Publisher file -- Pics dropping when Saving as PDF

jpfulton248

Well-known member
I just struggled with a customer Publisher file for a couple hours so I wanted to share what finally worked. Random pictures were dropping out when I was exporting to PDF.

In general (not just publisher) I used to always either print to ps or print to pdf. Within the last 5 years I changed my workflow to just using the "Save As PDF" option or "Export to PDF." This has seemed to work better for me nowadays than the "Print to" options.

What finally worked:
  • Make sure under Page Setup, Layout Type is set to one per page. Customers are really really good at selecting other options that kind of simulate what we in the printing industry would normally expect to see. (like how Papyrus Bold gets simulated because it doesn't exist)
  • Because there is a bleed, the document size has to be 11.25"x8.75" instead of 11"x8.5". Publisher doesn't have a good way to handle bleeds
  • Under "Printer" select "Adobe PDF" printer
  • Under that is Printer Properties. Click it. This page is familiar to most of us. Do what you do but also I had to make a custom page size: 8.75"x11.25" ... without this it was losing the bleed.
  • I think that's it so really not that complicated however there are a lot of ways to get a file out of Publisher and this is the only one that worked for me.
 

jpfulton248

Well-known member
I dislike it when customers use publisher BUT it does seem to be slightly better than using powerpoint.
I pretty much just reject Powerpoint files at this point. I've gotten a file from a customer in an Excel file. He placed a jpg into Excel and sent the Excel file.
 

keith1

Well-known member
I've gotten a file from a customer in an Excel file. He placed a jpg into Excel and sent the Excel file.
I once had a customer who designed a tri-fold brochure 2 sides in Excel. All considered he did a pretty good job of it too. Probably took him days.
Brochures in Word are pretty common. The folds/panels are never remotely near correct. I understand getting panels right can be a problem in Word (I wouldn't have a clue) but I always wondered about these people that supply brochures that didn't stand a chance of folding correctly. Don't these people own a ruler?!
 

jpfulton248

Well-known member
Customer files are always 8.5x11 even though my shop does mostly 5.5"x8.5" booklets (and we give our customers spec sheets).

No. People do not own a ruler.
 

chriscozi

Well-known member
This raises a couple of interesting Prepress topics that could be discussed individually.

#1 - Since Microsoft Word PROVIDES BROCHURE TEMPLATES you think they would have the correct panel sizes built in?
My answer - Not in my experience.

#2 - Would you prefer a random version of PC QuarkXpress or Microsoft Publisher?
My answer - We have more reliable output from Publisher regardless of version. It seems the PC Quark version mangles font names and transparency. The font issue has been around forever and we just struggle to work around it but the transparency issue is newer and much harder to repair.
 

jpfulton248

Well-known member
2) Publisher. I've actually only used Quark maybe 20 times and it was 15 years ago because it is what my shop was using before Creative Suite 2 came out. My customers wouldn't have a clue what to do with Quark.

3) Kind of tagging on to your #1, Publisher offers options for bleed margins but they kind of only work if you are printing directly from Publisher. If you are trying to get a PDF, the only way to accomplish the bleed is to change the document size. They'd be better off just pretending bleeds don't exist rather than half implementing it.

Paint Shop Pro destroys images. The resulting pdf looks okay but you better pray the customer nailed the specs right because making edits to a Paint Shop Pro pdf is a nightmare. Images split up into a bunch of little boxes.
 

chriscozi

Well-known member
2) Publisher. I've actually only used Quark maybe 20 times and it was 15 years ago because it is what my shop was using before Creative Suite 2 came out. My customers wouldn't have a clue what to do with Quark.

3) Kind of tagging on to your #1, Publisher offers options for bleed margins but they kind of only work if you are printing directly from Publisher. If you are trying to get a PDF, the only way to accomplish the bleed is to change the document size. They'd be better off just pretending bleeds don't exist rather than half implementing it.

Paint Shop Pro destroys images. The resulting pdf looks okay but you better pray the customer nailed the specs right because making edits to a Paint Shop Pro pdf is a nightmare. Images split up into a bunch of little boxes.
But, but, it's a PRO version, right???? (sarcasm alert)
 

jpfulton248

Well-known member
But, but, it's a PRO version, right???? (sarcasm alert)
Okay so this particular person is a retired guy. Probably about 60. He is a member of a social club and started doing their design work. Before he got started he actually asked me which software to use. I told him InDesign but it's expensive, would require a photo editing program like Photoshop, would pretty much require a pro version of Acrobat. I told him there'd be a very steep learning curve and a somewhat significant cost to get the software. He went with Paint Shop Pro.

As an aside, from a design perspective I am really impressed with his work considering the fact that he does it as a hobby and didn't even start this hobby until age 60. From a technical perspective, well, you know.
 

chriscozi

Well-known member
Like you I am constantly impressed by the quality of the work that the novices create.
It's the SOFTWARE companies that earn my ire.
 

tngcas

Well-known member
Like you I am constantly impressed by the quality of the work that the novices create.
It's the SOFTWARE companies that earn my ire.
I tend to be more impressed by the quality of work that novices create than I am impressed by the quality of work "professional graphic designers" create. Not all of them mind you... but enough that I have to suppress an eye-roll when someone proudly proclaims they are a graphic designer.
 

davarino

Well-known member
I tend to be more impressed by the quality of work that novices create than I am impressed by the quality of work "professional graphic designers" create. Not all of them mind you... but enough that I have to suppress an eye-roll when someone proudly proclaims they are a graphic designer.
I agree.

The best graphic designer I ever knew was a tool and machine designer. He kept everything sparse and understood the concepts of not forcing margins and keeping it simple.

I personally would be hesitant about hiring anyone as a graphic designer who had not had worked in mechanical engineering, however briefly. My reasoning is simple: graphic design is design of a method to pass information in a most effective way.

Graphic design is NOT good art or fine art, it is reproducible and effective communication. The "art" can often introduce irrelevant noise.
 

jpfulton248

Well-known member
I tend to be more impressed by the quality of work that novices create than I am impressed by the quality of work "professional graphic designers" create. Not all of them mind you... but enough that I have to suppress an eye-roll when someone proudly proclaims they are a graphic designer.
Also, I don't want to see your portfolio. Show me the files.
 

chriscozi

Well-known member
I agree.

The best graphic designer I ever knew was a tool and machine designer. He kept everything sparse and understood the concepts of not forcing margins and keeping it simple.

I personally would be hesitant about hiring anyone as a graphic designer who had not had worked in mechanical engineering, however briefly. My reasoning is simple: graphic design is design of a method to pass information in a most effective way.

Graphic design is NOT good art or fine art, it is reproducible and effective communication. The "art" can often introduce irrelevant noise.
I'll have to disagree a small amount with this.
I could have been an M.E. but now manage a Prepress department.
The design of graphics is almost beyond me.
A good Graphic Designer should stick to designing graphics.
Great LAYOUT ARTISTS are rare.
What we EXPECT from 'Graphic Designers' is the design of graphics and a whole lot more that they are NOT trained to accomplish in 'school'.
To that point - I have regularly trained 'Graphic Designers' to be excellent Prepress employees who acknowledge how much they have had to learn about 'Graphic Design' - admitting they'll never look at their design work in the same way.
I submit they are really learning how to be a layout artist.
 

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