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Old 10-05-2012, 12:05 PM   #1
XOatWoodMaxx
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Default I think I'm ready to move beyond Publisher..

Hi there,
I'm looking for some software advice. Currently I work in the office of a small business where I use MS Publisher 2010 for everything from owner's manuals to website graphics. My real beef with Publisher is that it seems that EVERYTHING that's imported into Publisher, when saved as a Publisher file, is grainy. For example, I'm currently trying to include technical drawings into an owner's manual. The drawings are in PDF format, which I can insert into Publisher either directly as a .pdf or saving them as .png files first. Anyway. Regardless as to how I do this, it ALWAYS comes out grainy when you print the manual (Publisher file). The same thing happens when creating graphics in Publisher and saving them as image files (.png is the best, .jpg the worst), only they aren't quite as nasty looking as the tech drawings. So my question is...is this just because "Punisher" is an entry level program? I'm thinking about pushing for Adobe InDesign, but its pretty expensive, and I want to make sure it will be money well spent before I ask for it...
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:36 PM   #2
terrie
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First...welcome to the forum...'-}}

I've never used MS Publisher so I can't help you with that. You might take a look at Serif PagePlus which I've not used but have heard good things about. Adobe InDesign would probably be consider the more professional-level approach but it's pretty pricey.

Hope that helps...

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Old 10-05-2012, 04:29 PM   #3
Michael Beloved
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I am not an expert at Publisher but I used Word extensively for text and published books using the same, with results which astonished friends who swore that Word was a piece of cr-p and that I should use Indesign.

However I found that Word is the easiest place to do any publishing. What I really want to mention however is that the key to images is not so much where you move the image into but the quality of the image before you transplant it. I am sure you are aware of this but it is something to really take into consideration.

The resolution of the created image, from day one is very important. Sometimes it is worth it to get a class or read up on just that. Even if one used Indesign (which I found to be Publisher on steriods) if you do not pay attention and do not set the proper resolution during the initial creation of the image, you will still have the same problem.

The other thing of course is the printer and its settings in terms of how it is compatible with the information it receives from the software in which the information is acquired.

Another issue is the machine which is making the PDF. If an image is made in one software and then it is PDFed by another software, then sometimes that other software adds this or that to the image.

I used to have trouble moving .docx files into Acrobat PDF and then when I switched to a free pdf add-on from Microsoft, all those troubles disappeared. That software add-on cannot read a pdf but it makes one with absolutely no change, no image jumping nothing.

That is my take on this, for what it is worth.

   
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:37 PM   #4
John Spragens
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Back in the early '90s, I pushed a word processor (WordPerfect) to do desktop publishing tasks it wasn't really meant to do.

It was a great relief when I sprang for a real page layout program. At that time, I bought QuarkXPress. These days, I use InDesign.

Among other things, if you place a PDF file that contains a vector illustration on an InDesign page, it will be treated as a vector illustration. That means it will come out sharper and clearer than something that's been rasterized, which sounds like what's happening with your "grainy" drawings.

If you're investing in something as pricey as InDesign, you might want to consider going all the way and getting one of the Adobe suites. When I'm working on print publications, I regularly switch out to Photoshop and Illustrator to create or edit photos and graphics.

   
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:27 AM   #5
Howard Allen
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I agree with Michael that this sounds like an image resolution issue. Try this: open your PDF of the technical drawings in a PDF reader (e.g. Adobe Reader) and zoom in to, say, 800%. Do the images get grainy/jaggy/pixellated? If so, then they're raster images and you may need to get them at a higher resolution before sending them to Publisher. If they stay sharp up to the maximum zoom level, then they're vector images and Publisher must be doing something funky to them (rasterizing them at a low resolution) when they're imported.

I have no experience with Publisher, so can't help much, but you should check to see if there are any import options settings that affect the resolution of the images. Something along the lines of "import/place images at full resolution" (yes, please); or "convert images to 96 ppi" (no thanks!) or "optimize images for Web" (no thanks!).

I use InDesign, but that's no guarantee of image perfection: you still have to understand and correctly manage the resolution of your images. It's one of those "garbage in, garbage out" things.

   
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:47 AM   #6
XOatWoodMaxx
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Thank you for all the help!
So, I discovered that I could download a free trial of InDesign...and the first thing I tried was importing the pdf and printing. Boom...prints out pefect. I showed it to our draftsman and he agreed that printed out of InDesign (compared to the original pdf printed out), it was pretty much spot on-- as compared to the aforemtioned "icky" looking Publisher print-outs. OH! And I did try zooming it at 800 in Adobe Reader, and the images are perfectly clear even at that level of zoom. So...its got to be Publisher doing something funky.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:53 AM   #7
Michael Beloved
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XOat,

Just curious!

What graphic software were the drawings created in before they were pdfed?

It is always good to stick with one company. Like staying with Adobe all the way. Sometimes moving from one company to the next causes issues because their stuff is not that compatible and of course they are competitors.

Changes due to shift across companies may not mean that the software is faulty but may mean that it is just not designed to work seamlessly.

   
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:48 AM   #8
Howard Allen
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I'm glad InDesign seems to have fixed your problem. If you decide to go with ID, I can pretty confidently assure you that you won't regret it--once you've forgotten about the money

I've found that it's a pleasure to use--one of those applications that works the way I expect it to work--it's never given me any hair-tearing sessions.

Oh, and BTW--welcome to the forum!

   
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:07 AM   #9
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<< So...its got to be Publisher doing something funky

Sure. Publisher doesn't really understand PDF. It comes in as an "object", so all you really get is a picture of the PDF, not an interpreted/editable vector version. There are ways to get higher quality images out of the PDF, but working with a program that really *understands* them is best.

   
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