Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Saving a high-resolution PDF file, part of Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
- View Offline
In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to save a composition that includes editable text layers, vector-based shape outlines, everything else. How to export that file as a PDF document that includes all of the vector data and is suitable for commercial reproduction? I am still working inside that Alternate ending.psd file. Notice that I am working in the RGB mode, so this is not so far a CMYK document; we'll convert it to CMYK as we save it. Also worth noting, I have gone ahead and saved the most recent changes to this file, so everything is ready to go.
And I'd like you to make sure that you are taking the same precautions as well when you are creating your own PDF documents, that is, save out your final version of every single one of your vector-based files and your image files as well as a native PSD document, so you can always come back and make changes later. All right, now go up to the File menu and choose the Save As command or press Ctrl+Shift+S, Command+Shift+S on the Mac in order to bring up the Save As dialog box. I am saving my file to the 20_text_ shapes folder. You can do so as well, though you'd want to use a different file name, so you don't overwrite my file.
Change the Format from the Native PSD format to Photoshop PDF. And it's a little bit hard to find in this list, just bear in mind that after the first couple of Native Formats, all the other file Formats are listed in alphabetical order. So I am going to go ahead and switch down here to Photoshop PDF. That's what you want as well. And then I am going to name this file Final CMYK cover.pdf. And that may surprise you given that we're working in the RGB mode in the background, but again, we will be converting the file to CMYK as we save it.
Next what I'd like you to do is turn off Alpha Channels; that will automatically turn on the As a Copy check box there, and then turn off the layers check box as well. Now, you can save Alpha Channels and layers along with the PDF file, what that does is it embeds a Photoshop version of the image along with every single element intact inside of that PDF file. But if we're just printing this file, if we're sending it off to a printer, we don't need all that junk in there. It's just going to bloat the file size. So without that information, without the Alpha Channels and the layers, this file will be less than 10 MB.
If we go ahead and include the layers, it will be more than 30 MB, and it won't do us any good, because even without the layers, the PDF file will go ahead and convey all the vector-based information, as we're about to see. ICC Profile should be set to Adobe RGB (1998). Don't worry about Use Proof Setup here. Otherwise, we're going to establish the settings inside of the next dialog box, actually the one after the next, because next we'll get a warning, as soon as you click the Save button, you'll get this warning in CS5 that says, hey, did you know in the next dialog box you can overwrite the stuff you just did in the Save As dialog box? You can change your mind.
And it's like, okay, thanks. Click OK in order to bring up the Save Adobe PDF dialog box. And go ahead and leave the top settings the way they are. That is, Adobe PDF Preset should be set to High Quality Print; actually, let's get rid of Modified. Let's just say High Quality Print for now. And then Compatibility is Acrobat 5. That's fine. (PDF 1.4) is just grand. You could talk to your commercial printer to make sure that that works for them. Now, this check box should be turned off. Had I not switched back to High Quality Print, it would be turned off, because it's linked to that layers check box that I just turned off inside the Save As dialog box.
So this is an example of how I can change my mind. If I turn Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities back on, bang, all of a sudden I have got all my layers back inside the file, and it suddenly grows to more than 30 MB again. I don't want that, so turn that off, because I already have the original Native PSD file to go back to if I want to edit my layers. Embed Page Thumbnails, no, thank you. Optimized for Fast Web Preview, fine, doesn't actually make a difference in our case. View PDF After Saving, yes, I want to definitely do that. Here is the caveat: you need to make sure that you have some PDF reader application installed on your system.
If you are using a Mac, you already have one, which is called Preview. But if you don't have access to such an application, why then, go to Adobe.com and download the free Adobe Reader. It's right there on the front page along with the Flash Player and a bunch of other free stuff. Anyway, it's the Adobe Reader application. It just takes a few minutes to install. It's really great. It's actually my favorite PDF viewing application on the Mac or the PC. So go ahead and make sure you have it before you view PDF after saving, because you'll want to see this file. It is going to change your thinking about how you create these sorts of documents.
Now switch over to Compression, and notice these Bicubic Downsampling Options here. First of all, this only affects imagery. And you may recall that we only have a couple of pixel-based images inside this file. We have the background image itself from the Fotolia Image Library. Then we have that little bit of background that I stretched at the top of the file, and they are both set to a Resolution of 240 pixels per inches, as we discovered in the previous exercise. This only applies to images that are above 450 pixels per inch. They'll get Downsampled to 300.
That doesn't affect anything inside of our file. The JPEG Compression; that will be applied to. The Image Quality Maximum, that's going to be just fine. But none of this has any affect on the vector information. So the vector-based shape layers, nor the editable text layers will be affected by these settings, and in fact, I am not going to change a darn thing. I am just going to switch over to Output. Now, what you'll want to do here, this is where you're going to convert your image from RGB to CMYK. So go ahead and change Color Conversion from No Conversion to Convert to Destination. This is just a good idea if you're setting it out for commercial reproduction.
You could leave it as an RGB PDF file and then let your printer deal with it, but that's not going to be super popular, and you're probably better off if you do it right now. Now, my Destination is set to the Working CMYK space, which you may recall as U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 here in the States, and that's the way I am going to leave it incidentally. But if you talk to your commercial printer, and they give you a different profile to work from, then choose that profile from this list, and then Photoshop will go ahead and convert from Adobe RGB to that Destination space on-the-fly, and it will do a better job than it would have done if we went to the Image command and chose mode and then chose CMYK, which required us to decide if we wanted to Merge layers or not Merge layers, because PDF is capable of handling that vector-based information independently of the pixel-based image information, and you'll see right away, we'll get better results here.
Profile Inclusion Policy; definitely Include the Destination Profile, no reason not to do that. Next, you could click on the Security item here. If you wanted to enter a Password, for example, so somebody needs to type in that Password in order to open your document. If it's that important, if it's that classified, and you can check out the Summary information as well. However, the main options that you want to worry about here are in general. You'll want to have the first two check boxes turned off, and then at least the last check box turned on. Then in Output, you want to make sure that you're converting your colors to CMYK.
Once you've set those options, then you're ready to actually save out the PDF file, which we will do in the next exercise.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
- Using blend modes, adjustment layers, and layer styles
- Organizing a layered composition so it is fluid and editable
- Creating and editing type in Photoshop
- Using blur effectively
- Using adjustment layers to add color
- Combining layers into a clipping mask
- Working with Camera Raw