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>What are the correct Acrobat distiller settings for print documentation? For documents viewed online? I have some conflicting answers to these questions.
You will get conflicting answers because there is no single correct answer. Therefore, you will have to understand the differences between the answers and reconcile the answers to your particular situation.
Thats a rule that applies in many situations, but it applies especially when it comes to Distiller settings. Acrobat Help is notoriously unHelpful in this regard.
The first question you need to resolve is what you mean by "print." The settings are different for sending a PDF to a commercial printing house for offset printing ("Press") than they are for printing the PDF to your office laser or inkjet printer (Print).
You can begin with the default settings that ship with Distiller. Beginning with version 4, you can select among those defaults on the Distiller dialog. If you begin with Adobe's Print (or "PrintOptimized") settings, you can make some adjustments and then save a new settings file ("PrintOptimizedClear-Tech"). You can do the same with the default Screen settings.
Here are the things you might want to change:
1. Compatibility. Are you sending this PDF out to the world? If so, you may want to preserve version 3 compatibility. Is it being used in-house only? Does everyone have version 4 or 5 of the Reader? Set accordingly. Note that this setting becomes moot if you open the file in Acrobat and resave it with changes.
2. Resolution. For print, what is the resolution of your best printer?
3. Embed all fonts. Either subset or don't subset. Subsetting makes smaller files if you use multiple fonts. Not subsetting makes it easier to make minor corrections in Acrobat.
4. Compression. For Print: Uncheck downsampling in all three sections. Use 8-bit ZIP, 8-bit ZIP and Run Length compression (reading top to bottom). For screen, either accept the defaults or tweak until you are happy with the results.
This is not comprehensive. There are other settings I skipped. Don't change the defaults unless you have a reason to and understand what you are changing, based on reading Help or asking here.
Disclaimer: My comments are addressed to the list, with a courtesy copy to the original poster. If you believe, mistakenly, that I am addressing you personally, please consult your primary care provider.
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