Adobe Acrobat & PDF

This page provides information on using Adobe Acrobat in prepress.

Acrobat 9

In general Acrobat 9 seems to have a pretty good reputation in the prepress circles. It is faster and more robust than Acrobat 8.

If you have plug-ins like Pitstop, they most likely have to be updated. There is a trick to get PitStop 7.5 running with Acrobat 9 Pro (Select the Pitstop 7.5 Enfocus folder from the Acrobat 8 plugins folder (show package contents)  and copy it into your Acrobat 9 plugins folder (show package contents)) but it is better to upgrade to PitStop Professional 08 (or later).

Acrobat 8

For heavy duty prepress work Acrobat 8 doesn’t have a really good reputation. Compared to previous versions, the UI changed quite a lot, the application is slower (especially on Macs) and it is not always as stable as you want it to be. A lot of people just stuck to Acrobat 7, as discussed in this thread. I have been running Acrobat 8 on a PC myself for quite some time and apart from the frequent crashes I am pretty happy with it.

How to create PDF files using Acrobat Distiller 8

Go to the GWG web site, click the Application Settings button and search for the Adobat Acrobat 8 job options files. Pick the set that matches your needs and load it into Acrobat Distiller. Ready, set, go!

Tips & tricks

In older versions of Acrobat, the physical document dimensions were shown at the bottom of the window, next to the pdf page numbers. In Acrobat 8 this option can be activated using Preferences > Page Display > Always show document page size.

If you select an object with the Object Touch Up tool and then right click, instead of selecting “Edit Image”, you can select “Properties”, then click the color tab and from there you can change the color via profiles. This saves you from having to go into Photoshop if you just want to convert something that you might not be able to do via “Convert Color”.

If you use PDFs to do full screen presentations using Acrobat 8 and a grey rectangle appears at the bottom of the screen, go to the Documents section of the Acrobat Preferences and activate the option ‘Show each document in its own window’. This gets rid of that area.