How To Export PDF Online?
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Whenever I export a file as a PNG from Illustrator, it's blurry, but when I export it as a PDF, it is clear. How do I export it clearly as a PNG or JPEG?
In short, because the quality difference after a single lossy conversion is negligible and the file size benefit is huge. The most obvious answer would be that PDF as a standard caters to a wide array of scenarios, and printing is only one of those. It was created by John Warnock to serve as a universal reference across apps and platforms to solidify the appearance of any finished document in any program, as a digital printout of sorts — but not necessarily for printing. More generally, for exchange. PDF is a lingua franca that allows us to not own the original app that created a document, it’s enough to have a PDF viewer/renderer. In fact, you are closer to that meaning with the term you used, intermediate format, than to any print scenarios. In print context, a more common term is final delivery format, relating to the fact that PDF is the result of creative work, not intended for (heavy) editing or even immutable if need be. And this points at the first answer to your question. where there is exchange and handover, file size matters. With files destined for screen, e.g, email attachments, that's evident. Images take up 90%+ of file size, so we are OK to compromise on image quality to save space through lossy compression. But you are asking why is that also enabled for print workflows and not disallowed in PDF/X. In late 1990s and early 2000s, when PDF was still claiming its place against PostScript, fast internet was still a luxury, and size did matter too, much more than it does now. In my magazine production years there was never a time when everything would be completed in advance, the edits and corrections would go on almost until the print shop's deadline. Cutting PDF file size in half would mean buying half the transmission time, and we used that a lot. not only happily using JPEG compression (at max quality, mind you) but also standardising on 250dpi (for 150lpi halftone screening). Now, JPEG. Quality is a very subjective quality.) Even on-screen your vision will struggle to tell apart images with mild lossy compression from those that are uncompressed or compressed losslessly. And in print, one more factor kicks in. rasterisation. Whether it's offset and halftone rasters, or inkjet and FM screening, the pixels of the original image are not printed directly, t provide data to form the dots of your raster. What matters there is the amount of useful information, not perfect preservation of original pixels. Yes, lossy compression reduces usable visual information too but arguably less than the file size, thanks to some perks of our colour vision that JPEG the algorithm happily exploits. I dare you to embed the same image as a max-quality JPEG and as any lossless format, side by side, and try to tell the difference. Do it under normal reading conditions, some 30–35cm away from a page, under everyday lighting — not under a loupe.) You will hardly notice any meaningful visual difference justifying the huge size difference. Which should answer your question. Note though, that this is acceptable where PDF is the ultimate destination for that image data. It's not meant to be further edited, and JPEG is only a goid idea because of that. So, with all of the above said, I'm not advocating for JPEG for layout work. you should aim to save lossy just once, at the end of the process. For layout it is much better to use lossless compression. I prefer TIFF/LZW and PSD for raster data, AI/PDF for vector and mixed. And in those 'for layout', truly intermediate PDFs, I use lossless image compression settings.
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