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Is there anyway to flatten a pdf
Posted by: pokari
Date: July 03, 2008 08:28PM
without using an Adobe product? My mom sent something made in a non-Adobe product and the printer said they needed it in Illustrator format. This is out of the country printer so it is all second hand but that is what she says.

Thanks,

pokari
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Re: Is there anyway to flatten a pdf
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: July 03, 2008 08:50PM
Are you sure it even has layers? When I was trying to get a PDF ready to submit to a printer, I was getting really hung up on that "flatten" thing, but, after finally figuring it out, it had no layers, so the whole issue turned out to be moot.

And what has providing the file in Illustrator have to do with flattening layers? It sounds like the question should be "Is there a non-Adobe way to produce an Illustrator file?" (I don't have a clue, so I'd say no, which is why I'm not really going there!)

I think you need more information.
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Re: Is there anyway to flatten a pdf
Posted by: pokari
Date: July 03, 2008 09:01PM
i am almost sure it has layers, I've used the program before. As far as making an Ai file outside of the realm of Al.... that might be able to be done but I wouldn't have a clue how. Sometimes I feel these foreigners can just get stuck in their ways!!!

pokari
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Re: Is there anyway to flatten a pdf
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: July 03, 2008 09:14PM
If you just want to open it and take a look at it, there's always the 30 day Illustrator demo gambit. You'll likely run into font issues from the sound of it, but you can a least poke around and see what there is to see; and I'd definitely fiddle around with a *copy* of the file, not the original. Of course, I believe PDF is a native format for Illustrator so the whole thing is slightly confusing. You probably are best getting in direct contact with the printer for a fuller explanation of their requirements.
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Re: Is there anyway to flatten a pdf
Posted by: pokari
Date: July 03, 2008 09:43PM
They only speak Japanese though. smiling smiley

pokari
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Re: Is there anyway to flatten a pdf
Posted by: swampy
Date: July 04, 2008 04:56AM
Let me suggest what might be happening.

When creating a PDF file all the colors are usually "flattened" into CMYK. I don't know what you are printing, but if it is for offset press (business cards, letter head, etc) the printer needs the image in Illustrator format so they can generate spot color plates or color separations for printing. An .ai file retains the spot colors so that a printing plate can be generated for each color. Colors for this type printing are generally limited to 2, 3 or sometimes 4, after that it's more cost effective to print in CMYK (four color process).

Let's say one of the colors is purple. A PDF file would generate that color by printing dot patterns on 3 plates (The Cyan, Magenta and Black plates). The paper goes through the press 3 times to get the mix of CMK to make the color purple.

In the Illustrator file, the color purple is selected from the (usually) Pantone color library. There are many shades of purple available, but lets say the graphic designer selected PMS 258 purple. This is a "spot" color which results in one plate for purple. The pressman has comparable cans of PMS ink and he pulls PMS 258 off the shelf and prints purple in one pass instead of three.

The CMYK purple will usually "shift" and appear dull or muddy. This is because the color is created from blending CMYK, The PMS version will be vivid and a "spot on" color match to what the graphic designer intended because the end result is premixed in the pressman's can of ink.



If you don't stand for something, you'll probably fall for anything.t
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Re: Is there anyway to flatten a pdf
Posted by: pokari
Date: July 04, 2008 06:46AM
Thanks swampy. That is pretty neat. But they want it in a pdf file created from Illustrator. Would a pdf created in Illustrator be different from any other pdf?

pokari
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Re: Is there anyway to flatten a pdf
Posted by: DaviDC.
Date: July 04, 2008 08:18AM
CorelDRAW can also generate PDFs, as well as .ai files.



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Re: Is there anyway to flatten a pdf
Posted by: Big Daddy Cool
Date: July 04, 2008 08:50AM
A pdf can be opened in Illustrator, so I don't see why they are having issues. Unless the pdf was not made press-ready in some Microsoft paint program or Excel Draw.

The whole PMS CMYK color issue depends on how the original file was created. Again, A press-ready pdf (created with Acrobat Distiller won't automatically convert PMS colors to CMYK unless asked to).

The bigger issue here is why would your mom, who I assume is not a professional designer/pre-press person (since they don't appear to have access to Adobe products), send a print job that they have very little understanding about to a printer in another country– especially one that you can't communicate with in the same language.

Nothing good is going to come from that.
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Re: Is there anyway to flatten a pdf
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: July 04, 2008 12:06PM
Quote
pokari
Thanks swampy. That is pretty neat. But they want it in a pdf file created from Illustrator. Would a pdf created in Illustrator be different from any other pdf?

pokari

That's a different question. That sounds like they want the file to have been created in Illustrator. An Illustrator PDF is editable in Illustrator. It sounds like the file has been "flattened" and they want an non-flattened file so that they can make some adjustments (eg, add a bleed.)




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Re: Is there anyway to flatten a pdf
Posted by: TheTominator
Date: July 04, 2008 12:51PM
Quote
swampy
There are many shades of purple available, but lets say the graphic designer selected PMS 258 purple.

From what I am given to understand, that's a pretty short-tempered shade of purple.
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Re: Is there anyway to flatten a pdf
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: July 04, 2008 01:01PM
Quote
Big Daddy Cool
A pdf can be opened in Illustrator, so I don't see why they are having issues. Unless the pdf was not made press-ready in some Microsoft paint program or Excel Draw.
A good guess, though the OP said his mom supplied the file; some third party could have created it. But "non-Adobe product" with a more than likely non-professional source usually equals the specter of MS/Office lurking in the background. This also raises the odds that the piece is using RGB colors that may or may not translate closely in CMYK.

If the printer knows that the PDF can be opened in Illustrator (very likely, but not 100% certain), they may not want to deal with issues like color conversion, text becoming fragmented (Particularly given that their language fluency may not be top notch) and the like that can occur when Illustrator is used to edit PDFs created by other applications; particularly non-professional applications. There are applications specifically for making corrections to PDFs, but it doesn't sound like this printer will have anything like that available.

Quote

The whole PMS CMYK color issue depends on how the original file was created. Again, A press-ready pdf (created with Acrobat Distiller won't automatically convert PMS colors to CMYK unless asked to).
This is also true of other professional level graphics/layout applications that save or export directly to PDF; again, if the correct settings are use.

Quote

The bigger issue here is why would your mom, who I assume is not a professional designer/pre-press person (since they don't appear to have access to Adobe products), send a print job that they have very little understanding about to a printer in another country– especially one that you can't communicate with in the same language.
Actually, it's not all that uncommon. We deal quite often with non-graphics professionals who end up as the last person in the chain in submitting files to printers (Or worse, are the person in the business who gets saddled with the whole ball of wax because they're the one who actually knows how to get the clip art into MS Word; thus they become the office "graphics department.").

For example, the piece could be destined for some international publication that uses this printer (This happens a lot with specialized trade journals). Or the use of this printer could be mandated by whoever is in charge of the project (Price is usually the driving factor here. (Printing done in some countries can much cheaper than U.S. sources depending on the circumstances).

Quote

Nothing good is going to come from that.
It depends on the printer. A silk purse out of a sow's ear can happen with the right printer. Though with this one being less than nimble in dealing with PDFs, and if they really don't have some facility for communicating their requirements in english (at least a specifications sheet in english), things look less than rosy.

Just "flatten" is too little information, and very possibly ambiguous. Somebody on his mom's end obviously can communicate with the printer and they need to get a fuller explanation of exactly what the problem is and what the printer needs. Flying by the seat of your pants when submitting a print job is like juggling fire blindfolded.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2008 01:05PM by Blankity Blank.
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Re: Is there anyway to flatten a pdf
Posted by: swampy
Date: July 04, 2008 04:17PM
LOL, Tominator. It's a "passionate shade" for sure.

I can understand why a printer might want an Illustrator file. Illustrator is kind of an all purpose can opener when dealing with non native files. It can deal with PDFs from almost all programs, but the the ability to edit may be limited.

Blankity Blank, you've probably nailed it...

"A good guess, though the OP said his mom supplied the file; some third party could have created it. But "non-Adobe product" with a more than likely non-professional source usually equals the specter of MS/Office lurking in the background. This also raises the odds that the piece is using RGB colors that may or may not translate closely in CMYK."

Or the spector of Microsoft Publisher. Arrrgh!



If you don't stand for something, you'll probably fall for anything.t
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