PDF Tricks

Posted by Da Vinci Reprographics on 4th Mar 2015

      Lets face it none of us are perfect. So how do we keep the world going round when everyone makes mistakes? Well the simple answer is, that when we make mistakes that we help others learn and grow from them. Lets decrypt that answer shall we. In my industry we get a lot of customers that need drawings printed from a scanned file. Most of the time we receive the file, print it, and get it to the customer without a hitch, but the flawless transactions isn’t what we are here for today. So lets get in to the mistakes I have made or seen and the tips to prevent them in the future.

     Problem number one that arises for a PDF that was produced in AutoCAD is the layers and lines are not done correctly. The solution to this is to make sure that before the document is shared for you to uncheck the options “lines merge” and “include layers”. Doing this makes the documents much easier to print by reducing the load on the printer’s processor and also makes them more secure. Who isn’t concerned with security now days?

     Now problem number two that pops up is mostly with color scans. The problem is that when scanners pass over a page they naturally pick up background in the paper and what looks like blank space to you, looks like a massive field of data to your computer. So then in turn what it does is slow the computer to a crawl or even make it crash. I know the question on all your minds right now, “What is the solution to this?”. Well friends the solution is just to be considerate to those who don’t have the powerful computer you have by lowering your DPI. 200 DPI is plenty for a high resolution view. Many scanners default to 300 DPI or higher, and that is simply not necessary. Another solution is to use third party software to optimize your scan once you have it down on disk. Adobe Acrobat professional does a great job from my experience. When you choose “optimize scanned PDF” you must be mindful of selecting your options when using this feature. Down sampling and compression should be set to medium or low level for a good balance of quality to file size. We all know that scans can be tricky to work with, but are a necessary evil at times.

     Last problem for today is fonts. Fonts can make or break a scan. When creating a PDF from any original document, it is always necessary to embed your fonts into the PDF. Even if you only use the common fonts that are shipped with Windows or Mac Os, you never know who will be attempting to print or view your file. They may not have the necessary font installed on whatever device they are using and as a result the PDF will not look the way you intended it to. Sometimes in the worst case scenario the font may simply display as black or white filled boxes instead of letters. That’s all for now, I hope this helps you in the future.