User Guide Cancel

Creating PDFs with Acrobat Distiller

  1. Acrobat User Guide
  2. Introduction to Acrobat
    1. Acrobat DC tutorials
    2. What's new in Acrobat DC
    3. Create PDFs with Acrobat
    4. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages
    5. Edit text in PDFs
    6. PDF to Word – How to convert PDF to Word
    7. PDF to JPG– How to convert PDF to JPG
    8. Convert or export PDFs to other file formats
    9. Get started with Acrobat DC
    10. Navigating PDF pages
    11. Workspace basics | Acrobat DC
    12. System Requirements | Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, Adobe Acrobat Standard DC
    13. Workspace basics | Acrobat DC 2017, Acrobat DC Classic (2015)
  3. Workspace
    1. Workspace basics | Acrobat DC
    2. Workspace basics | Acrobat DC 2017, Acrobat DC Classic (2015)
    3. Viewing PDFs and viewing preferences
    4. Navigating PDF pages
    5. Adjusting PDF views
    6. Keyboard shortcuts
    7. Connect your online storage accounts to access files in Acrobat
    8. Grids, guides, and measurements in PDFs
    9. Flash Player needed | Acrobat, Acrobat Reader
    10. Display PDF in browser | Acrobat, Acrobat Reader
    11. Updating Acrobat and using Adobe Digital Editions
    12. Opening PDFs
    13. Asian, Cyrillic, and right-to-left text in PDFs
    14. Acrobat in Mac OS | Acrobat Pro
    15. Access Box files in Acrobat, Acrobat Reader
    16. Access Dropbox files in Acrobat, Acrobat Reader
    17. Access OneDrive files in Acrobat, Acrobat Reader
    18. Access SharePoint files in Acrobat, Acrobat Reader
    19. Access Google Drive files in Acrobat
    20. Enable thumbnail preview of PDFs in Windows Explorer
    21. Document Cloud notifications
  4. Creating PDFs
    1. Create PDFs with Acrobat
    2. Create PDFs with PDFMaker (Windows)
    3. Print to PDF
    4. Scan documents to PDF
    5. Overview of PDF creation
    6. Using the Adobe PDF printer
    7. Converting web pages to PDF
    8. PDF fonts
    9. Creating PDFs with Acrobat Distiller
    10. Adobe PDF conversion settings
  5. Editing PDFs
    1. Edit PDF using Acrobat DC
    2. Edit text in PDFs
    3. Edit images or objects in a PDF
    4. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages
    5. Edit scanned PDFs
    6. Enhance document photos captured using a mobile camera
    7. Optimizing PDFs
    8. PDF properties and metadata
    9. Links and attachments in PDFs
    10. PDF layers
    11. Page thumbnails and bookmarks in PDFs
    12. Action Wizard (Acrobat Pro)
    13. PDFs converted to web pages
    14. Setting up PDFs for a presentation
    15. PDF articles
    16. Geospatial PDFs
    17. Applying actions and scripts to PDFs
    18. Change the default font for adding text and fallback font for editing PDF
    19. Delete PDF – How to delete pages from PDF
  6. Scan and OCR
    1. Scan documents to PDF
    2. Enhance document photos captured using a mobile camera
    3. Edit scanned PDFs
    4. Troubleshoot scanner issues when scanning using Acrobat
  7. Forms
    1. PDF forms basics
    2. Create a form from scratch in Acrobat
    3. Create and distribute PDF forms
    4. How to fill in PDF forms
    5. PDF form field properties
    6. Fill and sign PDF forms
    7. Setting action buttons in PDF forms
    8. Publishing interactive PDF web forms
    9. PDF form field basics
    10. PDF barcode form fields
    11. Collect and manage PDF form data
    12. About forms tracker
    13. PDF forms help
    14. Send PDF forms to recipients using email or an internal server
  8. Combining files
    1. Combine or merge files into single PDF
    2. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages
    3. Add headers, footers, and Bates numbering to PDFs
    4. Crop PDF pages
    5. Add watermarks to PDFs
    6. Add backgrounds to PDFs
    7. Working with component files in a PDF Portfolio
    8. Publish and share PDF Portfolios
    9. Overview of PDF Portfolios
    10. Create and customize PDF Portfolios
  9. Sharing, reviews, and commenting
    1. Share and track PDFs online
    2. Mark up text with edits
    3. Preparing for a PDF review
    4. Starting a PDF review
    5. Hosting shared reviews on SharePoint or Office 365 sites
    6. Participating in a PDF review
    7. Use annotation and drawing markup tools to add comments in PDFs
    8. Adding a stamp to a PDF
    9. Approval workflows
    10. Managing comments | view, reply, print
    11. Importing and exporting comments
    12. Tracking and managing PDF reviews
    13. Adobe Document Cloud for Outlook
  10. Saving and exporting PDFs
    1. Saving PDFs
    2. PDF to Word – How to convert PDF to Word
    3. PDF to JPG– How to convert PDF to JPG
    4. Convert or export PDFs to other file formats
    5. File format options for PDF export
    6. Reusing PDF content
  11. Security
    1. Enhanced security setting for PDFs
    2. Securing PDFs with passwords
    3. Manage Digital IDs
    4. Securing PDFs with certificates
    5. Opening secured PDFs
    6. Removing sensitive content from PDFs
    7. Setting up security policies for PDFs
    8. Choosing a security method for PDFs
    9. Security warnings when a PDF opens
    10. Securing PDFs with Adobe Experience Manager - Forms Server (Document Security)
    11. Protected View feature for PDFs (Windows only)
    12. Overview of security in Acrobat and PDFs
    13. JavaScripts in PDFs as a security risk
    14. Attachments as security risks in Acrobat DC and Acrobat Reader DC
    15. How to allow or block links to the Internet in PDFs for all or selected websites
  12. Electronic signatures
    1. Sign PDF documents
    2. Capture your signature on mobile and use it everywhere
    3. Send documents for signature
    4. About certificate signatures in Adobe Acrobat
    5. Certificate-based signatures
    6. Validating digital signatures
    7. Adobe Approved Trust List
    8. Manage trusted identities
  13. Printing
    1. Basic PDF printing tasks
    2. Print Booklets and PDF Portfolios
    3. Advanced PDF print settings
    4. Print to PDF
    5. Printing color PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    6. Printing PDFs in custom sizes
  14. Accessibility, tags, and reflow
    1. Create and verify PDF accessibility (Acrobat Pro)
    2. Accessibility features in PDFs
    3. Reading Order tool for PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    4. Reading PDFs with reflow and accessibility features
    5. Edit document structure with the Content and Tags panels (Acrobat Pro)
    6. Creating accessible PDFs
  15. Searching and indexing
    1. Creating PDF indexes
    2. Searching PDFs
  16. Multimedia and 3D models
    1. Add audio, video, and interactive objects to PDFs
    2. Adding 3D models to PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    3. Displaying 3D models in PDFs
    4. Interacting with 3D models
    5. Measuring 3D objects in PDFs
    6. Setting 3D views in PDFs
    7. Enable 3D content in PDF
    8. Adding multimedia to PDFs
    9. Commenting on 3D designs in PDFs
    10. Playing video, audio, and multimedia formats in PDFs
    11. Add comments to videos (Acrobat Pro)
  17. Print production tools (Acrobat Pro)
    1. Print production tools overview (Acrobat Pro)
    2. Printer marks and hairlines (Acrobat Pro)
    3. Previewing output (Acrobat Pro)
    4. Transparency flattening (Acrobat Pro)
    5. Color conversion and ink management (Acrobat Pro)
    6. Trapping color (Acrobat Pro)
  18. Preflight (Acrobat Pro)
    1. PDF/X-, PDF/A-, and PDF/E-compliant files (Acrobat Pro)
    2. Preflight profiles (Acrobat Pro)
    3. Advanced preflight inspections (Acrobat Pro)
    4. Preflight reports (Acrobat Pro)
    5. Viewing preflight results, objects, and resources (Acrobat Pro)
    6. Output intents in PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    7. Correcting problem areas with the Preflight tool (Acrobat Pro)
    8. Automating document analysis with droplets or preflight actions (Acrobat Pro)
    9. Analyzing documents with the Preflight tool (Acrobat Pro)
    10. Additional checks in the Preflight tool (Acrobat Pro)
    11. Preflight libraries (Acrobat Pro)
    12. Preflight variables (Acrobat Pro)
  19. Color management
    1. Keeping colors consistent
    2. Color settings
    3. Color-managing documents
    4. Working with color profiles
    5. Understanding color management

Acrobat Distiller overview

In Acrobat Distiller, you can select settings used to convert documents to PDFs, security options, and font information. You also use the Acrobat Distiller window to monitor the jobs you’ve lined up for PDF conversion.

the Acrobat Distiller window
Acrobat Distiller main window (Windows)

A. Menus B. Adobe PDF settings files C. Files in job queue D. Failed job E. Context menu F. Status window 

Note:

To convert PostScript files automatically in Acrobat Pro, set up a watched folder in Distiller.

To start Acrobat Distiller (Windows), choose All Program > Adobe Acrobat Distiller.

Manage the conversion queue

Distiller lets you queue PostScript files that you create in authoring applications and then monitor them throughout the PDF conversion process.

Queue a PostScript file

  1. In Distiller, select an Adobe PDF settings file from the Default Settings pop-up menu.
  2. (Optional) Choose Settings > Security and select an encryption level.
  3. Open the PostScript file and start the conversion process, using either method:
    • Choose File > Open, select a PostScript file, and click Open.

    • Drag one or more PostScript files from the desktop to the Acrobat Distiller window.

Note:

Click Pause before doing step 3 if you want to review the queue before Distiller starts converting the files.

Change the queue during processing

Do any of the following:

  • To temporarily stop processing the current job, click Pause.
  • To resume processing the current job, click Resume.
  • To delete files from the queue, click Cancel Job. Cancel Job deletes all files from the queue that are not yet successfully completed. Or (Windows only), select and right-click individual files in the job queue and choose Cancel Job(s) to delete only those files.
  • (Windows only) To open the folder where the selected files are, right-click the job queue and choose Explore.
  • (Windows only) To open the selected PDF in Acrobat, a browser, or Reader, right-click the job queue and choose View. Or, double-click the PDF to open it in Acrobat.

Save a history of the job queue (Windows)

  1. Right-click the job queue, and choose Save List.

Distiller saves and opens the history as a PDF.

Clear the queue

Remove all paused and successfully converted files from the list:

  • (Windows) Right-click the job queue, and choose Clear History.
  • (Mac OS) Click the Clear List button above the queue.

Distiller preferences

The Distiller preferences control global Distiller settings. You set Distiller preferences by choosing File > Preferences (Windows) or Distiller > Preferences (Mac OS).

Notify When Watched Folders Are Unavailable (Acrobat Pro)

Returns a message if a watched folder becomes unavailable or can’t be found.

(Windows) Notify When Windows TEMP Folder Is Nearly Full

Warns you if available hard disk space is less than 1 MB. Required hard disk space is often double the size of the PostScript file being processed.

Ask For PDF File Destination

Lets you specify the name and location for files when using drag-and-drop or the Print command.

Ask To Replace Existing PDF File

Warns you if you are about to overwrite an existing PDF.

View PDF When Using Distiller

Automatically opens the converted PDF.

Delete Log Files For Successful Jobs

Creates a log file (named messages.log) only if there are messages from interpreting the PostScript file or if a PostScript error occurs. (Log files for failed jobs are always created.)

Guidelines for creating PostScript files

If you want to fine-tune the creation of the PDF with Distiller parameters or pdfmark operators, first create a PostScript file and then convert that file to PDF. For more information about the Adobe Acrobat SDK, see the Acrobat Developer Center at www.adobe.com/go/learn_acr_devcenter_en (English only).

In authoring applications such as Adobe InDesign, use the Print command with the Adobe PDF printer to convert a file to PostScript. The Print dialog boxes can vary from application to application. For instructions on creating a PostScript file from your specific application, see the application documentation.

Keep in mind the following guidelines when creating PostScript files:

  • Use PostScript Language Level 3 whenever possible to take advantage of the most advanced features of PostScript.

  • Use the Adobe PDF printer as your PostScript printer.

  • (Windows) Send the fonts used in the document.

  • Give a PostScript file the same name as the original document, but with the extension .ps. (Some applications use a .prn extension instead.)

  • Use color and custom page sizes that are available with the Adobe Acrobat Distiller PPD file. Other PPD files may cause inappropriate colors, fonts, or page sizes in the PDF.

  • Send PostScript files as 8-bit binary data when using FTP to transfer the files between computers, especially if the platforms are different. This action prevents converting line feeds to carriage returns or vice versa.

About watched folders (Acrobat Pro)

You can configure Distiller to look for PostScript files in certain folders called watched folders. Distiller can monitor up to 100 watched folders. When Distiller finds a PostScript file located in the In folder of a watched folder, it converts the file to PDF and then moves the PDF (and usually the PostScript file and any associated log file) to the Out folder. A watched folder can have its own Adobe PDF settings and security settings that apply to all files processed from that folder. Security settings for a watched folder take priority over the security settings for Distiller. For example, Distiller does not convert a PostScript file in a watched folder if the file is marked with read-only permission.

(Windows) Settings and preferences are unique to each user. On a non-NT File System (NTFS), custom settings files stored in this settings folder are read- and write-accessible by every user on the system. On an NTFS, only files created by respective users are read- and write-accessible. Settings files created by other users are read-only. (The default settings files installed with Adobe Acrobat Distiller are Read Only and Hidden.)

(Mac OS) Each user’s settings and preferences for Distiller are normally not accessible to any other user. To share a watched folder with other users, the creator of the folder must set the appropriate permissions for the In and Out folders. Sharing enables other users to copy files to the In folder and get files from the Out folder. The creator must be logged into the system and have Distiller running. The other users must log in remotely to open the live watched folder and have their files processed.

Note:

You can’t set up watched folders as a network service for other users. Every user who creates PDFs must have an Acrobat Pro license.

Set watched folders (Acrobat Pro)

  1. In Acrobat Distiller, choose Settings > Watched Folders.

  2. Click Add Folder, and select the target folder. Distiller automatically puts an In folder and an Out folder in the target folder. You can place In and Out folders at any level of a disk drive.
  3. To define security options for a folder, select the folder and click Edit Security. Click OK to return to the Watched Folders dialog box.

    Note:

    A security icon is prepended to any folder name for which security is set. To return a folder to the original options selected in the Distiller window, select the folder, and click Clear Security.

  4. Set Adobe PDF conversion settings for the folders:
    • To edit the Adobe PDF settings to be applied to a folder, select the folder, click Edit Settings, and edit the Adobe PDF settings. Click OK to save it to the watched folder as folder.joboptions.

    • To use a different set of Adobe PDF settings, select the folder and click Load Settings. Use any settings that you have defined, named, and saved, and then click OK.

  5. Set options to manage the processing of files:
    • Enter a number of seconds to specify how often to check the folders. You can enter up to 9999. (For example, 120 equals 2 minutes, and 9999 equals about 2-3/4 hours.)

    • Choose what to do with a PostScript file after it has been processed. The file can be moved to the Out folder along with the PDF file or deleted. Any log file is also automatically copied to the Out folder.

    • To delete PDFs after a certain period of time, enter a number of days, up to 999. This option also deletes PostScript and log files, if you have chosen to delete them.

  6. If you want to remove a folder, select the folder and click Remove Folder. Make sure that Distiller has finished processing all the files in the folder before you remove it.
    Note:

    When you remove a watched folder, Distiller does not delete the In and Out folders, their contents, or the folder.joboptions file. You can delete these manually when appropriate.

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