7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 21, 2013 3:08 PM by Bo LeBeau

    Keep quality when saving pdf

    Seth Urquhart

      I am using Photoshop CS6: I also tried this on CS5 going through the same process as below with a little bit higher quality but not the original quality.


      I open a PDF, Pops up "Import PDF" I hit ok. I edit the PDF by using the marquee tool to select an area in the PDF that I want to delete. I delete it once the area is selected. Then I save the PDF using "save as...". Set the format to PDF, then hit "save". Pops up "Save Adobe PDF" hit "Save PDF".


      When I print off the original version of the PDF compared to the edited one the quality is a bit off. It fills up more space on the paper also. The first one is darker and overall crisper. Is there something I missed when saving the PDF to keep the same quality as it was before I edited it?


      I'm thinking I may be able to change quality in the pop messages I got but I don't want to mess anything else up.

        • 1. Re: Keep quality when saving pdf
          MikeGondek Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Until you figure this out, save a .psd of your edited .pdf.


          You will need to match the colorspace and color profile of both PDFs. Open your oriignal pdf in acorabt, and  view >> tools Print Production >> Output Preview. At the bottom you will see the tranparency blending space, the .pdf below is RGB.


          Screen Shot 2013-01-17 at 2.08.38 PM.png


          On the size issue would need to see your print settings for both doucuments, you may have one set to resize to paper and the other to actual size.

          • 2. Re: Keep quality when saving pdf
            Seth Urquhart Level 1

            I didn't have Adobe Reader installed, so I downloaded and installed "Adobe Reader XI"


            I opened View>>Tools>>...


            I can't find " tools Print Production "

            • 3. Re: Keep quality when saving pdf
              MikeGondek Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              That tool is not available in the free reader.


              Another way to check if Your .pdf is RGB or CMYK is to open in Illustrator. You cna see in the parenthesis of my file names what the colorspace is.


              Screen Shot 2013-01-21 at 9.54.21 AM.png


              You then want to save a .pdf Format (eg: High quality print) which  matches the colorpsace  of your original. You cna tell than by your destination colorspace.


              Screen Shot 2013-01-21 at 9.58.56 AM.png

              In this case a very popular smallest file size is going to sRGB, so if you had a CMYK file as your orignal, that preset converts you to RGB.

              • 4. Re: Keep quality when saving pdf
                gator soup Level 4

                Is there something I missed when saving the PDF to keep the same quality


                if you mean pixel quality COMPRESSION, see center box (click on it for bigger image):




                you probably also want to ensure you Convert to a Destination Profile and always include the ICC profile (to preserve color appearance)

                • 5. Re: Keep quality when saving pdf
                  Bo LeBeau Level 4

                  You mentioned: I open a PDF, Pops up "Import PDF" I hit ok . . .

                  And when you were in the Import PDF dialog box what were the settings for Resolution, Color Mode. Bit Depth, Crop to?


                  PDF is a container format that can have images that have different resolutions, color modes, live text, etc.

                  When you Import a PDF that may have some of the above issues, Photoshop throws up a dialog box where you can change the settings because you are rasterizing the content. (if your PDF was saved from a bitmap/pixel editor you would likely NOT see the Import PDF dialog)


                  The Import PDF dialog is there to warn you that you need to tell Photoshop HOW to process the PDF when opening.

                  If you just hit OK, you are at the mercy of whatever settings were in the dialog box.


                  To make this even more important, you need to realize that the settings are simply whatever was used for the previous conversion.

                  So if your previous conversion was set at a low resolution like 72 ppi, then Photoshop will use this setting even if your PDF has a high resolution image of 300 ppi or more. Opening a 300 ppi image at only 72 ppi will make it low resolution and will look like crap.


                  Also, this automatically raterizing the live text which would have printed sharp because it WAS vectors. but are NOW pixels at whatever resolution you used. Rasterized text at even at a high resolution will never look as good as the original live text.


                  What was the original application that created the PDF?

                  It is always best to go back to the original file in the original application and make changes there and produce a new PDF.


                  What were you doing to the PDF in Photoshop, deleting some text, cropping the image, etc?

                  If you had Acrobat Pro you would be able to make some changes without damaging the PDF.

                  Rasterizing a PDF in Photoshop is never a good idea.



                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Keep quality when saving pdf
                    gator soup Level 4

                    I open a PDF


                    i missed that, the op is opening .pdf in Photoshop and noticing a loss in quality?


                    just had a 'genius' drag my packaged pdf into Photoshop -- rastering my text and vector logo at 125 ppi -- before printing it through a RIP


                    not a pretty sight either


                    and not sure he even understood the nature of vector elements and vector print sharpness


                    there must be 50 ways to screw up my document...

                    • 7. Re: Keep quality when saving pdf
                      Bo LeBeau Level 4

                      I agree, I wish PDF had a magic hand that comes through the screen and smacks a person's hand away from the mouse if they try to do something stupid like that!