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Photoshop Files to PDF -- Best Compression for Clear Text?

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Bob Miller
Photoshop Files to PDF -- Best Compression for Clear Text?
on Sep 17, 2013 at 9:43:22 pm

Hi all,

So, I have a 17 page document that's filled with color images and text. Each page is an individual .psd file with many layers. Originally, I decided to just save every page as a high res jpeg with these settings:

Quality: 12 Max

Format: Baseline "Standard"

Then, "combine into a pdf" in Adobe Acrobat Pro. As a single PDF (not portfolio).

That gives me a pretty large file though. 60mb.

In acrobat I messed with "save as optimized PDF" with the settings attached in the image below. And while that gets me to around 10-12mb or so....The text loses it's crispness. Ideally, I would get this document to be around 20mb or less.

I'm trying to figure this stuff arbitrarily and was wondering if there were any pointers you guys had for how to get the text crisp and clear. Is exporting jpegs the way to go? I tried doing photoshop PDFS and then combining those PDFS in Acrobat - but when I viewed the file on an ipad -- all the text was gone! I'm assuming Photoshop PDFS embed the fonts or something and if you don't have them - they don't show up. Is PNG or Tiff better than jpeg?

Also, I really don't know what I'm doing with the Acrobat Optimizer! I'm just messing with numbers, really. Are there settings that work better?

Ideally this should read really well on a computer screen, a tablet, and if someone were to print it out - it would print out well there and not look compressed. (Hah, so it should look great everywhere.)



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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: Photoshop Files to PDF -- Best Compression for Clear Text?
on Sep 18, 2013 at 6:42:04 pm

Well, I find the overall quality to be far higher using InDesign to do the layout and text, then export as a PDF there. If you can strip out your text and images and comp them in InDesign, you'll get a better result. I'm not sure how Photoshop creates its PDF files, but I suspect the text doesn't remain as text at low quality - it rasterizes it to use JPEG compression instead.

If you don't have ID or you don't know it, try creating a new PDF in Acrobat Pro (I"m assuming you have pro) using the full-size, layered PSD files and hope that Acrobat does a better job of converting to a PDF. Try creating the PDF, then use the make smaller deal.

Let me know how it works. :)

Save early. Save often.

Jonathan Ziegler

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