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Publishing to PDF

The Portable Document Format (.PDF files) is a format designed to preserve fonts, images, graphics, and formatting of an original application file. A PDF file can be viewed, shared and printed on any platform such as Macintosh, Windows, and UNIX provided that users have Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader installed on their computer. A PDF file can also be uploaded to an intranet or the World Wide Web. In addition to this, individual selections or entire documents can be exported to a PDF file.

PDF has evolved into a viable file format for prepress work. With Postscript 3 workflows directly supporting PDF for output along with the compatibility that PDF provides, this technology is gaining acceptance and usage in the printing and prepress industry. Corel DRAW 12 and Corel PHOTO-PAINT 12 provide the option to publish any document directly to PDF by choosing Publish to PDF from the File menu.

New prepress options for publishing to PDF allow users to add crop marks, calibration bars, densitometer scales, and registration marks to PDF files. Users can also embed an ICC color profile, author and keyword information, and any type of file into a PDF file. If symbols are used in a document, they will be supported in the PDF file also. Additionally, users have the option to publish multiple open files to a single multi-page PDF file. The following tabs are provided in the PDF export settings and provide a variety of user-definable options when publishing to PDF using CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 12:


The Export range section specifies which page(s) will be included in the PDF export. Options include the ability to publish the entire document, specific pages or a range of pages.

The Compatibility settings allow for the optimization of PDF files for specific versions of Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader. Available compatibility settings include Acrobat 3.0, Acrobat 4.0, Acrobat 5.0 or PDF/X-1, PDF/X-1a, PDF/X-3. Different compatibilities have different options; for example, the bleed option is only available for Acrobat 4.0, Acrobat 5.0 or PDF/X-1, PDF/X-1a and PDF/X-3.

Author and Keywords fields display the name of the author of the PDF file as well as keywords that have been assigned to the PDF file if any.

The PDF Style pull-down allows preset options to be selected or saved — similar to Print Styles in CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 12's print engine. A number of PDF Style choices are available when publishing a document:

PDF for Document Distribution

  • Enables JPEG bitmap image compression, and is best used for general document delivery.
  • These documents can include bookmarks and hyperlinks and can be printed on a laser or desktop printer.
  • Well suited for general publishing.

PDF for Prepress

  • Enables ZIP bitmap image compression, embeds fonts, and preserves spot color options
  • Best designed for high end quality printing.
  • Consult the service bureau for their preferred settings.

PDF for the Web

  • Enables JPEG bitmap image compression, compresses text, and includes hyperlinks for publishing the document to the World Wide Web.

PDF for Editing

  • Enables LZW compression, embeds fonts, and includes hyperlinks, bookmarks, and thumbnails.
  • Displays the PDF file with all the fonts, with all of the images at full resolution, and with hyperlinks, allowing for editing at a later date.
  • Ideal for those who need to be able to edit and reformat PDF documents.


  • Enables ZIP bitmap image compression, converts all objects to CMYK, and preserves spot color options.
  • Contains the basic settings for prepress and is the standard format used for ad distribution.


  • A subset of PDF/X-1
  • Enables ZIP bitmap compression and converts objects to CMYK, but does not allow encryption or use of OPI references.


  • A superset of PDF/X-1a.
  • Allows both CMYK and non CMYK data (such as Lab or Grayscale) in the PDF file.

Figure 1

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Bitmap Compression allows for the compression of bitmap images, text and line art to reduce the size of a PDF file. Supported compression algorithms include JPEG, LZW, and ZIP. Bitmaps using JPEG compression have a quality scale ranging from 2 (high) to 255 (low). The higher the quality, the larger the file size.

Bitmap downsampling allows for the downsampling of color, grayscale and monochrome bitmaps. This can be useful for reducing file size or for proofing.

Text and Font options control how text is to be embedded in the PDF file. Fonts (including base 12 fonts) can be embedded, which increases the file size but makes a PDF file more portable since the fonts do not have to reside on other systems, thus eliminating font variances on different systems. The base 14 Postscript fonts are resident on all Postscript devices. True Type fonts can also be converted to Type 1, however this can increase file size if there are several fonts in the document. When fonts are converted, file size can be reduced by selecting the option to Subset fonts if only a small number of characters are being used. The option to include a percentage of fonts is also available. For example, a subset of 50 per cent of fonts can be created. If the characters used in the document exceeds 50 per cent, the whole set of characters is embedded. If the number of characters used in the document is less than 50 per cent, only the characters used are embedded. Font variances on different computers can also be eliminated by selecting the option to Export all text as curves.

Compress Text and line art can be enabled to reduce file size. Encoding provides a choice of Binary or ASCII 85 encoding with ASCII 85 being the most compatible and portable.

Figure 2

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Bookmark options allow for hyperlinks, bookmarks and thumbnails to be included in a PDF file and allow for links to be created to specific areas in the PDF file. Hyperlinks are useful for adding jumps to other Web pages or to Internet URLs.

On start, display controls how the PDF initially opens in Adobe® Acrobat® Reader: as Page Only, Full screen, Bookmarks or Thumbnails.

Figure 3

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Include Bleed allows a specific bleed limit to be set, which determines how far beyond the crop marks an image can extend when it is printed. A bleed requires that the paper being used be larger than the size of the desired output size, and the image area must extend beyond the edge of the final paper size.

Printer's marks include a variety of finishing tools designed to make the final output of the document as easy as possible. Crop marks represent the size of paper and appear at the corners of the page. When added, these act as guides for trimming the paper. If multiple pages per sheet (for example, two rows by two columns) are output, crop marks can be added to the outside edge of the page so that all crop marks are removed after the cropping process, or can be added to each row and column.

Registration marks are required to line up the film, analog proofs, or print plates to a color press and print on each sheet of a color separation. The Densitometer scale is a series of gray boxes ranging from light to dark. These boxes are required to test the density of halftone images. File information, when enabled will print the document name, date, the time the file was created, page number and color profile.

Figure 4

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Render complex fills as bitmaps can improve print times by reducing the complexity of a file. Preserve document overprints is used to override manual color trapping such as outlines and fills. This can be useful if another application is not being used for trapping the objects. Preserve halftone screen information maintains line frequency and angle information for postscript devices and Preserve Spot colors determines whether spot color(s) should be converted to CMYK or maintained. This maintains color consistency. Maintain OPI links maintains any Open Prepress Interface comments for linked images. This option, when enabled allows for low resolution images to be used as placeholders for the high resolution images that appear in the final work. When a service bureau receives the file, the OPI server substitutes the low resolution images for the high resolution ones.

Fountain Steps displays the number of steps to be included in a fountain fill; a low number of steps prints faster, but the transition between shades may appear coarse. The EPS files pull-down allows the user to select how EPS are treated in the PDF file. EPS files are Postscript files and contain two parts: the Postscript portion and the preview portion or header. The Postscript portion includes high resolution images and/or vector information. It is best suited for outputting. The preview portion typically includes a low resolution version of the document and, due to its small file size, it is best suited for publishing to the World Wide Web or for general distribution where the file will be viewed on screen. Optimize for the Web, when selected optimizes the resolution of images in the PDF file for use on the World Wide Web.

The Color Management section allows color profiles to be assigned and also provides general control of what color mode objects will use when published. Output all objects as allows for output values of Native, CMYK, RGB or grayscale. This ensures accurate color reproduction. Apply ICC profile can be enabled if using printer (composite or separations) color profiles. Use the Separation printer profile if printing to an imagesetter or use the Composite printer profile if printing to a full color desktop printer.

Embedded files allows any type of file to be embedded in the PDF file. For example, the CorelDRAW file from which the PDF file was generated can be embedded in the PDF file.

Figure 5

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The integrated Preflight engine included with CorelDRAW provides users with valuable feedback during final output by warning about potential compatibility issues within a document when publishing to PDF. In addition to warning about such issues, it will make suggestions and recommendations on how to correct these errors before completing the output process.

Figure 6

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