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Real World Print Production with Adobe Creative Suite Applications by Claudia McCue

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Export vs. Distiller

Because all of the Creative Suite applications speak fluent PDF, it’s possible to directly export PDF files from InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop without using Distiller. If you wish to retain layers, live transparency, or interactivity, you have to export rather than use Distiller. Some print service providers or publications may insist that you take the Distiller route, but that sentiment is largely built on old wive’s tales about creating PDFs. Since exporting is faster and easier than using Distiller, it’s worth having a conversation with file recipients to find out why you’re being asked to take the long way around. Ask them to test an exported PDF created to their specifications, and then you’ll both know what ...

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