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CT&D #27. Tips for Creating PDFs

As I have used PDFs before for both school and work related assignments, I found reading about them useful regarding tips in making and sending these types of files. The tip I particularly found helpful was ensuring that image quality, and thereby file size of a PDF, is compromised before exporting or posting online. This should be obvious to me as I have dealt with converting word documents over to PDF before where due to large file sizes (in one instance, I was creating some word art through copying and pasting “pixel-like” shapes), the PDF took time to download and in some cases, didn’t download properly at all (causing distortion to my designs). A suggestion I found convinced me to break up files of these sort (by single page) and hyperlink them together to guide a user in finding the files in order if posting online. This is definitely something that would be worth doing when dealing with PDFs that need to be split and distributed across several files if the image size is too much for one file to handle.

Otherwise, I have learned about Adobe Acrobat and how one can edit and create PDF documents outright. For starters, I found that Acrobat allows anyone to organize the page order of a .pdf file, as well as delete individual pages, add pages, and even insert interactive elements to enable signing (of someone’s name or filling out information) once a pdf is exported as a form. That’s pretty nifty! More so, I found out about PDF exporting preferences, such as changing the resolution on a document; specifying such will optimize ideal file sizes at the expense of scaled back photographs and color quality.

As a graphic designer, it is important to keep in mind the situations where creating PDFs of varying export quality are appropriate; such is the case during a drafting phase of designing graphics (perhaps an illustrated poster), it makes more sense to save a project as a smaller file size than what it would be if the highest export setting is used. With multiple drafts being common in designing for a client, being able to quickly view a number of PDFs to show work progress should make for an easy experience considering that the larger a file size is, the longer it will take to fully display, even with scrolling through every page.

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