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Resolution different in acrobat compared to illustrator

New Here ,
May 03, 2021 May 03, 2021

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Hi All,

I have also posted this in the Acrobat forum as it relates to both programs.

I'm hoping I haven't broken any forum rule.

 

I have an interesting problem that I cannot for the life of me workout.

 

I work for a large format printing company and we print PDF only.

We were given a file, which although low resolution, was fine to send directly to print.

The customer has come back to us complaining that the file he sent was very clear and not low res at all.

 

I opened again in acrobat to refresh my memory, and yes very low res.

To double check I opened in a handful of other apps, namely PDF Nitro, Affinity Designer & Coreldraw. All still very low res.

When I opened in Illustrator, low & behold, here is the high res image the customer was talking about.

 

I found this one post that sounds like a similar problem, but the reasoning behind what happened was lost on me.

https://community.adobe.com/t5/illustrator/illustrator-embedded-image-resolution-issue/m-p/9865288

 

Is anyone able to explain what is going on in more newbie terms?

I have attached the customer's original file. I hope it opens for you as it has for me.

 

Thanks in advance.

Cheers

Tim Murphy

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Print and publish

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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When I open the file in Illustrator it looks good, but I suppose the file was flattened in Illustrator (many tiny high res images).

When I do a save as PDF I see the following compression settings, which explain the low quality jpeg result.

Screenshot 2021-05-04 at 11.07.10.png

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New Here ,
May 18, 2021 May 18, 2021

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Thanks Tom.

The problem is kind of the other way around.

 

I'm wondering why the exact same file can open as a low res image in acrobat, but a high res image in illustrator.

Sending the file to print (as is) results in a low res output.

 

When the file was saved out of illustrator as a new pdf file, the result was fine.

Acrobat now shows a high res image, which prints perfectly.

 

Very confusing.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 19, 2021 May 19, 2021

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As roaringmousegraphics explained, the file contains the Illustrator content as well as the low res pdf content. Opening the file in Illustrator opens the Illustrator content, which makes it possible to resave the file as pdf with different (better) settings.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 19, 2021 May 19, 2021

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Your client made an error.

They saved the PDF with the wrong settings for high-res output, basically a low-res RGB PDF.

However, they also saved it with "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities", which is why you are able to open in Illustrator in its original form (which is all CMYK, btw), because the entire ".ai" file has been packed in along with the PDF side. This info is NOT accessed by the PDF part in your workflow.It's only there to allow someone to open the file again in Illustrator.

As you have witnessed, this can cause some confusion. Normally (usually for file size reasons), you would not export a print PDF with this button checked. Had you known beforehand that it was in there you could have opened it in Illustrator and saved out a proper PDF, assuming all links and fonts were available, but there's no obvious way to know that.

All this being said, your client's file is weirdly already flattened, and (this is just me) they didn't even give you a bleed!

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New Here ,
May 19, 2021 May 19, 2021

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Thanks Roaringmouse!

Thanks again Tom.

 

It's a relief to have the answer 🙂

 

I appreciate both of you taking the time to look at the problem.

 

Cheers

Tim

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 19, 2021 May 19, 2021

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Good to hear that helped.

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