PDF files – what you really need to know

Here at Premonition we use Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files so that our clients can see what finished designs look like. In this document Geoff answers common questions about PDF files.

How can I open it?

You need special software to read the PDF file, but that software is FREE.

You can download the FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader from Adobe’s web site.

Alternatively, it will be on most free CDs you get with computer magazines. Or ask your IT support to install Adobe Acrobat Reader for you.

Why do you use PDF files?

We use PDF files because they are the only way we can send you documents that look like the final product will look. You can zoom in and read even small text, which you could not do if we just sent you screenshots. You can print it out, and although the photos might look a bit ‘blocky’, text and diagrams will remain legible. And you can look at them on all major platforms – PC, Mac, Linux, Palm, Pocket PC… the list goes on. It’s a great step forward.

So the final product will look exactly like this PDF, huh?

Well, no. The colours won’t match exactly. There are a number of reasons for this, but the main one is that ink on a page is never quite the same colour as glowing phosphors on a PC monitor. Here at Premonition we go to great lengths to ensure your colour output is optimal, but that doesn’t mean it will exactly match. See ‘why don’t the colours match?’. Also any pictures will be ‘blockier’ than they will be in the final printed piece, because information has been taken away so that the file travels quickly across the Internet.