Forum Thread

PDF conversion - quality issue

BargainSnatcher 3,525 1,725 September 25, 2015 at 09:16 PM
I'm trying to convert a .doc file that contains a bunch of png images to PDF.

No matter what technique i use, i get a crappy quality conversion. The lines are jaggered, which isn't the case if i print the file directly from word.

Here are the details of what i am using and the methods i have used.

I'm using a PC and created the document in Word 2003. I have Windows 7 running.

I originally created the file in Word 2007 but even saving the document in a doc format resulted in loss of quality. Same if i tried to convert the file within 2007 to pdf. That option is not available in 2003.

I tried using primoPDF, no luck.

I tried using CutePDF, no luck.

I took the document into open office and tried to convert it that way, no luck.

I tried bringing the document into google docs and converting that way. That produced the worst results.

Unless i'm using primoPDF or cutePDF wrong, i'm wondering what options i have left.

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#2
I usually use PDFCreator, with any of these there are some settings you can change. In PDFCreator and PrimoPDF, in the print dialog, click preferences then under Paper/Quality click Advanced then set the resolution to 600dpi.

NitroPDF has some quality settings on the first page of the preferences screen. Office 2007 and later can export PDFs directly, you can also generate PDFs using OpenOffice or LibreOffice. This can result in a more useful pdf with clickable links, a table of contents, etc and sometimes the quality is higher but hidden settings can affect this too.

There may be a limit to the quality of the original png images. Anytime you can embed vector graphics in office, it's preferable. It's also possible some of the perceived quality loss could also be related to differences in the anti-aliasing different programs use.
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Last edited by jkee September 25, 2015 at 11:15 PM
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#3
Tried PrimoPDF and messed with the settings in that without any luck.

Tried Office 2007

Tried OpenOffice.

I'm thinking its just not possible with a png in word. I can ge really close to a excellent copy, but i can still see the "marching ants" along some of the lines.

I'm trying to get the vector file for the images, but i may end up having to print it out in word and then scan it into my pc as a pdf. The word file prints perfectly, its the damn PDF conversion that is sucking.
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#4
I am assuming you have also tried word "save as PDF" and the Microsoft "Print to PDF" (windows 10) options as well
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#5
Quote from BargainSnatcher View Post :
Tried PrimoPDF and messed with the settings in that without any luck.

Tried Office 2007

Tried OpenOffice.

I'm thinking its just not possible with a png in word. I can ge really close to a excellent copy, but i can still see the "marching ants" along some of the lines.

I'm trying to get the vector file for the images, but i may end up having to print it out in word and then scan it into my pc as a pdf. The word file prints perfectly, its the damn PDF conversion that is sucking.
Both Office 2007 and OpenOffice have settings that the control output quality.

I'd give PDFCreator a try at 600 dpi. http://www.pdfforge.org/pdfcreator

It could be an anti-aliasing issue as I suggested earlier. Anti-aliasing is basically software trying to smooth jagged lines, it's more common when viewing on a monitor than printing, but different programs could behave differently in this regard. Even different pdf viewers may make a difference.

If you have access to the source png files what is the resolution of one and how big are you printing it?
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Last edited by jkee September 26, 2015 at 08:55 AM
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#6
you might want to try changing the png files to jpg
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#7
Quote from slapshot136 View Post :
I am assuming you have also tried word "save as PDF" and the Microsoft "Print to PDF" (windows 10) options as well
Save as PDF is the only option in word (when i said i used office i should have stated word).

I don't have Windows 10 but i think my brother may have tried that on his end. I'll double check.
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#8
Quote from jkee View Post :
Both Office 2007 and OpenOffice have settings that the control output quality.

I'd give PDFCreator a try at 600 dpi. http://www.pdfforge.org/pdfcreator

It could be an anti-aliasing issue as I suggested earlier. Anti-aliasing is basically software trying to smooth jagged lines, it's more common when viewing on a monitor than printing, but different programs could behave differently in this regard. Even different pdf viewers may make a difference.

If you have access to the source png files what is the resolution of one and how big are you printing it?

I'll give that a go. Thanks

I'm not sure about "source png" files. What i can tell you is the the dimensions are 2567x3317. I'm guessing the image itself is fine because printing as a doc works just fine.

Quote from komondor View Post :
you might want to try changing the png files to jpg

Already tried that. Tried BMP too since that is apparently Microsofts preferred format according to one post i read somewhere.
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Last edited by BargainSnatcher September 26, 2015 at 01:19 PM

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#9
Quote from jkee View Post :

I'd give PDFCreator a try at 600 dpi. http://www.pdfforge.org/pdfcreator

Tried it and got poor results. I tried the settings you recommended as well as playing around with a few.

I also got this warning after i installed it....

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#10
After doing a pdf through Adobe Illustrator, i'm coming to the conclusion that pngs just don't work well when converted to pdf.
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#11
What are you settings inside your pdf program like? I do this at work with directions and screenshots I take and don't notice a problem at 100%, beyond 100% you will see problems.
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#12
The original effort i came out wasn't good, but some of the subsequent results were not so crappy. For most people, they would be fine but this is for a book so the lines have to be clean. The best i have got is what looks like clean lines with small dots going along one of both sides.

This isn't my image, or the image in question, but it gives you an idea of the dots i am talking about. And when i print directly from word prior to conversion it prints perfect.

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#13
Quote from BargainSnatcher View Post :
The original effort i came out wasn't good, but some of the subsequent results were not so crappy. For most people, they would be fine but this is for a book so the lines have to be clean. The best i have got is what looks like clean lines with small dots going along one of both sides.

This isn't my image, or the image in question, but it gives you an idea of the dots i am talking about. And when i print directly from word prior to conversion it prints perfect.

Not sure about the 3rd party programs but Acrobat Pro has a ton of options to make configuration changes. For instance you can specify how many DPI images are scaled to, using which format etc. They have a preset of "High Quality Print" that works well for print applications I find.
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#14
Quote from BargainSnatcher View Post :
Tried it and got poor results. I tried the settings you recommended as well as playing around with a few.

I also got this warning after i installed it....
I thought it was self-explanatory to opt out of the adware during the installation...

Virus total mostly it as containing opencandy:
https://www.virustotal.com/en/fil...443460879/

PNGs can work just fine in PDFs I do it all the time, the problem has more to do with the resolution of the original PNG or the PDF conversion
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