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Re: Framemaker 7.1 with Acrobat 5


You wrote:

> I've tried to find the previous discussion, but my computer keeps locking
> up. What's the short version of why you shouldn't save to PDF?

My message from July 23 is pasted below. Problems with inconsistent
layout are common when using Save as PDF where a non-PostScript printer
is the default printer driver. To see the problem on your Windows system,
you can visit hp.com and download a printer driver such as the HP2200
and then test impact on line breaks when switching between the
Distiller printer driver and the HP non-PostScript printer
(a link to a sample file is in my message, but the problem is likely to
appear with other fonts -- regardless of "printer-resident fonts").

Notice that Distiller 6.0.x does not display warnings relating to
missing internal named destinations, this is done only by earlier
Distiller versions. [The use of a PDF Link Checker is recommended
in all cases, with or without the Save as PDF function].

Major errors which even prevent the creation of PDF are not
brought to your attention when using "Save as PDF" -- you will
simply find sometime later that this PDF is missing.
To reproduce such a critical error, add a "message openfile xyz.txt"
hypertext marker and have "Tagged PDF" turned on.
This applies to FM6.0, FM7.0 (and I would be surprised if it does
not apply to FM7.1).

With many PDFs you see on the web or coupled with products, you
cannot avoid the impression that the PDFs were not really inspected
(or even opened) after being created [unfortunately, several of
Adobe's PDFs included with FrameMaker 6/7 are in this category] --
so it may be the case that layout problems are common but not


Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2003 13:25:10 +0200
To: Framers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: Shlomo Perets <shlomo2@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: Acrobat 6 / FM7 bug

With respect to issues raised in previous messages:

In my experience and opinion, the Distiller Printer Driver is a
requirement for consistent PDF output, which matches the
FrameMaker document appearance.

It is essential to have this driver selected as the current one when
producing .ps or saving as PDF, as line breaks may differ when
switching from/to different printer drivers. This may happen
regardless of drivers which activate printer-resident fonts.

http://www.microtype.com/resources/PrinterDriver-LineBreaks.zip (65K)
has a FrameMaker document saved as 6.0, with a few lines that are split
differently when different drivers are activated (File > Print Setup).
The file also includes screen captures demonstrating the different results
when selecting Distiller Printer (AdobePS 5.2+Adist5.ppd) or HP LaserJet
2200 Series PCL6 - in the same Windows 2000 system. Due to the change
in line breaks, the single-page document becomes 2 pages long in the
PCL version. I verified this under Windows XP as well. Since asking for
feedback as to the experience of others with this, I received reports
indicating similar changes with some other drivers.
[ The fonts used in this example are Minion Condensed Bold (Type 1)
& Arial Narrow Bold (TrueType), and they are not resident in the printer.
The screen captures indicate a different handling of pair kerning data. ]

The Save as PDF function does not alert to any change in layout (which
is why I recommended having the Distiller Printer active when finalizing

With fixed-size text frames and table rows, changes in line breaks may
also cause text to disappear from the PDF output (if, for example, you
have 3 lines instead of 2 lines where the frame/row has only space for
2 lines).

Even though the Save as PDF function in FrameMaker 7.0 is improved
compared to previous versions, I still avoid it (even with the Distiller
printer driver as the default) -- as I want to be able to see Distiller
warnings/error messages (such as Distiller warnings relating to missing
named destinations). FrameMaker is not aware of these.
In fact, it does not even know whether the PDF was created at all.

Having an easy-to-use "one-button PDF creation" does not mean much,
in my opinion, if you don't have a 100.0% consistent output with all
office printer drivers that may be used for paper output, together
with indication of problems in the process, if any.

Shlomo Perets

MicroType * http://www.microtype.com
FrameMaker, Acrobat training & consulting * FM-to-Acrobat TimeSavers/Assistants

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