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I design and print, and work with small subjects "Printing on Lego" so as small as 8mm. I export in eps and pdf files for print.

I need dimensions to be perfect so when setting a size in my work space using Corel and AI (for example the working space is 12.77mm by 15.44mm) I find when exporting an EPS it tags pixels and blows the image out to 13.05mm by 15.77mm or exporting in .pdf the numbers are perfect size wise, but the image is off center.

How to correct these dimension issues when exporting my files?

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  • I can't replicate the problem with AI. Saving a small vector image as EPS doesn't change its dimensions. The only thing I can think of is that you might have some effect that isn't compatible with EPS, which is being rasterized.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 8:32

2 Answers 2

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That's about .28 mm difference, which could be explained by rasterization. A couple of things could be going on. The pixel grid does not align perfectly to mm, so if you are designing for specific sizes at a very small scale in mm, when you export to a pixel-based format, it will invariably shift in size by one pixel as it rasterizes the vector paths. You could try designing to pixel dimensions instead of using mm. If that doesn't work, you could try designing at something like 1000%, and then print at 10%. This should result in 1/10th of the discrepancy you are currently seeing on output.

Example showing a circle rasterizing and changing dimensions:
enter image description here

Alternatively, I'm not sure about Corel Draw, but your Illustrator may be set to snap to the pixel grid, which can override dimensions you enter even in the transform fields because the pixel grid doesn't match the mm grid. Try turning off snap to pixel grid (View>Snap to Pixel for drawing, and in the menu bar globally).

enter image description here



Note: At higher resolutions, this still happens, but it is far less noticeable. Designing in a higher scale or a higher resolution could be your solution.

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  • To clarify, by "designing in a higher resolution" I mean that if you rasterize the vectors you have created or export to a raster format like jpg or png, you should use a higher resolution.
    – 13ruce
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 18:28
  • Fantastic help mate, this works as a fix for sure, I changed the working space to 100x easy as I was working in such small dimensions anyhow so the load is not an issue I then imported to my Rip software, cut down to 10% and bingo perfect! I want to thank you so much for spending the time to help me, its an issue that had been driving me crazy for 2 months, I often thought I had it fixed then it would be the same, but your advice has solved that for me!!! so super grateful for your help!!!
    – Richard
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 21:00
  • Glad I could help!
    – 13ruce
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 3:23
  • Maybe mark it as answered?
    – 13ruce
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 13:44
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The redimensions could be because some effects are being rasterized, and a rasterized file has jumps in the file dimensions because the unit is not now the mm, but the pixel and the PPI.

To avoid rasterization on some elements, especially on transparencies, use a newer version of PDF, that actually accepts the effects and maintain them as vectors.

What I do not understand is the "Image is off-center" that is hard to understand without seeing a sample.

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  • EPS has its plcae in very special processing, on printers that still have postscript engines.
    – joojaa
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 7:38
  • There's nothing wrong with EPS if you need a flat file format.
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 16:18
  • I'm not sure why you would say that it was replaced by PDF. EPS is still prevalent in my area of the graphic design and print industry. We have had a primarily PDF-based workflow for decades now, but EPS still has its place, particularly as an interchange format. Many current proprietary platforms out there, including those for CNC, laser cutting, plotting, etc., still prefer to import vectors as EPS files.
    – 13ruce
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 18:25
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    I removed the EPS thing, it could be a good topic for another discussion.
    – Rafael
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 19:13

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