Illustrator 10 File > PDF = Jaggy Hell

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Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Joined: 13 Jul 2001 - 11:00am
Illustrator 10 File > PDF = Jaggy Hell
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Hi Folks. The search isn’t available on Adobe’s site right now, in the User to User forums, and I’m in a pickle!!!

I’ve got an Illustrator 10 file. Some type as type, some type as outline, some basic vector shapes. No Transparency trickery. When I print it out of Illustrator all looks fine. When I export it as a PDF, vector hell. When I export it as Illustrator 10 or 8 EPS and drop that on distiller, vector hell. I should mention that the type as type looks fine, but the outline type (or the type that is type but has outlines) looks jaggy.

Ideas? This could earn you drinks or desert at ATypI or the next TypeCon.

Help me please Obi Wan.

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Joined: 13 Jul 2001 - 11:00am
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I should also mention that I tried the “flatten transparency” route and that didn’t solve a single thing.

James Montalbano's picture
Joined: 18 Jun 2003 - 11:00am
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In preferences you will find a “smooth line art” check box. Make sure its checked.

I don’t think this is available on Acrobat earlier than v4.

Chris's picture
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Joined: 23 Jun 2003 - 6:19pm
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James, that only applies to onscreen reproduction. She’s having problems with the printed piece.

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Joined: 13 Jul 2001 - 11:00am
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James — Thanks for the reply. But which preferences? Arobat’s, Distiller’s or Illustrator’s? — Tiffany

James Montalbano's picture
Joined: 18 Jun 2003 - 11:00am
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Sorry Tiffany,

The preference setting is in Acrobat.

Here are screen shots of both Acrobat 5 and 6 preferences where the smoothing is located

Jacques Le Bailly's picture
Joined: 21 Dec 2001 - 2:09pm
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Hi Tiffany, even if illustor or Indesign offers you the possibility of making PDFs, the best results are from using distiller. The safest results (for the industry and to be sure they’ll probably work) is made with acrobat (distiller) 4.0.5, although I haven’t tried 6.0 yet.

–Jacques

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Joined: 13 Jul 2001 - 11:00am
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James — Thanks for the info. I realized that you were meaning preview (after looking at your grabs). My curve flatness problem was occurring on the printed piece. And what’s stranger is the fact that BJ didn’t have the problem. So… Who knows! But thanks for your two bits, I was wondering where this pref was, and now I know. :-)

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Joined: 13 Jul 2001 - 11:00am
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Hi Jacques — With the NEW & IMPROVED Acrobat Professional they have set up a printer for the user. So when I print, I print to Acrobat, which uses Distiller. Pretty cool, actually. (Once I remembered it was there!!)

Chris's picture
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Joined: 23 Jun 2003 - 6:19pm
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Acrobat 5 set up distiller as a printer. It also set up PDF Writer as a printer too, though PDF Writer seemed very crappy.

brian jaramillo's picture
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Joined: 3 Nov 2001 - 11:00am
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Tiffany — can you save it as an eps, Illustrator 9.

Then open Ill. 9 (do you still have?) and output
the pdf from Ill. 9.


Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Joined: 13 Jul 2001 - 11:00am
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No. I’m one of those types that deleted Illustrator 9.

UPDATE: I’m pretty sure the problem lies within the “compress text and line art” function. When I saved it as a PDF, just now, turning that off and saving it as PDF 4 not 5, it printed smoothly. But, I don’t trust Illustrators PDF features, so I’d still like to get this to work using distiller.

Adriano Esteves's picture
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Joined: 11 Apr 2003 - 4:42am
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you can try to output/print a PS file (generic Adobe Postscript printer) and then creat the PDF with destiller.

Andreas Seidel's picture
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Joined: 8 Mar 2002 - 3:44am
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Have you checked the resolution / rendering settings of the filter/effects of Illustrator10/9. — 300 dpi? Depending on the rip 300/320 dpi should be nice. The other truth is, to avoid the usage of such effects on a printer without postscript level3 rip.

Personally speaking, these pixel effects are the stupist feature Adobe have added in the last years to Illustrator.

BTW. This is not an Illustrator support forum. ;-)

Tom Puckett's picture
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Joined: 1 Aug 2003 - 11:00am
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Tiffany: Is the problem with the printed version of your file or the PDF screen representation? Vectors do not display well in PDFs which may explain why your text looks fine, but the outlines do not.

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Joined: 13 Jul 2001 - 11:00am
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Tom — Everyone — First, thanks for the response.

Tom — The problem is with the printed piece.

Everyone — Acrobat 6 Professional is for smart people. Of which I’m obviously not included. :^(

Tom Puckett's picture
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Joined: 1 Aug 2003 - 11:00am
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Haha. Yes. That was my next recommendation!

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Joined: 13 Jul 2001 - 11:00am
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As all of you were willing to discuss this with me, even if only momentarily, I thought I’d share my findings at the end of this “sadly painful and now much in need of a deep tissue message” day.

1) In Illustrator. “Save as PDF” is bad. 2) Printing in Illustrator, with Acrobat 6 Professional installed, choose Acrobat as your printer. This works, and works well.

The weirdness is beyond weird and far beyone twilight zone. But anyone that has ever worked with me knows that the “code of the west” doesn’t always apply.

Thanks Jared & Joe for letting me use the forums for this.

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