The Long Lens blog: Photography with added snaps, art and culture

The photography site for sore eyes. Featuring: Art, photography, performance and theatre. With extra writing because I'm also a writer.

PDF nightmares

I decided very early on to use lulu.com to publish my book. If you ignore the photobook section and use one of the general book sizes, you can effectively upload your book with any design you want – if you convert it to a pdf.

And here lies the problem. Converting your book to a pdf is more complicated than you ever dare imagine.

So, for the reader’s awareness and to remind myself, here is a list of problems I encountered.

1. You have to change the document size through the Adobe pdf icon in the printer folder because if you do it through page size it goes wrong when the pdf is converted.
2. You have to embed all the fonts before you convert to a pdf (but you actually have to print to postscript first before your process the file through Adobe Distiller.
3. The most common fonts do not embed and have to be done separately through another process which involves dropping the file into Adobe Distiller. In Distiller you need a new printer-set up.
4. In the new printer set-up there is a glitch in the system that can see your page measurements being changed from inches to feet – resulting in a 7ft wide 40gb document being converted. This problem was almost insurmountable.
5. After converting to pdf, your front and back cover file includes two blank pages and is useless. In the end, I had to import the pages separately as jpeg’s to lulu – but this restricts what you do with the spine (i.e. you can’t change its colour).
It is very complicated and, only a week or so after doing it (dozens of times) my mind is already frazzled. There is a link on the lulu FAQ section to a tutorial, but this is not as straightforward as it should be.

Next time I do it, I will make detailed notes. Then I can blog it all again.

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This entry was posted on December 24, 2007 by in pdf smoking photography adobe distiller lulu.com lulu.
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