PageMaker Screws Up Our PDFs
February 21, 2005 12:36 PM   Subscribe

PageMaker7 on Windows XP now screws up exported PDFs where it didn't before. [More inside]

We've been creating PDFs from PMDs for some time now and everything worked great. Then, about six weeks ago the output started getting screwed up. Half of an image would show up, text would be misplaced, there would be no colour. We put out a monthly 'zine in PDF format and have bypassed our deadline because of this.

The machine is running WinXP with PageMaker 7, Acrobat 6. We didn't have any problems before and I think we've tried just about everything. New PostScript drivers, different versions of PageMaker and Acrobat and Distiller mixed together as the Adobe support forums suggest or other sites suggest, freeware, shareware, workarounds...

We've uninstalled and reinstalled several times. We've saved it as a .pmd, a .ps and several other formats, but the output is always the same, a garbled mishmash not originally intended. I can't even find a way to convert the .pmd on my Mac unless I get a copy of PageMaker myself (though I do not have Classic on my computer). I'm really at a loss as to what to do.
posted by Captaintripps to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
There is some voodoo involved in conversion to PDF, I'm convinced. I've occasionally had problems like those you describe in creating PDFs from various source files. In these cases, I've had very good luck with this convert-to-PDF online service from Adobe, which is free for your first few documents.
posted by killdevil at 1:17 PM on February 21, 2005

First question-- if the source isn't pagemaker, can you get a good pdf?
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:54 PM on February 21, 2005

killdevil: Unfortunately that service stops after 10 or 11 minutes of processing and our magazines apparently take much longer than that, weighing in at about 60-70 megs a piece.

OT: I really think Adobe sucks, even though their products are all great ideas.

Mayor Curley: I'll have my roommate try a conversion of something else when he gets home this evening. I don't think we've tried it.
posted by Captaintripps at 3:41 PM on February 21, 2005

CT, I don't know how much work you'd like to set yourself up for, but I hightly, highly recommend you upgrade to InDesign. It can convert PMD's natively (as it should, since it's the successor to PageMaker) and I've never had any PS issues with it. From someone who absolutely refused to touch PageMaker, I can say with much enthusiasm that InDesign is wonderful to work with.

If you'd like, I could take a crack at the PMD.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:28 PM on February 21, 2005

If you have Acrobat 5, have you tried printing to a PostScript file, then distilling that with Acro5? Acro6 has caused me some problems.

Also slightly off-topic: Do you have the Acrobat 6 'Pro' version? I "upgraded" from Acrobat 5 to Acrobat 6 'Standard,' only to find I would have to pay another large chunk of money to get all the features I had in 5. The complete "upgrade" would have cost me every bit as much as I paid for 5. Adobe is not my friend any more.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:45 PM on February 21, 2005

Mayor, just got this in. Acrobat will make PDFs of other things just fine.

Kirth: Yup, we've tried that route too with several versions of Acrobat.

We've got 6 pro and we also had 5.
posted by Captaintripps at 4:54 PM on February 21, 2005

have you tried PDFCreator? I have had it succeed many times when Acrobat/distiller choked completely.
Bonus points for open source!
posted by wzcx at 1:30 PM on February 22, 2005

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