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Old 02-28-2006, 08:25 AM   #1
ElyseC
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Default minimum PDF settings for newsprint

When going to a forgiving medium such as newsprint (more forgiving of low res images, anyway), what kind of compression and/or downsampling settings can I get away with for my final PDF?

I have a 48 page magazine-type publication with many images (mostly raster, but some vector) plenty of text, as well, and the paper will be newsprint. Had to create it with QuarkXPress 6.5 for a variety of reasons, so I have only its settings for initial PDF generation, then Acrobat 6 Pro (CS Suite) to tweak it with from there.

The 48 pager will go to press tomorrow, so I did a test PDF export from QX at maximum quality/resolution settings (of course embedding all fonts, of which there are a ton) and, although I have three pages yet to lay out with text and images, the PDF came out a whopping 295 MB!!

I needed to send something to the client to start proofing, but their FTP server either was having trouble of its own accord or detected the monstrous size of the file I was trying to send and shut down my connection, so I used Acrobat 6 Professional's "PDF Optimizer..." feature to strip out and compress all sorts of things: remove thumbnails, downsample images (to 200 if over 300 dpi), compress to JPEG medium quality and in the Clean Up pane selected everything but "remove document structure" because I'm not sure I want whatever that does. I left the monochrome image settings alone and didn't allow downsampling or compression. I also didn't allow compression of text and line art, because earlier in this project I had several very odd things happen with several vector images when I PDF'd them with "compress text and line art" turned on.

So, all those settings produced a 13 MB file from the 295 MB original. Woo hoo! Impressive size reduction! Today I decided to compare the two PDFs side by side. I'm only on page 9 of the 48, but viewing them enlarged to 150% I cannot for the life of me see any difference between the quality of the two PDFs! If I cannot see the diff at 150%, would the much slimmer 13 MB one print just as well to 85-100 line on newsprint as that 295 MB monster? I'm guessing the extra data of that monster file is way overkill for newsprint, yes?

   
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Old 02-28-2006, 10:06 AM   #2
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Our files go through our printer's Prinergy system... Their settings are Acrobat 4, 2400 dpi, downsample to 300 if over 450, ZIP compression, Monochrome sampling off, CCIT Group 4.

80 pages weigh in at 644 megs. Our classified pages are typically well under 1 meg, same with Opinion (B&W, no photos). The front page this week is a 7.7 meg PDF.
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Old 02-28-2006, 11:52 AM   #3
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Ask the prepress people for their profile.

   
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Old 02-28-2006, 12:01 PM   #4
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The printer should be able to email you their distiller settings -u dont really have much time to mess about!!!!!
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Old 03-01-2006, 12:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djb
Our files go through our printer's Prinergy system... Their settings are Acrobat 4, 2400 dpi, downsample to 300 if over 450, ZIP compression, Monochrome sampling off, CCIT Group 4.

80 pages weigh in at 644 megs. Our classified pages are typically well under 1 meg, same with Opinion (B&W, no photos). The front page this week is a 7.7 meg PDF.
Using those settings, the PDF ends up about 90 MB. Does it matter whether you pick "bicubic downsampling' or "average downsampling"?

   
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Old 03-01-2006, 12:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annc
Ask the prepress people for their profile.
Good idea.

   
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Old 03-01-2006, 12:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElyseC
Using those settings, the PDF ends up about 90 MB. Does it matter whether you pick "bicubic downsampling' or "average downsampling"?
Dunno.

You really should ask the printer what they want.
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Old 03-02-2006, 10:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djb
Dunno.

You really should ask the printer what they want.
I know, but the way it worked I had to make a PDFing decision after the contact at the printer had left for the day. I defaulted to maxing the settings, then optimized in Acrobat Pro with "PDF optimizer..." and used the settings you suggested

Today I got to talk with the printer and was told the settings I'd used were no doubt way overkill for 100 line screen on newsprint, but she appreciated that I sent the monster 306.8 MB file as well as the one I'd optimized. The latter came out a mere 134.5 MB.

I'll check with the printer later and see which they decided to use.

   
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Old 12-09-2009, 02:11 AM   #9
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The rule of thumb is that you need twice the dpi for the lpi.

Newsprint can only hold a low linescreen, (it's not "more forgiving" of low-res: it just can't handle high-res!).

You quote 100 linescreen. So you can downsample to 200dpi in your PDF. Or resample the original images to size.
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benwiggy View Post
The rule of thumb is that you need twice the dpi for the lpi.

Newsprint can only hold a low linescreen, (it's not "more forgiving" of low-res: it just can't handle high-res!).

You quote 100 linescreen. So you can downsample to 200dpi in your PDF. Or resample the original images to size.
Really? I wonder why our newspaper looks so good with 200 ppi images, printed at 150 lpi? I'll have to tell the printer that they're doing the impossible and to stop it immediately.
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