Re: Fuzzy images

Subject: Re: Fuzzy images
From: CHRISTINE ANAMEIER <CANAMEIE -at- email -dot- usps -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 15:37:12 -0400

> The bottom line is that PDFs always look horrible on the
> screen even without graphics, even with better fonts.

I have to disagree with you. PDFs that are designed for on-screen
viewing need not look any worse than other online formats like HTML
and WinHelp. The only *inherent* difference is that PDFs use
anti-aliased text, which some people find less readable (personally, I
prefer it). You can resize the pages, you can have hyperlinks, you can
design the PDF in a landscape orientation to fit the screen, etc.,

Making the PDF look decent on-screen isn't that hard if you do a
little research. The solution has been posted repeatedly on the list,
most recently by Richard Combs. Once you get your Distiller settings
in place, the image-quality problem goes away for good. Omitting
images is not the answer. Any document is going to be more wretched to
read if it's nothing but big blocks of text.

In my last contract I worked on a 200-page manual in PDF format, which
was intended to be printed--but I have to say, the full-color
on-screen version looked more appealing than what emerged after the
thing was laser-printed and run off on a photocopier (especially the
copies that were run off by some evidently unmotivated and careless
copy-center staff who didn't bother to clean the glass or optimize the
copier settings).

That said... would I want to read a book-length PDF online? No. I
wouldn't particularly want to read a book-length *anything* online, no
matter what format it's in.



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