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Because a PDF file has so many different settings, it could be quite time consuming to actually set all these settings every time you want to save a PDF document. Therefore, Illustrator actually has something called PDF Presets. In this way, you can create any type of PDF file that you need with one click of a button. You can create your own PDF Presets by going to the Edit menu and by choosing Adobe PDF Presets. Here you can see the ones that Illustrator ships with, for example, Illustrator Default, High Quality Print, PDF/X-1a:2001 for printing. Then you have PDF/X-3:2002 and PDF/X -4:2008. Those are additional PDF/X standards that have been created for different industries. You have Press Quality and then you have Smallest File Size.
I happen to find the Smallest File Size one very helpful and that's because I'm constantly saving my files as PDFs to be able to e-mail it to my clients. Now I don't want to have to send these large files. So by choosing Smallest File Size, I'm able to send small and compact PDF documents to my clients. If you want to define your own PDF Preset, you can click on the New button; or you could also click on an existing one and then when you click on the New button, it will actually use those particular settings and you can modify them. For example, while I really like the Smallest File Size option, many times when I have images to my artwork, my clients complain that the images are too fuzzy.
That's because with the Smallest File Size Preset, my images are downsampled to a very low resolution. So I want to keep all the settings in the Smallest File Size but I want to create a new version that uses just a better resolution for images. So I'll click on the New button over here and I get the New PDF Preset dialog box that looks exactly the same like when I save a PDF file. I can write my own Description here, I can go to different settings. For example, let's go to Compression and instead of downsampling color images to 100 ppi I'll change it to 150. This way anything above 150 will all get downsampled to 150. I'll change the name of my preset and I'll call this one Send to Client and I click OK. Now you can see that my preset appears in this list.
It's important to realize that I just defined this preset for the Illustrator application, not necessarily for this document. That means I'll always be able to access it. In fact, what's really interesting is that if I have Adobe Creative Suite installed on my computer, this preset that I just created will also now be available inside of other Adobe applications, for example, InDesign or Photoshop. I will click OK and whenever I want to now use this preset, I can simply go to the File menu, choose Save As, choose PDF for my output. When I click on the Save button, I'll see that I can choose my new preset called Send to Client right from this pop-up list. What's great about PDF Presets is that I can also transfer them from one computer to another.
Let me show you how to do that. I'll click Cancel here. I'll go back to Edit and then I'll choose over here Adobe PDF Presets. I'll click on that preset that I just created, Send to Client, and I'll choose to export it. I'll put it on my Desktop. Then when I save it, you will see that it gets saved with an extension called .joboptions. This is actually compatible with Adobe Distiller and any application that can read those joboptions files can now use the preset that I have just defined.
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