PDF Tips

Embed a Custom Font

open the PDF > file print > Printer: Adobe PDF > Properties > Adobe PDF Settings Tab > Edit button at the "Default Settings" line (the Default Settings should say "Standard") > 

In the Popup Window "Standard - PDF Settings > select Fonts on the left > Embed all Fonts should be the checkbox at the top.

Printing Transparency

In order to print transparency for small format printing, make sure to completely flatten your PDFs to images.

Print to PDF > Advanced > Check box to Print As Image > OK > Print

Flattening and Optimizing

Especially for portfolios, file size is a severe limiting factor. Rather than reducing the number of images or pages, reduce your overall file size!!

This is also necessary in order to upload your files to the Plotting System, or the Web Printing Service. 


General issues can be solved by "Printing to PDF." This method simply cuts out all the junk that accumulates in PDF files.

  1. Go to File -> Print
  2. Set printer as "Adobe PDF"
  3. If needed, change the size to "Actual size" and check "Choose paper source by PDF page size" and "Use custom paper size when necessary"
  4. Click Print to save to a destination.

With this method, you should be able to flatten your PDF files and remove all layer information WITHOUT losing quality, decreasing the size of your files to allow the plot or printing system to process them way faster. If everyone at UTSOA would follow these steps, the plotters wouldn't need to take so much time processing during finals season, meaning everyone would get their plots released faster.

Look at this example: We were able to convert a 853 mb file into a 10 mb one. The original one wasn't uploading to the Web Printing Service, but the flattened file did it immediately. 

Checking for issues

From Adobe Acrobat:

  1. Go to File -> Save As -> Optimized PDF
  2. Click the "Audit space usage.." button

  3. Here we see, by percentage, what type of data is heaviest in your file
  4. Refer to the following steps depending on what type of data you want to cut down.