What is distilling?

On the distribution requirements page, it says:

Requirements for book interiors

  • If providing a PDF it must be distilled using Adobe; if uploading a word processing document, Lulu will distill it using Adobe.)

What does this mean? I am creating my book in MS Word, using the Lulu Template. I then go to Print and "Save as PDF." Is that what I should be doing? If I do that, do I need to worry about distilling? If so, how do I distill?

Thanks!

 

Comments

  • Distilling is the process that Adobe Acrobat uses to create a PDF. In this day and age, there are many other ways to make a PDF, but distilling is considered to generally be the most likely to produce everything to certain standards.

    That said, I've uploaded materials here that were created with other PDF creation software instead of being distilled and they worked fine. It's just the font embedding and graphical qualities is harder to control using most non-acrobat methods.
  • Further to Dyson's reply -

    The Distiller is the engine within Adobe Acrobat that actually does the work of converting file data into a PDF.

    All PDF creation program have the distiller code built into them. Some licenced and some not!

  • And would it be reasonable to assume that MS Word (2011 for Mac) has a built in distiller (built in distillery?)?

  • If you are uploading a Word docx, it's not something you need to worry about.

  • I am "Saving as PDF" a Word doc, then uploading the pdf. No distilling issues I need to be concerned about?

  • I am "Saving as PDF" a Word doc, then uploading the pdf. No distilling issues I need to be concerned about?

    Nope.

  • I chatted with our print team about the term "distilling."

    It appears that way back in the day, our quality assurance team would only accept PDFs created using Adobe tools. Now that there are so many tools and methods for creating PDF files, we are all in agreement that this instruction should be edited.

    I now have a new task on my to-do list!

    Thanks everyone for your contributions.


  • Ken Anderson wrote:

    All PDF creation program have the distiller code built into them. Some licenced and some not!


    For those who care, that is nonsense. I use Linux and have lots of tools which can create or convert to pdf output, most of them use ghostscript as the "distilling" engine. This is not licensed to use the distiller code and does not do so. The code is open source, so Adobe have been free to inspect it all for a decade or more and they have no issues with it.

    I used some of these tools to build and tidy the PDFs for a book I am preparing (both print and ebook editions), and Lulu accepted them just fine.

  • I just 'Save as PDF' in MS Word and the PDF is accepted by LuLu with no further needs.
  • at the moment i am using word 2013. i then save the document as a pdf. i have adobe acrobat 8 pro which i use to check the pdf file. A recent upload in word format was accepted with no problem. unfortunatly when it converted to pdf the conversion made some formatting changes which ruined the upload.

    if the system accepts a word doc without any probelms about page size, why would it not accept the exact same sized document in pdf format? there is obviously something wrong with the system. 

  • You are using some very old software. MS Word, the Word document format, Adobe Acrobat and the PDF format have all evolved since then. What is wrong is that, in essence, that was then and this is now. I'd suggest that you have two main options:

     

    1. Convert to PDF using Acrobat 8, then upload and publish your PDF. There is a small risk that your PDF may appear differently when printed commercially, but you can - and should - order a proof copy before you publish it fully.

     

    2. Abandon your own Acrobat and find out what is causing the formatting problems: Lulu's converter should surely be able to cope if you have done the job properly. If you can describe the problems here, some of us may be able to help you sort them out.

     

    Any other solution would be more drastic, such as changing to a different word processor, and would bring no guarantee of success.

     

    Which way do you want to go?

     

  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country ✭✭

    I use Word 97 and an archaic version of Acrobat Distiller (a form of PDF Printer). I usually don't have any issues uploading a file and converting.

     

    No matter what word processor you use there are times when a page can get out of whack causing upload issues such as formatting changes.

     

    Best Practice.

     

    1) If you use fonts not on the Lulu list, embed the fonts in use in your word doc.

     

    2) Set the page size in your PDF Printer, then set it to embed fonts.

     

    3) Use the PDF Printer to convert your file for upload. Check the file to assure the formatting is correct.

     

    Then try your upload.

     

    The reality is it doesn't necessarily take the latest versions of software to get the job done.


    kem1 wrote:

    at the moment i am using word 2013. i then save the document as a pdf. i have adobe acrobat 8 pro which i use to check the pdf file. A recent upload in word format was accepted with no problem. unfortunatly when it converted to pdf the conversion made some formatting changes which ruined the upload.

    if the system accepts a word doc without any probelms about page size, why would it not accept the exact same sized document in pdf format? there is obviously something wrong with the system. 


     

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