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Packaging with Include PDF (Print) selected doesn't properly render .ai images

Community Beginner ,
Oct 24, 2023 Oct 24, 2023

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I have never been able to successfully use the "Include PDF" option when packaging files. I usually package, then export the pdf using my presets, then combine the files in the finder because the pdfs never come out correctly. It seems the problem is only with how it renders ai files. Color mode doesn't matter. The same thing happens whether or not I choose High Quality Print, Press Quality, PDFx1a, etc. Any solutions for this yet? It has been the case since the "Include PDF" feature was first released.  Example below has exported pdf on the left, and package generated pdf on the right.

I couldn't find this questioned anywhere else in the discussions in relation to packaging. 

Screenshot 2023-10-24 at 8.48.53 AM.png

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Community Expert ,
Oct 24, 2023 Oct 24, 2023

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Is the orange a spot color? Turn on overprint preview in Acrobat.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 24, 2023 Oct 24, 2023

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It is not a spot and both look the same with overprint preview on. If I run preflight, the pdf exported using package files shows all .ai files are now low res vectors using exact same preset.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 24, 2023 Oct 24, 2023

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Please keep in mind you are not placing AI files, you are placing PDFs. When you save the AI files make sure the PDF section is saved with the default PDF/X-4 settings.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 24, 2023 Oct 24, 2023

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They are saved with the default Illustrator 2020 preset - everything selected. If it was an Illustrator issue, I would expect saving as a pdfx1a using export wouldn't work either. The problem is it behaves differently than export. I freelance at many different agencies that all use .ai for their logos and it has become standard that every agencies knows to not use the include pdf. Nobody knows why but nobody bothers questioning it. Now that Indesign's export and package folder locations aren't working the same way, it's becoming more cumbersome to package then export pdf so it's worth the bother.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 24, 2023 Oct 24, 2023

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You cannot place an AI file that does not include the PDF portion. I just won't work.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 24, 2023 Oct 24, 2023

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I know - not trying to. My question is how to make use the "include pdf" feature when packaging work properly. I can export using any pdf preset in indesign and it works perfectly. But if I "include pdf" and select any preset when packaging, the pdf it creates always low-res rasterizes my .ai files. 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 24, 2023 Oct 24, 2023

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I can't reproduce the problem you describe.

 

I get identical PDFs whether I export InDesign file manually or use the "Include PDF" option when packaging the same InDesign file with placed .ai files.

 

InDesign 2024, macOS 13.6.

 

The issue you describe sounds as if when you package the file, InDesign can't find the .ai links when creating the PDF during packaging so it's using lo-res previews instead.

 

Evidently, you do experience the issue (and you mention that it's a common problem where you freelance). I don't know why you have this problem - sorry - all I know is I can't reproduce it.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 24, 2023 Oct 24, 2023

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Save in Illustrator as PDF with editing capabilities instead of AI files and use them. 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 26, 2023 Oct 26, 2023

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I (sort of) figured it out! I updated to 2024 (19.0)– I hadn't realized there was an update.

It did not solve my problem on its own, but I noticed when packaging it referenced an old printer of mine was named in the print settings area when packaging. I changed my printer default settings to postscript with device independent ppd. When I packaged it, it worked fine. There was something in the print settings or ppd that must have overriding the pdf preset chosen. 

I went back to my 2023 (18.5) and did the same thing but it still didn't work. But it does in 19.0. 

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