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Images, Graphic Design, and Digital Photography Discussion of all things graphics.

Making PDFs in Quark

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Member Since: Apr 12, 2007
Posts: 21
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I have a question for all the Quark pros out there.
I have been using it for over a decade now and have a workflow of hundreds and hundreds of PDFs each week.

We have always used the printing to postscript method here, for years and years...but while setting up my new Mac Pro, I started wondering why not just use the default in Quark 6, direct to PDF.

What are the benefits of doing the post script first? Why not just print directly to PDF? We have been doing this for so long, we just never really think about it anymore... Is it worth all the extra steps?

For the record, we deal with print advertising here if that helps.
Thanks all! Have a great Friday!
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Member Since: Jun 14, 2007
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Short answer is postscript. Q6 is level 1 output and thus fails on PS2 and PS3 issues like layers, transparency. Q7 is better but I have not gone there.

If you PS then distill you are saving the file with all the commands intact and letting Distiller and RIP handle the issues that Q6 cannot do correctly. Q6 cannot distill (flatten) the PS2 and 3 code properly.

I am a marketing provider in the GTA and have had this issue (bad Q6 PDFs forever). My mantra for clients is if you use Quack - give me native. If InDesign then native or I can help you with you settings to get perfect PDFs. PS'ing then Distilling is also my solution to Q6.

It is old hat after 25 years. I started with Quark 3.1.
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Member Since: Apr 12, 2007
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Yeah I've been using Quark since about 1994 or so and making PDFs this way for as long as I can remember. We deal with a few hundred different printers / publications so this has been the standard for so long that keeps everyone happy. I was just wondering if going PS first was still the way to go...

Thanks again!
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Member Since: Apr 20, 2006
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Quark uses a system called JAWS for saving out PDFs. Alternatively you can save as postscript and let Distiller create the PDFs, as you've been doing.

Quark 7 enhanced the capabilities and stability of JAWS, but in my opinion it is still way behind Adobe's system.

PDFs saved direct from Quark will typically be a third to a half larger in file size than if they were created in Distiller.

In summary you can either
a) save direct from Quark, which is quicker and easier, although postscript errors can occur and the file sizes will be large.
b) save direct from Quark, open up in Acrobat and resave. This will reduce the filesize.
c) export as PS and let Distiller create the PDF. File sizes will be smaller and Adobe seems to do a better job with PDF creation, although it is less convenient to export a postscript file and convert to PDF.
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Member Since: Jun 19, 2007
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Since the release of Quark 7 I've been bypassing PS / Distiller and saving direct from Quark via a selection of Output Styles - and so far have had no problems doing it this way. I haven't compared file sizes though - but that probably won't be an issue for me as the documents I create are seldom more than 30 pages, albeit very graphics heavy.

Biggest bugbear in Quark for me is still the page size limit! Grrr.... - I asked about this (again) whilst at Apple in Uxbridge on a Quark Migration course last month .... "Yes, it's on our list" was the answer.
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