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Cannot create a watermark in PDF created by Save As PDF routine

Participant ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

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Hello. I have a PDF generated in Framemaker (version 17.0.2.431) using Save As PDF  that won't take a watermark in Acrobat Pro (version 2023.006.20360.) FrameMaker indicates that the PDF was created successfully and the resulting PDF opens normally. However, when I start the watermark procedure in Acrobat, the little watermark bar graph at the botton right of the screen comes up, says it's scanning for watermarks, and then the process stops without further ado. Sometimes if I start over and regenerate the PDF using Save As PDF the watermark procedure works fine, but not always. 

Grasping at straws, I tried printing the book to  a .ps file and then going through Distiller. To my great surprise and delight, this works. I was also thrillled to see that cross references made it through the process. So I have a solution, sort of, but I'd like to know what gives with FM's Save As PDF routine.

 

Thanks in advance!

Bill

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Community Expert ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

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That's because in FM v17 the Save As PDF mechanism now uses the new Publishing route.

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Participant ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

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Hi Jeff. Thanks for the information. I've returned to FM after a number of years away (version 5!), so I am not familiar with the new Publishing route. (I've seen it, and I see that it can publish to PDF, but that's about all I know about it.) What's your recommendation about creating PDFs from FM? 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

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The new mechanism is faster but sometimes doesn't match all the use-cases that existed before (from what I've gathered - I'm still stuck on FM12 here at work). Luckily, you can still print to the Adobe PDF printer instance or go the .ps route.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

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Hi Bill,

You can use Save As PDF to generate the PDF with the FrameMaker PDF engine or with the Distiller.

Open the Publish pod, select PDF and then modify the STS file. (I am in the train and cannot check the correct commands.) There is an option Use Distiller. Just activate or deactivate this option and see, what works for you.

Best regards, Winfried

When you open the Publish pod,

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Community Expert ,
Nov 01, 2023 Nov 01, 2023

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The new publishing engine shouldn't affect the ability to modify the PDF in Acrobat Pro.

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Participant ,
Nov 02, 2023 Nov 02, 2023

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It's not that I cannot modify the PDF in Acrobat Pro, it's that Acrobat Pro won't accept a watermark unless I publish via Postscript and Distiller. I am not understanding what about Print As PDF is doing to the final PDF file to intermittently prevent the addition of watermarks. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes a PDF generated by Print As PDF will allow watermarks, but most times it won't-- at least not with the book I am currently working on.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 02, 2023 Nov 02, 2023

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Do you have possibly set any security restrictions?

That would explain why you cannot modify the PDF.

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Participant ,
Nov 02, 2023 Nov 02, 2023

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No, there are no security restrictions, In fact, I can edit text in the PDF file without any problems. (I tried it as a test.)

 

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Explorer ,
Nov 02, 2023 Nov 02, 2023

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I agree with Rick - I add watermarks to many pdf files that are generated using the Publishing pod, so it must be related to something else.

Mats

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Community Expert ,
Nov 03, 2023 Nov 03, 2023

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Hi Bill:

 

I'm in agreement with the others here that how you create a PDF should not impact being  able to add a watermark.

 

What version of Acrobat are you using? And which interface are you using — there's the "new Acrobat experience" and the original Acrobat interface and the new one doesn't have all the features in there yet, like Action Wizard. I need to step into a coaching session in just a few minutes, but it seems possible that the new experience might not support watermarks yet.

 

If you're in the new interface, you can return to the old one by clicking the hamburger menu in the upper left corner (where the old File menu used to be) and selecting Disable New Acrobat—it's about 2/3 down the menu.

 

If you're not sure, just share a screenshot that includes how you're initiating the watermark process. I need to step into a coaching session, but I can swing back a little bit later or maybe somebody else can give a hand in the meantime.

 

~Barb

 

 

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Participant ,
Nov 03, 2023 Nov 03, 2023

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Hi Barb,

I'm sure Adobe calls people like me Luddites, but I just HATE the new Acrobat interface for the reason you mentioned: there's a lot of stuff that's just not there yet. I use the version of Acrobat Pro that comes with Creative Cloud, version 2023.006.20360.

 

I've steeled myself to the reality that if I need to add watermarks to a PDF (and this project has lots of them), I'll just have to print to .ps in FrameMaker and then distill it. It's déja vu, all over again.

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 03, 2023 Nov 03, 2023

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Hi Bill:

 

I'm with you. I installed the new experience, didn't like that everything switched positions, but was willing to live with it until I realized that not all the features were there. I immediately went back. (Now, this might've been unique to my experience, but I had to uninstall and reinstall Acrobat to get the option to return to the old interface.)

 

So did you put it back to the old interface? Can you now add the watermark? If not, can you send me a few pages from the document that you can't add the watermark to and I'll see if what I can do to figure it out. 

 

And I'd be remiss not to say that you can add a watermark in FrameMaker. It's not a wizard that walks you through it like it is in Acrobat, you just add them to the master pages, and remove them later. If you do this a lot, you can automate it a bit by having two copies of the document: one that has watermarks and one that doesn't, and you can just import the master pages/page layouts into your document (and not anything else) so that's the only thing that will change, and you can do it at the book level.

 

~Barb

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Community Expert ,
Nov 03, 2023 Nov 03, 2023

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And if you want to avoid the import of master pages in Barb's solution, you can also set up a watermark on the master pages that contain conditional text.

(these are just a few of the ways to get your problem solved in Fm...and they actually are faster in the long run than postprocessing your PDF to add the watermark)

 

-Matt 

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