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  • pdf file

    Is there a way to check a pdf to see what distiller setting was used to create it ?

  • #2
    Re: pdf file

    The only way I know of is if the creator used a joboptions that attached the joboptions file used to the PDF. Check the attachments to see if the joboptions is there. I know of no other way than this.



    • #3
      Re: pdf file

      Select PDF in Acrobat 8 and under File, go to Properties. It does tell you the Producer, version etc. There is some advanced Metadata there too sometimes which can give you a clue.

      You don't get all the settings, but it's a good start to see if they used Joe's PDF Maker or some other garbage driver for it.


      • #4
        Re: pdf file

        Why do you care? And what if the PDF was produced using a method
        than Distiller (such as Direct Export)?

        What are you REALLY trying to accomplish?



        • #5
          Re: pdf file

          I would find this useful so you could easily tell what type of compression and downsampling was applied when the pdf was made.

          we get a lot of "screen" ready pdf's but clients insist they have high res files.


          • #6
            Re: pdf file

            To answer leonard, I know I've had issues with PDF's that are not distilled. I always save to .ps and distill any PDF that comes in. Saves hair pulling when the RIP takes issue with the file.

            Edited by: Farabomb on Nov 27, 2007 4:38 PM


            • #7
              Re: pdf file

              You could run the Preflight with PDFx-1a selected - however, that would only check that its PDFx1-a.

              We get this a lot but we often rely on a visual check in Acrobat Pro, then the proof, if the customer accepts the proof that should be enough.


              • #8
                Re: pdf file

                If adobe would include this info in the file it would be a quick and easy way to check to to see if you have a high res pdf, sometimes these files make it to press and we have to back tract all the way to the customer and this cost us a lot of press time. The old saying Sh-- in Sh-- out does not fly here. Apparently LENNY does not work in a print shop


                • #9
                  Re: pdf file

                  Do a preflight in Acrobat and 'List all images'. This will tell you the resolution of all images in the PDF. If you click Show details in that preflight window, you'll also get info on all colorspaces in the PDF. If you go to File > Properties > Fonts tab, you'll see if all fonts are embedded or subset.



                  • #10
                    Re: pdf file

                    If you want to see if you have a PDF containing high resolution images
                    (there is not such thing as a "high res PDF"), then you should use
                    preflight software to check for images with resolutions below a certain
                    percentage. Acrobat Professional, for example, includes such
                    functionality "out of the box" in its Preflight solution. That tells
                    you what you wish to know.

                    Whether the file was created by Distiller or not, and using what Job
                    Option file, isn't useful - since more and more PDFs are NOT produced
                    using Distiller but either "Direct Export" from authoring tools (such as
                    Adobe Creative Suite) or using server-based workflow solutions.

                    And no, Leonard doesn't work in a print shop....Leonard is responsible
                    for the PDF standardization process for Adobe and a senior member of the
                    Acrobat engineering team.

                    Leonard Rosenthol
                    PDF Standards Evangelist
                    Adobe Systems


                    • #11
                      Re: pdf file

                      I understand there may several ways to see what the resolution of an image is, but the advantage of seeing what the job options were is you can tell what the customer did to the file.

                      Is that image 72 dpi because it's that way in the source doc or did the customer apply downsampling in their job options? you don't know and that is what the preflight doesn't tell you. That information can be very helpful when dealing with novice customers.

                      Customers do some weird stuff with files, so having as much information as possible is critical in determining what might need to be done to fix the file.

                      I can easily tell if a file is bad, but finding out why is what I struggle with, when dealing with PDF's.

                      > {quote:title=leonardr wrote:}{quote}
                      > Whether the file was created by Distiller or not, and using what Job
                      > Option file, isn't useful - since more and more PDFs are NOT produced
                      > using Distiller but either "Direct Export" from authoring tools (such as
                      > Adobe Creative Suite) or using server-based workflow solutions.

                      Almost all these programs have the same basic options (compression, font embedding/subsetting, downsampling) those are the more critical pieces of information for us, why not include that information in the document info


                      • #12
                        Re: pdf file

                        I agree 110% that the need for "audit trails" are becoming an important part
                        of modern workflows, and not just at the end of the process when creating
                        and printing PDFs. We are seeing an increased interest in them all the way
                        back to the creation and authoring of content.

                        For example, what if (conceptually!) the contents of the history palette
                        were persistent in your documents as you edit? Not that you could necessary
                        go back in time (ala version control), but just that you could at least see
                        every step in the process of creating a piece of content from start to

                        This would work on each individual asset, as well as the combination of
                        assets (eg. In InDesign) and then into the final PDF itself and it's
                        production and (possible late-stage) editing.

                        NOTE: this isn't a product or even a technology announcement - just talking
                        loud about ideas that I've been hearing from users and how we could leverage
                        our current metadata workflows.



                        • #13
                          Re: pdf file

                          Hi Leonard

                          Count this as another vote from the trenches for including the joboptions settings in the metadata of the PDF. When we preflight a PDF and find problems, one of the first things we need to figure out (quickly) is why is the problem there in the first place? If you get a preflight flag for low-res images it means that they could have come from the original file or from the settings used to create the PDF. If we could see that it was created with the "Smallest File Size" settings that's a big clue that we can relate to our client as to where things are going wrong so they can quickly fix them and send us a new PDF.

                          Preflight is great for telling us where something has gone wrong, this would be information to help us find out WHY which is just as important for fixing the problems and getting the job on press.



                          • #14
                            Re: pdf file

                            It appears to me with the number of respones to this thread that adobe should consider adding this info to the pdf, there are many work arounds to this problem but how hard could it be. If I had one customer I had 100 tell me that since its a pdf that its cross platform and printable. In all of Adobe's ads I have not once seen them tell people that there are different setting for different kinds of pdf.
                            To top it all off Distiller ships with the default setting of "smallest file size".


                            • #15
                              Re: pdf file

                              Distiller ships with the default setting of "Standard" - always has! Of
                              course, what Standard represents in terms of actual settings has varied from
                              version to version. That's why I don't really understand the use of putting
                              the NAME of the joboptions into a PDF.

                              As I said before - we are aware of the issue/concern and are looking at
                              various ways to provide the most useful information in an appropriate



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