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Creating PDF from Acrobat and from Distiller

Contributor ,
May 09, 2021 May 09, 2021

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Hi. I am setting a Preset via Adobe Distiller and creating a PDF from within Distiller. My understanding is that this preset is now the default and is shared amongst other Adobe applications, such as Acrobat. But when I create the PDF file (same source file) from within Acrobat, I get a different file size than the one created with Distiller.

-Am I doing something wrong?

-How can I tell what preset (or settings) the PDF file is created, whether it's from Distiller or from Acrobat?

-How can I set the preset to be used in Acrobat for PDF file creation?

Thanks.

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Contributor , May 09, 2021 May 09, 2021

I see. Is it possible to set a preset on a case by case basis, for each file that I want to create a PDF from, in Acrobat?

Is creating the PDF from Distiller any different than creating it from Acrobat?

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LEGEND , May 09, 2021 May 09, 2021

"Whatever the file type I would convert, I would like the workflow to work. I am converting eps."

Then you must set up each file type. However, EPS is one of the only types which is ALWAYS converted in Distiller. So you are in the right place. The page size for EPS files comes from Distiller settings. But be sure you are not mixing up EPS with generic PostScript (PS/PRN) files. These usually contain a fixed page size.

 

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Community Expert ,
May 09, 2021 May 09, 2021

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When you create the PDF file in Acrobat it uses the conversion settings for the file type.

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Contributor ,
May 09, 2021 May 09, 2021

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Hi Bernd. And the conversion settings are set where? In Distiller?

If that is the case, then as I mentionned, I end up with files of different sizes, so something's rnnning amock.

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Community Expert ,
May 09, 2021 May 09, 2021

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Acrobat doesn't use the distiller for this. You can find the conversion settings in the preferences of Acrobat.

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Contributor ,
May 09, 2021 May 09, 2021

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I see. Is it possible to set a preset on a case by case basis, for each file that I want to create a PDF from, in Acrobat?

Is creating the PDF from Distiller any different than creating it from Acrobat?

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LEGEND ,
May 09, 2021 May 09, 2021

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Distiller is not a universal converter. It is used to convert some file types, and not others. It is used for some conversion methods, and not others. What file type do you convert, and what do you click to do the conversion?

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Contributor ,
May 09, 2021 May 09, 2021

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Whatever the file type I would convert, I would like the workflow to work. I am converting eps.

In Distiller, I simply select the desired "Default Settings" and open the file.

In Acrobat, I use Create PDF and then either select From File or Batch Create Multiple Files.

What's important to me is to be able to select the Preset I want to use. I can do that easily in Distiller as described. In Acrobat, it's not as clear (Bernd gave me some pointers).

If I can convert to PDF the same file with both Distiller and Acrobat, will the end result be exactly the same?

 

My initial question was guided by this statement, found at https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/pdf-conversion-settings.html:

A PDF preset is a group of settings that affect the process of creating a PDF. These settings are designed to balance file size with quality, depending on how the PDF are used. Most predefined presets are shared across Adobe Creative Cloud applications, including InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, Photoshop CC, and Acrobat. You can also create and share custom presets for your unique output requirements. A saved PDF preset file has the suffix .joboptions.

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LEGEND ,
May 09, 2021 May 09, 2021

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"Whatever the file type I would convert, I would like the workflow to work. I am converting eps."

Then you must set up each file type. However, EPS is one of the only types which is ALWAYS converted in Distiller. So you are in the right place. The page size for EPS files comes from Distiller settings. But be sure you are not mixing up EPS with generic PostScript (PS/PRN) files. These usually contain a fixed page size.

 

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Contributor ,
May 09, 2021 May 09, 2021

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If I understand what you wrote correctly, you are saying that even if I convert EPS to PDF in Acrobat, Acrobat will be using Distiller as the "engine". Right? I assume the result will be the same if I convert in Distiller directly then.

Regarding page size of EPS, I assume you mean that the size of the EPS page itself is overridden by the size set in the preset used in Distiller. Right?

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LEGEND ,
May 09, 2021 May 09, 2021

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"...even if I convert EPS to PDF in Acrobat, Acrobat will be using Distiller as the "engine". Right?"

Correct.

 

"Regarding page size of EPS, I assume you mean that the size of the EPS page itself is overridden by the size set in the preset used in Distiller. Right?" 

Well.... EPS files do not have a page size, in the way PostScript files have a page size. It's absolutely forbidden [otherwise the EPS would set the size of the page where you placed it]. An EPS is not a page, it's a graphic (even if it's the size of a full page). Now, Adobe well understand that when you Distill an EPS you often want an EPS the size of the graphics, and other times you want a standard page size. This is controlled by some cryptic options under Distiller's Advanced Job options. The last job option is "Resize page and center artwork for EPS files". If on, the PDF is the graphic size. If off, the PDF default page size.

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Contributor ,
May 09, 2021 May 09, 2021

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I meant EPS dimensions here as "page size". This is all very helpful Test Screen Name, thank you. Is this information in the Adobe online documentation? If so, would you mind giving me a pointer? I am referring to what you explained regarding how Acrobat creates PDF via Distiller for EPS (EPS and PS only).


There is something that is not clear to me in the Acrobat documentation (https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/pdf-conversion-settings.html).

Resize Page And Center Artwork For EPS Files

Centers an EPS image and resizes the page to fit closely around the image. If deselected, the page is sized and centered based on the upper left corner of the upper left object and lower right corner of the lower right object on the page. This option applies only to jobs that consist of a single EPS file.

If I open several eps files in distiller, does that count as several jobs with a single eps? If I open an eps file in distiller that contains several eps files itself, does that count as a job containg "a single eps file"?

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LEGEND ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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I have no idea what is in the online documentation today. I learned all this over 20 years ago when Acrobat had a printed manual and Distiller was an $800 add-on ! I can say that Distiller is the only PostScript-reading component in Acrobat, so anything that reads PostScript or EPS will use Distiller. It is also used by the Adobe PDF printer. EPS is now considered a heritage format at best ("obsolete" is a term more often used today) so the knowledge on it among current staff and users is negligible.

 

"This option applies only to jobs that consist of a single EPS file..." Strictly speaking if it has more than one EPS it isn't an EPS any more. If you convert multiple EPS files the option applies separately to each one. This is true even if you use one of the "convert multiple files" or "combine multiple files" options, which always convert files separately and then combine them, whatever file type.

"If I open an eps file in distiller that contains several eps files itself"

Contained (embedded) EPS files don't count; their page size is ignored.

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Contributor ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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I've always been confused by the respective roles of Distiller and Acrobat. I kind of thought Distiller is the engine and Acrobat is the hood but was never sure. It seems that isn't the case and that Distiller by Acrobat is only used for PS ans EPS formats?

Actually, Distiller is called Acrobat Distiller so surely, it must be there for a reason.

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LEGEND ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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Distiller is the engine that converts PostScript to PDF. That's all it can do. Less important than once it was.

It's part of the Acrobat family, hence the name.

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Contributor ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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Another question about this. If I right-click on an eps file, I can "Open with Adobe Acrobat" or "Convert to Adobe PDF" (I refer to these as methods) without opening Acrobat or Distiller. If I change the Default Settings in Acrobat Distiller, it doesn't affect the file size produced by any of the two methods. Are those two methods relying on the settings to convert to PDF within Acrobat, not Distiller?

Is "Open with Adobe Acrobat" the same as "Convert to Adobe PDF"?

 

And something that wasn't clear in the previous posts. When an EPS file is converted to PDF with Acrobat, the setting in Acrbat Edit>Preferences>Convert to PDF>PostScript/EPS overrides the Default Settings I select in Distiller, right?

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Community Expert ,
Mar 09, 2023 Mar 09, 2023

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Hi,

 

See this guidance: https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/creating-pdfs-acrobat-distiller.html

 

Yes, you may fiddle with some preferences settings to reduce file size. In reality you are not overriding the presets (or built-in default printing templates). You choose any of those printing profiles and customize it to your needs for trial and error.

 

In doing so, it will allow you to test with different options to get the best desired results.

 

 

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