Losing detail when opening PDF into Photoshop

Participant ,
Jul 15, 2022 Jul 15, 2022

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I have a program that charts images for cross stitching and other needle arts and to print it out the program exports it as a PDF. I have been opening the PDF files into Photoshop for further editing and printing. I've come to realize that the "chart or image" is losing a lot of detail when it goes through the rasterization process when opening. I've included two versions of a chart, one is the original PDF file and the other is a jpg (for upload size restrictions) of the PDF converted in Photoshop.  I think it shows clearly that I'm losing the little circle around the symbols. Is there any way I can fix this? I would really like to continue using Photoshop for working and the printing of these. Thanks in advance!

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Cross-app workflows , Windows

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Adobe Community Professional , Jul 15, 2022 Jul 15, 2022

This is also a common complaint with CAD software. The issue is that the source paths don't have a stroke of sufficient thickness to render the circle with great legibility.

 

thin-lines.gif

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Adobe Community Professional , Jul 16, 2022 Jul 16, 2022

The problem with using Photoshop is that because Photoshop must rasterize a PDF to edit it, the detail of the circles depends on whether you specify enough pixels at the time you open the PDF. Although the lines become smoother and finer if you specify a very high number of pixels, they don’t become easier to see.

 

Do you have access to Adobe Illustrator? Illustrator can edit PDF graphics because the Illustrator file format is now based on PDF. I opened the PDF in Illustrator, and it was a simp

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 15, 2022 Jul 15, 2022

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@Linda Pradetto 

Have you tried printing the PDF from Adobe Acrobat DC or the free Adobe Acrobat Reader?

Jane

 

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Participant ,
Jul 15, 2022 Jul 15, 2022

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I truly do not want to purchase another program for this. I do other adjustments to these charts besides printing. I will probably just have deal with it if I can't find a solution. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 15, 2022 Jul 15, 2022

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This is also a common complaint with CAD software. The issue is that the source paths don't have a stroke of sufficient thickness to render the circle with great legibility.

 

thin-lines.gif

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 16, 2022 Jul 16, 2022

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The problem with using Photoshop is that because Photoshop must rasterize a PDF to edit it, the detail of the circles depends on whether you specify enough pixels at the time you open the PDF. Although the lines become smoother and finer if you specify a very high number of pixels, they don’t become easier to see.

 

Do you have access to Adobe Illustrator? Illustrator can edit PDF graphics because the Illustrator file format is now based on PDF. I opened the PDF in Illustrator, and it was a simple matter to select one of the circles, choose Select > Same > Stroke Weight (which selects all paths of the same stroke weight), and change all of them at once.

 

PDF stroke weight Illustrator.gif

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Participant ,
Jul 16, 2022 Jul 16, 2022

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Hmm, I see what you are saying. I need to make the circles thicker/more defined. I wonder if I can change that in the exporting program. I'd really rather not add anything to my budget by buying more of these Adobe programs. But if I can't fix it in the URSA program I'll have to seriously consider going to the whole Creative Cloud apps. I'm fine for my own charts, but I'm starting to do these for other people and they really do need the circles to show. Thank you for sheading light on the problem and giving me a workable answer.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 16, 2022 Jul 16, 2022

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@Linda Pradetto wrote:

I wonder if I can change that in the exporting program.


 

If you can find a way to adjust it there, before export, that would be best.

 


@Linda Pradetto wrote:

But if I can't fix it in the URSA program I'll have to seriously consider going to the whole Creative Cloud apps. I'm fine for my own charts, but I'm starting to do these for other people and they really do need the circles to show.


 

The combination of features that helped was being able to 1) open a PDF file as editable vector objects, and 2) select all strokes of the same weight. If budget is limited, you can investigate other vector editing applications to see if they those features. Some affordable alternatives are Inkscape (free) and Affinity Designer, but I do not know if they can do both of those things.

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Participant ,
Jul 16, 2022 Jul 16, 2022

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I shot off an email to the company that put out thecharting program I'm using, the actual programer (I think they are a small comany) got back to me within 15 minutes and said no adjustments were available in the curent version but he would add it the next time he did revisions and to keep an eye on my email account. Love that company and the program!!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 17, 2022 Jul 17, 2022

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If the process of rasterising spoils the fine detail, then that’s somewhat unavoidable because all print is rasterised, i.e. even when printing from vector application like Acrobat a rasterisation process has to take place. Some software RIPs do a better job of this than a regular print driver by it plainly that’s a cost you'd like to avoid.

 

I hope this helps
neil barstow, colourmanagement net :: adobe forum volunteer:: co-author: 'getting colour right'
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management

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Participant ,
Jul 17, 2022 Jul 17, 2022

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Problem solved! The company that has the charting program has fixed this issue by giving a way to adjust the size of the circle in their export process, all within 24 hours of my bringing it to their attention. This is a quick snapshot of a chart adjusted in their program and printed in Photoshop. Thanks everybody for your responses and especially Stephen and Conrad for giving me somwhere to start to look for a fix!

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