Making a PDF from Framemaker 2019 extremely slow

Explorer ,
Dec 09, 2019

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We migrated from FM 2014 to FM 2019, but since the migration, making PDF files (print to PDF method, since Save as PDF causes more problems) is extremely slow. We have not changed any supporting files, but generating a .book file that used to take between 60 and 90 minutes is now a full day task.

 

We use structured FM (not xml), linked graphics (doesn't matter if it is .ai or .eps), and the .book file is in either the parent, same, or sub folder to the .fm file. Our process and settings are unchanged.

 

Has anyone else experienced similar problems?

 

Thanks.

 

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PDF output, Structured

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1 Correct Answer

Adobe Community Professional , Dec 10, 2019
frameexpert Adobe Community Professional , Dec 10, 2019
FrameMaker 2019 has a brand new PDF engine, which should be much faster than earlier versions. I am not sure what problems you have with Save As PDF, but you should try it, or use File > Publish to make your PDF. The Print to PDF method is probably bypassing the new PDF engine.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 10, 2019

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FrameMaker 2019 has a brand new PDF engine, which should be much faster than earlier versions. I am not sure what problems you have with Save As PDF, but you should try it, or use File > Publish to make your PDF. The Print to PDF method is probably bypassing the new PDF engine.

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Explorer ,
Dec 19, 2019

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I still can't use Save As PDF. It crashes Framemaker or it just hangs at the end of the PDF creation. 

While I did do the experiment with the same chapter last week and had bad results, I have been asked by Adobe to send my files to their support team. Because we are working with controlled documentation, I needed to build a business case to send upward through the ranks to get permission to send it out. As I was working on the numbers in a .book file that has tables, illustrations, images, and about 30 pages of text, I created PDFs using multiple methods. It seems that the Publish is working much more quickly this week, without having done anything to my system (I was running the latest update already, and there hadn't been any Windows updates). 

So, I've written out instructions for my teammates on how to use the Publish option, but I am not entirely trusting of it working consistently. This lack of trust is because the week-to-week behavior is inconsistent. For now, though, it is working for me. 

Thank you to everyone who stuck with me through this. Now I'm off to report other issues we're facing. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 10, 2019

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Hi Sandra,

 

Save As PDF was not working reliably many years ago and many versions back.

You can now safely use it.

In FrameMaker 2019 you have two options to create your PDF files: with Distiller or with the new FrameMaker PDF creation engine.

The FrameMaker PDF creation engine does not support any pdfmark commands in PostScript text frames. And I would also check your fonts in the resulting PDF.

You can change this in the Publish pod. Select PDF and then at the lower right Change Settings to edit the STS file. In the General tab change the option Use Acrobat Distiller for PDF generation.

 

Best regards

 

Winfried

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Explorer ,
Dec 10, 2019

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Hello. 
Thank you, frameexpert and Winfried_Reng, but I took the same 66 page, minimal-illustration .fm file (not a .book), and have had very similar results doing the following:  

The way I used to do it, the 66 pages took 10 minutes 45 seconds to generate. 

Using Publish > PDF, the 66 pages took 10 minutes 30 seconds before it crashed. 

Using Publish > PDF with Use Acrobat Distiller for PDF Generation setting, the 66 pages took 11 minutes 1 second. 
Using File>Save as PDF, the 66 pages took 12 minutes 15 seconds to generate. 

 

Additional thoughts/input would be much appreciated. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 10, 2019

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I am not sure what is happening but I will give you a standard answer: check that you are using the latest update, which I think is 15.0.4.751.

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Explorer ,
Dec 10, 2019

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Yeah, I have gone out to look for updates, and I'm at the latest version 15.0.4.751. 

 

I have tried both the 64 bit version and the 32 bit version. 

 

My colleagues have the same issues. Actually, I'm saking this question because of one of my colleagues who is in PDF-making mode and dealing with server crashes and application crashes. 

 

Now that I've mentioned server: We work across a network (hard wired). But even if the books/files are converted to PDF on a local drive, with all supporting files also on the local drive, the time saving is negligible. 

 

Thank you for chipping away at this. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 11, 2019

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Hi,

 

Antivirus software can cause such delays.

Can you switch yours off and see, whether this changes something?

 

Best regards

 

Winfried

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Explorer ,
Dec 11, 2019

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Anti-virus off, same results. 

Anti-spyware off, same results. 

 

This is why it's frustrating. There really are no factors that help. 

 

Making a PDF from other applications, like Word or Excel is pretty quick. I haven't tried this particular 66-page document in InDesign, but I had done two mostly identical (same contents, but FM was structured, and InD was not) files, and the output from InD was a lot faster. That's why I'm posting to the FrameMaker forum and not Acrobat. 

 

Again, thanks for your input. 

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Contributor ,
Feb 10, 2020

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I also experience very slow publishing, when using dita. I tried with both fm and xml, both are very slow even for smal documents. 

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 04, 2020

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Very slow PDF generation here too, using unstructured files. Standard is especially problematic. What used to take mintues, now takes hours and often hangs. I then have to kill the process. I also cannot seem to get a medium file size that is between extremely small (low res graphics) and high quality (great graphics that can zoomed, but enormous file). I either get a 3MB file, or a 55MB file. One is too small for zooming, the other too large for sharing.

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SandraC_CAE AUTHOR LATEST
Explorer ,
Jun 04, 2020

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I don't know if this will help with file sizes, but if you generate the enormous file, can you then go into acrobat and save the file with optimized settings (File, Save as Other, Optimized PDF)? About 90% of our PDFs here require us to optimize them so they are a more reasonable size. You can choose how you want Acrobat to handle downsampling of images.

 

One thing to note: On the Discard Objects Settings, make sure you do NOT select :Discard document tags" and "Discard bookmarks". Also, on the Clean Up Settings, I do not select "Discard invalid bookmarks" because it was unpredictable (for me; your milage may vary). 

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Engaged ,
Dec 11, 2019

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It may be a font issue. If you have many fonts installed, you might try reducing that number.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 11, 2019

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Y'all are far more patient than I am. If I feel a PDF is taking too long to generate, I force stop it, check to see which joboptions file is applied (it always seems to be Standard when this happens) and change it to a joboptions file that was created at a former employer. The wierd thing is that the .joboptions files are nearly identical when I run a compare. I can't see why one always works and the other works most of the time but sometimes doesn't.

 

The differences?

 

In the standard.joboptions file: 

/AutoRotatePages /All

/PDFXOutputIntentProfile ()

 

In the customized .joboptions file: 

/AutoRotatePages /PageByPage

/PDFXOutputIntentProfile (None)

 

(No, I don't really understand what PDFXOutputIntentProfile is or how this affects the PDF generation. I have never studied Acrobat in-depth and am generally clueless on what most of the settings do, other than the compatibility setting and the image downsampling. I'm not doing any fancy color separations or anything like that, just your bog-standard PDF that needs to look nice whether on the screen or printed out on standard office laser or inkjet printers. While I occassionally had landscape pages inserted in portrait documents in my old job, it hasn't been a factor in this job; all the pages are portrait.)

 

Standard usually does work, but sometimes it hangs. The program freeze usually happens when it is doing something with tagging. If I remember, I'll take a screen shot the next time it happens. Document length or number of graphics files doesn't seem to be a factor.

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Explorer ,
Dec 11, 2019

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We use custom .joboptions, so it isn't due to Standard's options. 

 

We optimize the PDF as a separate step, so it isn't taking time working on that. 

 

I'm still plugging away at different things. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 12, 2019

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Hi Lin,

 

I suggest that you describe your issue in a separate thread, next time when it happens. It seems to be different.

I have the same settings in the Standard joboptions. And I do not have your issues. Possibly I just do not have your graphics or your graphics formats or other formatting.

Do you create your PDFs with the FrameMaker engine or with Acrobat? When one does not work, can you do this with the other?

Always very difficult to find solutions, when something happens only occasionally.

 

Best regards

 

Winfried

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 12, 2019

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Winfried, I would not be at all surprised to learn that I am having an oddball problem. I seem to be an edge case almost all the time I have an issue. 🙂

 

For now, I can tell you that I am using the Save as PDF option exclusively, mostly because I don't like the way the Publish pod creates directories and saves files where I don't want them but also because if I understand it correctly, Save as PDF does the same thing as using the PDF output from the pod (and uses the settings from there, anyway) and why bother with the extra clicks? I obviously use the Print Setup to choose joboptions and I do use the Publish pod to configure the Viewing options (not that it seems to work properly; I still have to set Zoom to Fit Page in the PDF).

 

The Convert text and graphic colors to RGB option is selected, too.

 

With few exceptions, all our graphics are PDF files. They used to be all SVGs, but for some reason if the graphic contained grouped objects, Frame-to-PDF messed up the placement of objects in the output. I'm told that Adobe has come up with a fix for this that may be available in the next release. I'm crossing my fingers since using PDFs for graphics increases file size.

 

I can also say that if the document hangs in PDF creation using the Standard joboptions, it continues to do so whether I use Save as PDF or Publish. If I change to the custom joboptions, it works. I've never tried the Distiller route.

 

And yes, trying to troubleshoot an intermittent issue is a real nuisance. The tech support does like to be able to see it happening, and there is no reliable way to cause it.

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 12, 2019

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Hi Lin,

 

Difficult. I do not see anything striking.

Did you create an issue in the Adobe Tracker? Then collect all files and send them to Adobe, when this issue occurs.

 

I also change the Viewing options in the PDF to Zoom to Fit Page. I set up a custom command with the Action Wizard and added it to the toolbar. Now it's only a click in the PDF to change the Viewing options.

 

Best regards

 

Winfried

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 11, 2019

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Most users reported a performance improvement in FM2019 release with 64bit architecture and a new PDF engine but there could be some exceptional cases.

Adobe Engineering would love to see cases where exceptions may come and will improve the area further if possible.

Log bug and attach samples at "tracker.adobe.com".

 

 

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Explorer ,
Dec 11, 2019

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These problems are not unique to me. So far, those of us who work extensively in FrameMaker have all had complaints about it. This is just the first I'm voicing them. We have other issues as well, both on 32-Bit and 64-bit versions of Framemaker (None of us have both versions on a single system.) These issues have been related to refresh rates and images that no longer behave consistently, but those would be in other threads (I have not yet created). 

 

To the PDF problem, I'm working on a sample that mimics our environment, but does not have document controlled images or content. With it being the end of the year/quarter, coming up with the time to make all of these changes is the biggest challenge. 

 

I will create these files, and give you details along with the upload. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 11, 2019

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Hi Sandra,

 

How long does it take, when you hide the graphics in your file (View | Options)?

How long does it take, when you convert a new file with just the default template and no content? Or one of the sample files from FrameMaker?

When I take this file and convert it to PDF, it takes 9 (with FrameMaker engine) or 11 seconds (with Distiller):

c:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe FrameMaker 2019\Samples\UserGuide\UserGuide.book

When this takes much longer for you, then there is something general with your PC.

 

Best regards

 

Winfried

 

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Explorer ,
Dec 13, 2019

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Hello Winfried - 

 

Using my normal process (File, Print, select Adobe PDF as the printer), this file took 13.5 seconds. 

Using File, Publish, and the Default.sts, this file crashed Framemaker (I only had KEAS, (unknown character), Square root, q, (unknown character, bar, *, 17.18 (and the right side of the 8 was missing). 

Using File, Save as PDF, this book took 1 minute, 11.8 seconds. 

 

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 12, 2019

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Hi,

I have sent you a private message. Please provide the requested information so that we can connect and look into the issue.

Regards,

Ajit

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