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Lesson 6. Customizing Adobe PDF Output Q... > Using the default Adobe PDF Settings

Using the default Adobe PDF Settings

In this section, you'll compare the image quality and file size of three different PDF files prepared by converting a sample PostScript® file to Adobe PDF three times, using a different predefined set of Adobe PDF Settings each time. To save time, we've created the PDF files for you.

In Acrobat, choose File > Open, and select the three Adobe PDF files—Color1.pdf, Color2.pdf, and Color3.pdf—in the PDF folder in the Lesson06 folder. (You can Ctrl-click or Command-click to select contiguous files.) Click Open.

Color1.pdf was created using the Standard Adobe PDF Settings, Color2.pdf was created using the High Quality Print Adobe PDF Settings, and Color3.pdf was created using the Smallest File Size Adobe PDF Settings.

Choose Window > Tile > Vertically to display all the files in the document pane. If needed, use the scroll bars to display the same area in each of the files.

At the default magnification, all three images look very similar.




Click in each image several times with the Zoom In tool () to display each image at 400% magnification. Scroll as needed so that you can see the same area in each of the files.




In comparison with the other images, Color3.pdf (the smallest file size) has a more jagged display quality. Since Color3.pdf is intended for onscreen viewing, for emailing, and especially for web use where download time is important, it does not require as high a display quality.

Select the Hand tool ().

With the Color3.pdf window active, choose File > Close, and close the Color3.pdf file without saving any changes.

Choose Window > Tile > Vertically to resize the remaining two images.

Select the Zoom In tool and click twice in each document pane to display Color1.pdf and Color2.pdf at 800% magnification. Scroll as needed to display the same area in the two files.

Color1.pdf (the Standard file) has the coarser display quality of the two. The Standard Adobe PDF Settings are chosen to balance image quality with a reasonable file size. The conversion settings are designed to produce a file that is suitable for printing to desktop printers or digital copiers, distributed on a CD, or used as a publishing proof. The display quality of Color2.pdf (the High Quality Print file) is much better. The image resolution is higher for superior print quality.

Color1.pdf 76KB

Color2.pdf 960KB

Select the Hand tool, and choose Window > Close All to close both files without saving them.

Click the Minimize button to minimize the Acrobat window.

In Acrobat Professional, you can use the Pan and Zoom Window tool or the Loupe tool to magnify an image area. For more information on these tools, see Lesson 13, “Using Acrobat's Engineering and Technical Features.”

Now you'll compare the file sizes of the three Adobe PDF files.

On Windows, use Windows Explorer to open the Lesson06 folder, and note the sizes of the three files. On Mac OS, open the PDF folder in the Lesson06 folder, select the file Color1.pdf, and view the files in list view. (If necessary, choose File > Get Info to determine the file size on Mac OS.) Do the same for the Color2.pdf, and Color3.pdf files and note the comparative file sizes.

Color3.pdf has the lowest image quality and the smallest file size, while Color2.pdf has the highest image quality and the largest file size. Note that the significantly smaller Color1.pdf file does indeed balance image quality with small file size.


File sizes may vary slightly depending on whether you are using a Windows or Mac OS system.

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