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Downsampling, Quality, Compression help! Printwork


New Member
Hello all,

I've been using Photoshop for a while now and work for a Truck Advertising firm that prints graphics that go on the side of 13m trucks on the motorways.

I've always got by, but I wondered this today and thought I'd ask.

When I'm done, I flatten and convert to PDF for printing.

I always work in CMYK btw.

I'm working on a 13m x 2.5m design at 1/10, so actual exact size on the file is 1322.5mm x 249mm at 300dpi CMYK.

The print size will be 10x that obviously.

When I come to save as a Photoshop PDF, I get an abundance of options, which is what I need help with.

I am always making sure:
Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities is OFF
Optimise for Fast Web Preview is OFF
Do not Downsample
No Color conversion
Include destination Profile

Compression and Quality is my issue.

Should I use JPEG, ZIP or NONE compression? Please let me know as I'm unsure.
Also, Image Quality? Medium, High, Maximum?

As you know what I'm printing, hopefully you can help.

Also, Compatibility I've always left on Acrobat 5? Is that correct?

I'm very self-taught so bare with me, any feedback appreciated.



Hi Dannyshiers
They key to answer most of your questions is what are the requirements for the person downstream that is using the PDF file e.g. are there file size limitations
Overall here are my thoughts on the settings

1) Adobe Acrobat compatibiity - All you need is compatibility with the next device that is going to read your PDF file. Most likely, they have the capability to read the more advance versions yet there is not issue using an older version because you are just using a bitmap and no advanced features of Photoshop. Also, you don't have to worry about the folks out there that have old versions of Adobe Reader that might not be able to read you file because you are not posting the PDF file for general consumption on the internet.

2) Totally agree with Do Not Downsample. You already have this figured out what exactly you need as far as DPI and you don't want to mess with that. Note, this feature is mostly used to reduce the size of PDF files which helps for download speeds for those tryng to ready the file on the internet (which you are not worried about)

3) If you are not worried about file size just used none or zip (zip is lossles compression). JPEG is lossy compression so you can introduce artifacts in the image. If the person downstream needs a much smaller PDF file, you can just JPEG yet only use high quality setting Yet use JPEG only as a backup

Those are my thoughts and opinions and hope that helps
John Wheeler