Settings for PDF Convertion

Many of the file formats supported by Acrobat can have PDF Options or other settings applied during conversion. These settings are available to all formats except CompuServe GIF, HTML, JDF Job Definition, JPEG2000, and Text. Depending on the file type to be created, you can edit the settings and apply some different options.

You edit settings by selecting a file type from those listed in the Preferences dialog box and clicking the Edit Settings button. If the settings cannot be adjusted, the Edit Settings button is grayed out. Settings options for the different file formats include the following:

  • Autodesk AutoCAD and PostScript/EPS. Similar settings are available for these file types as well as many of the Microsoft Office files. One distinction between AutoCAD and PostScript/EPS is that the AutoCAD files can be converted with Bookmarks and Links.

The Adobe PDF Settings and Security options are available to both file types. Click the Edit Settings button after selecting a file type to open the Adobe PDF Settings dialog box. The Adobe PDF Settings enable you to make selections for the settings applied to Distiller during PDF file creation.

These settings are the same as those you can access with the Adobe PDF Printer discussed earlier. Adjacent to the pull-down menu for the Adobe PDF Settings is the Edit button. Clicking this button opens the Adobe PDF Settings dialog box where you can edit custom settings and save them as a new setting preference.

The options in this dialog box are the same as you find when editing settings in Acrobat Distiller. Users of earlier versions of Acrobat can think of the Edit button as a way to open the Job Options dialog box. The Adobe PDF Security pull-down menu offers options for adding password protection at the time the PDF file is created.

By default, no security is added to PDFs converted from these file types. You have choices for using None for adding no security; Reconfirm Security for each PDF, which opens a confirmation dialog box after each file is converted to PDF; and a third option for Use the last known security settings, which uses the current default Adobe PDF settings for each file converted.

Adjacent to the pull-down menu is the Edit button. Clicking this button opens the Acrobat Distiller – Security dialog box where you can further edit security options. Be aware that the first Edit button specifically handles the Adobe PDF Settings and the second Edit button handles the security options.

When you click OK in the Adobe PDF Settings dialog box, any new settings you added become new defaults. Every time you open one of these file formats in Acrobat the same settings are applied until you edit them again.

  • BMP/JPEG/PCX/PNG/PICT (Macintosh only)/TIFF. These file formats all use identical settings. Whereas many other file formats use the Acrobat Distiller application in the background and have Adobe PDF Settings applied during file conversion, these image file formats don’t use Distiller and no Adobe PDF Settings are applied during file conversion.

Different conversion settings can be applied from the same options lists to each of the file types individually. Therefore, a BMP file, for example, can be converted with one level of image compression and a TIFF file can be converted with another level of compression.

All of these file formats are image formats and the types of settings you apply to them relate to image options, such as file compression and color management. The same set of options available from pull-down menus exists for all the different color modes listed in the Adobe PDF Settings dialog box.

The top of the Adobe PDF Settings dialog box offers you options for file compression for monochrome (black-and-white line art), grayscale, and color images. The compression options you can select for each of these color modes include the following:

  • CCITT G4. CCITT Group 4 compression is available only for monochrome images. This compression scheme, similar to the compression used by fax machines, works best for black-andwhite images and results in smaller file sizes without data loss.
  • JPEG (Quality: Low/Medium/High/Maximum). For grayscale and color images you can select from several compression options to specify the acceptable amount of data loss. Medium is sufficient for almost any kind of desktop printing and low-end output.

High and Maximum are more suited for high-end printing and digital prepress. Use JPEG for files that need to be exchanged with users Acrobat versions below 6.0.

  • JPEG2000 (Quality: Minimum/Low/Medium/High/Maximum). JBIG2000 is a newer compression scheme that offers much better compression and image quality than JPEG. For the amount of compression to be applied, select from the Quality settings for Minimum, Low, Medium, High, and Maximum.

High and Maximum settings result in very little data loss that can be visibly seen in printed documents and high magnification levels onscreen. Medium is sufficient for any kind of desktop printing, and the minimum and low compression levels are more suited to screen displays. Use JPEG2000 compression when exchanging files with users of Acrobat 6.0 and later.

  • JPEG2000 (Quality: Lossless). JBIG2000 lossless offers the most compression without data loss for grayscale and color images.
  • ZIP. ZIP compression is a lossless compression scheme. It works best where you have large areas of a common color—for example, a background with one color and a few foreground images with different colors.

The lower section of the Adobe PDF Settings dialog box handles Color Management. You have choices for applying settings to the three common color modes: RGB, CMYK, and Grayscale.

The Other option at the bottom of the dialog box handles special color considerations such as spot colors you might find in duotones, tritones, and quadtones.

The color management polices you can apply to each color mode are identical and they all include options from one of three choices:

  • Preserve embedded profiles. If you work with images that have been assigned a color profile, choosing this option preserves the profile embedded in the document. Theoretically, no color changes occur when porting the files across platforms and devices.
  • Off. If a color profile is embedded in an image, the profile is discarded.
  • Ask when opening. If you select this option, Acrobat prompts you in a dialog box to use the embedded profile or discard it. You can make individual selections as you open files.
  • Microsoft Office. The Microsoft Office options include choices similar to those for Adobe PDF Settings and Adobe PDF Security, as found with the AutoCAD and PostScript/EPS settings listed earlier. In addition, you have options for enabling accessibility, adding Bookmarks from style sheets, converting an Excel workbook, and similar settings unique to each Microsoft program.

After making choices for the options you want to use for file conversions, click the OK button in the Preferences dialog box. All the settings are set as new defaults until you change them. These settings are applied to documents you import from a file, from multiple files, and when you use the Open command in Acrobat.