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