[Chicago-talk] What should I use to make PDFs?

Steven Lembark lembark at wrkhors.com
Fri Sep 10 15:33:44 CDT 2004

> actually, this couldn't be farther from the truth.  PDF is an optimized
> version of PostScript.  Nearly all print shops are moving to PDF (or
> being pushed) because it can embed fonts and all other necessary assets,
> can handle color management and profiling and can use a single source and
> format for everything from display on screen to offset printing.  It is
> quickly becoming the print format of choice.

> Printing troubles with PDF files are a bit better than with normal
> postscript files, but in my experience, they are much happier on
> postscript printers.  That and the fact that by default Acrobat Reader
> sizes your pages to fit on the printer page may be the source of your
> problem.

Catch: PDF's to not embed metadata for every known printer
into the original PDF. Postscript is also device-independent:
if you print something on a dot-matrix or line printer
it may not appear the same size as on a laserjet even
with the same 'size' fonts.

The postscript language and pdf data format are completely
at the hardware's mercy in converting the underlying
data to output. About the only way to get more-or-less
uniform results is to convert the original metadata to
dots and distribute a 600-dpi binary to the various
printers in native format and output the thing as a
graphic image. The downfall of this is that not all 600dpi
printers output identical images for the same 600dpi

Steven Lembark                                       85-09 90th Street
Workhorse Computing                                Woodhaven, NY 11421
lembark at wrkhors.com                                     1 888 359 3508

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