Printing directly from pdf


New Member
Hi all,

I use a rip to print my images.. but in some situations where I receive files in pdf format and printing from it, instead of converting to bitmap, I print directly from pdf. Even though I used the correct printer profile setting etc. the print is still much darker than I import to photoshop and print..

Can some experts here suggest to me how I can get round this problem?

No doubt Craig from Hudson Displays will be along soon. He'll soon either make it totally clear or confuse you even more!! :)
This sounds like a PDF colour profile issue. I work as a Indigo Digital Printer and the way a PDF's profile can be converted in an program like Enfocus Pitstop can make a huge difference to its colour reproduction when output.
This is an example - Adobe Acrobat 8 Pro

All of the menus can/will influence how a PDF prints!


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You'll be using different printer drivers, almost certainly with different colour settings, possibly even a difference "colour engine". A completely different path to the printer. Assuming the RIP is correct and that it's your acrobat output settings/printer driver route that's off...

Why not just process the pdf through the rip same as the bitmaps? I don't know of a rip that can't handle PDFs now days.

Another quick workaround is to open the pdf in photoshop, flatten and save as a tif - print that tif through your RIP. (although if you're doing large work that can be a bit tiresome file size wise)

But ultimately, you'll want to investigate the path to print that Acrobat is using, see what is controlling the colour. Maybe you've got acrobat controlling colour, converting to a destination space, and then the print driver assuming those numbers on the actual destination space... impossible to tell without seeing it. IMHO printing from Acrobat/or any of the AdobeCS suite is a mugs game in the commercial print world. Sure it can be done, but why bother if you have a RIP.
1 - Place the PDF in Indesign or Illustrator and print from there, you'd be able to print vector as crisp as it should be in PDF
2 - Save as EPS (If you have Acrobat Pro) and import in Corel Draw as not-editable
Sorry Adeel - I'm not sure those things will help.

1) The print from Indesign or Illustrator is almost certainly going to run through the same print driver as from Acrobat - so if the problem is a difference between the RIP output and the print driver output printing from one of the other AdobeCS progs won't change the issue.

2) EPS isn't colour managed. There's a real danger that outputting to EPS and importing to another prog such as Corel will result in putting the colour numbers into the wrong colour space (keeping the numbers the same but changing all your colours!). You need your colour spaces synced or a sound understanding of the spaces each program uses as defaults if you're going to use EPS in the workflow.

(Before any one says - I realise Photoshop EPS is the oddity, an EPS with embedded profile, but as far as I know none of the other flavours of EPS allow colour space info to be embedded so safer to assume EPS is not colour managed.)
Thanks for everyone's input.

Well, it's not a major problem for me as I have different ways to work around it, but what I was curious about why I only get this problem when printing from Acrobat?.. As I print from photoshop, inDesign or Illustrator, neither of them had this problem... Also, it seems like Acrobat doesnt have the option to soft-proof using different rendering intent.. is this true??

@ TDesignCo : I'm not able to open the advanced menu in Acrobat's output menu..

The kind of works I print are usually involve bitmaps and vectors, so I think EPS may not be the best solution, in addition to Hudson's comment on not being colour managed, I would stay away from it.

@ Adeel : Opening pdf in illustration brings up the message that missing font will be substituted, and not like photoshop where the outline of the text are kept.. is there any way you know that can convert missing font to outlines in illustrator?

@ Hudson : Totally understood your points. However, I have a fairly basic RIP and it only works with bitmap images... might need to invest in a better one!
Missing fonts in PDFs... After years of bashing our head against this issue, asking clients to supply fonts, or resupply artwork with fonts already outlined etc we finally developed a workaround in within Acrobat that lets you outline fonts within acrobat, re save the pdf, and then open it in Illustrator. (Useful for graphic edits and resizing elements etc) PM me your e-mail and I'll explain how to do it.