I've edited some images in Photoshop to be used in a .pdf I'm creating in Illustrator.
In PS, the images looked great and were saved with the following settings: .jpg/CMYK/Image Options: 10/Maximum. I "placed" them into the Illustrator file, everything still looked great, but when I exported the whole file as .pdf, the images came out slightly blurry.
I've used standard, High Quality Print, and Press Quality settings- didn't notice much of a difference between them.
Any ideas on how to have crisp, clean images in the .pdf?
171x100 pixels gives you an image that is slightly more than 1/2 inch wide at 300 pixels per inch. I'm taking a guess that this is not the size you specified in the Illustrator document, which is why your output was pixellated, and when you worked in inches inside Photoshop you then got a correct result in Illustrator.
A 2 inch image at 300 ppi is 600 pixels wide (600/300 = 2). Any time you are sizing an image to place in a print layout, the important numbers are inches or cm at the output dpi. Unless you can do the arithmetic in your head easily and accurately, it's safest to work in linear units in Photoshop rather than pixels.
The image that you saved is jpg which is a raster based file. Illustrator is a vector program. So if you were to place a jpg within Illustrator it will be blurry because it is a rasterized image (pixelated). Save your image in Photoshop as a .tiff file and place it in Illustrator. That should solve your problem.
Turns out, I was right with my initial concern with the images placing so small within Illustrator. Working with the images in pixels in Photoshop didn't scale right in Illustrator; I remade the images in Photoshop using inches- problem solved.
I found this thread trying to solve the same problem for myself but ended up figuring it out without having to resize anything in photoshop. Just make sure your export settings for PDF are on high quality print. I had no idea my setting were set to smallest file size. Hope this helps someone, v easy fix.