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Who is still using Acrobat Distiller?

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  • Who is still using Acrobat Distiller?

    I was proofreading a technote which described how some problem could be fixed using specific Adobe Acrobat Distiller settings. It made me wonder if there are actually still people using Distiller. Are there? If so, why? Distiller is still a part of Acrobat so one can only assume there is still demand for it.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Laurens View Post
    It made me wonder if there are actually still people using Distiller. Are there? If so, why?
    To me It's obvious - there are a lot of printing houses with old workflows or even without one. They still demand distiller-created files.

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    • #3
      Why would they insist on Distiller-created files? What is wrong with PDF files exported directly from InDesign, Illustrator or whatever other application that has direct support for PDF export? I would even prefer such PDF files over files created with Distiller. Less hassles with transparency or blends if you can avoid the intermediate PostScript step.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Laurens View Post
        Why would they insist on Distiller-created files? What is wrong with PDF files exported directly from InDesign, Illustrator or whatever other application that has direct support for PDF export?
        Try to think from their point of view — they have production tools, whose vendor guarantee everything will work ok with distilled pdf's and do not guarantee anything with direct exported pdf's. It is written in the manuals for their workflows. So why would they want to overcome this?
        On the other hand — there can be lot's of things wrong with direct exported pdfs. For example, certain versions of InDesign CS4 "break" some cyrillic fonts with direct export and do not with distilled ps. There are lots of weirdness with direct export especially when it comes to normalizing such files with pdf/ps workflow. Some workflows did not handle transparancies well, especially colormanaged ones. As far as i concerned all colormanaged workflows with device-link profiles demand flattening in the first place.

        BTW i used to ask our clients — what is the problem with using distiller in the first place?

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        • #5
          I still use Distiller to create PDFs from the PostScript press files... Is there a better way to view PostScript files?

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          • #6
            Distilling and viewing in Acrobat is still the best - although RIPping the files and viewing the bitmaps can be a valid alternative provided your RIP has such a function.

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            • #7
              When I have a bunch, 10 or more business cards I make a postscript file that is tiled 3x3 and print a postscript file and then distill it instead of giving the customer a 10, 20 or more page pdf to proof they get one or two sheets . . much easier than the option . . I haven't figured out how to directly export a tiled pdf from indesign . . . .
              "If you think you are too small to be effective
              you have never been in the dark with a mosquito."

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              • #8
                Sometimes I get a pdf that for whatever reason fails at the RIP. I will export the pdf to .ps and then distill it and the file Rips fine.

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                • #9
                  Yes... I use it from time to time if I have troublesome files that won't open etc. I never use the output but it can shed light on what's going on.

                  Many years ago had it set up with a hot folder to make low res , password protected spec sheets.

                  There was another worklow that made pdf files of colour separations for buddy checking.

                  My old colleague used it all the time to make pdfs out of quark as he got the settings just how he wanted them. Even after quark introduced export to pdf.
                  ​​

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                  • #10
                    The Adobe Acrobat Distiller is an application to be used by other applications as a service. It converts PostScript descriptions into PDF. On most Macs pretty much all programs can convert/export other file formats into PDF without leaving the program. That is done through Acrobat Distiller. For example, embedding or accessing embedded fonts within a file.

                    As an standalone application the Acrobat Distiller provides:
                    a) An interface to convert Postscript descriptions into PDF; and
                    b) Provides a way for other applications to programmatically control the Distiller program.

                    Working with Acrobat Distiller, fonts, and more | Adobe Acrobat Developer Center

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pajdzn View Post
                      Sometimes I get a pdf that for whatever reason fails at the RIP. I will export the pdf to .ps and then distill it and the file Rips fine.
                      Me Too!!!

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                      • #12
                        I find a correctly set up PDF X, 1a or 4, produced from Indisgn CC, is rock solid.

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                        • #13
                          There is no way to process out of In-Design a percentage of page, say at 101%. We have pubs that need a % adjustment at times and postscript to distill is the only way I know of.

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                          • #14
                            I have used Distiller with good success when faced with a problematic PDF. I save the PDF to PostScript, then distill it. Most times, that's worked.

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                            • #15
                              Still use it. Mainly if I need a PDF of a specific plate (specifically a text black plate) for co-edition printing.

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