Re: FrameMaker 6.0 to PDF -- Graphics Nightmares, Deadline Approacheth...

Subject: Re: FrameMaker 6.0 to PDF -- Graphics Nightmares, Deadline Approacheth...
From: "Richard G. Combs" <richard -dot- combs -at- voyanttech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2002 12:29:32 -0600

Maria Alexander <malexander -at- octavesoftware -dot- com> wrote:

> Problem #1: I'm a hired gun filling in for another writer for two
> I'm on his Windows2000 (quasi NT) machine, but logging in with my own
> password. I'm editing books in FrameMaker 6.0 and converting them to
> The other writer showed me that he creates PDFs by using the "Save As"
> feature in FrameMaker.

Bad idea. When you do this, Frame uses your default printer driver, which
typically is for some physical printer, instead of the Distiller printer
driver. This is fixed in FM7, but don't use "Save As PDF" in earlier
versions of Frame.

> His PDFs were HUGE. Well, after incorporating
> edits, I did the same thing...but my PDFs were TINY. For example: His
> guide PDF was 8Mb and mine was 500K. I hadn't changed any of the
> settings -- not a one!

Maybe not in Frame or Acrobat, but perhaps you had a different printer
selected when you did the "Save As PDF" routine. I'm assuming you had the
Frame files open, and all the graphics appeared as they should in
FrameMaker, right?

> I then discovered that most of his graphics (all
> GIFs, by the way) were imported by reference (I always import by copying).
> The graphic artist took one of my PDFs and put it on his Mac, which is not
> connected to the server. The result: THERE WERE BIG BLACK HOLES WHERE
> GRAPHICS SHOULD HAVE BEEN. That is, everywhere a graphic had been
> by reference, nothing showed up. He said that this has never happened
> before. If this is true, then somehow, when the other writer was saving
> PDF, he was embedding the graphics in his file. BUT HOW?

It's better to import graphics into Frame by reference, but that's
irrelevant here. PDF is an output medium; the PDF file *always* contains
everything that appears on the page, including graphics. There's no such
thing as "referenced" graphics in a PDF file; they're always "embedded."

Are you saying that the graphics are there when you look at the PDF, but
gone when the artist looks at the *same* PDF? That would be very odd
indeed... and likely a display driver problem on the artist's end.

Assuming that the graphics simply aren't in the PDF file, I can only think
of a couple of explanations (and you've already eliminated the first one):

-- If you hadn't mentioned GIF, I'd have guessed that they were EPS graphics
and that you used that horrible, non-PostScript abomination, PDFWriter,
instead of Distiller.

-- We had some problems once with a Sharp printer/copier *printing* graphics
as black boxes (flaky PostScript driver); if your "Save As" process used a
printer driver with a similar problem, that might explain it.

> The problem kinda-sorta seems to be fixed by printing to a .ps file and
> dropping it into the Distiller (the Adobe techsupport guy suggested this).

That's the *right* way to produce PDFs. Choose File>Print and select Acrobat
Distiller as the printer to use.

> I saved the PDF to my desktop (there are no graphics or Frame files on my
> harddrive), and all the graphics seem to be okay. But, because I was too
> stressed out to think of it, I forgot to send a file home last night to
> extra-extra sure that I can still see the graphics. I mean, when you
> to a .ps file, it embeds the graphics, right?

Yes. PostScript is just a code/language for defining what appears on a page;
PDF is just a simplified subset ("distillation") of PostScript. Both kinds
of files completely describe the appearance of the page(s) they contain. If
you opened the PDF in Acrobat or Acrobat Reader, and the graphics were
there, they'll always be there. :-)
> Problem #2: There is one graphic that is possessed by the devil.
> I import it (by either copying or reference -- it doesn't matter), it
> becomes blurry after conversion to PDF. All the other graphics are fine.
> I've cursed so much that I think any holy water around here has probably
> gone off, so whatever you suggest I will try.

So what's different about this one? Are you resizing it? Don't ever do that
with the mouse; change the DPI setting instead. Maybe this graphic *is*
blurry; have you checked the source file in a graphics program (Photoshop,
PSP)? I think has some good resources on resolving
graphics problems in Frame.


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Voyant Technologies, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT voyanttechDOTcom
rgcombs AT freeDASHmarketDOTnet

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