I have an InDesign file which has a placed logo linking to an .AI file. The logo looks absolutely fine in InDesign. I also have some large text using the font Open Sans which looks great in InDesign.

However when I export the file to a High Quality PDF both the image and the text looks pretty bad. I've gone through lots of settings on the export but I just cant figure out what the issue.

Here are some images showing the issues. All the images are set at 100% zoom in InDesign and the PDF.

Logo high res .AI file.

enter image description here

Text enter image description here enter image description here

As you can see the image and text in the PDF look 'wobbly'.

Here's the general export settings I have for High Quality Print PDF. However if you need any more information just let me know.

enter image description here

Compression settings: enter image description here

  • 1
    If you print it, do the curves look OK?
    – Yorik
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 17:22
  • 3
    What are the "compression" settings? What are the dimensions of the file? I mean are you exporting a half inch image to PDF? I never use any of those canned Adobe job options. I use 2 settings - PDF/X-1a and a Basic web/Print proof setting that is slightly better than Adobe's "Smallest" option. Can you explain why you need a "High Quality" PDF?? In my experience a proofing PDF, a press-ready PDFx file, or an interactive PDF are all that's ever needed.
    – Scott
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 19:44
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    What about embedding the font? Also, are there transparencies on the page? If so, how do you flatten them? Does the effect change when you zoom in in Acrobat?
    – Max Wyss
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 21:41
  • Thanks for your questions. The document is a standard A4 landscape setting. I was using High Quality as I thought that would be the best rednering and ready for people print it off. I have exported the PDF as a PDF/X-1a and its better but still not great. I have added my compression settings to my question perhaps theres something wrong in there? The fonts are embedded and I have no transparency on any images or text Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 10:41
  • Just checked the PDF on mac and phones and looks absolutely fine with the new PDF/X-1a setting. Thanks for that! If you want to answer the question I will mark correct. Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 10:48

3 Answers 3


It's all in your Display settings in Acrobat Preferences. Smooth Line Art and Smooth Graphics should be checked in there (and any others you want to show). It is all up to the end-user to check those to read it that well, too.


You can try using a different PDF viewer.

I find sometimes the weird pixellation doesn't actually seem to be anything to do with the exported PDF but with the PDF viewer I use to look at it - so Google docs or Mac's Preview viewer can sometimes give me these results, but I'll then view in Acrobat or Reader and it'll look smooth!

  • Thanks for the contribution! I edited your post a little to make your suggestion more explicit and less like a comment. Let us know if you have any questions and welcome to GD! Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 15:07

I had the same problem and YES its in Adobe Acrobat Preferences. Click on "smooth line art" and 300 dpi.

  • 1
    Welcome to GD.SE! Can you please explain better what you mean, for example with an screenshot?
    – Mensch
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 15:21

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