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QR code becomes distorted and unusable after exporting my file to PDF

Explorer ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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The QR code is clear and works in my InDesign file but becomes distorted and unusable when I export the document.

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Bug , Import and export

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Explorer , Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

Hi @bschaefer6,

 

Where your using QR code if background color is black or dark color you will face issue to scan that code.

 

Make sure you have white border in barcode.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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It's a raster graphic, so I'd guess that the problem is a combination of a too-fine QR code (too much data, very fine grid) and loss of resolution on export to PDF.

 

You'll need to reduce the data to create a coarser code matrix, or export the PDF to a higher resolution.

 

The major workaround would be to convert the QR code to a vector format (via Illustrator), or use another QR generating tool that will export to, say, EPS. That would help preserve the detail at lower resolution output, but not by much. If you need a lot of data and a low resolution/file size, I'm not sure there's a workable medium.

 


| Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Pro Guide (Amazon)

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Where does the QR code come from? Do you use InDesign's qr functionality, which is the best. Or do you import some other file?

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Explorer ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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I'm using InDesign's QR code functionality.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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I'm not sure I'd call the built in generator "best" except in convenience. Does it support output resolution issues better than a placed image from another source?

 


| Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Pro Guide (Amazon)

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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The built in qr generator generates vectors and is to prefer to outher sources 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Ah, was not aware it worked at the vector level. I thought it regenerated/rescaled raster images on the fly, like most other generators.

 

Almost certainly too much data for the output resolution, then. The other solution would be to make the code larger to increase the scale of the matrix.

 


| Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Pro Guide (Amazon)

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Explorer ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Hi @bschaefer6,

 

Where your using QR code if background color is black or dark color you will face issue to scan that code.

 

Make sure you have white border in barcode.

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Explorer ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Placing the QR code inside a white square and switching its color to black works. What I ended up doing was bringing the white QR code into Illustrator and exporting it as a 300 res png with a transparent background and then placing that into InDesign which also worked and is the workaround I'll use to keep the look I wanted.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 31, 2022 Oct 31, 2022

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Contrast is essential (which is why things such as black-on-red or even black on a lighter color often has degraded readability), and white-on-dark is sometimes difficult for some readers to pick up accurately.

 

It does limit the graphic options if you want reliable reads. 😛

 


| Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Pro Guide (Amazon)

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