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Problems exporting book to PDF — low resolution images

Community Beginner ,
Oct 23, 2020 Oct 23, 2020

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I have an inDesign multi document 208 page book with hires images on each page.

I can succesuly create a mid res pdf of each doc using the export/adobe pdf (print) command, the images are clean with no sign of noise and very little pixelation.

However when I try to export the entire book to PDF using the book panel (indb) the images come out very low resulution, lots of jpeg artifact and pixels, I have the same pdf set up in both instances:

  Bicubic downsample: 150 ppi

  Compression: auto (jpeg)

  Image quality: medium

When I hit the create/export button the scroll bar runs very quickly, far too quick for these hi res files.

As best I can tell this problem started in the last 6 months, before then never a problem.

 

Has any one else encountered this problem?

I'm running indd 2020 on an imac (late 2012) Mojave 10.14.6 with bags of free space

 

Many thanks,

Lawrence

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Beginner , Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020
Hi, there! I am having this same exact issue.  Below is a very long explanation of my process and what I have been doing over the last few months to diagnose and work around the issue: I create a magazine every month for a scientific community. Each article is in a separate INDD document, and all images files are properly linked and high-resolution. Export to PDF using HIGH QUALITY PRINT PDF Export Settings for each document generates an acceptable proof showing the images in high resolution. A...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 23, 2020 Oct 23, 2020

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I guess the first thing I'd ask is if file size is an issue for you. And what you plan to do for the book.

 

If you're going to print, file size likely isn't an issue. I'd change my image compression settings to downsample to 300 dpi for resolution above 300 dpi for color and grayscale images, and set Image Quality: to Maximum. That will give you adequate quality for most any commercial printing purpose.

 

If you're printing it on a digital printer, you may be able to get by with less resolution. Or not. This is a good time to get with your print vendors, if you haven't already, and ask them what PDF output settings they would like you to use. You can build custom PDF settings with InDesign to tailor your output for best results with any vendor. Giving them the best PDF for their needs is in their best interest, because it ensures you get the best results and keep coming back with more work. So your print rep(s) are happy to share their preferred settings with you.

 

If you want to create a digital PDF catalog, you may also want to use custom settings there tailored to the output you desire and the tools your viewers will use to review them.

.

Hope this helps,

 

Randy

 

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 13, 2021 Jan 13, 2021

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Thanks, Randy. I should have pointed out that I already use a PDF Export Profile provided by my print vendor so the images are already optimized. 

i don't believe this to be an issue with PDF export, rather more an issue with InDesign access to the images. The reason I believe this is because of the "low res" appearance that occurs when opening the files. I will also say that I do not observe this behavior in any of the files until AFTER I have put them in the INDB.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 23, 2020 Oct 23, 2020

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Usually when images come out low-res like that the image have lost their link in the InDesign file.

Can you check 2 things 

1) That image links in each file are in tact (no yellow or red warnings in the Link Panels)?

https://helpx.adobe.com/il_en/indesign/user-guide.html/il_en/indesign/using/graphics-links.ug.html

2) What the Effective PPI of the images 

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 26, 2020 Oct 26, 2020

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Thanks for taking time to help out

The files are all linked and all have an effective ppi of 300.

What is peculiar to this problem is that the individual docs will output hi res pdfs perfectly, however when I try to creat a mid res of the whole book using the indb nothing doing, really low res output

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2020 Oct 26, 2020

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All images have the the same resolution and they are all exactly 300 ppi? That sounds like the actual resolution not the effective resolution...

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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Hi, the artwork was created to to the page size @300dpi, so the actual and effective resolutions are both 300dpi. Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2020 Oct 26, 2020

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Your Book panel's Export Book to PDF settings uses a different default setting than your InDesign application for creating PDFs, though it has the same access to PDf profiles as any other Adobe Creative Cloud application.

 

While certainly changing the resolution will automatically change the rules for creating your PDF, it shouldn't break any links to the graphics in your InDesign documents. If you cahnge the unique settings — e.g. you change the mid-resolution settings to, say 200 ppi instead of 150, and the compression quality from Medium to High — do you get any different results? It could be an issue of developing the right PDF output profile for your needs.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Randy

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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I have my own custom presets saved for creating pdf files, for low res, mid res and high res, which work perfectly for individual docs, but not in the indb landscape ( I have tried mixing up different options just incase, but to no avail) Thanks!

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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Hi, there! I am having this same exact issue.  Below is a very long explanation of my process and what I have been doing over the last few months to diagnose and work around the issue:

I create a magazine every month for a scientific community. Each article is in a separate INDD document, and all images files are properly linked and high-resolution. Export to PDF using HIGH QUALITY PRINT PDF Export Settings for each document generates an acceptable proof showing the images in high resolution. At press time, I assemble all the necessary documents into an INDB and export to PDF using PRESS PDF export settings, which I then upload to my press vendor. I have done this for five years with no issues.

At the end of September when processing the October issue, my export from Book process evolved into a nightmare as every image exported as if the link were broken. (low res in the PDF, even though I was using the same PDF export setting for PRESS QUALITY) I went back and carefully checked each link, only to have same problem. I should point out that a few weeks earlier my IT guy had me change my user password, and we had also been having sync issues with my MacBook keychain. (These issues are still unresolved, btw...they can't seem to figure out why my keychain will not sync properly.) So, my initial thought was that it was a security issue between my Macbook and the windows server where the files are housed.  What I ultimately discovered was that if I OPENED every single individual document in InDesign, then opened the book and exported, it would export correctly.

Since the password issue is still not resolved, here is how I processed the files this week for the November issue:
I created an INDD package for each article and then copied them to a folder on my desktop. I verified that all images were linked to the LINK folder in the package, and then I created the INDB using the files on my desktop. To my surprise when I exported this INDB using the PRESS PDF export settings, I had the same problem...a low res PDF. So, I opened every single INDD article and then exported the book again. This time it exported beautifully.

Another thing I have noticed over the past month is that when I open some of my files, one or two of the images will display as low res, even when I am in high resolution display mode. On export these will export as low res, unless I relink the file before exporting. What is truly weird is that the link is NOT broken, but INDD is behaving as if it cannot find the link.

If anyone has any insight into this I would be most grateful, because my workload for Press processing was more than double for this month.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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Hi, Seems like we are having a similar ordeal, I too have been having some issues with images refusing to dispaly in anything other than low resolution, even in preview mode. And the problem seems to have devloped around the same time frame, end Sept/ early October, very strange.

Good tip about opening up all the docs, I shall give that a try

Thanks so much

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 12, 2021 Jan 12, 2021

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Generally, the only time I had trouble exporting was when I was on someone's underpowered computer (mostly RAM and drive space). My current tower and laptop have 64 GB RAM with TBs of free space on my drive. I didn't see how much RAM was in the system (sorry if I missed it) and I'm not sure how many GBs are in a "bag".

 

Some tips with working with books in case you need to use the work-around mentioned:

  • You can select all the chapters in the book file and double-click on any one to open all the files at once.
  • You can save all open files by using the Cntl-Alt-Shift-S / Cmd-Opt-Shift-S keyboard shortcut. 
  • You can close all open files by using the Cntl-Alt-Shift-W / Cmd-Opt-Shift-W keyboard shortcut. 

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 13, 2021 Jan 13, 2021

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Thanks, Eugene. As stated in my explanation, there are NO link warnings within the INDD or INDB.
The images are all created at 300 PPI. 

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New Here ,
Jan 12, 2021 Jan 12, 2021

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I have this problem also with a 7 document 142 total page size. If I generate the PDFs separately for each document, they are fine, but if I try to generate the entire book, the resolution is terrible. It appears to have just started recently. I have tried a number of changes to the PDF export page with no success. The phenomenon can be observed by looking at the processing rate. With the individual document it proceed at the normal pace, but when generating the entire book, the page rate becomes extremely fast. The book produced is about 20MB, but the individual documents total about 1GB.

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New Here ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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Hello, first time here.
I've discovered myself this workaround too. Open all documents that have images or graphics and turn on High Quality Display Performance before export book to PDF to get full image quality.

All files are local. Macbook Air Catalina OS, InDesign latest version. 

Sorry my english 🙂

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 06, 2021 Apr 06, 2021

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I've had exactly the same issue on a 500pp book. Adobe appeared to have scuppered one of the most useful and powerful features of their publishing software. Only discovered when I'm under pressure to get it to the printers. Way to go Adobe. Thankfully I found this thread! 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 07, 2021 Apr 07, 2021

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All - just posting a quick update. In February I found another thread here (and I'm sorry I'm can't find it to link...if I find it later I will update). Basically, buried in that thread was a post from an Adobe employee recommending that they delete and rebuild their InDesign Preferences file. (google this for your OS to find instructions)

I did it and have not had any issues since.

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New Here ,
Apr 08, 2021 Apr 08, 2021

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LATEST
Thank you.
The workaround I use is Publish Book for Print or open all documents with images/graphics and export the PDF.


Atenciosamente,
________________________________
André de Camargo
acpublicidade.com.br
(21) 99833-3770 [http://acpublicidade.com.br/wapp16.jpg]
(11) 96809-7968 [http://acpublicidade.com.br/wapp16.jpg]
(21) 97632-8234 [http://acpublicidade.com.br/wapp16.jpg]

Apoios:
danielle.adv.br- Camargo Advogadosfamiliaemterapia.com.br- Terapia de Família

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