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

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

Acrobat 6 and PDF Solutions: Creating the PDF You Want. Pt. 2

Creating PDFs from within Non-Acrobat Applications

The first section of this chapter dealt with creating PDF files working directly with Distiller. As I said, this is often the preferred method of creating PDF files because it gives you immediate access to Distiller and its settings. Alternatively, you can create PDF files from within other applications such as your page layout program. While it is not possible to cover all the PDF creation methods, I’ll talk about some of the more common applications, which will not only provide you with specific instructions for these applications but also provide you with a good background for dealing with similar applications and PDF creation circumstances.

Alternative PDF Creation Methods

When creating PDF documents in applications other than Distiller, it is good to know whether your application has its own built-in Distiller-like functionality or if Distiller is being used indirectly (such as with PageMaker 4.5 and QuarkXPress 5) to create the PDF. PDF creation problems, and particularly with PDFs being created for prepress, can often be traced to non-standard/non-Distiller PDF creation programs. Some PDF creation applications, such as Agfa’s Normalizer, are designed to create PDFs for very specific purposes, such as a particular PDF prepress workflow, and they actually work better than standard Distiller PDFs. In any case, it’s always good to know which tools are being used to create your PDF documents.

Creating PDFs through QuarkXPress 5

Any document created in QuarkXPress 5 can be exported—kinda-sorta—as a PDF file. QuarkXPress 5 really just creates a PostScript file that you then process through Distiller. Here’s how:

1. Create the final version of your document (preflighted, of course!) and perform a Save As to sweep your document clean of unnecessary stuff.

2. Select a PostScript printer driver. (I recommend a printer driver of version 8.7.3 or above on the Mac and PostScript5 or above for Windows XP and 2000.)

3. Choose File > Export > Document As PDF. The Export As PDF window will appear (Figure 4.20), looking very much like an ordinary Save dialog.

Figure 4.20 QuarkXPress 5 Export As PDF

At this point you have two choices: You can create a PostScript file that will be processed through Distiller using a predefined Distiller setting, or you can augment and/or override some of the predefined Distiller settings. If you intend to use an established set of Distiller settings (either a default set or one you have customized), continue with the following steps. To customize and override Distiller settings for this particular job, skip ahead to “Overriding Distiller Settings in a Quark Job.”

1. In the Pages field, type in the page numbers you would like to save in the PostScript file.

2. Click Spreads if you want facing pages to be saved as a double-page spread. (Typically you would ignore this and especially for prepress.)

3. Type in the filename for the PostScript file, making sure that it ends with the proper PostScript file extension: .ps (Mac) or .prn (Windows).

4. Locate the folder where you want QuarkXPress to place the PostScript file. (This could be a watched folder if you want Distiller to process the PDF automatically; see the section on watched folders earlier in this chapter.)

5. Click Save. QuarkXPress will use the PostScript printer driver you assigned in Step 1 to create a PostScript file in the location you designated.

6. If you have printed the PostScript file to a watched folder, Distiller will automatically convert it to a PDF file. If not, your next step is to launch Distiller, assign Distiller settings as discussed earlier in this chapter, and create the PDF there.

Overriding Distiller Settings in a Quark Job

Once you’re ready to PDF your Quark document and you choose File > Export > Document As PDF, you may want to override or customize some of your Distiller settings. If so, click the Options button in the Export As PDF window (shown back in Figure 4.20; a new dialog titled PDF Export Options For Document Name will appear (Figure 4.21).

Document Info tab Type in the title, subject(s), author(s), and keyword(s) you want to associate with this PDF. These data can be used to help identify the creator of the PDF and can be used in search functions later on.

Note: These Document Info data fields can also be assigned or edited later in the Acrobat application (see Chapter 5).

Hyperlinks tab Select the portions of your QuarkXPress document you would like to have exported as internal hyperlinks, such as lists and indexes. You can also have any (or all) lists appear as bookmarks when your PDF is opened in Acrobat. You can control the appearance of the hyperlinks in the Appearance area and set the initial display of the PDF document when it is opened in the Display menu.

Job Options and Output tabs These final two tabs can be used to override any of the Distiller settings offered here, such as font inclusion, graphics sampling and compression, or color output.

Figure 4.21 In QuarkXPress, customize your distilling process using the PDF Export Options dialog.

Creating PDFs through QuarkXPress 6 and OS X

QuarkXPress 6 for Mac OS X is created specifically for OS X and does not work in earlier versions of the Mac OS. Therefore all printing will employ OS X–based tools (which do not include a Chooser!) and techniques. QuarkXPress 6 provides the ability to create a standard PostScript file, print to a PDF, or export directly to a PDF. Here is how these methods work.

Overriding a Distiller Setting

When you override a Distiller setting, such as can be done here in the QuarkXPress PDF Export Options dialog, a series of instructions, known as prologue instructions, is embedded in the PostScript file. These embedded instructions will override any Distiller settings. However, this deserves a few words of caution.

    • Remember that you can control these setting functions in Distiller, and if you constantly alter where you control them, it may result in a confusing and inconsistent PDF workflow.

    • By controlling these functions outside of Distiller, you are adding another layer of complexity, and therefore possible error, to your PDF workflow.

My preference, in PDF control windows such as this Quark PDF Export Options window, is to use the controls that apply uniquely to that application—in this case, the Hyperlinks tab, which Distiller would not control—but leave the basic Distiller controls such as those in Quark’s Job Options and Output tabs to Distiller.

Printing PostScript Files

The Mac OS X utilizes a printer utility, called the Print Center, similar to the printing utility in Windows. Here’s how it works.

1. Create the final version of your document (preflighted, of course!), and perform a Save As to sweep your document clean of unnecessary stuff.

2. Launch the Print Center: Applications > Utilities > Printer Center.

Note: I dragged the icon of the Print Center into both the Dock and the top of the Finder window so that it will always be just a click away.

3. From the list of printers, select the PostScript printer driver you would like to use to create your PDF document. (Here I selected the driver for the LaserWriter 16/600 PS Fax.) You can make this the default printer if you intend to use this printer driver frequently.

4. Using the Print dialog boxes and tabs, create a PostScript file as outlined in Chapter 3. One difference you will encounter in OS X is that in the Setup tab you will likely see and select a printer description file (PPD) for Adobe PDF rather than Distiller.

5. Process your PostScript file through Distiller to create your PDF. (I like to use Distiller watched folders for this process.)

Printing PDF Files

Printing PDF files involves selecting a specifically labeled PDF printer driver rather than a general PostScript printer driver. Please see the section later in this chapter titled “Creating PDFs through PDF Printer Drivers.”

Created: March 27, 2003
Revised: May 05, 2004