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AI & EPS to PDF, Distiller or other options?

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#1
David Medeiros

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I need to create PDFs from AI files. In the past I've used Distiller as part of Acrobrat Pro, which I don't have access to right now. Are there any alternatives? The print or save to PDF options produce files that are too large. MACs have a workaround where you can save the file as EPS and open in Preview which converts it to PDF at nice small file size, but the page margins get screwy and often don't match the AI files.

If there is no good cheap alternative to Distiller out there, what's the minimum Acrobat version I would have to buy in-order to get it? Their website is pretty vague on this.

Thanks,

Dave
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#2
Matthew Hampton

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How about opening the native AI files in Preview? Does that monkey with the margins? I often have to battle bloated PDF's. I have had some luck using "Reduce File Size" in Acrobat, but when vector masks are the culprit - I flatten everything into a hi-res raster and create the PDF by opening the jpg or tif in Acrobat.

Removing vector masks and Postscript 3 effects (drop shadows, transparency, etc.) will also help. I am not too sure about Acrobat Distiller and the minimum licensing.

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#3
David Medeiros

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How about opening the native AI files in Preview? Does that monkey with the margins? I often have to battle bloated PDF's. I have had some luck using "Reduce File Size" in Acrobat, but when vector masks are the culprit - I flatten everything into a hi-res raster and create the PDF by opening the jpg or tif in Acrobat.

Removing vector masks and Postscript 3 effects (drop shadows, transparency, etc.) will also help. I am not too sure about Acrobat Distiller and the minimum licensing.


Didn't know you could do a direct AI to PDF through Preview as well... doesn't matter though, it also has margin or document size issues.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

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#4
Dennis McClendon

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Can you place the illustration in InDesign or a similar program and export from there to PDF?

As for margins, I always place white squares at the corners of my pages (in FreeHand) to ensure that resulting PDFs are a full 8.5x11. However, I understand that AI doesn't handle masking the same way and your problem may be resulting pages that are too large rather than too small.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#5
Michael Schmeling

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You could try to export the .ai as .eps and use Ghostscript http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/ to convert to PDF. But you'll have to play a bit with the options I guess.
Michael Schmeling
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#6
Fran├žois Goulet

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Can you place the illustration in InDesign or a similar program and export from there to PDF?

As for margins, I always place white squares at the corners of my pages (in FreeHand) to ensure that resulting PDFs are a full 8.5x11. However, I understand that AI doesn't handle masking the same way and your problem may be resulting pages that are too large rather than too small.


By printing your map using Acrobat PDF instead of a Save As of Export really reduce the file size. Yesterday, my printed pdf was 1,4 Mb from a 70 Mb .ai file.

#7
frax

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You can print to a file using a postscript printer driver, and then use ghostscript to create a pdf.
Hugo Ahlenius
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#8
Hans van der Maarel

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Does printing to PDF work properly on a Mac? I use it all the time on Windows to quickly grab a section out of an existing map, but when I tried the same trick on my Mac, it printed the entire document to a PDF file...
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