20 Replies Latest reply on May 31, 2013 6:56 AM by Peter Spier

    Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview

    benwiggy Level 1

      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.

        • 1. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
          Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          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.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
            benwiggy Level 1

            What you say is true, though I'm intrigued about what it is in the PDFs from CS6 that makes Preview go "dotty", when CS3 and other apps don't.

             

            I would be grateful if anyone else could confirm the behaviour, so I can report it on the Apple BugReporter.

            • 3. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
              BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              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

              • 4. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
                benwiggy Level 1

                Bob Levine wrote:

                 

                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.

                "Thank you for you help." Yes, I appreciate that I will have to use Acrobat to print, but that's a bit tedious as Preview displays my PDFs better, so I'm stuck for a default.

                 

                Bob Levine wrote:

                 

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

                Adobe PDF.

                 

                An "Adobe PDF"? As opposed to anyone else's PDF? And the PDFs I create with Distiller from other apps -- are they not Adobe PDFs? Or the ones from CS3?

                Bob Levine wrote:

                 

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

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

                • 5. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
                  Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                  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?

                  • 6. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
                    BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                    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

                    • 7. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
                      benwiggy Level 1

                      Willi Adelberger wrote:

                       

                      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?

                       

                      No, I'm claiming Preview displays the PDF better than Acrobat, but has trouble printing ONLY those pages that are from InDesign CS6. Preview works for PDF 1.4, which is what I'm working to. Everything else above that is bells and whistle thatI don't use.

                       

                      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.

                      I use Distiller for other applications, not for CS6.

                       

                      But why do you stick with Apple Preview?

                      As said, I'm left with a dichotomy where Preview displays the images better, but Acrobat prints them better.

                      • 8. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
                        BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                        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

                        • 9. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
                          benwiggy Level 1

                          Producing PS and Distilling from ID was a TEST, for the purposing of troubleshooting the issue. It is curious that ID prints correctly, but its PostScript still causes the problem, when Distilled using the same settings as PostScript from other apps, where the problem does not appear.

                           

                          I am interested in two things:

                          1. Any possible settings in InDesign/Distiller that might shed light on the nature of the problem.

                          2. Anyone who can confirm the same behaviour.

                           

                          Both of which are for the purposes of figuring out the exact cause, and for submitting to Apple. Thank you for your help with this.

                           

                          My job options are slightly modified from the standard Press Settings, with no colour conversion and no letting the .ps change the job options.

                           

                          I concur that, for the time being, I will have to print my PDFs from Acrobat.

                           

                          I don't concur that there is anything archaic about Distiller. It is included with CS6, so that makes it current. It would be a sad day when one couldn't write some PostScript and convert it to PDF.

                          • 10. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
                            Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                            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

                            • 11. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
                              Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                              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.

                              • 12. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
                                benwiggy Level 1

                                Dov Isaacs wrote:

                                 

                                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.

                                 

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

                                Luckily, I use my PDFs for printing to actual PostScript printers. As stated, if it comes from a CS app, I use export to PDF. But there are other apps out there.

                                 

                                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.

                                I did post about the display issue on the Acrobat board. It was unresolved. Yes, I tried changing the settings.

                                • 13. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
                                  benwiggy Level 1

                                  Having given this problem a bit more thought, I have discovered that Preview doesn't handle pages in a CMYK colourspace well. If I ensure that the PDF is converted to an RGB colourspace, then it prints properly from Preview.

                                   

                                  I'm sure one of you might have suggested this if you had actually considered the issue for a moment, rather than telling me I was using the wrong applications and "archaic" workflows.

                                  • 14. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
                                    Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                    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.

                                    • 15. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
                                      benwiggy Level 1

                                      1. No one told me what colour mode to use. I identified that as the source of the problem.

                                      2. Correct. It's a bug! I am now able to avoid it. I have also reported it to Apple BugReporter.

                                       

                                      3. PostScript may not be "cutting edge", but I work with some applications that have to export PS; and doing "Save As PDF" is not an option.

                                       

                                      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.

                                      • 16. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
                                        Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                        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.

                                        • 17. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
                                          benwiggy Level 1

                                          Willi Adelberger wrote:

                                           

                                          It is not our problem and it is not a problem at all.

                                          Why are even replying, if you're not going to be helpful? I had a problem, I found the answer.

                                           

                                          I thought someone here might have been able to help. I was wrong. Apologies for that.

                                          • 18. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
                                            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                             

                                             

                                            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

                                            • 19. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
                                              benwiggy Level 1

                                              Bob Levine wrote:

                                               

                                              Go back and read your original post.

                                              Do likewise.

                                               

                                               

                                              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.

                                               

                                               

                                              I was trying to find the technical CAUSE of the problem. If you haven't got any useful technical information to contribute, then I don't need any more of your hostility.

                                              • 20. Re: Problem printing PDFs from InDesign in OS X Preview
                                                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

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