It's a good habit to have a suspicious attitude toward PDFs. If you grow too comfortable with them, problems can sneak through and you will pay for it on press. You'll learn about a couple quick checks you can make in this chapter.
Checking Out the PDF
The first thing you want to know about a PDF is whether the text is vector or raster. A quick zoom in and a little snooping around tells you a lot, as you'll see in this video.
A quick glance at the PDF's Properties window can tell you a lot about how the PDF was created, compatibility issues, and the font situation. It's always worth checking here to see what properties the PDF has that could possibly be a problem...or a benefit. This lesson walks you through it.
This video looks at Separations Preview, which may be one of the most powerful tools for reviewing PDFs. It shows if there are CMYK blacks, spot colors, and other problems by looking at individual ink channels.
CMYK blacks don't look like a problem on your monitor, but when you get to press it's obvious that they are. In this lesson you'll learn how to diagnose this problem in your PDFs before they leave your computer.
Acrobat isn't a fun place to repair PDFs...it's best to go back to the authoring application, fix it, and re-PDF. But when that's not an option, there are some things you can do with Acrobat's tools to meet your deadline, and you'll learn about them in this chapter.
Simple Fixes with the TouchUp Tools
In this video you'll see what you can and can't do with the TouchUp Text tool. Some of the things you can't do can be done in Illustrator instead, so we'll look at that also.
Before you fly a plane, you check it over. It's the same concept with PDFs. In this chapter we'll look at Acrobat's preflighting tools, which enable you to avoid a lot of output headaches with a quick evaluation.
In this lesson you'll get an overview of how preflighting works and why it matters.
At some point, you'll find that the default profiles don't exactly fit your need - they're either too strict or not strict enough. In this lesson you'll learn how to create a custom profile that's right for you.
People tend to use Photoshop as a PDF repair tool too often. This chapter doesn't tell you never to do it, but does teach you the dangers and the reasons you should use it only in rare instances.
When to Use Photoshop as a PDF Repair Tool (and When Not To)
Raster data is fine for photos, but when it comes to text and art, it can greatly reduce the output quality of your PDFs. In this lesson you'll learn how opening a PDF in Photoshop rasterizes everything and why that can ruin a PDF.
In the old days, the only way to make a PDF was to print a PostScript file and then distill it. Now there are many applications that allow PDF creation directly, without Acrobat Distiller...which should you use? This chapter will help you decide.
Exporting vs. Printing & Distilling
Since the first version of InDesign you've been able to export PDFs directly from the application file without Distiller...but should you? As InDesign improved with each version, so did its ability to create reliable PDFs. You'll see how to create a reliable PDF in this lesson.