Acrobat 6 and PDF Solutions: Creating the PDF You Want. Pt. 1, By Sybex | 2 | WebReference

Acrobat 6 and PDF Solutions: Creating the PDF You Want. Pt. 1, By Sybex | 2

Acrobat 6 and PDF Solutions: Creating the PDF You Want. Pt. 1

PDF/X Standard

PDF/X (which stands for Portable Document Format Exchange) is an international printing industry standard set of specifications, created by the ISO, for preparing and testing PDF files for commercial printing. There are several PDF/X file specifications, but the two most commonly used PDF/X standards, PDF/X-1a and PDF/X-3, are supported in Acrobat 6. PDF/X standards have been created and adopted to help streamline the creation and use of PDF files in commercial printing workflows. Later in this book I will discuss how to use Acrobat 6 to check for PDF/X compliance in PDF documents.

Table 4.1 compares the major characteristic differences between the six Distiller Default Settings.

Fine-Tuning Distiller Settings for Your PDF Purpose

In some circumstances the Distiller Default Settings give you almost what you want. Distiller Default Settings are completely customizable through editing some 72 Distiller setting values. Here we will discuss two of the more common fine-tuning adjustments you may want to make to your Distiller settings. Learning how to adjust these two Distiller settings will provide you with a good introduction into customizing Distiller settings.

Table 4.1 Distiller Default Settings Key Characteristics

Creating Small PDFs for the Web with Font Integrity Preserved

The Smallest File Size Distiller Default Setting produces a small PDF that will travel nicely across the Web. The only disadvantage of this choice is that the font files used to create the original document are not included in the PDF, so your typesetting integrity may not be preserved. This is because Acrobat Multiple Master font files may be used to create substitute font characters whenever your PDF is opened. This is particularly true if you use nonstandard fonts. So if you want to create a PDF that is small but will always use your font files, here is how to create a Distiller setting to do just that:

1. Launch Distiller 6.

2. Open the Default Settings menu (shown back in Figure 4.1) and choose Smallest File Size. This will define the basic set of Distiller values, which we will now fine-tune.

3. Click the Settings menu and choose Edit Adobe PDF Settings (or use the keyboard shortcut z/Ctrl+E). The Adobe PDF Settings: Smallest File Size dialog will appear.

4. Click the Fonts tab (Figure 4.5).

Figure 4.5 Opening the Distiller Smallest File Size setting Fonts tab

5. The Embed All Fonts check box near the top of the window is, by default, unchecked. Check this box to ensure that Distiller will embed all the font files that were used in the creation of this document, which will, in turn, prevent any font file substitution later on.

6. Click the Save As button at the bottom of the Fonts tab. A Save As dialog will appear with the Distiller Settings folder automatically located (Figure 4.6).

Figure 4.6 Distiller Save As Settings dialog

7. Type in a name for the new/edited setting you have just created. Create a logical name that will clearly inform you later what the setting contains. Here I have labeled the setting “Smallest File Size with Fonts.”

8. Click Save. This will save your new setting in the Distiller Settings folder, thereby making it available as a choice in the Distiller Default Settings menu.

9. Now return to the main Distiller window. Open the Distiller Default Settings menu. It will contain your newly created Distiller setting (Figure 4.7).

Figure 4.7 Updated Distiller Settings menu

Font Substitution

Documents in which standard fonts such as Arial or Helvetica and/or Times or Times New Roman are used in the original document will likely look similar in the font-substituted PDF. This is because the Acrobat Multiple Master fonts (see Chapter 2, “Document Construction and Preflighting,” for more information on these), which are used for PDF substitution, simulate these font typefaces fairly well. If you use typefaces that are significantly different from the Arial, Helvetica, Times, Times New Roman pair, the final PDF font characters will likely look quite different from the originals.


Created: March 27, 2003
Revised: April 26, 2004