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Difference between PDF writer and PDF Distiller

Posted on 2004-09-30
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Last Modified: 2013-12-03
After install Adobe Acrobat in my WinXP machine,there are 2 more printers installed, Adobe PDF writer and Adobe PDF Distiller, may i know what is the difference between them?

i notice that PDF Distiller produce PDF file with large file size.

anyone can tell?
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Question by:jkbgk
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Karl Heinz Kremer earned 50 total points
ID: 12196638
Which version of Acrobat are you using? It must be either a relative old version (e.g. Acrobat 4), or you did a custom installation with Acrobat 5.

The PDF Writer was a standard part of Acrobat until Acrobat 4. With Acrobat 5 Adobe did no longer install it by default: It was on the CD, but you had to do a custom installation in order to have access to it. It's no longer part of Acrobat 6 - and for a pretty good reason: The PDF produced by the PDF Writer is low quality PDF compared with the PDF that's created by Distiller. If you have a choice, go with the Distiller printer.

The two programs use two different methods to create PDF: The PDF Writer is a regular printer driver: It uses GDI data from Windows to create a PDF file. Distiller can only do one thing: Convert PostScript to PDF. When you print to this printer, you will first use the PostScript driver to create a PostScript file based on the Distiller PPD (that's a printer description file). There are a number of differences between the two types of PDF files: Distiller allows you to target a specific use case with your PDF files - you can create them for high quality presses, for high quality printers, for ebooks or for viewing on a screen. Depending on which Distiller job options you use, the files will be larger or smaller. Distiller will do a much better job with graphics in a PDF document. It will also do a much better job with fonts.

Here is an article that compares the two: http://www.tiemdesign.com/tabindex-39/tabid-7/itemid-1825/DesktopDefault.aspx

But don't take my word for it: This news group article from Dov Isaacs (he's Principal Scientist at Adobe) states the same: http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&selm=2cd0a7ab.6%40webx.la2eafNXanI
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by:jkbgk
ID: 12215045
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INFORMATION, really appreciate it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Author Comment

by:jkbgk
ID: 12470065
sorry for the late answer acknowledgement
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