Producing a Quality PDF with Ps, Ai, ID & Acrobat

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by LERsince1991, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. LERsince1991 macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    Can anyone help me learn to use Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat to produce a high quality PDF at a manageable file size.

    For my first attempt I did everything in Photoshop then saved then as PNG (I believe to be uncompressed?) and then used Acrobat to merge 8 Files (8PNG files, 8 pages... whatever) into a single PDF document. I set Ps to 300DPI resolution and A4 size. The file size came out to be about 2.8MB for this PDF and the quality seemed fine zoomed at 100% but when zoomed in because it was produced from raster files (PNG) it got pixelated very quickly.

    I have tried to use ID to produce a document from the psd files but when I used file->place the final exported PDF document was over 7Mb and looked about the same quality (I thought it might use the text and some paths as vectors and maintain the quality for whatever zoom... but it didn't)

    I then used Illustrator to open the PSD files and it converted them to 'objects' then I simply copied and pasted the files into ID to produce the booklet and it took a while for each copy and paste but it maintained the text quality at an infinite zoom. I believe that when Ai converted the layers to objects it maintained the text.

    Would anyone be able to help me produce a higher quality PDF booklet at a lower file size and help me expand my knowledge a bit in these programs.

    Extra Info:
    I use CS4 programs
    I used Ai to create and 'blend' a couple of paths drawn with the pen tool
    I used Ps to do the entire pages texts and inserted a couple of images and effects. Then laid them out the way I wanted them
    The PDF will be used for Web downloading and viewing and I will also need to print some out. (Possibly produce 2 PDF files, one for each purpose?)

    Heres the file I've produced using the PNG files and combining them into a single PDF file.
    Novanta.pdf - 2.80MB

  2. CortexRock macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2006
    Canterbury, England
    Okay, first thing you need to learn is which package in Creative Suite is best for each part of the job ;)

    Some may advise other ways, but given that you're just starting out: I would recommend using PS to do image manipulation and retouching only, Illustrator for any drawings/diagrams/logos, and InDesign to layout text and put everything together.

    You don't actually need Acrobat to create PDFs - the default output settings in InDesign will be more than suitable for what you need.

    Also, it sounds like you're cutting and pasting from PS/Illustrator into InDesign - ideally you should save images as PSD/AI (native format) and use the File > Place (Cmd+D) command in ID to bring components into graphics frames.

    You can also use TIFF files for bitmap/raster images and EPS for vector/drawings, but that's a lot more to talk about.

    Hope that helps - come back with any further questions :)
  3. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    Thanks for that CortexRock.

    Yup, that would be a good way to start; What to use and when.
    I started to learn photoshop for my photography then illustrator for some blending, logos and illustrations and just used what I felt I knew. But now it makes sense to use each program for what its intended and i know the basics for them now I think so.

    What if I did the pages in photoshop; which I did. I went on ID and used the file->Place and placed all the 8 files. I then exported a PDf file but The file size was 7+ Mb and the quality of the text wasn't any better. Is this meant to convert the text from the PSD file into text instead of a raster image (I think this is what its done since the PDF document doesn't zoom well). I did an experiment and I tried opening the PSD file in Ai and it converted the layers into images and text. I then exported to PDF and the text zoomed to an inifite amount.

    Edit: Ok, I've just had a go exporting and placing the entire pages using .EPS files, (Vectors, as you've mentioned). The text was preserved to an infinite zoom, the images were also higher quality than using PNG files or placing the PSD files in ID. The draw back is that the file size of the PDF was over 8Mb. So looking at the produced ESP files the vector points are dense around the images (the renders) of the desk. Tomorrow I might have a go exporting all the text and lines in ESP and placing them in the Importing the images as PNG's from the originals and seeing how the file size compares then.
  4. CortexRock macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2006
    Canterbury, England
    You really shouldn't be doing anything to do with text in Photoshop unless you're planning to do the whole job in that program.

    You can apply most of the effects to text in InDesign as you can in PS.

    Looking at the brochure you've put together (which is not a bad job, btw), there's nothing in there you can't do in InDesign and then create a print-ready and a web-ready PDF.

    1) Save your desk design renders as images (either PSD, TIFF or JPEG is preferable).
    2) Create your wave pattern in Illustrator and save it as a vector (either AI or EPS).
    3) Set up your document in InDesign (margins, guides etc).
    4) Place your images and the wave pattern in separate graphic content frames (on separate layers if you want to control each individually).
    5) Add your text and apply effects in InDesign.
    6) Use InDesign > File > Adobe PDF presets to create your PDFs - one for High Quality Print and one for Smallest File Size.
  5. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    Thanks, you've been a great help in learning ID

    What about exporting in .swf I was messing around with transitions and came across the 'turn page' transition but it only works in swf so then the booklet really is well.. a booklet with the pages turning over and stuff.

    Attached Files:

  6. mlblacy macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2006
    the REAL Jersey Shore
    That was what I was going to recommend as well. I used to use PDFs for online versions of some of my products, but I found them to be bigger than I liked, very slow to view and move around in, and really fell apart when you blew them up (especially the images which were marginal at 100% and went to horrible when you viewed closer).

    I use to create the flash based flip books. They have a free version that you can try, I use the "plus" tier which runs around $150 US per year (they also have a Pro tier that lets you host the files where ever you want, and add you own custom look/feel... but at a cost upwards of $1500, plus a per page fee).

    Simply create export your document as a PDF (a single document, NOT set-up in spreads), upload... and after a short bit of time you get your flip-book. The file can be edited, reordered sequentially, links added in, and even rich media (flash files, movies, etc.) can be added at the plus tier and above...

    There are a bunch of folks out there who do this, but Yudu was the best for me. Pages can be blown up without losing quality, files are small, and you can navigate quickly through the document.

    Check out these examples I did with Yudu.
    A guide:

    Another guide (links not added in yet):

    A brochure:

    A directory:
  7. design-is macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    London / U.K.
    Hi Luke :)

    The Flash magazine approach is becoming popular and could be a good idea if you plan to have the catalogue available on the web. However, as you probably know, it won't give you a quality printed output.

    For the modelling of the desk, is it SketchUp or SketchUp Pro your using?

    If it's Pro, according to you should be able to export the renders in vector format (PDF or EPS). This would enable you to cut down the raster content of your file considerably.
  8. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    I may use the flash booklet instead for web viewing then PDF for printing.

    I'm using google sketchup pro which can export in pdf and eps formats but the actual renders are done in a plug-in called iRender which can only export in JPEG and PNG... Good idea though
  9. VictorNT macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2007
    New York City
    "Turn Page" transition

    Hi Luke,

    I'd interest also into the "turn page" transition fx. Did you find it ?

  10. LERsince1991 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    Erm, I dont understand your question, the sentence doesn't make sense sorry :eek: I have been using the turn page transition as stated ina previous post.

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