Back in April I did some test files to create ebook PDFs from larger print-ready PDFs. Without going into detail, I got the best results by importing the PDFs into Photoshop, downsizing there, saving to PSD, then converting the PSD back into a PDF. The PDFs were then combined into a binder and optimized. When one looks at both the individual PDFs and the final result's properties, it says “PDF Producer: Adobe Photoshop for Windows.”
Fast forward a few months, and suddenly the same workflow results in an obviously degraded image. The PDFs' properties say “PDF Producer: Adobe Photoshop for Windows – Image Conversion Plugin.”
I have not updated my Photoshop. I am not on the cloud. I am still using CS5.5. I cannot for the life of me figure out what has happened. The only possible clue was an update a few weeks ago to Acrobat Reader, but not Acrobat Pro.
I am also suddenly having problems with transparency when trying to optimize, which I did not have before.
Windows has updated over this period, but there is nothing I can see that would account for this change in Photoshop.