PDF settings explained


It is best to ask your print provider what PDF settings they require. There is no one set standard to rule them all. The settings may be different depending the software, hardware and intent.

Note that designers cannot change PDF settings on their own templates.


Copy settings from …

Use this option if you have a list of reusable PDF settings. These are provided by the printer owning the template.

PDF style

A name to identify the style. Purely for your reference.

PDF version

Older versions are more likely to work on any computer, but may not support all features like complex gradient fills, transparency, etc.

PDF encoding

Files with binary encoding tend to be smaller in size. ASCII85 is convenient if you want to modify the PDF manually.

Convert all colours to:

All colours from the template will be converted into the selected colour space, if any. It is better to make the colours in the required colour space directly in the template. I.e, convert the colours in the CorelDRAW file before uploading. This way you ensure that the user gets the right colour representation on the screen.

Colour profile

Use composite unless you require colour separation into different plates. However, “Separation” option will not produce one page per colour. It will only build the PDF the way that you can print separate places later.

Bitmap compression

Jpeg will produce the best compression, but may degrade the quality of images.

Downsample resolution

It is better to set the right resolution directly in the templates to make sure the users can see the resulting resolution on the screen.

Compress text

Use this option only if you get large amounts of texts with your templates. Most templates will not require this option.

Include …

Do not use any of these options if you do not understand what they do.

  • file information – file name will be printed outside the page
  • bleed – include / exclude bleed from the file, but only of you have any bleed in the template itself
  • crop marks – small lines that show where you should cut the page to size
  • densitometer scales – for quality control and colour / intensity matching
  • registration marks – for offset printing

Embed …

Font embedding may or may not work depending on the copyright settings in the font files. Some fonts have a special DO NOT EMBED flag which makes it illegal to embed them. Fonts must be attached to the template to be embedded. If a font is embedded in the template, but was never uploaded to Zetaprints it is unlikely to embed correctly.

Don’t embed fonts when saving your template in CorelDRAW. Extract and upload your fonts instead.

Preserve …

It is safer to tick all these setting ON if you are not sure or do not understand what they do.

Convert …

  • text to curves – recommended to be ON unless you need to modify the texts in the file
  • TTF to Type 1 – if your system does not accept TTF fonts
  • complex fills to bitmaps – may increase the file size, but will ensure your complex fills display correctly

Subset fonts

This option works only when fonts are embedded.

Fountain steps

Gradient fills will look smoother the more steps there are. Consider the size of the fill and how many steps you need to produce a correct representation at the required resolution. Having too many steps will make the file large and slow.

See also: