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Pixelated and Jaggy Images on PDF export from Indesign

Community Beginner ,
May 07, 2021 May 07, 2021

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Hello all, this started happening happening on the latest update of InDesign. When I export High Quality or Press Quality PDFs from InDesign, my output PDF shows images as pixelated and with jagged edges. Jpgs come out blurry too. This was not happening before. Here is an example:

 

good.PNGbad.PNG

 

Here are my settings for Exporting PDF. 

 

box.PNG

 

If my memory serves me right, this was an issue on 2018 CC version. I think it's happening again. 

 

Any ideas or fixes? 

Thanks!!

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Bug, Feature request, Import and export

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 08, 2021 May 08, 2021

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 08, 2021 May 08, 2021

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Also - purpose of the link for the article is to ask you to check the effective ppi of your images.

 

Open the Info Panel, by going to

Window > Info.

Then select the image. 

The Info panel will show you the Actual ppi and Effective ppi.

It's the effective PPI that needs to be hi-res.

 

actual-vs-effective-ppi.png

 

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Community Beginner ,
May 09, 2021 May 09, 2021

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Here is the info panel from Indesign. Notice the image is relatively high res. 

info2.PNG

 

Now here is the exported PDF with info panel ... notice the image is pixelated. 

 

ino1.PNG

 

I've been using ADOBE products on a professional level for over 20 years and I've never run into this situation. I'll experiment at my office computer to see if i get the same results. If I don't we can assume it's something on this specific computer or version of adobe. My office computer is an MAC so I'll see if we get different results. 

Thanks for any suggestions or input. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 09, 2021 May 09, 2021

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If you look to an image with 2400% zoom it will always look pixelated. Look at 400% and if it also pixelated, then you have a problem.

 

Is there a specific reason, why you placed a CMYK image in InDesign? Modern workflows (since 2001 with InDesign) recommend to place RGB inages and not to convert to CMYK before PDF export (and with the use of an APPE2 also a RGB image in the PDF) to increase quality and flexibility.

See here:

https://creativepro.com/import-rgb-images-indesign-convert-cmyk-export/

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 09, 2021 May 09, 2021

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As said already zooming in to 2400 percent is the issue. 

 

Acrobat has it's own resolution for viewing. If you go to Acrobat preference you can change the resolution you view the document. 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 08, 2021 May 08, 2021

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show us a screenshot of the link panel with the selected image which causes problems and expand the panel so we are able to see all information.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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Hi together,

I think all information is on the table.

The effective resolution of the placed image is 2681 ppi, the exported PDF shows 32 ppi in Acrobat.

Bicubic downsampling in Export PDF (Print) with [Press Quality] is set to 300 ppi.

 

Could be a bug. Could be something with your installation.

 

What I would try:

[1] Use a different PDF Export preset: e.g. PDF/X-4

[2] Do not downsample or use a different value

 

What's the exact version of InDesign?

What's your exact version of the operating system?

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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the exported PDF shows 32 ppi...Could be a bug. Could be something with your installation.

 

Hi Uwe, I think you may have may have accidentally read the bits/pixel bit depth as the resolution?

 

Screen Shot 10.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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Well, I did. Not enough coffee this morning.

Thanks, Rob!

 

Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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Woo hoo. DO NOT DOWNSAMPLE.. .worked!   I am on Version 16.1. 

I never had to do this before. I've tried my second computer and it does the same thing. So, I don't think it's my operating system or computer. As long as their is a fix, i'm good with it.  

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Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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I also want to point out JPG is super jaggy too... but I don't care too much about that... since I use PDF on 95% of my jobs. But, i'm really starting to think it's a bug. (I use maximum settings and 300 dpi for .jpgs)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 11, 2021 May 11, 2021

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Same principle would apply to a JPEG export—if you set the JPEG export Resolution to 300ppi your image with an Effective res of 2681ppi is going to be downsampled. You would have to set the JPEG Export Resolution to 2681 in order to export the image with no resolution change (the JPEG Export Resolution limit is 2400ppi).

 

If you check the image in the PDF with downsampling turned off, Object Inspector will show its res as 2681ppi, but keep in mind for print the pixels are not output, they’ll get converted into halftone dots or some other printer mark in the RIP. You’ll be up against the typical 150-200 lpi screen resolution, so turning off downsampling would have little affect on the screened output quality.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021

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The Effective resolution of your image is listed as 2681 ppi and your PDF preset is set to downsample any image over 450ppi to 300ppi, so the image’s starting 3839 x 5761 pixel dimensions will get reduced to 430 x 645 on the downsample. You can prevent the downsample by choosing Do Not Downsample in the Export Compression tab.

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