8 Replies Latest reply on Apr 4, 2012 1:15 PM by dunaz

    Questions about PDF exporting with InDe CS5.5

    dunaz Level 1

      Hey all,

       

      A couple questions about exporting to PDF from the latest version of InDe.

       

      First, I have noticed that it seems to take a lot longer to get to a PDF. Any suggestions for how to speed up the process? It took 8 minutes or so to generate a low-res PDF (for print) of a 24pp document with a few placed images and vector graphics. Wow, that's a long time to wait, especially for a proof.

       

      Second, the background task... if I get it going on making that 8-minute PDF and then work some more on the document, what exactly is in the PDF? Usually I save before making a PDF or printing. So, is the last version saved what will be in the PDF?

       

      (As an aside, this ability to work on the doc while generating a PDF seems kind of weird. Generally one makes a PDF for proofing, or even for printing, when all the changes have been made and everything is "final". So, I see no benefit to being able to work on my document while it's making a PDF, as I'm probably finished making revisions for the time being. I have to say that I kind of like the progress bar you get when you make an interactive PDF, as you know you can't work on the document when that's on the screen... )

       

      Thanks as always.

        • 1. Re: Questions about PDF exporting with InDe CS5.5
          John Hawkinson Level 5

          First, I have noticed that it seems to take a lot longer to get to a PDF. Any suggestions for how to speed up the process? It took 8 minutes or so to generate a low-res PDF (for print) of a 24pp document with a few placed images and vector graphics. Wow, that's a long time to wait, especially for a proof.

          Yes, this is abnormally long (and too long), something is wrong. What's the full version of InDesign you are running, as reported by holding down Cmd or Control and selecting About InDesign?

           

          Second, the background task... if I get it going on making that 8-minute PDF and then work some more on the document, what exactly is in the PDF? Usually I save before making a PDF or printing. So, is the last version saved what will be in the PDF?

          Saving is not related. InDesign makes a database snapshot of your document the moment you begin the PDF export, and makes the export relative to that snapshot, regardless of edits you continue to make during the export process, and regardless of saving. Of course saving first is a good idea, for several reasons, not the least of which it sounds like something's fairly seriously wrong with your document or your InDesign installation.

           

          We recommend you trash your preferences and export your document to IDML and see if either of those things changes this 8-minute behavior...err, assuming you're running 7.5.2.318.

           

          (As an aside, this ability to work on the doc while generating a PDF seems kind of weird. Generally one makes a PDF for proofing, or even for printing, when all the changes have been made and everything is "final". So, I see no benefit to being able to work on my document while it's making a PDF, as I'm probably finished making revisions for the time being. I have to say that I kind of like the progress bar you get when you make an interactive PDF, as you know you can't work on the document when that's on the screen... )

          Yeah, I think the primary benefit is if you are likely to work on 2 or more files in parallel, so you can finish A and export A and then switch to B. If you'd like a dialog box to pop up when export is done, check out my exportPop script from this post: ANN: automatic dialog after background export (exportPop.jsx.

          • 2. Re: Questions about PDF exporting with InDe CS5.5
            dunaz Level 1

            Hi John, quite the comprehensive response, thank you! You certainly know your stuff.

             

            I've got InDe version 7.5.0.142. Just installed the trial last week, and got the serial number installed yesterday. FYI, don't know if this makes a differenc, but I also have installed both the CS4 and CS5 versions of InDesign. I would prefer to keep them as I know you can't go back easily and I get files from both that need to go back to clients who don't have the latest.

             

            I opened the background tasks palette while making the discussed PDF. The little progress bar shows that it gets 99% of the way through making the PDF in fairly short order, but then it stays at 99% for quite some time before it decides that it's finished.

             

            The InDe doc is a 24 pager with both vector graphics and images placed in it. The file ends up being rather large, about 6mb, even with using the "smallest file" PDF profile. I know there are things I can do in Acrobat to make the file smaller, but I'm generating PDF proofs all the time and would like to avoid that extra step if possible. Can you point me to some information about PDF-ing Best Practices that might help me get these files smaller?

             

            Okay, off to trash preferences and do your other troubleshooting recommendations. I will also run the updater to see if it wants to update it, as it looks like mine is not as far along as yours.

             

            Thank you! --Dina  

            • 3. Re: Questions about PDF exporting with InDe CS5.5
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              Dina,

               

              The most important thing you can do is install the 7.5.2 patch. There actually were some issues with background export in the original release that have been addressed in the patch.

              • 4. Re: Questions about PDF exporting with InDe CS5.5
                dunaz Level 1

                Hi Peter! Yep, that's the first thing I did.

                 

                So, once upgraded, I opened the InDe file in question and did a save-as into another folder that I'm using for testing purposes. (so as to not mix any of this stuff in with actual work.) I tried the export, same behavior. Gets to 99% in 60-90 seconds, and then hangs there for about 5 minutes. This time it made an even larger 6.2mb file (first time was 6.0), even though I changed the downsampling to 72ppi and the compatibility to Acrobat 9.

                 

                Next, I quit ID, trashed the preferences (noticing that with the upgrade to Lion there is now no library folder in my user folder, which feels weird), fired it up again, opened my test document and it exhibited the same behavior.

                 

                So, then I thought that maybe it's just that document. I opened another ID 5.5 file--a one-page flyer with text and a full bleed image as background. That one flew throught the PDF. In keeping with that theory, I opened a form from a yearbook type document, 16 pages of headshots with names underneath, and that one also made short work of the PDF.

                 

                SO, the conclusion is that it's the ID file that's the problem. Which means that I have to go through and delete the placed items one by one to see which one is causing the problem. I have a multiple-page Illustrator file that has all my vector graphics for this document in one file on separate artboards. I'm guessing that's the culprit, and that I'll have to split that document up into separate files for each image to be placed. Bummer.

                 

                Anyway, guys, thanks for helping me work through this. I will post my results.

                • 5. Re: Questions about PDF exporting with InDe CS5.5
                  John Hawkinson Level 5

                  Dina:

                   

                  Next, I quit ID, trashed the preferences (noticing that with the upgrade to Lion there is now no library folder in my user folder, which feels weird), fired it up again, opened my test document and it exhibited the same behavior.

                  It is merely hidden (hold down Option in the Finder to see it in the Go menu). Did you trash them by holding down cmd-opt-shift-control at startup? I would recommend that to make sure you get them all.

                   

                  SO, the conclusion is that it's the ID file that's the problem. Which means that I have to go through and delete the placed items one by one to see which one is causing the problem. I have a multiple-page Illustrator file that has all my vector graphics for this document in one file on separate artboards. I'm guessing that's the culprit, and that I'll have to split that document up into separate files for each image to be placed. Bummer.

                  Please try exporting to IDML first and opening that. It can help to clear document corruption.

                  Note you don't necessarily need to delete the placed items one by one. You can try deleting half the pages, seeing if it solves the problem, deleting the other half, then half of the half, etc.

                   

                  And of course, assuming the problem is not corruption in your document (and even if it is, really), this is still not correct behavior on InDesign's part. "It would be a bug." That may not help you work around it, of course, but it is important to keep in mind.

                  • 6. Re: Questions about PDF exporting with InDe CS5.5
                    dunaz Level 1

                    Hi John--forgot that step, yes, I did export as IDML and then opened that file in both IDCS5 and 5.5. Same slowness, in both versions.

                     

                    Re the Illustrator file, there is vector from that one mondo AI document on the master pages, as well as on all of the other pages--logos, elemental shapes, etc. A couple of the graphics are pretty intense, although they aren't used throughout, so  isolating just those might do the trick. It'll  be a PITA to re-link and re-size. I'm hoping I can save as, use artboards, and the artboards will come out exactly the same size with the graphics in the same position on the page. Rename the files, and re-link and hopefully there won't be any re-jiggering necessary.

                     

                    We shall see.

                    • 7. Re: Questions about PDF exporting with InDe CS5.5
                      dunaz Level 1

                      Hi again. As you promised, that didn't do it. Of course. I will check for preferences in my User Library--thanks for that tip, I thought it was weird--and start again.

                       

                      I will probably be a while, need to step away from this for the moment.

                      • 8. Re: Questions about PDF exporting with InDe CS5.5
                        dunaz Level 1

                        Okay, folks. Just wanted to follow up on this and post my results. It turns out that the problem is somewhere in the Illustrator file. I never did get the time to figure out which artboard was the culprit. Making PDFs from other InDe files is seamless and not time consuming.

                         

                        No resolution, unfortunately, just nice to know that it's not every InDe file on my system. Whew!

                         

                        THANK YOU for your advice.