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pdf x-1a question

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#1
Adam Wilbert

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I have a 450 mb illustrator file that includes a 24x36 300 dpi raster and a bunch of vector layers. When I save a PDF file using any number of configurations, they typically weigh in at between 250mb to 450mb. EXCEPT when I "save as" using illustrator's built in PDF X-1a preset. The x-1a file is a diminutive 30mb in size. I've gone through the x1a PDF with a fine-toothed comb and could not detect any down-sampling of the raster or any other indications of how the file is so much smaller. Individual trees in the airphoto are just as well defined on screen as they are in the original photoshop file. Which actually makes me happy. But I'm having a hard time trusting such a relatively small file. Is there something that I might be missing by using this output method? What are some typical press-ready file sizes? Is there a better way to export my illustrator file for offset printing?

Thanks in advance,
-Adam

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#2
frax

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Maybe flattening and stuff? (and all Illy editing stuff removed?)

Maybe this post on Mordy Golding's excellent blog can shed some light on it: http://rwillustrator...ps-and-pdf.html
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#3
Adam Wilbert

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Thanks for the link. That did help, as did his article "What's in a file?". Thanks for pointing me to a good source!

So, I'm feeling better about my file size being appropriate. I'd still like to solicit comments on exporting files for offset printing if anyone has any advice.

-Adam

Adam Wilbert
CartoGaia.com & AdamWilbert.com
Lynda.com author of "Up and Running with ArcGIS"


#4
Unit Seven

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Personally I don't use Illy's save as pdf for a final press file, prefer to distill or 'print to pdf' which is actually doing the same thing?using a ps print driver to create ps and then distilling it on the fly.

This way I know I have control of all flattening and all I should have to worry about the printer doing corectly is my overprint settings and trapping.

Have heard from a few of our pre-press people they only really trust this method?InDesigns export pdf is meant to be fairly robust as well.

There's my 2c but am always interested in other peoples views.

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S a m B r o w n

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#5
CHART

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As Sam, I like to use the distiller (with Acrobat 8) as my method of producing pdf files.
I tend to stay away from the save as pdf in Illustrator (it can be ok for web delivery etc. but maybe not for sending to your Printer).
Also as Sam mentions the pdf distiller in InDesign seems fairly robust ( I believe it is based on the Acrobat distiller).

Another option (maybe outdated) is to find out what your Printer uses to produce your offset plates. Most likely he can provide you with the PS printer driver. Once you have the specific print driver installed you can produce, for example your 4 PS files (e.g. CMYK). To make sure all is correct you can use the free Ghostscript / GhostView software to view the content of the PS files before sending to your Printer. The printer should also produce a proof for your review before doing the run.

If the Printer can not provide you with is print driver you can use the generic Adobe PS print driver along with Ghostscript / GhostView.

Finally, work with your Printer. Don't be afraid to ask him questions. A good Printer will help you out with your project.

My 2 cents on that subject. :)
Chart




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