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Is it best to save an Adobe Illustrator file as a PNG, then opening the PNG and saving it as a JPEG, before converting it to a PDF file? I've noticed PNG files look blurry and pixelated when converted to a PDF file.

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I don't know why you would ever want to export as a PNG, convert to JPG, then save as a PDF. Any time you save as a JPG, you are going to lose quality. There is a reason that AI lets you save files directly as a PDF.

save

The image quality will also be greatly affected by the compression settings that you choose in the Save Adobe PDF options that will pop up.

If file size is not an issue (printing, for example) then I typically set it up as follows:

settings

You can adjust the compression to suit your needs, if file size is an issue.

  • When I save an ai file (4.25" X 5.5", 300dpi) as a PDF, the file is huge, around 14MB. When I save an ai file as a PNG, then open and save as a JPG, then convert the JPG to PDF, the file is only 1.10MB. – JourneyManDesigns Sep 29 '15 at 15:56
  • The decrease in file size is almost certainly because of the JPG compression, which is also why you're getting the blurry/pixelated image. Do you want top quality or a small file? You can't have it all. That's why I said you can adjust your compression settings to save a PDF with the best balance between the two, to suit your needs. Turn on Bicubic Downsampling in the options that I showed you above and mess around. Start at 300 ppi and work your way down, until it's a file size/quality you're happy with. @JourneyManDesigns – Manly Sep 29 '15 at 16:05
  • I need small file size only for email, but with image quality. I experimented with compression settings: Preset: Smallest File Size, Compatibility: Acrobat 6, Bicubic Downsampling to 200ppi for images above 300ppi, Image Quality High, Compress Text Line and Art. I saved the ai file as a PDF with these settings and created a file only 381KB and with a decent quality image. Success! Thanks for your valuable time, advice, and consideration. Much appreciated. – JourneyManDesigns Sep 29 '15 at 16:47

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