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Re: PostScript/PCL

Linda and Barbara:
The message below from Dov Isaacs (the ultimate expert at Adobe on matters
pertaining to printing) succinctly explains the issues involved in printing
FrameMaker documents to non-postscript printers (e.g., HP PCL) when the
FrameMaker document contains logos or other graphics that use the
encapsulated postscript (EPSI) format. Such graphics have both an EPS image
and a bitmap preview image. As he points out, if you try to print directly
from FrameMaker to such a non-postscript printer, the preview image, not the
EPS image will be produced in the printed output, resulting in degraded
quality of the printed logo.

On the other hand, if you print the FrameMaker document to a postscript
file, then distill the postscript to produce PDF, and then print the
document from Acrobat to the non-postscript printer, the EPS image will be
used in the printed output. Isaacs also points out that printing directly
from FrameMaker to a non-postscript printer (such as HP PCL) also fouls up
the line layouts for both TrueType and Postscript fonts, whereas printing
from PDF will produce the same results that would be obtained by printing to
a postscript printer.

Nevertheless, he also points out that the overall quality, even when
printing from PDF, will generally be lower when printing to a non-postscript
printer rather than a postscript printer.

I might add that the quality achieved when printing to either a postscript
or non-postscript printer is generally superior when Type 1 postscript
fonts, not TrueType fonts, are used.

By always printing from FrameMaker to a postscript file and then distilling
the postscript to produce PDF also permits all fonts used in the document to
be embedded in the PDF file (this is an option in Acrobat Distiller). This
assures that the document can be successfully printed out to any printer
from any platform, even a platform that does not have all of the fonts used
in the document. Also, when using Distiller to produce the PDF, it is
important to turn off all graphic compression options, because most
compression algorithms produce loss of graphic detail.

Also, as I mentioned in an earlier telecon with Linda, it is important,
particularly on Windows 9x platforms, that you use the latest version of the
AdobePS driver, rather than the defective default postscript printer driver
that comes with Windows 9x. The current version of AdobePS is 4.2.4. Once
this driver has been installed, you then install, in AdobePS, the Postscript
Printer Descriptions (PPDs) for Acrobat Distiller and any other printers you
intend to use. These steps will allow you to bypass the defective Microsoft
postscript printer driver that comes with Windows 9x. And, of course, it's
also important to have the latest version of Adobe Type Manager (ATM) or ATM
deluxe installed on the platform where FrameMaker and Acrobat Distiller are

At 11:47 AM 11/19/98 -0800, Dov Isaacs wrote:
>At 11/19/98 10:53 AM , Acton, Cheryl wrote:
>>With all the information on the list about FrameMaker and 
>>printer drivers/font technology/PostScript/TrueType/production/Acrobat/ATM
>>etc., I realize there is a lot to learn. Well, I was talking with our system
>>administrator about using the new AdobePS 5.0.1 printer driver for some
>>networked printers and he said incidentally, we'd probably be getting away
>>from using PostScript and instead we would be using HP's PCL. Would anyone
>>clue me in on the implications of this? Is this something I should present a
>>case against? We use networked HP printers from Unix and NT 4.
>The simplest implications are as follows:
>(1) Printing directly -- if you have ANY .EPS artwork or images
>in your documents, you may end up with either TIFF previews or empty
>boxes if you print to non-PostScript printers. Line layout with
>either TrueType or Type 1 typefaces may also differ significantly
>from that which you would get with PostScript printers or printing
>to the Acrobat Distiller.
>(2) PDF -- You can "combat" (1) above by printing from PDF files
>that you create via the Distiller. The only 'gotcha is that printing
>of complex PDF-based documents to PCL and other non-PostScript printers
>is often slower and of lower overall quality than when printing to
>PostScript printers.
>	- Dov
     | Nullius in Verba |
Dan Emory, Dan Emory & Associates
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
Voice/Fax: 949-722-8971 E-Mail: danemory@primenet.com
10044 Adams Ave. #208, Huntington Beach, CA 92646

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