Acrobat and Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop CS supports creating and importing PDFs. When you create a PDF, you use the Save As command and save, and like all CS applications in the CS2 versions, the exports use Acrobat Distiller and Adobe PDF Settings to convert to PDF.

When you import PDF documents that were not originally created in Photoshop, the files are rasterized. The process of rasterizing files converts all objects, such as type and vector objects, to raster images (pixels).

Creating a PDF file from Photoshop is nothing more than choosing the Photoshop PDF format from the Save dialog box. Photoshop supports many different file formats for opening and saving documents. In versions prior to Photoshop 6.0, you had to flatten all layers before you could save a document as a PDF file.

In versions 6.0 and later, you can preserve layers and vector art. When you save a layered file from Photoshop CS as a Photoshop PDF and open it again in Photoshop, all layers are retained.

Type and vector art work the same way. You can create type without rasterizing it and save the file as a PDF. Later, if you want to edit the file, you can reopen it and edit the type. What’s more, you can search and edit the type in Acrobat when you save the file as PDF from Photoshop.

To save a multilayered Photoshop image, Photoshop document, or flattened image, you use the Save As command. In Photoshop CS, choose File > Save As. The Save As PDF dialog box opens. This dialog box is the same when saving from all other CS applications.

If you’re familiar with Acrobat Distiller, the Save Adobe PDF dialog box and the various panes contained within appear similar to the tabs in Acrobat Distiller. When saving as Photoshop PDF, the first pane in the Save Adobe PDF dialog box is the General settings, as shown in Figure 1.

Options choices you make in the Save Adobe PDF dialog box include:

  • Adobe PDF Preset. All the presets you create in Distiller are available from the pull-down menu. Any new presets created in Distiller are immediately made available to all CS programs.
  • Standard. From the Standard pull-down menu you can select from the PDF/X subsets. PDF/A support is provided from the Adobe PDF Preset pull-down menu but not additional subsets are available from the Standard pull-down menu other than the PDF/X options.
  • Compatibility. Acrobat compatibility choices are available from the Compatibility pull-down menu. You find compatibility choices dating back to Acrobat 4 compatibility with all subsequent compatibility choices up to the current version when Acrobat was last upgraded.

Because Acrobat’s development cycle usually is ahead of the CS programs, you find the most recent Acrobat compatibility choice for Acrobat not available until you see the next upgrade of the Creative Suite that follows the most recent upgrade to Acrobat.

  • Description. This area in the General pane is a text description of the compatibility option you choose.
  • Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities. If you choose to uncheck the Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities and later open the PDF in Photoshop, the file is rasterized and all layers are flattened.

Preserving Photoshop Editing Capabilities preserves layers and type. The type can be searched in Acrobat. If you don’t need to preserve type and vector objects, remove the check mark and flatten the file. Flattened images result in smaller file sizes.

  • Embed Page Thumbnails. As a general rule be certain to leave this option off. If for some reason you need to create page thumbnails, do it in Acrobat.
  • Optimize for Fast Web View. Keep this option checked to optimize files. When downloading off the Web, files are downloaded much faster.
  • View PDF After Saving. Checking this option launches your default Acrobat viewer and opens the file in Acrobat.

Click Compression in the left pane to open the compression choices. The options shown in Figure 2 include:

  • Compression. In the Options area, leave Bicubic Downsampling To at the default. This option is likely to be the best choice for just about all your images. The two text boxes enable you to downsample images. For Photoshop files you’re best off changing resolution before you come to the save options.

Leave these two text boxes at the defaults and use the Image > Image Size command in Photoshop to make resolution changes. Your choices include None, JPEG, JPEG2000, and ZIP. None adds no compression to the file.

JPEG is a lossy compression scheme offering various levels of compression that you choose from the Image Quality pull-down menu. JPEG2000 requires Acrobat 6 compatibility or greater. Compression is greater with JPEG2000 than with JPEG. This compression scheme works with transparent layers and alpha channels.

ZIP compression is lossless. Files are not compressed as much as with JPEG, but the data integrity is optimal. ZIP compression is usually preferred for images with large amounts of a single color. Convert 16 Bits/Channel Image to 8 Bits/Channel.

Sixteen-bit images, such as those created with 16- or more bit scanners or digital cameras supporting Camera Raw and 16-bit, cannot be converted to PDF using the Create PDF > From File command. Sixteen-bit images, however, can be saved from Photoshop as Photoshop PDFs and opened in Acrobat.

To preserve 16-bit images, save with Acrobat 5 compatibility or later. Tile Size. You’re not likely to use Tile size because Acrobat supports document sizes up to 200- square inches and you can tile pages when printing PDF files from Acrobat. The option for tiling exists, but it’s not something you’ll find useful.

Click Output in the left pane and your choices appear, as shown in Figure 9.3. You can handle color conversion and intent profiles here in the Save Adobe PDF dialog box, but you’re most likely to handle these choices in your printer driver or layout program. The bottom half of the pane is only accessible if you select one of the PDF/X options in the Standards pull-down menu.

Click Security and the Security options are displayed. If you want security, click the check boxes and make choices for the security permissions you want to restrict. The last pane displays a summary of the settings you chose to use to export to PDF. Click Save PDF and the file is saved as a Photoshop PDF file.