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Resolution of pdf's from Preview
Picture of Mary Jo Disler
I may have posed this question awhile back, but don't remember receiving an answer: What is the resolution of pdf's produced with Preview?
- In working on a project that will go to a commercial printer, I found a satisfactory answer.
- Produced a print music score with Finale (a very complex one!) Normally exporting from Fin to eps works, but it's finicky and sometimes turns staff lines into dotted lines.

Plan B: Export a tiff file, with choices of 300dpi, 600, or 1200. Then render to pdf with Acrobat Pro.

Tried all 3 resolutions to experiment. The 1200dpi file was large (about 8MB/page), but Acrobat dropped it to about half size.

I looked at all 3 res samples at 800 magnification in Acrobat. 1200 clear as crystal, the others (600 & 300 dpi) were definitely somewhat degraded & jagged.

THEN, to compare results of the Acrobat method and Preview, I printed to pdf / open with Preview directly from the Finale score. Opened the Preview file with Acrobat, zoomed to 800 magnification. WOW, Just as clear as rendering a 1200dpi tiff file to pdf with Acrobat Pro. Now we know! - not a fuzzy spot to be found.

P.S.: The size of the Preview file is 262 kb for 3 pages, instead of 4 or 5 MB for just one page.
Also, ran the Acrobat view up full blast to 6400, and still no jaggies. (!!!)

(Am I missing something? Are my eyes fooling me? Looks OK.)

An average laser print doesn't look bad to the naked eye at the lower resolutions. However commercial printing will be very hi-res.

"For what is age but youth's full bloom,
A riper, more transcendent youth" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
Posts: 2074 | Location: West Bloomfield MI USA | Registered: June 13, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Dave
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Commercial printing of your project should be fine at 600dpi and better at 1200dpi. Because it will be mostly black and white printing, not full color, the term Hi Res has some wiggle room. The Commercial Printer that is producing this should be outputting it at 1200dpi or higher. What you supply him will base the quality of what is actually printed.

I have felt that Acrobat has bloated the file size of PDF's vs. Preview. Enlarging the image on your screen for comparison is not the best idea. A good Printing company should be able to create a proof for you to sign off on, before putting ink to paper. Sending them a sample page in Acrobat and Preview might be a good learning experience for both of you.

Dave McGuire
President - MacGroup Detroit

"What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?"
Posts: 2119 | Location: Orion Twp, Michigan | Registered: July 25, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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