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QuickBooks custom invoices can ONLY be created in MS Word. Most of it is fine and I have managed to make something I'm really happy with (considering it's limited capabilities in the design sense) except that when I export as a PDF the images become blurry, especially those with smaller text.

As QuickBooks is only capable of reading five (boring, ugly) fonts, to create the text headers and other standout features within the invoice, I have made them in Adobe Illustrator and exported them as PNGs as they need to have transparent backgrounds. So to clarify, all the 'images' I'm referring to show blocks of text.

Things to note:

  • They are all in RGB mode

  • I have looked on all forums and within AI I have since tried > rasterising text/type optimised/artboard lined up with whole pixels. None of this is making a difference. In fact, rasterising from the Effects tab makes it immediately blurry within AI.....

  • Within MS Word I have also tried within compression settings > unticking the 'automatically perform basic compression on save'/220ppi selected

Am I missing something? Is it just simply impossible to use PNGs within MS Word whilst maintaining image quality? If so, how else do people customise documents like this, with such limitations with fonts etc?

PS. They look perfectly clear and crisp once they are in the Word doc, and only appear blurry once exported to PDF.

I have spent three days on this now - any help/insight is appreciated. Thank you.

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Your problem would seem to be because MS Word is resampling the images to make the PDF file size smaller, and nothing to do with Illustrator or the PNG as such.

Try either of these solutions:

  • when you save as PDF from Word, go to Options (under the PDF) and uncheck ISO19005-1 Compliant
  • rather than Save As PDF, use the MS Office Microsoft Print to PDF printer option.

I can't check these at the moment as I don't use MS Word at home, but several forums seem to point to these as a potential solution the problem.

  • Thanks so much, Billy, I appreciate your reply and assistance; those solutions would be perfect if not for the INcapabilities of the QuickBooks software. Unfortunately, I have no control how it exports the invoice once it has populated the fields of my custom document. Hence, I think I have realised this project is unviable.... (To clarify, I have to create the custom document in MS Word then upload it to QuickBooks where you map the data. It then exports as a PDF once it populates all fields). – A.Armstrong Jul 31 '17 at 7:31
  • @A.Armstrong There is one possibility that might be worth looking into. If you were to recreate the logo and save it in a vector format, such as EMF or WMF, which can be used in word, then presumably the quality would be better. – Billy Kerr Aug 1 '17 at 18:42
  • Ok thanks, Billy! Apologies for my late response - I only saw your follow up comment now. I will give that a go. Thanks again. – A.Armstrong Aug 7 '17 at 3:40

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