Graphics in PDF

Subject: Graphics in PDF
From: Tom Campbell <tomcampbell -at- EUDORAMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 18:44:50 -0700

Hello everyone--
At the end of July, I responded to a request for info. about solving a problem with poorly printing graphics in Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.01. At the time I couldn't locate the procedures I'd written (with the help of my colleague Michael Kelly), but I just found the floppy they were on! So here you go, several weeks late and numerous dollars short...

Note: This message is (I hope) formatted for monospaced ASCII text. There's a more attractive version in Acrobat (PDF) format at:

This document was written not for the general public, but for my co-workers when I was at BTNA. I hope it's helpful, but your mileage may vary.

Tom Campbell
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

By Tom Campbell & Michael Kelly, Atlanta, GA
(for USSEC, British Telecom North America, February 1998)

As everyone has probably heard by now, our users will soon have a problem printing the files we put on the Web in PDF format. Screen captures in our documents are illegible when printed with the latest version of Acrobat Reader (3.01). According to Adobe technical support, the solution to this problem is that we have to go back to the old, less convenient way to create PDF files, using a program called Distiller. This document explains the new procedure.

Some Background
We use Adobe Acrobat to convert our typically large final Word documents into more compact files before we put them on the Web. These compact files are called Portable Document Format (PDF) files, and have the file extension ".pdf". The New Procedure for Creating a PDF File, listed below, is how we we need to create PDF versions of all documents going onto the Web for the foreseeable future.

But before you can use the new procedure, there are two preparatory steps to perform. These have procedures listed below, too. In brief, the first step is to load a new print driver in your system, for a Tektronix printer [or other PostScript printer], and put its icon on your desktop. Some of you will remember an email on this from August 1997 (see Loading the Tektronix Printer on Your System, below). The second thing is to create an "In" processing folder and an "Out" processing folder in a folder that you choose. These are used by a program called Distiller.

In summary, and in graphical form, here's the story:


1. 2. 3. 4.
Create Drag & drop Tektronix Printer's
Document---------> yourfile.doc-----------> printer----------> dialog box
yourfile.doc. to printer icon program asks you to------->
on your desktop. say where to
put the
output file.

5. 6.
You identify Distiller puts
---> the "In"---------> PDF file in your
folder. "Out" folder.
Put this file on
the web.

1. Click Start at lower-lefthand corner of screen.
2. Select Settings -->Printers.
3. Double-click Add Printer.
4. Accept the default selection, My Computer, and click Next.
5. Scroll down and select FILE: as the port. Click Next.
6. In the Manufacturers portion of the window at left, scroll down and select Tektronix.
7. In the Printers portion of the window at right, scroll down and select Tektronix Phaser 550. Click Next.
8. Accept the Printer Name shown and the radio button selection (No), and click Next.
9. Accept the radio button selection (Not shared), and click Next.
10. Select the No radio button to decline printing a test page, and click Finish.
11. When the Insert Disk dialog box pops up, click OK.
12. In the Files Needed dialog box, enter the path location of the printer driver (wherever you've placed it on your system or network in the Copy files from field). Click OK. Wait while files download from the server. When the operation is finished, the dialog box will disappear.

The Tektronix Phaser 550 printer should now appear in the list of available Printers. To check, repeat steps 1 & 2 above.

Any time a PostScript file shows up in a the In subfolder of a Watched Folder while Distiller is active, Distiller will automatically create a PDF file in the Out subfolder. Here's how to set up this capability:

1. Select the folder you want to create the PDF file in. Typically this would be the same folder containing the original Word documents.
2. From the Desktop, go to Start > Programs > Adobe Acrobat > Acrobat Distiller 3.0. Click Distiller.
3. Select Distiller from the menu, then Watched Folders.
4. The Watched Folders Options Dialog Box pops up. Select the following:
a) Option #2 controls what happens to the PostScript file. Since we don't need these files after the PDF file is generated, select the Deleted radio button option.
b) The Watched Folders List box is next.
* Select Add Folder.
* The Add Folder dialog box pops up. Browse until you find the folder where you want Distiller to set up the In and Out folders.
* Click on OK, then OK again.
* This completes the procedure.

1. Launch Acrobat Distiller by clicking Start at the lower-lefthand corner of your screen and selecting Programs-->Adobe Acrobat-->Acrobat Distiller 3.0. Use the default settings in Distiller.
2. "Print" to a PostScript print file (using the Tektronix Phaser 550 printer we defined above). You can start the printing process either by:
a) opening the file and selecting Print from the File menu; OR
b) dragging the unopened file(s) to the Tektronix Phaser 550 printer icon on your desktop.
3. Don't use the default file type (.prn) setting. Select All Files (*.*) in the Save as type field, and enter a file name ending with a .ps extension in the File name field. Select the In folder of a Watched Folder as the destination. If Distiller is active, this will create a PostScript file that is automatically converted to a PDF file. Click OK.

Use this procedure if you already have a PostScript file that needs to be converted to PDF:

1. With Distiller still active, use Windows Explorer to find the folder where your PostScript file resides. Right-click the PostScript file and drag it to the In folder in one of your Watched Folders. (To see a list, select Watched Folders from the Distiller menu.)
2. Wait while Distiller converts the PostScript file to a PDF file and places it in the Out folder.
3. Open the Out folder in your watched folder and the PDF file will be there.

- OR -

1. In Acrobat Distiller, select Open from the File menu. This brings up the window titled Acrobat Distiller - Open the PostScript File. Use the toolbar to find and select your print file ( Click Open.
2. In the window labeled Acrobat Distiller - Specify PDF File Name, you have a chance to choose your own PDF file name (but don't change the PDF extension!) and location. When the information is correct, click Save.

Congratulations! You've created an Acrobat PDF file. Now you should be able to find your PDF file with Explorer and double-click on it to bring it up for viewing & printing with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Tom Campbell
tomcampbell -at- EUDORAMAIL -dot- COM
"It's as large as life
and twice as natural!"
--Lewis Carroll

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