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Old 05-05-2009, 11:14 AM   #4
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Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
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Originally Posted by Ronald View Post
The type is all outlined and is a matter of adjusting stroke thickness. The maps show up just fine in Acrobat. I don't have a laser printer handy and my desktop printer won't work.

I always save printable PDFs as High Quality Print. I just now went to Save As to see what PDF saving functions were on and in choosing HQP, the only notable compression would be that "Compress Text and Line Art" is checked.
Unfortunately, your text is line art, and compression is probably what messed it up, especially if you are also reducing from the original size. (One advantage of real type, as opposed to outlines, is that fonts include hints to help them retain critical features — x-height and line weight particularly — when printed. The outlines do not retain this feature.

Do you have the maps in their original size? You could try using Photoshop to reduce them to print size before placing them in ID. It offers much more control than auto-scaling functions generally do.

On the larger fold-out map, the text isn't that small and would be perfectly readable if it weren't all scratched out. I don't get how scaling down the placed PDF would cause chunks of elements to be removed.
Scaling down the placed PDF is likely to be the cause (or exacerbation, anyway) of your difficulties. It is almost always preferable to reduce bitmaps in Photoshop, compensating for any problems there, and then place the final-size images in the layout.

It's frustrating that both the engineering company couldn't seem to make these maps right and that the printing company seems clueless on what to do. And I think I'm researching the problem more than they are.
I would be frustrated too. Try Photoshop. And you really must arrange to have a printer, preferably 1000 or 1200 dpi laser, to proof work meant for print. The screen really will not do (even the high-res laser is a bit of a compromise, but much closer than screen res).

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