RE: Distorted graphics in PDF - but NOT a compression problem

Subject: RE: Distorted graphics in PDF - but NOT a compression problem
From: "Giordano, Connie" <Connie -dot- Giordano -at- FMR -dot- COM>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2001 13:49:00 -0500


I had a similar problem a couple of months ago. Check the transparency of
your gif files. If the background is set to transparent, they will distort
when converted to PDF. If the background is transparent, use a graphics
program such as Paint Shop Pro to reset the background, and re-import into
your file prior to doing the PDF conversion. Huge pain in the neck ( I had
well over 1,000 to do for my last user manual!). Maybe someone else can
offer an additional shortcut.


Connie Giordano

-----Original Message-----
From: Christine -dot- Anameier -at- seagate -dot- com
[mailto:Christine -dot- Anameier -at- seagate -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, February 08, 2001 1:41 PM
Subject: Distorted graphics in PDF - but NOT a compression problem

Can anyone offer suggestions? I'm having a new and baffling problem with
PDF files. All the GIF images in my 100-page document are
distorted--specifically, they look stretched vertically. This isn't the
usual distorted-graphics issue with PDFs; my Distiller settings are correct
(ZIP compression, no downsampling, 600 dpi resolution, etc.).

JPGs, TIFs, and BMPs look fine. GIFs and PNGs look stretched, and what's
worse, they don't just look bad on screen (at any magnification), they
*print* that way too. And even though I inserted the GIFs into Word 97 as
inline graphics (not "float over text"), the enlarged graphics are actually
covering up part of the text in my document. If I hold up hard copies of
the Word doc and the PDF side-by-side, the Word copy looks fine and the PDF
looks bad. The text is in the same place... but in the PDF version, the
graphics are bigger and distorted, and any text that gets in their way is
simply covered up. Whole sentences disappear.

Some of the graphics are resized within Word. Some are at their original
size. Some are in table cells, some are not. (Previously when I had
graphics problems in PDF, these factors mattered. This time they don't seem
to make any difference.) All are pasted in-line using Insert>Picture>From
File. All look like something in a funhouse mirror.

I've tried everything I can think of:
* Double-checked my Distiller settings.
* Double-checked my Word settings.
* Double-checked the Adobe Photoshop printer driver settings, both from
within the Word print dialog box and from Start>Settings>Printers. Changed
various settings, one-by-one, to no avail.
* Printed the GIF from Photoshop (looked fine).
* Placed a GIF on a single-page Word doc and PDF'd it (sure enough, it was
distorted as I described--so the 100-page document length wasn't an issue).
* Turned off compression entirely for color images (amazingly, this had no
effect whatsoever).
* Turned *on* downsampling (this was in the wave-a-dead-chicken,
try-anything phase of the process).
* Reinstalled Acrobat 4.05 (on Windows NT 4, FWIW).
* Reinstalled the current Adobe Postscript driver.
* Deleted the GIF file type from the Registry and re-created it (getting
desperate at that point).
* Emailed one of the GIFs to my home, put it in a Word doc and PDF'd it
there... and it looked perfect, no distortion. If this document weren't
several MB, I'd just PDF it at home. I may still have to.
* Issued a plaintive plea for help in the Adobe User-to-User forums.

I'd use a different image format, but everything else I try doesn't look as
crisp in the Word doc as GIFs do.

Any tips? I'll post a summary if/when we get this figured out... many


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