16 Replies Latest reply on Jan 11, 2012 4:09 AM by Peter Spier

    Indesign Workflow- Linking Images

    venga88

      Hi-

       

      I am using InDesign to format graphic documents. Occasionally I need to printing cad linework from Autocad as a PDF, then linking the files to my InDesign document. For some reason, the PDFs are really painfully slow to work with. 

       

      The PDFs look really distorted unless I change the image view to high quality, where everything slows down.  To give a quick color tone to a area, it can take a really long time.  I don't think this is a processor issue because if I save the PDF as a JPG and link it (even if it's a huge JPG), things move faster.

       

      I have found that it is actually faster for me to then save the PDF as a JPG, and link the JPG..

      When the JPG is not high resolution enough, I replace it (again) with the original PDF.

       

      Is it uncommon to link PDFs into InDesign?

      Are there PDF settings that I need to change to create PDFs that I can work with in InDesign? 

      Is there a workflow you can suggest that would allow me to skip the step of having to save the PDF file into a JPG since AutoCAD does not export JPGS?

       

      Thank You!

        • 1. Re: Indesign Workflow- Linking Images
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          venga88 wrote:

           

          I don't think this is a processor issue because if I save the PDF as a JPG and link it (even if it's a huge JPG), things move faster.

          Processor or video RAM. Your Autocad PDF is probably very complex (the same thing can happen with any large and complex vector object) and an underpowered sytstem will slow down. You can set ID to honor Object Level dispaly settings and swtich from Typical to High Quality display for that PDF by right-clicking on it when you need to see a crisp preview, then switch back to Typical or even Fast, for speed.

          • 2. Re: Indesign Workflow- Linking Images
            BenCloutier Level 1

            Not sure but i think InDesign CS5+ treats PDF as vector images, whatever viewing setting is used. If it is indeed a complexe PDF, he will see no change unless he changes the way vector graphics are treated in the preferences.

            • 3. Re: Indesign Workflow- Linking Images
              John Hawkinson Level 5

              The PDFs look really distorted unless I change the image view to high quality, where everything slows down.

              I assume you realize that this only affects the view on-screen, and not the final output product.

              • 4. Re: Indesign Workflow- Linking Images
                venga88 Level 1

                Hi John, yes I understand that this is only the view on screen.

                In order to annotate the image as I want to in InDesign, I need to see the image clearly (the rough one is too rough).

                thanks- V

                • 5. Re: Indesign Workflow- Linking Images
                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                  benc_academie wrote:

                   

                  Not sure but i think InDesign CS5+ treats PDF as vector images, whatever viewing setting is used. If it is indeed a complexe PDF, he will see no change unless he changes the way vector graphics are treated in the preferences.

                  The OP has already stated that there is a difference in preview (as I would expect). Imported vector art gets soome sort of raster preview, just like imported raster art.

                  • 6. Re: Indesign Workflow- Linking Images
                    MW Design Level 4

                    If you have Illy, you *might* find that annotations to the PDF, resaved with a new name and placed in ID may have better speed issues. Maybe even choosing to combine lines in Illy.

                     

                    AutoCad PDFs are composed of a billizion little lines unless the drawing was constructed with contiguous lines (unlikely, at least in my experience). I recently did a small publication with PDFs from TurboCad and things crawled. I opened them, changed some things, resaved and ID was quite a bit happier.

                     

                    Take care, Mike

                    • 7. Re: Indesign Workflow- Linking Images
                      John Hawkinson Level 5

                      Venga:

                       

                      OK, so the problem here is that the PDFs generated from Autocad are sufficiently complex that InDesign is painful to use with them.

                       

                      As Mike suggests, the answer is to simplify them (structurally), without changing their content. There are a lot of ways to do so, but some are good and some are bad:

                      If you have Illy, you *might* find that annotations to the PDF, resaved with a new name and placed in ID may have better speed issues. Maybe even choosing to combine lines in Illy.

                      Using Illustrator is a risky choice, and therefore a bad choice.

                      lllustrator is not a generic PDF editor. When it opens documents, there are often critical changes that are unexpected, especially with complex PDFs. If you don't have the capacity to fully audit the post-lllustrator and pre-Illustrator versions of the PDF, or have full confidence in the workflow (i.e. you are 100% certain that Illustrator can read Autocad-produced PDF files with not negative outcome), then you should not be using Illustrator here. (I do not know how you would acquire that kind of confidence properly).

                       

                      The general answer is to process them in Acrobat Pro. Acrobat has a wide variety of fixups and corrections that can be applied to PDFs, including transparency flattening and rasterization. Check under the Preflight feature.

                       

                      You can also rasterize in Photoshop. This is kind of a last resort (esp. if you don't have Acrobat). And it requires choosing a resolution to rasterize at. Doing this depends on your output resolution, and needs to be done with care.

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Indesign Workflow- Linking Images
                        MW Design Level 4

                        Thank you John.

                         

                        I generally use a different vector app than my now aging Illustrator. Illy resides on an XP Pro computer somewhere under a mountain of stacked books and papers in what is suppose to be an office. Else I would have tried it before writing.

                         

                        I altered them in what I generally use these days and linking to the resulting PDFs seemed fine enough for me in ID whereas before ID was slowed pretty good.

                         

                        Mike

                        • 9. Re: Indesign Workflow- Linking Images
                          John Hawkinson Level 5

                          Yeah, Illustrator may in fact work.

                          The problem is you can't trust it.

                          (The same is true of CorelDRAW, though I think it tends to be less likely to screw things up, Dov's recent comments notwithstanding.)

                          • 10. Re: Indesign Workflow- Linking Images
                            MW Design Level 4

                            And I use  one or another of two different applications depending on what the PDF is comprised of or how many pages there are...Then save out as a new PDF and or other vector format. I keep Corel products on that XP computer as well for legacy publications I have to edit. They won't install on this new Win7 64-bit computer.

                             

                            I did have a nice surprise a couple weeks ago, though. I needed to open a PM6.5 publication to change it over and update it in ID. I simply copied my PM over to this computer, edited the reg files to point to the path I put it in, ran the reg files and presto. That dang PM6.5 runs incredibly quick on this computer.

                             

                            I'll have to dust off my XP computer and try the TurboCad drawings I just had to redo in Illy. That or upgrade to CS5 before it's too late. I just dislike spending money though.

                             

                            Take care, Mike

                            • 11. Re: Indesign Workflow- Linking Images
                              John Hawkinson Level 5

                              It's not very useful to tell us you use "applications" without saying what they are.

                              • 12. Re: Indesign Workflow- Linking Images
                                Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                Some PDFs can have HUGE document overhead - which causes Bloat in the PDF.

                                 

                                Copy your current PDFs and try this on the copies - and see if it makes a difference for you.

                                 

                                http://blogs.adobe.com/acrobatineducation/2010/02/get_rid_of_that_bloat_in_your.html

                                • 13. Re: Indesign Workflow- Linking Images
                                  John Hawkinson Level 5

                                  But document overhead shouldn't (famous last words!) cause InDesign to render the images slowly...

                                  • 14. Re: Indesign Workflow- Linking Images
                                    Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    I also wonder if perhaps it's due to the Preferences>Interface> and under Live Screen Drawing if it's set to Immediate

                                     

                                    Perhaps changing it to Delayed would help?

                                    • 15. Re: Indesign Workflow- Linking Images
                                      Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      It's all pretty much "stab in the dark", without seeing the original files and attempting it myself, all I have are suggestions that worked for me in similar situations in the past.

                                      • 16. Re: Indesign Workflow- Linking Images
                                        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                        As Mike has already observed, AutoCad PDFs are pretty notorious for being "complex," to put it politley. Live screen drawing might be a factor, but the real issue is the complexity of the illustration.