PDF Output - visual quality

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PDF Output - visual quality

Unread postby Wolfgang Baer » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:45 am

while setting up my new documentation and translation environment I made a PDF output test with H&M 7.
The manual says that one should not change the PDF "Reference Device" in the program's options if not required.
I made a comparison between the recommended default setting and a dedicated PDF engine (the free version of PDFCreator in this case). The results are shown in the screenshot (PDF viewer was Acrobat XI Pro). As one can see, the dedicated PDF engine created better results. As I understand it, H&M's main purpose is to create online help and not high quality print documents. So is it normal and I should stick to a PDF engine or is there something I should check in H&M's PDF export?


Side note:
The PDFCreator free comes with unwanted Adware build in. I made the test on a virtual machine which I will reset to the state of before the installation of PDFCreator.
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Re: PDF Output - visual quality

Unread postby Tim Green » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:15 pm

Hi Wolfgang,

On current systems the screen as a reference device is generally not so good. Try switching to the Microsoft XPS Document Writer instead.
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Re: PDF Output - visual quality

Unread postby waldemar.hersacher » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:21 pm

Hi Wolfgang,
as Tim mentions from time to time here you will normally get better results with a printer driver. On Windows 7 you can use the XPS Document writer.
Using the screen as reference may depend on the screen resolution and/or graphics driver.
On my system at the work place I have an ATI graphics card which have a good result in PDF rendering.
At home I have an NVIDIA Graphics card which have a bad result in PDF rendering. Here I use a Canon printer driver.

A phone call interrupted me. I see Tim has answered also.
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Re: PDF Output - visual quality

Unread postby Wolfgang Baer » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:56 pm

Thanks all for your input.

I tested a little more.
Conclusion for me is:
XPS driver is better than screen but still not perfect (font kerning is the issue).
Installing a PDF printer driver and setting its default print setting to at least 300 dpi / ppi / image resolution (I have seen all those terms being used) is the base for a visually pleasing PDF (I ended up with the free FOXIT PDF Reader that installs such a driver). Seems so that the resolution is important. I now assume that any type of reference device that provides a high enough resolution information to H&M will do the job.
Wolfgang Baer
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