Highest quality PDF export preset? "Press Quality"?

Community Beginner ,
Apr 09, 2016 Apr 09, 2016

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What is the highest quality preset to use when exporting to pdf before sending to a printer?

High Quality Print or Press Quality? PDF/X-4: 2008?

Sorry..I'm a noob! Thanks!

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Community Expert ,
Apr 09, 2016 Apr 09, 2016

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‌You should normally get a spec from your printer. If that's not available I'd choose the latter.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 09, 2016 Apr 09, 2016

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PDF/X-4: 2008 is the most flexible.

With X-4 you can choose to export all color unchanged but with the needed profiles to make the correct conversions at output, which is the default. In that case you could have all of the color be RGB and let the printer choose the final CMYK profile at output. Or if the printer is asking for all CMYK you can simply assign the printer's recommended CMYK profile to your document and when you export set the Destination in the Output tab to Document CMYK and all the conversions will be made during the export.

PDF/X presets also include an Output Intent profile, which alerts the printer to what the expected press profile is—neither High or Press quality presets include an Output Intent.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 09, 2016 Apr 09, 2016

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Yikes....so I just tried PDF/X-4: 2008 and I got a red "Failed to export the PDF file" message

And High Quality Print also just gave me the same message. Right now, I'm only having luck with Press Quality....converted to PDF successfully.


A quick Google searches brought up some mentions of image scaling/downsampling...do you guys know about this? Is this a common problem?


THANKS!!


Btw..this is a great forum. I participate in many others, but the activity & knowledge here is exceptional!

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Community Expert ,
Apr 10, 2016 Apr 10, 2016

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I've never seen a problem with image scaling.

Common problems are lack of write permission on the destination folder or lack of sufficient resources to process the entire file (sometimes a reboot and exporting first thing can work in this situation). See Adobe Community: File Crashing on Output - printing/PDF/other for more troubleshooting tips.

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Apr 10, 2016 Apr 10, 2016

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On behalf of Adobe:

Of the PDF export options provided by Adobe applications (including InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop), PDF/X-4a will yield the highest quality, most reliable PDF for print publishing. A close second is High Quality Print.

That having been said, you should always check with your print service provider. Some refuse to accept anything other than early 2000's PDF/X-1a with no color management and ruined (i.e., flattened) transparency. Don't provide them PDF/X-4 if they've are either afraid of it, don't know what it is, aren't trained in 21st century workflows, have ancient workflow software incapable of using PDF/X-4, or are Luddites. 

With regards to a “failed to export” message, that often indicates that one or more of the fonts you are using don't permit embedding in the PDF file, but that would be an issue with PDF/X-1a as well. Provide us more details of your configuration (including OS version, InDesign version, and whether you are running 32-bit or 64-bit InDesign. You might also wish to see whether the export fails on a particular page by trying export of ranges of pages and isolating on which page the export fails. At that point you could conceivably play with that page and see whether a particular graphic object or run of text with a particular font that triggers the failure.

             - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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New Here ,
May 11, 2022 May 11, 2022

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Dov: Is the 'a' in the first occurrence of X/4a a slip or IS there a 4a standard?

On a related issue, what is the -

  1. EASIEST way of disambiguating the presence/absence of embedded fonts in exported .pdf's, the information in the Fonts tab of the Properties displayed when the opening the .pdf using Acrobat Reader DC, say, Version 2022.001.20117 | 64-bit on Win10?
  2. the SUREST way (on Win10 platforms) ?

 

Many thanks for the excellent backgrounder and exhortations to "check with the printing SP".

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LEGEND ,
May 12, 2022 May 12, 2022

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Dov has left Adobe. All PDF/X versions require embedded fonts so if you make PDF/X the check is done.

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Community Expert ,
May 12, 2022 May 12, 2022

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LATEST

TSN – You will know that Dov has retired from Adobe, but he still (happily) comments on this forum occasionally.

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New Here ,
Jun 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017

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Choose Press Quality if you want to print : Offset
Choose Hight Quality for Digital Print not Offset

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Community Expert ,
May 12, 2022 May 12, 2022

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Hi Ramesh24410975whnr,

the basic PDF Export preset's name in InDesign, Illustrator and PhotoShop is [PDF/X-4:2008].

The underlying standard with this preset is PDF/X-4:2010.

There is no "a" behind the "4".

 

If  you are using preset [PDF/X-4:2008] or a custom preset that is based on it and the entry of Standard: is None AND the options PDF/X-4:2010, PDF/X-3:2003 and PDF/X-3:2002 are grayed out, you cannot export your document to PDF/X-4 or PDF/X-3. The cause for this: you turned off color management under Edit > Color Settings… Turn it on and the options are available again.

 

Used fonts in PDFs:

When in Acrobat Pro switch to category Print Production > Preflight

There is an option to get very detailed information on all fonts included in the PDF; even up to the point that you can see a list of used glyphs and their rendition with path points. Menu command "Browse Internal Structure of all Document Fonts…".

 

That may too much of information.

If you want a detailed report, could be a PDF report, just use Create Inventory > [ x ] Fonts from the Preflight options of Acrobat Pro.

 

With Adobe Reader only, Preflight is not available.

Look up the used fonts under Document Properties > Fonts

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

 

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Community Expert ,
May 12, 2022 May 12, 2022

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Hi Ramesh24410975whnr,

to answer the quality of PDF (Print) export:

That relies mainly on the contents of your pages in InDesign.

You may turn off downsampling of images and converting to other color spaces and create a custom export preset from the basic [PDF/X-4:2008] preset.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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