11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 6, 2011 1:14 PM by BobLevine

    Metadata from InDesign to PDF via PostScript

    73TransAm Level 1

      Have been playing around with placing Metadata in a InDesign CS4 file and then outputting a PostScript file.  Then Distill the PS file into a PDF.  ( seems silly but it is a customer requirement )

       

      When I check the PDF the metadata is gone.  When I check the PostScript file I see the placeholders for metadata, just no metadata. 

       

      Any suggestions for how to prepare the PostScript file ?

       

      Thanks

        • 1. Re: Metadata from InDesign to PDF via PostScript
          Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Metadata (along with color management profiles, tagging, and many other things) are lost when you make a PostScript file, then use Distiller. The PostScript format predates all of these things are was never prepared to preserve them. That's why creating PDF in a different way is essential.

           

          You need to choose File > Export > Adobe PDF (Print) or (Interactive) to preserve metadata. You're using the wrong method of creating the PDF.

          • 2. Re: Metadata from InDesign to PDF via PostScript
            Stix Hart Level 5

            About having to make a PS file first I think you meant "( it is a customer requirement but it seems silly )"! 

             

            Which it is....

            • 3. Re: Metadata from InDesign to PDF via PostScript
              Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

              Very irrational and truly unnecessary customer requirement!

               

                        - Dov

              • 4. Re: Metadata from InDesign to PDF via PostScript
                John Hawkinson Level 5

                Steve Werner wrote:

                Metadata (along with color management profiles, tagging, and many other things) are lost when you make a PostScript file, then use Distiller. The PostScript format predates all of these things are was never prepared to preserve them. That's why creating PDF in a different way is essential.

                That's not entirely fair. PostScript certainly predates the PDF metadata structuring, however when PDF was introduced, Adobe extended PostScript to define a way to include PDF data in PostScript files (pdfmark; though I want to say there's another way as well). There's no reason that InDesign's Postscript export couldn't or shouldn't support inclusion of simple metadata in PostScript output (XMP metadata, on the other hand, I don't know if there's a good way to include such that Distiller would pick it up).

                 

                Of course, it would be possible to extract the metadata from the InDesign file seperately and shove it into the extracted PostScript file prior to distilling,  or shove it in to the produced PDF file after distilling. Just a simple matter of scripting.

                 

                Dov wrote:

                Very irrational and truly unnecessary customer requirement!

                Dov, I feel like you are being a little disingenuous here to make a political point. As many have observed, often distilling InDesign's postscript produces more compact PDF files than any reasonable direct PDF output setting from InDesign. That makes it legitimately attractive to some people who care a lot about minimizing file size while maximizing quality. It is diffficult to tell them they are wrong.

                 

                I guess I haven't looked closely at this question, but it seems like this disfavored workflow does have some clear advantages. (I don't use such a workflow, so, take that with some salt.)

                • 5. Re: Metadata from InDesign to PDF via PostScript
                  BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  IME minimizing file size does not maximize quality. While I understand that many folks are stuck with archaic (yes, distilling is archaic) workflows they need to understand that using such workflows is going to force them into tradeoffs. I for one would not want to see Adobe spend one minute of an engineer's time on anything that would improve the postscript/distill worklfow.

                   

                  I'd far rather see that time spent improving / adding features for epub or dps.

                   

                  Bob

                  • 6. Re: Metadata from InDesign to PDF via PostScript
                    John Hawkinson Level 5

                    73TransAm: Your post was blank. If you tried replying via email, you might use the web interface instead.

                    Bob: I'm sorry, I spoke less than precisely. Certainly minimizing file size cannot maximize quality. But my understanding, please correct me if I am wrong, is that individuals utilizing a postscript+distiller workflow have been able to achieve the same quality as they get with direct PDF export, but with a smaller file size. If they adjust the direct PDF export parameters to achieve the smaller file size they get with distiller, they suffer noticable quality problems.

                     

                    But again, that's my anecdotal understanding, it is not backed by rigorous experimentation.

                    • 7. Re: Metadata from InDesign to PDF via PostScript
                      BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                      No, John, they don’t get equal quality.

                       

                       

                       

                      What they get is flattened device dependent files.

                       

                       

                       

                      While this may be fine for a quarter page ad in the local newspaper, it’s not going to cut it for higher end output using modern equipment.

                       

                       

                       

                      Again, I’m not saying that there aren’t time where someone must use this workflow. I haven’t bothered distilling a PDF in many years but I do on occasion have to submit flattened art for ads and such. When that happens, I export to X/1-a and design accordingly so as to minimize flattening issues.

                       

                       

                       

                      We’ve gone a bit off track here but the irony is that the metadata will increase the file size…perhaps not by much but still it’s one of those “take the good with the bad” situations.

                       

                       

                       

                      Bob

                      • 8. Re: Metadata from InDesign to PDF via PostScript
                        John Hawkinson Level 5

                        I don't use this workflow either, so it's a bit dangerous to speculate, but there are a huge number of factors that control quality of output. And indeed, there are postscript+distilled files that have no quality compromises whatsoever. In particular, those that don't have raster graphics. I would not be comfortable making a sweeping generalizaton.

                         

                         

                        We’ve gone a bit off track here but the irony is that the metadata will increase the file size…perhaps not by much but still it’s one of those “take the good with the bad” situations

                        Err, I thought we were talking about the metadata like "Author: Bob Levine." No one is fighting about  20 bytes, the concern is kilobytes (or more likely megabytes).

                        • 9. Re: Metadata from InDesign to PDF via PostScript
                          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                          Correct, and now it’s my turn to say I should have been a bit clearer.

                           

                           

                           

                          If you want the metadata you need to take the rest of the baggage that comes with the export…and yes, that can be considerable.

                           

                           

                           

                          Bob

                          • 10. Re: Metadata from InDesign to PDF via PostScript
                            Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                            My comments were not “to make a political point” - whatever that means.

                             

                            The fact is that PostScript output from InDesign (the stuff that is subsequently distilled to create PostScript in that archaic workflow) is highly device-dependent and optimized for printing, not for generation of PDF. It has no color management and no live transparency. Fonts in that PostScript stream are not optimized for use in a PDF file.

                             

                            The only thing that is true is that in many but certainly not all circumstances, PDF files created by distillation of PostScript are smaller, but not necessarily any faster to RIP. The OP claimed that the PDF file was for printing, correct? One of the reasons for bloated PDF via export is all the metadata that InDesign exports (I'm trying to get that to be an option, defaulted off).

                             

                            The reason we are so insistent on evangelizing use of PDF/X-4 and PDF export is because we have a tremendous amount of experience assisting users that complain about faulty output using PDF created via distillation of PostScript or even export of PDF/X-1a! And if we can avoid end user problems by pointing them to more reliable workflows, that should be considered an Adobe support feature, not “making a political point!”

                             

                                      - Dov

                            • 11. Re: Metadata from InDesign to PDF via PostScript
                              BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                              I sent a message earlier before I could finish editing it. Anyone on the email list probably already got it.

                               

                              If anyone was offended  by it I apologize.

                               

                              Bob