Re:Distiller Settings...

Subject: Re:Distiller Settings...
From: eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2002 13:01:57 -0400




Ellen asks:
<<<What are the correct Acrobat distiller settings for print documentation? For
documents viewed online? I have some conflicting answers to these
questions...>>>

Smart A** answer, but: Use what works best. Depends on the graphics used and the
target output resolution.

Charles answered:
<<* ask your printer what they need. If possible, send the source files and let
*them* create the PDF. (or more likely, they'll send *you* a printer driver and
ask for a postscript file. Either way, this is the best track for both of you.>>

The print house should not require the source files. Also, you should never have
to have a copy of their print driver unless you are going to send them
PostScript that they will feed directly to their printer. But then you have to
ensure that they have all the required fonts to properly print you document.

<<There is the one thing I can say authoritatively on this - ALWAYS ASK YOUR
PRINTER WHAT THEY NEED FOR SOURCE FILES, AND WHAT FORMAT/SPECS ARE OPTIMUM - and
do it AT THE START of your project. You will pay in time and $$$ if you don't.>>

Learn the limitations of your print house, but about the only problems you might
encounter would be CMYK colour produced with windows (the GDI only puts out
RGB). Good colour separation needs a bunch of plugins and colour correction or
use a Macintosh.

<<Lastly, *always use the Acrobat Distiller print driver* unless:>>

There should be no unless. It's simply *always use the Acrobat Distiller print
driver WITHOUT EXCEPTION. There is absolutely no reason what-so-ever to use any
other printer driver. It should always be the latest Adobe PS installer with the
latest Distiller PPD. Other combinations may work, but so does using a knife to
get stuck bread out of a toaster. Might work time and time again, but eventually
you'll get shocked. All printer specific settings and requirements are handled
when Acrobat prints the PDF to the output printer. PDF and Distiller were
designed precisely to avoid having to create documents designed specifically for
particular output devices.

<<... get another printer. The competition is intense in printing, and there's
no reason to tolerate a printer that won't work with you.>>

This I agree with totally. If the print house can't handle a properly created
PDF or starts giving you print driver mumbo-jumbo, ditch them. They don't know
what they're talking about.

For more on the subject of PDF creation and this same topic rehashed a thousand
times, check out the FrameUsers archives. Dov Issacs, an Adobe employee and PS
expert, posts there regularly to repeatedly debunk PDF myths and bad practice.

Eric L. Dunn



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