PDFs revisited

General HighDesign Discussions
Post Reply
User avatar
matthew.Stanfield
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 4:10 am
Location: Mansfield, OHio
Contact:

PDFs revisited

Post by matthew.Stanfield »

The topics of PDF creation from HD seems to have been visited several years ago, with no real resolve, and i am now noticing more and more problems with my PDFs printed from HD. Though the problems seem to be linked specifically to Adobe Acrobat.

First, a little history: We have two printers in town that can print large format documents. I had always gone to the one for various reasons and always had trouble getting my PDFs from HD to print. Pen weights were always fainter than when printing from home, so we would try printing from Adobe (which reeked havoc with my files - large blocks of black, missing information, etc...). So my work around was to bump up my line weights, explode hatches, etc... so that my files would print decently. Eventually i went to the other printer. Print quality is exponentially better as long as they print from their print server and not Adobe. So there was really not a problem, as long as i could avoid Adobe.

Then last evening, i had eMailed some PDFs to a client so they could print their own copies. Unfortunately they reported the same problems as my local printers when trying to print from Adobe - missing information, large swaths of black, moved lines. They eventually figured out to print as an image and all was well.

So today, i have done some experimenting with printing PDFs, and have discovered that Adobe just does not play well with my PDFs created from HD. If i print the PDF from Adobe, it is all messed up. If i print from Adobe as an image, it prints fine. If i print the same file from either PDF Pen or Preview, it prints fine with now adjustments. I even tried to using the PDF-X option when printing the file from HD, but that caused some of the information to go blurry.

So, my question is has anyone else experienced similar issues with HD generated PDFs and Adobe Acrobat? If so is there an easy work around on my end, or do i need to tell clients to print as an image if using Adobe?
matthew.Stanfield
Principal Architect
FiELD9: architecture
Mansfield, OHio
http://www.field9architecture.com

SurfingAlien
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:04 pm
Location: Italy
Contact:

Re: PDFs revisited

Post by SurfingAlien »

Hi Matthew,

I've not a great need for PDF prints but I noticed I get better results via Print => Save as PDF (this way OSX take care of the PDF creation and not HD)

cheers,
Alessandro

User avatar
alexwhite
Posts: 262
Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 4:45 pm
Location: Indianapolis USA
Contact:

Re: PDFs revisited

Post by alexwhite »

My concerns with PDFs via Print, Save As PDF are that the PDFs are not flattened. So the files are huge and take a long time to load. I'm not that familiar with flattening routines, but recognize it could be part of the problem.
fat guy in a little coat

SurfingAlien
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:04 pm
Location: Italy
Contact:

Re: PDFs revisited

Post by SurfingAlien »

that's true but not an issue in my workflow, and they import fine in Ai PS etc. so you can always "flatten" them with more control over compression/quality rates... but I reckon this is a double step workflow and HD should be able to export perfect PDFs directly!

We are now asked to send PDF drawings instead of prints for building permits etc. and they've always been accepted without any (PDF related) issues so far, and it's quite likely they're opened in WIn PCs with acrobat

User avatar
matthew.Stanfield
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 4:10 am
Location: Mansfield, OHio
Contact:

Re: PDFs revisited

Post by matthew.Stanfield »

SurfingAlien wrote: I've not a great need for PDF prints but I noticed I get better results via Print => Save as PDF (this way OSX take care of the PDF creation and not HD)
This is how i have been generating my PDFs as well. I have never tried direct export, so am not sure how that would work.
matthew.Stanfield
Principal Architect
FiELD9: architecture
Mansfield, OHio
http://www.field9architecture.com

User avatar
matthew.Stanfield
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 4:10 am
Location: Mansfield, OHio
Contact:

Re: PDFs revisited

Post by matthew.Stanfield »

SurfingAlien wrote:they've always been accepted without any (PDF related) issues so far, and it's quite likely they're opened in WIn PCs with acrobat
Just to clarify, the PDFs i create look great in Adobe Acrobat, they just do not print properly. So if they are being reviewed on screen, there is no problem.
matthew.Stanfield
Principal Architect
FiELD9: architecture
Mansfield, OHio
http://www.field9architecture.com

macitect
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 10:52 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Re: PDFs revisited

Post by macitect »

Sorry I can't be of more help, but I can confirm that this has been a problem for me for a long time. I normally save my various layouts as project views and use the print preview dialogue to generate my pdfs - which I do using the print>save as PDF function. My pdfs always print fine from preview, but get really screwed up if I try to print from Acrobat. I don't know where the problem lies exactly, but the strange thing is that pdfs generated from say Vectorworks or Archicad print out fine...

User avatar
matthew.Stanfield
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 4:10 am
Location: Mansfield, OHio
Contact:

Re: PDFs revisited

Post by matthew.Stanfield »

macitect,

At least i know i am not the only one who is having this problem. Your experience with Vectorworks and Archicad seem to point to an issue with HD itself. Hopefully this issue can be resolved in the supposedly upcoming release.
matthew.Stanfield
Principal Architect
FiELD9: architecture
Mansfield, OHio
http://www.field9architecture.com

Giovanni
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 10:28 am
Location: Ilexsoft HQ

Re: PDFs revisited

Post by Giovanni »

Hi,
apparently the handling of PDF files when you are going to print is not so easy and, above all, it is not a task everyone can do without a bit of experience. I had a conversation with an experienced graphic professional in a printing house about the best way to handle PDF files and got a precious tip:

a PDF file created by Apple applications, such as the Print function used by HighDesign, is actually an RGB file which needs to be opened by Adobe Acrobat or by other specific applications as an RGB Tiff file: then that file must be converted into a CMYK file before sending it to the printer.

Without this step, PDF files are often different on printouts from what you see on screen: no matching of fonts, print resolution, line weights, and hatches and missing of graphic objects: those issues occur even with files created by Pages and Preview and are not connected to HighDesign itself.
Giovanni Suraci
ilexsoft - Look Ahead

Post Reply