Registration Marks pop-up menu when you do File-->Print and it also do the color separation.




                              • 12. Re: "Save As PDF" vs. "Print" as PDF

                                This is what I've found as the major difference between either Save As PDF vs. Print to PDF. If you use headings to create a table of contents within a document, there are some navigation issues that occur in the Print to PDF option.   In the Save As option, the hyperlinks within the document work very well, you can create navigation buttons to move between the different sections of the document.  However, if you insert graphics in the document for illustrations, the graphics appear with lines around them when you use the Save As option.  These lines are not visible when you use the Print to option. If someone knows how to resolve the hyperlink issue in the Save As option, I would love to hear it. So, the option seems to be that you can have it look nice OR you can have it navigate nicely.

                                • 13. Re: "Save As PDF" vs. "Print" as PDF
                                  davidc46247592 Level 1

                                  Maybe I'm in the wrong place here....but I'm wondering....

                                  if I save an Illustrator file as a PDF...using the SAVE AS command....

                                  ...is it the same as saving the same file as an .EPS and then using Distiller to make my PDF?

                                  I've noticed image flaws can show up if I use the Distiller route...but when I SAVE AS a PDF out of Illustrator it works fine.


                                  I always thought a distilled PDF was more streamlined....based on my Distiller settings. Therefore quicker to rip.

                                  But if it causes image flaws....it is not what I want of course!

                                  • 14. Re: "Save As PDF" vs. "Print" as PDF
                                    Arnis Gubins Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    Creating the PDF out of Illustrator using the SaveAs function directly creates a PDF. Whereas, if you go the EPS route, you are creating postscript first and then Distiller converts that into PDF. Some things, such as live transparency, don't exist in the postscript world, so things get flattened.


                                    Also, the joboptions that you specify can greatly affect how well images are rendered along with how big the resulting PDF file gets.


                                    Note: when a PDF is placed into FM, it gets converted to an EPS on the fly by the import filter, then back distilled back when the PDF is created.