RE: ZIP efficiency and file size, Doc vs. PDF

Subject: RE: ZIP efficiency and file size, Doc vs. PDF
From: "Dick Margulis " <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 16:27:39 -0400

"Gilger.John" <JGilger -at- acresgaming -dot- com> wrote:

>Keith Cronin wondered: But why, then, does a 500K PDF take WAYYYY longer to print than a 1.5MB
>Word doc? I've always found this to be the case, particularly if the PDF
>has many graphics, regardless of file size.

<random words to break up the quote...>

>Sean Brierley responded: Printer drivers. The HP 5000 I have at home and the Canons around here
>don't discriminate against PDF. An aging Lexmark we have does.

<... thereby making Lyris delyrious...>

>my $0.02: If your printer has a PostScript driver it will print PDFs faster because PS is a PDF's native language -- no conversion required.

And I now add:

Keith mentioned that these PDFs are generated by third parties and consist of graphics-intensive marketing materials.

If these jobs are coming from graphics studios (read: Mac heads), here is a likely source of difficulty. Many studios have a PDF workflow set up with their print vendors. In such an arrangement they produce PDFs using "Press" settings rather than "Print" settings. That means graphics are rendered north of 2540 dpi instead of 300 or 600 dpi. These files are great for offset plates but they are overkill for office printers, and that may be part of what Keith is experiencing.

In addition, certain types of graphic elements (gradients, semi-transparent areas) are simulated in Quark--because Quark has an obsolete PostScript engine. So when designers include these elements and add insult to injury by using Distiller 3 or 4 instead of Distiller 5, the PDF file size balloons ridiculously compared to the same design rendered from, say, InDesign using Distiller 5.

In short, PDFs produced by people who are not interested in how you want to use them can be hard to deal with. But in my experience these folks never remember to turn on Acrobat security; so you can usually fix the problem yourself if you know what you're doing <g>.


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