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Who is still using Acrobat Distiller?

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  • #16
    I am using distiller occasionally to produce pdfs from ps/eps files, in order to visually check the content of the graphic files.
    Since the 1980's we used "hand written" Postscript commands to create the basic graphics for calendars, barcodes, rulers, special grids, tints etc., coupled with a simple GUI to manipulate the needed parameters and create variations on the basic graphic files.
    Last edited by Repro_Pro; 04-29-2018, 06:18 AM.


    • #17
      I only use Distiller when I need to "export" a specific color separation. I print a postscript file of the separation and distill. Would be nice if a specific color separation could be exported to a PDF.



      • #18
        Originally posted by prepressdork View Post
        I only use Distiller when I need to "export" a specific color separation. I print a postscript file of the separation and distill. Would be nice if a specific color separation could be exported to a PDF.

        I use a risograph, so printing separations is a key part of my workflow. In the past, I would print a .ps file and distill it, but these days I am using VipRiser, a virtual PDF printer, to print seps.


        • #19
          I just had a Photoshop DCS Eps file that I couldn't open in photoshop or acrobat. I couldn't export a PDF when placing in Indesign either. I just wanted to preview for a sales person. I was able to use Distiller to create a PDF. So... I keep it around as a tool when nothing else works.


          • #20
            Used it yesterday to process files for a rush job.


            • #21
              I still use it for making PDFs from Quark files. I write PostScript using an old Xitron PPD and distill it. With InDesign I do a straight export. I've also used Distiller successfully in fixing problem PDFs generated elsewhere, even from InDesign.


              • #22
                Originally posted by semi-tech View Post
                I still use it for making PDFs from Quark files.
                I though Quark Xpress meanwhile had a decent PDF Export option. Is that not the case or are you still using an older version?


                • #23
                  I use it with watched folders just to make sure all our PDFs for each purpose are done using the same settings.


                  • #24
                    If you have ever had to work with LaTex files ( think Match books ! ) , you might be so very happy Distiller sill exists !

                    Michael Jahn - Slightly used PDF Evangelist
                    Simi Valley California


                    • #25
                      The original reason for the Adobe Acrobat Distiller was to provide a convenient means by which PDF files could be produced by any application that was capable of printing using standard, system PostScript drivers. The PostScript route was chosen since for early PDF, PostScript was relatively easily converted to PDF (as opposed to QuickDraw for old MacOS and GDI for Windows).

                      Our assumption was that over time, as PDF gained popularity and as PDF eclipsed PostScript in terms of richness of the imaging model (i.e., ICC color management, transparency, etc.), applications would generate PDF directly. That is exactly what happened relatively early on with Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. Corel was actually also an early adopter of direct PDF generation. Quark was very late to the game, creating PDF via conversion of PostScript “under the covers” until relatively recent versions. And just the other day, a legacy Adobe application, FrameMaker, began to support direct PDF creation without going through the PostScript route.

                      That having been said, it is Adobe's intention to continue to distributing and supporting Acrobat Distiller as part of the Acrobat product, but certainly not enhancing it in any way. Why? Primarily to support PDF creation for the very many applications, especially non-graphic arts applications and especially on Windows, that provide no native PDF creation capability and may provide direct PostScript output (see Michael Jahn's LaTex comment above).

                      We do often see postings of hacks for “fixing” PDF files by refrying PDF by printing PDF to PostScript and recreating PDF from such PostScript via Distiller. Typically this shows ignorance in terms of simple fixups available within Acrobat Pro itself via the built-in Print Production and Preflight capabilities. And ironically, this refrying technique often adds more problems than it pretends to resolve (loss of ICC color management, flattening of transparency, loss of searchability, etc., etc.)!

                      For those of you who follow my contributions here and on Adobe User Forums should already know, Adobe most strongly recommends direct PDF creation from Adobe applications (and especially using PDF/X-4 settings for print) and that we know of no advantage to creation of PDF for such applications via distillation of PostScript. Other than very irrational and unsupported demands from some printers (Luddites?) for PDF generated via distillation of PostScript, there is no good reason for graphic arts users to ever get involved with Distiller.

                      - Dov


                      • #26
                        Thanks Dov for such a detailed and insightful post!


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