Text appears pixelated after conversion to PDF

I just purchased Adobe Acrobat 4.0 because I was told (and the promo blurbs promised) that I could convert ANY document to PDF format without changing its original appearance. I am discovering that there may be more qualifiers to that statement than I anticipated. Either that, or I don't understand how to do it.
First, I discovered that documents created in certain programs will not automatically convert in Adobe ~ they have to be saved in a different format (i.e. tiff or jpeg), then converted. Also I am discovering that in MANY of my documents (if not all of them) containing text, the text appears and prints pixelated, or jagged once it is converted into the PDF format.
I am not an expert with Adobe ~ Acrobat is the only program of theirs that I have. I purchased it thinking that by converting documents to the PDF format they would be available to send to the printer. I am just getting started with a small graphics design business, and am using programs such as Corel Photo House, Print House, and Jasc Paint Shop Pro 5 to create my designs. I know these are not necessarily the best programs to use, but I am trying to start small and work my way up to the more costly programs such as Photoshop and PageMaker or InDesign. I thought Acrobat would be a satisfactory bridge until I could afford those programs to create my designs in. Am I doing something wrong in using the program, or is Adobe Acrobat limited in the way it handles text?
Dilbert1003Asked:
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weedCommented:
Well, any document CAN be translated directly to PDF. Sort of. You need the AdobePS Printer drivers to help you. What they allow you to do is to print any document to a postscript file. The postscript file is then translated via Acrobat Distiller (on your acrobat CD) to a PDF. The conversion is flawless and since you went to PDF from a postscript file you only loose as much quality as you choose to during the Distillation process. This is of course unless youre using bitmapped fonts at a low resolution. Then you will get chunky stuff in print.

As far as the programs youre using...Corel Photo House, Print House, and Jasc Paint Shop Pro 5 simply arent going to cut it as far as "starting small". As as graphic design business you just decapitated %90 of your abilities with those programs. Spend the money and get a copy of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Youll appreciate it in the long run. They are all integrated with eachother and make the prepress workflow 50x smoother.
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Dilbert1003Author Commented:
Yes, I know we will have to spring for the better programs. We're trying to gauge our own talent and market in our area before making any investments, however. We have already sold a couple of logos, and have a couple of jobs in the works however, which we need to get to press. When you say we need the PostScript printer drivers, do you mean we need the drivers for whatever printer our printing company is going to use? (we are not printing these ourselves on our little inkjet printers, we're taking them to the experts. At this point we only want to be in the design field, not the printing trade). If we had that driver, then if we "printed" the document to that printer in our computer (phantom tho it may be, since it is not on our system), THEN we could make a PDF document out of it using the distiller, and eliminate the pixelating of text? That would get our first couple of jobs done, and enable us to spring for the better programs! I hate to flaunt my ignorance on the subject, but we are just starting out, and we are self-taught. We learn trial and error and asking questions.
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weedCommented:
No, the Adobe PS drivers are adobe drivers that let you print to a file instead of paper. They "print" to a postscript file without a printer. Its the postscript file that gets turned into a PDF. Since postscript preserves text outlines you wont get the jaggies.
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Dilbert1003Author Commented:
Okay - I'm getting this in dribs and drabs, but I'm getting it.
I downloaded the Postscript Driver from the Adobe site. I installed it as a generic Postscript printer, and configured it to print to a file. Fine. The text does appear MUCH improved in all my documents when printed to a postscript file, then opened in Adobe by means of the distiller. Now I have just one tiny problem. (!) All my files with color done this way are now greyscale. Color is gone. Can't I have the best of both? Thanks for your patience, Weed, with a neophyte.
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weedCommented:
Heh that ones probably easy...Remember to print to color when you print to the file. There is a whole section of printing options. Make sure color is selected.
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Dilbert1003Author Commented:
Well, ummmmmmm, actually, no.
Print House has an option to print full color. Which I did. Printed it to PS file. Opened PS file with distiller. Opened thus created PDF file. Still greyscale. Did I choose the wrong "printer" when I chose "generic postscript printer"? Am I operating distiller wrong? I am just clicking on the file in explorer, and when it asks what program I want to use to open it, choosing Acrodist. It does the rest automatically. The only way I have found to open a file and get color is to import it directly into Adobe, but then the text is crappy again. Sigh . . .
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weedCommented:
nonono...The option to print full color isnt in Print House...its in the print dialog when you choose to print. You shouldnt be choosing any "printer" other than the AdobePS driver.
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Dilbert1003Author Commented:
Okay ~ I am not making myself very clear -
When I have open the document that I want to convert to PDF - from my "Mickey Mouse" programs, like Print House, Paint Shop Pro, etc - I choose "Print", then choose from the list of possibilities "Generic PS printer" (This was generated because I downloaded the PS printer driver from Adobe today)On some of those programs, there is the option to print full color, greyscale, etc. Full color is automatically chosen. When I choose "Print" or "Ok" to print, it creates a file, which I then open using Acrobat distiller. The resulting PDF file appears, but it is always in greyscale ~ no color. This doesn't happen when I import a graphics-only file directly into Acrobat - the colors appear fine. So, if I have a mixed file, graphics with text, and I convert it by means of printing to a file, the color is eliminated, but when I convert it by importing an image in Acrobat, the text is pixelated. See my dilemma? I haven't physically printed anything at all - it is the appearance of the file in Acrobat that is greyscale.
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weedCommented:
Well....hmm...then it must be a setting in distiller because you should certainly get color. There are options in distiller to use greyscale.
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Dilbert1003Author Commented:
Well, I don't doubt that you are correct but I have fiddled with the distiller settings until I am blue (if only), and it doesn't seem to make any difference. I found a couple of documents in the Adobe database dealing with similar problems, but none involving my exact programs. I guess I will have to call Adobe support for the solution to my problem. I appreciate your suggestions, even though none of them worked (except the first one, which related to my original question, which is why I am accepting the answer.)
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weedCommented:
Well...maybe it has something to do with corel..i dunno youve stumped me then. Id be interested to hear what adobe says. Lemme know!
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