Adobe PDF presets

A PDF preset is a group of settings that affect the process of creating a PDF. These settings are designed to balance file size with quality, depending on how the PDF are used. Most predefined presets are shared across Adobe Creative Suite applications, including InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Acrobat. You can also create and share custom presets for your unique output requirements. A saved PDF preset file has the suffix .joboptions.

A few of the following presets are not available until you move them from the Extras folder (where they installed by default) to the Settings folder for custom settings.

Important: Acrobat Standard does not include the Extras folder. The presets installed in the Extras folder are only available in Acrobat Pro.
Typically, the Extras and Settings folders for default settings are found at the following locations.
  • (Windows XP) Documents and Settings/All Users/Application Data/Adobe/Adobe PDF

  • (Vista or Windows 7) ProgramData/Adobe/Adobe/Adobe PDF

  • (Mac OS) Library/Application Support/Adobe PDF

The default settings files installed with Distiller are Read Only and Hidden.
The custom settings are found in the following locations:
  • (Windows XP) Documents and Settings/[username]/Application Data/Adobe/Adobe PDF/Settings

  • (Vista or Windows 7) Users/[username]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe PDF/Settings

  • (Mac OS) Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe PDF/Settings

Some presets are not available in some Creative Suite applications.

Review your PDF settings periodically. The settings do not automatically revert to the default settings. Applications and utilities that create PDFs use the last set of PDF settings defined or selected.
High Quality Print
Creates PDFs for quality printing on desktop printers and proofing devices. This preset uses PDF 1.4, downsamples color and grayscale images to 300 ppi and monochrome images to 1200 ppi. It also embeds subsets of all fonts, leaves color unchanged, and does not flatten transparency (for file types capable of transparency). These PDFs can be opened in Acrobat 5.0 and Acrobat Reader 5.0 and later.

Oversized Pages
Creates PDFs suitable for viewing and printing of engineering drawings larger than 200 x 200 in. (508 x 508 cm). These PDFs can be opened in Acrobat and Reader 7.0 and later.

PDF/A‑1b: 2005 (CMYK and RGB)
Used for long-term preservation (archival) of electronic documents. PDF/A‑1b uses PDF 1.4 and converts all colors to either CMYK or RGB, depending on which standard you choose. These PDFs can be opened in Acrobat and Reader versions 5.0 and later.

PDF/X‑1a (2001 and 2003)
PDF/X‑1a requires all fonts to be embedded, the appropriate PDF bounding boxes to be specified, and color to appear as CMYK, spot colors, or both. Compliant files must contain information describing the printing condition for which they are prepared. PDF files created with PDF/X‑1a compliance can be opened in Acrobat 4.0 and Acrobat Reader 4.0 and later.

PDF/X‑1a uses PDF 1.3, downsamples color and grayscale images to 300 ppi and monochrome images to 1200 ppi. It embeds subsets of all fonts, creates untagged PDFs, and flattens transparency using the High Resolution setting.

Note: The PDF/X1‑a:2003 and PDF/X‑3 (2003) presets are placed on your computer during installation. However, they aren’t available until you move them from the Extras folder to the Settings folder.

PDF/X‑4 (2007) (Acrobat Pro)
This preset is based on PDF 1.4, which includes support for live transparency. PDF/X‑4 has the same color-management and International Color Consortium (ICC) color specifications as PDF/X‑3. You can create PDF/X‑4‑compliant files directly with Creative Suite 3 applications (Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop). In Acrobat 9, use the Preflight feature to convert PDFs to PDF/X‑4 DRAFT.

PDF files created with PDF/X‑4 compliance can be opened in Acrobat 7.0 and Reader 7.0 and later.

Press Quality
Creates PDF files for high-quality print production (for example, for digital printing or for color separations to an imagesetter or platesetter). However, it does not create files that are PDF/X compliant. In this case, the quality of the content is the highest consideration. The objective is to maintain all the information in a PDF file that a commercial printer or print service provider requires to print the document correctly. This set of options uses PDF 1.4, converts colors to CMYK, and downsamples color and grayscale images to 300 ppi and monochrome images to 1200 ppi. It embeds subsets of all fonts and preserves transparency (for file types capable of transparency).

These PDF files can be opened in Acrobat 5.0 and Acrobat Reader 5.0 and later.

Note: Before creating a PDF file to send to a commercial printer or print service provider, find out what output resolution and other settings are required. Or, ask for a .joboptions file with the recommended settings. You sometimes must customize the Adobe PDF settings for a particular provider and then provide a .joboptions file of your own.

Rich Content PDF
Creates accessible PDF files that include tags, hyperlinks, bookmarks, interactive elements, and layers. This set of options uses PDF 1.6 and embeds subsets of all fonts. It also optimizes files for byte serving. These PDF files can be opened in Acrobat and Reader 7.0 and later. (The Rich Content PDF preset is in the Extras folder.)
Note: This preset was called eBook in earlier versions of some applications.

Smallest File Size
Creates PDF files for displaying on the web or an intranet, or for distribution through an email system. This set of options uses compression, downsampling, and a relatively low image resolution. It converts all colors to sRGB, and (for Adobe Acrobat Distiller-based conversions) does not embed fonts. It also optimizes files for byte serving.

These PDF files can be opened in Acrobat and Reader 6.0 and later.

Standard
Creates PDF files to be printed to desktop printers or digital copiers, published on a CD, or sent to a client as a publishing proof. This set of options uses compression and downsampling to keep the file size down. However, it also embeds subsets of all (allowed) fonts used in the file, converts all colors to sRGB, and prints to a medium resolution. Windows font subsets are not embedded by default. PDF files created with this settings file can be opened in Acrobat and Reader 6.0 and later.