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PREFLIGHT ERRORS: Combining Illustrator PDF's, preparing for print with Amazon Kindle Direct Publish

Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2021 Sep 10, 2021

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I have 140 individual Illustrator files that I have saved as PDF's to combine into one PDF book.  It's the only way the files are accepted for publishing with Kindle's (print-on-demand) sevices.

 

Per Kindle's guidelines, all PDF's (from Illustrator) must be flattened with no transparencies. I've saved each individual page (file) as a PDF/X-1a (2003) with "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities" and "Create Acrobat Layers from Top-Level Layers" UNCHECKED.  This is per their suggested technical notes.  I had no trouble combining all of the pages to one master PDF and saving the combined files as a new PDF.  However, when I upload that one PDF, Kindle's preflight gives errors of "transparencies".

 

I'm completely green in Acrobat, so I have no idea what I'm doing but I've since created a new combined file of all the pages and tried to run a "Preflight" for printing prep.  The first time, it worked without a problem and noted numerous transparencies but I only chose for it to review the problems, not fix them.  When I try again, even starting a new combined files project, all of my preflight buttons are greyed out and won't let me scan or save.  What could I be missing?

 

Is there general guidlines or tips on saving a combined file PDF from Illustrator PDF files?

I'm using Acrobat Pro DC and files from Adobe Illustrator 2020.

TOPICS
Create PDFs, Edit and convert PDFs, Print and prepress

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 10, 2021 Sep 10, 2021

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I'm having trouble following along with all of the steps that you've gone through. Have you tried just running the "Flatten Transparency" preflight fix?

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Explorer ,
Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021

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Since the source of all of the individual artwork / pages is Illustrator, I saved each page as PDF's per Amazon Kindle's instructions.

• I deleted all hidden layers, objects and text.

• I outlined all fonts.

• I saved each file with the following PDF settings:

   - PDF/X-1a (2003) | Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3)

   - "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities" - UNCHECKED

   - "Create Acrobat Layers from Top-Level Layers" - UNCHECKED  (which is what I understand "Flattens" the artwork?)

 

By that process alone, I would assume they would be Amazon KDP compatible.  Then I had to bring them into Acrobat to create one combined PDF file.  After combining them and saving as a PDF (default settings), Kindle rejects the PDF stating that they contain "Transparencies".  I'm new to Acrobat aside from random "combining files" I've done in the past.  I found the "Preflight" and the first attempt at combining the files, I could run the preflight and it offered fixes (including transparencies) but I didn't want it to over-write the existing PDF files if the "fixes" weren't what I wanted... so I started a new "Combine" file and since then, all of the options to "Preflight" are greyed out and not clickable once I'm in the preflight pop-up window.

 

I think the sure thing to assure it'll be Amazon Kindle friendly would be to run the PreFlight... I'm just having trouble running it.

 

Also note:  when I create the combine files project in Acrobat using the individual PDFs, each page has an "!" warning: One or more of your files are PDF/X compliant. To retain this compliance, got to Settings and choose the PDF Portfolio option.  I've just applied this setting (PDF Portfolio) which removed the warnings and combined them.  I uploaded that to Amazon just now but it rejected it saying it was only 1-page.  I guess the "PDF Portfolio" doesn't act like a true combined file.

 

Do you have any starting points as to why running "Preflight" would grey out the options to click "Analyze" and/or "Fix"?  Are there settings within Acrobat's "Preferences that could prevent this with these file types?  Also, assuming I can get Preflight working, is there a preset or setting I should use to assure the issues are fixed to Amazon's requirements?

 

Thanks! Chris

 

Amazon's specific instructions regarding file saving are found on the following links:

https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G202145060

https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201834260

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Explorer ,
Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021

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Here's a screenshot of the Acrobat project and the grayed-out analyze ad fix options...

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Explorer ,
Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021

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I should note, using Acrobat, I am going to "Tools" > "Combine Files" and dragging all 140 files in.  From there, I'm trying to run "Preflight" before I apply "Combine" since I noticed the Preflight option dissappears from the "Edit" tab once I combine them.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 11, 2021 Sep 11, 2021

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What you describe is an unusual way to make a final result, InDesign is the usual tool for assembling a final product before making PDF. However, what you describe should work. Saving as PDF/X-3 must remove transparency, so it's hard to see where it's coming from.  Still, it may be worth using Preflight to save as PDF/X-3 again (since combining PDF/X files *DOES NOT MAKE A PDF/X FILE*. It's intended only for the final file.

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