Is there any difference in print quality between Photoshop and Illustrator text?

Participant ,
Feb 16, 2021 Feb 16, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I have a file that has some raster images and vectors. Currently I am going back and forth between Illustrator and Photoshop to create it. The ultimate aim is to print a poster of A1 size at 300 dpi.

 

I'm wondering if it makes any difference to the print quality which program I use for the text components?

 

Are Photoshop text elements essentially stored as vector information, since they seem to size and scale independant of the documents pixel size?

TOPICS
How to, Performance

Views

135

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines

correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Adobe Community Professional , Feb 16, 2021 Feb 16, 2021
Photoshop is a bit of a hybrid compared to Illustrator and InDesign.   when saved correctly to PDF the filled text or filled path shapes are vector and not rasterized to the document resolution, however, the fill colour is pixel/raster and it is at the document resolution. It is essentially a mask and not a true vector fill.   Even if your document is at final print size @ 300 ppi it is generally expected that vectors and text will output at the print device resolution which could be 600, 720, 1...

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 16, 2021 Feb 16, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

If you convert the text to a shape layer it will essentially be vector as long as you don't flatten the image. If you save the Photoshop file as a PDF, the PDF can maintain the vector text.

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Participant ,
Feb 16, 2021 Feb 16, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thank you for this response. However, I don't think it answers my essential question, which is whether or not there is a noticeable difference in print quality.

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 16, 2021 Feb 16, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Use InDesign! Or if you're going between Illustrator and Photoshop, use linked or embedded smart objects.

 

You can store vector text in a PSD or TIFF, but flattening/merging or any kind of output will rasterize everything, at the base document resolution. The only way I know to retain vector text in output is via a PDF.

 

Don't do text in Photoshop. Generally, Photoshop is the worst possible tool for anything involving text and vector. The vector tools in Photoshop are mainly aids for making selections and masks; they are not intended for final output.

 

 

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 16, 2021 Feb 16, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Photoshop is a bit of a hybrid compared to Illustrator and InDesign.

 

when saved correctly to PDF the filled text or filled path shapes are vector and not rasterized to the document resolution, however, the fill colour is pixel/raster and it is at the document resolution. It is essentially a mask and not a true vector fill.

 

Even if your document is at final print size @ 300 ppi it is generally expected that vectors and text will output at the print device resolution which could be 600, 720, 1200, 1440. 2400 or higher dpi.

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Participant ,
Feb 17, 2021 Feb 17, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thank you for responding.

 

I understand what you're saying about how the vectors will use the printing device's native print resolution, regardless of the document's print resolution. So printing vectors directly will get better results than converting them to the document's dpi level.

 

However, I'm still not clear on the point you make about the fill color having a different resolution. I don't think I understand how fill can have resolution, since it's a continous flat plane. If the borders are vector, isn't that all that matters? How exactly would it change the quality of the output if a text object has vector outlines but 300dpi fills?

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 17, 2021 Feb 17, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I was simply stating the rarely noted facts regarding Photoshop PDF vector fills being different to Illustrator and InDesign, not commenting on quality. As long as the vectors mask the rasters correctly there should be no problem.

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Participant ,
Feb 17, 2021 Feb 17, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Gotcha. Thanks for explaining.

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 17, 2021 Feb 17, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Text set as raster at 300 ppi will have noticeably poorer quality than real text, with many printing technologies. Also do not "convert to curves" or "flatten" text: "real" text is very different from filled shapes; it is a special kind of vector which uses info in the font to change the shape to look best at any final resolution. 

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 21, 2021 Feb 21, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I created a PDF in Photoshop and saved with layers. It was a 1200 ppi greyscale file, only a single text layer and no other layers.

 

Enfocus PitStop Pro reports that the Photoshop text is a special kind of text that is different to InDesign text, it is exactly as I described for other types of vectors, it is a masked raster fill.

 

ps-text_vs_id-text.png

 

 

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 01, 2021 Mar 01, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Just in case there is continued interest or misunderstanding, I have attached some 1200ppi scans of the output from two different PostScript laser printers and a wide-format inkjet from both a proofing RIP and Acrobat printer driver (2 files x 2 layers PSD 1200ppi).

 

There are some minor differences in the 6pt text between Photoshop (slightly fatter on the laser) compared to InDesign/Illustrator, however, they are all of similar comparable quality for the 60pt text. The Photoshop text was from a 100ppi document. Laser output was 600dpi and inkjet output was 720x1440ppi max quality.

 

All text was as live text, not outlined.

 

 

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines