What Is High Resolution PDF?

By Angelique Sanders

i sxc.hu

There are many potential issues that can arise when submitting a file to a printer. The file might be too large to email, be low quality or appear different to the recipient. A high resolution PDF is an ideal format for printing, and can solve all of these issues.


A high resolution PDF can be created from a number of programs via printing, saving or distilling processes (distilling utilizes Acrobat Distiller). Some programs may require plugins or add-ons to support PDF exports.


An advantage to high resolution PDFs is their relatively small file sizes. The more area that is vector art instead of photos, the smaller (yet higher quality) the PDF file will be.


High resolution PDF can also be used to provide color separations to printers to avoid potential preparation fees. Typically, however, a print-ready PDF is composite.

Complete PDF

A "complete" PDF contains all of the information necessary to print the file exactly as intended. Fonts, imported graphics and page layout information are all embedded into the PDF.

Compact PDF

A "compact" PDF uses various compression methods to create a smaller file. As many servers and email programs typically place a cap on sender and recipient file sizes, creating a compact PDF is sometimes necessary.


Though a PDF's properties vary based on the program, settings and methodology used to create them, some can be edited by the recipient, which can save time with file problem-solving.