13 Replies Latest reply on Mar 29, 2013 1:01 PM by JimMac

    Save Records As PDF: Quality Options



      Save Records As PDF: Quality Options


           I'm using the "Save Records As PDF" step in my scripts successfully, but I want to be able to control the "quality" of the PDF before it is created. For example, I want to create a "web-quality" version and a "print-quality version."

           How do I do that?

        • 1. Re: Save Records As PDF: Quality Options

               I am not sure of your Definition of Quality but...

               The PDF creation is nothing more that a Print Driver.

               So... it it prints pretty then a pdf will be pretty.

          Garbage IN = Garbage OUTwink



          • 2. Re: Save Records As PDF: Quality Options

                 Thanks for the reply, Jim. For print, I would prefer a PDF that's 300dpi. For the web, that's way too large (slow-loading) and I would prefer something around 180dpi and compressed differently.

                 It's certainly easy to select these different output options when creating PDF's from programs like Adobe InDesign or Acrobat, but I don't know if it's possible in FileMaker?

            • 3. Re: Save Records As PDF: Quality Options

                   For info only and a bit of Trivia.  Playboy magazine is printed at 200 dpi on glossy paper and the Articles still read well.blush

                   It is hard to predict the monitor resolution of Web Users but 72dpi still works.  Correct Font size of 10+ is normally ok.  If you go to Adobe, you can download a Free PDF driver which is licensed[but you get advertising each time you use it] and compare to FMP's version using your options.

                   Pictures in the container will be set by the Graphics Program that produces them.  FMP12 now has direct camera connect to MacOS devices using TIFF and JPG.  TIFF will be HI Def compared to JPG.

                   Again, try a 180dpi print setting to see if you are satisfied with your output.

                   People are demanding Hi Def and the newest devices are Hi Def.  Mac Retina display is 5X normal TV HiDef.  Camera's take pictures in the RAW format using 20megapixels using the New Thunderbolt high speed serial transfer or Super Super USB.  Who knows what is next.

                   Your call.


              • 4. Re: Save Records As PDF: Quality Options

                     To answer the specific question, there are no "quality" settings you can specify for Save As PDF. However, you can always use "Print" to print to a PDF and then, if using a PDF printing tool such as Adobe Acrobat, you may have options that you can specify to control the DPI, etc.

                • 5. Re: Save Records As PDF: Quality Options

                       @ Phil  Very good thought, but again how is the User going to view it.  If you set, say 180 dpi, it doesn't change the output if viewed with a 72 dpi monitor.

                       @ Brad You seem to be weighing clarity versus pdf file size.  If you input 180 dpi to your pdf, changing it to 300 dpi does not improve the clarity and I don't think the file sized changes in either case.  The pdf driver is trying to communicate with the expected output device not change the resolution {a belief and not tested hypothesis}.  Why do I believe that?  How can the PDF driver improve the INPUT resolution?


                  • 6. Re: Save Records As PDF: Quality Options

                         I re-read my responses and think this may clear up something.

                         1) Pick a web safe font at 10+ size.  Fonts are True Type and not bit maps so they don't take up a lot of space.

                         2) Pictures seem to be the only issue it can see.  Most printer today are a minimum of 600x600 dpi.  and JPG are 72dpi.... duhh

                         3) small jpg's mean small file sizes and good clarity for most uses.  Small means the dimensions of the  jpg inserted in you FMP DB.

                         4) If you SCAN your picture into digital format, the SCANNER will control the dpi....

                         5) A Digital Camera is a Scanner.  A copier is a Scanner.  The Scanning device's output sets the DPI not a pdf driver.


                    • 7. Re: Save Records As PDF: Quality Options

                           And a High Resolution scan can be "downsampled" by image editing software to produce a lower res alternative. So one way to control PDF "quality" is to have two layouts or a calculation field with a container result type so that you can select either the high or low resolution option for the image in the container field.

                      • 8. Re: Save Records As PDF: Quality Options

                             Jim & Phil,

                             Good points by both of you. As a print and web designer & commercial photographer, I understand all the resolution issues, resampling, file sizes, etc. I kinda' live in Photoshop.

                             Jim, you're right when you say that upsampling when creating a PDF is not going to improve the input quality of the original. In this case, we've been careful to optimize the quality of the images we've placed in FileMaker so that the integrity of the images (mostly line drawings) is maintained when printing. (Yes, it definitely does slow FileMaker down when using higher-res images, but we need the quality. Right now, the images are all embedded; we can use image references once the development is done which should speed things up a bit.)

                             Jim, when you mention magazines printing at 200dpi, you probably mean 200Lpi (lines per inch, a term used in offset printing, not relevant to images for the web or desktop printers). A common standard for images that will be printed at 200Lpi or higher is between 300dpi & 450dpi.

                             Phil, your idea of using the "print" dialogue is an interesting one since I would be able to set my own options when creating the PDF. For my client however, it will be confusing since they wouldn't have any idea what to set the resolution at (for high-quality print or for web streaming, for instance). These steps, however, would be outside of FileMaker and couldn't be included in scripts, right?

                             Having two different containers (for high and low res) won't really be practical in this case. If I used a calculation field, could you give me a little better idea what that might look like?


                        • 9. Re: Save Records As PDF: Quality Options

                               The calculation would also use two different container fields, but allows you to use one layout for both.

                               If ( HighRes ; HighResContainer field ; LowResContainerFIeld )

                               Select "Container as the result type and put True or a number other than zero in HighRes to select for the High Resolution container field. HighRes might be set up as a global field so that this field controls resolutionfor multiple records or it might be set up as a $$GlobalVariable.

                          • 10. Re: Save Records As PDF: Quality Options

                                 Actually I found a reference to 200 dpi on coated paper produces Magazine Quality Photo print [the reference used Playboy, not meangel].  I am sure the ARTICLES read well at low resolutions.

                                 Line drawings do depend on output paper size.  Now you are focusing us on END USE.  Plus they contain a SCALE for line sizing.

                                 I have a HP DesignJet 42" width paper printer that can also print letter size.  The resolution is 600x1200 dpi. I get small pdf files sizes that print perfectly clear at 42" x 48" paper size.

                                 Last time it beat this drum....

                                 You must test your desired output to find out the needed input.

                                 Line drawing send different info than photos in a pdf.


                            • 11. Re: Save Records As PDF: Quality Options


                                   You're talking about vectors from small PDF's, not photographs, right?

                                   Tell me more about your comment: "...Line drawing send different info than photos in a pdf." We've been using 600dpi PNG's in our containers which are, of course, photos.

                              There's no way to place a vector graphic or eps in FileMaker is there?

                              • 12. Re: Save Records As PDF: Quality Options

                                There's no way to place a vector graphic or eps in FileMaker is there?

                                I used to do that with older versions but it may or may not work with your current FMP version/OS version.

                                     For More Information see:     http://forums.filemaker.com/posts/bdeb33dabc?commentId=238475#238475

                                     This is one of many acknowledged bugs that can be found in the Known Bug List thread here in the Report an Issue section of the forum.

                                     It can also be downloaded as a database file from:    https://www.dropbox.com/s/jt09b82i0xijbu3/FMP%20Bugs.zip

                                • 13. Re: Save Records As PDF: Quality Options

                                       NOW we are getting there.  I am talking the POWER of Adobe PDF driver.  The PDF driver can interpret the input, so to speak.  Post Script by Adobe was the old way and it is an interpreter.

                                       PNG, GIF and JPG  are interplolated and compressed formats for internet transport.  If you use one, you are picking your Quality.  if i remember right, PNG is the most advanced and may include a dpi provision.

                                       Now only SIZE of the image matters or the bounding rectangle you decided on when Importing the image into FMP.

                                  So quality is determined by OUTPUT size you want.yes

                                       If you want to verify that,, take a JPG and expand it say 4x from the original..... YUKKK frown

                                       The reason for blurr is a JPG saves file space by saving every 3rd line of your SCAN and interpolating the "in between line" from color dot above and dot below saved lines.

                                       Lets say your PNG was an image of an Line drawing that was scanned at 600 dpi and was 5"x5" in size.  Big file PNG and your disired end use  OUTPUT is High Quality print on glossy paper.  Your output print could be "blown up" without loss of quality to [600dpi/200 dpi = 3]  15"x15" size.

                                       or Converse.. Output to be on regualar paper at 1"x1" then the Scanned dpi could be [600dpi / 5 ... the size difference 5" to 1"] or 120 dpi .  Thus scan you line drawing at 120 dpi to make a much smaller PNG file size.wink

                                       We are kinda getting off FMP forum normal use.