Photoshop: CS6 PDF import show edge artifacts on tiled PDF images (bug in PDF creation)

  • 26
  • Problem
  • Updated 6 months ago
  • Acknowledged
  • (Edited)
When importing a PDF with images, Photoshop CS6 adds faint outlines to the PDF image segments in the file. Prior versions of Photoshop render the PDF correctly. See the attached image for an example.
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robertpalmer

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  • sad that something that worked before is broken now.

Posted 7 years ago

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karl sinfield

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Yes, same problem here. It seems to be importing the atomic regions between flattened transparent elements that are visible in Acrobat when screen optimisation is turned on, but are strictly as I understand it an anomaly of viewing the PDFs on-screen. It used to be the case in CS5 that they weren't rendered when imported into Photoshop, but now they are.

However, you can get avoid the white lines if you turn off anti-aliasing in the Import PDF dialog. Although, then, of course, the imported image isn't anti-aliased.
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Chris Cox

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Yes, this appears to be a bug in the PDF/EPS rasterization engine.
Can you send me a copy of that PDF so we have a good example of the problem?

[ccox (at) adobe {dot} com]
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robertpalmer

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Thanks Chris -- I've just emailed you that PDF.
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Jeanne Rubbo, Employee

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Hi Robert,

This is now logged in our bug database. Thanks for the clear steps in the e-mail.
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billy cald

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Hello we are getting lines alot on our PDF imports into Photoshop. Which aren't even seen until after its been printed. Its causing major issues at our shop. Is there a work around??
Most of our clients send in PDFS, now its not an option, we really need to find a solution.

any advice?\thanks
Billy
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Chris Cox

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The example here only happens at screen resolution. If you have examples that occur at print resolution - we need to get the files and deliver then to the PDF rasterizer team.
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billy cald

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Yes we have many files we could send. These are for over-sized prints (33"x80" and larger). The lines show up very faintly on screen , but are very noticeable in the print. Where could i send an example?
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karl sinfield

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I have an example I could send you as well Chris - is the email above: ccox (at) adobe {dot} com - OK?
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Chris Cox

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Yes, that email is OK. If the file is too big for email, try yousendit or dropbox.
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Tomas Nagy

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Yes, this is very big problem. I hope the adobe fix this issue very soon!

Thomas.
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Chris Cox

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We're not having an easy time on this one -- it has to do with the way InDesign wrote the PDF files with tiled images. Even in previous versions of Photoshop, it would have artifacts at some resolutions.

Your best solution is probably to resave the files from InDesign without the tiled images.
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Jan-Philipp Stehli

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Same problem here. Already sent an email to Chris, hope it gets fixed soon. For me the problem exists with every image, not only the ones tilted
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Chris Cox

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Not "tilted" but "tiled" - it has to do with how the PDF was written.
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Peter Braatz

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Hi, i get an "error" when opening a PDF (from Indesign) in Photoshop CS6 which does not appear when opening the very same file in Photoshop CS5 on the same machine. In CS6 there is a very thin white line around some objects (at the invisilble edge of the shadow maybe?). When i open the same file in CS5 this does not appear! The opening dialogue was filled in exactly the same in CS5 and CS6.

See the "error" here: http://data.360pixel.de/PSCS6/PSCS5-v...

How can we avoid this error or is it a bug in CS6?

Thank you!

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Thin line when opening a PDF in CS6 - not in CS5 - a bug?.
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Servet Sükür

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Are there any changes or fixes yet?
We already downgraded our Photoshop because we need that import on a daily base ... :(
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Chris Cox

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No, changes -- InDesign won't tell us why they export the tiled files, but we've determined that it is not directly a problem with Photoshop itself (or the PDF rasterizer) but a problem with how the images were written.
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karl sinfield

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Chris, it's not just PDFs from Indesign, it's those from Illustrator as well - the one I sent before was from Illustrator, via Acrobat Distiller (ie. print to PDF). Not sure if that's any help.
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Simon Creedy

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Also from Quark Xpress 4.4 pdf files from there imported into photoshop cs6 also
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matt v

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After a lot of searches, I've found the answer. It's working for my pdf files.
You need to uncheck the square "smooth" (I don't know if in english its is this word, but just under the name of the pdf) in the dialog box.
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Jan-Philipp Stehli

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@matt This has been noticed before, but this is only a incomplete workaround because if there are vectors in the document they will have very jagged edges. The only workaround is currently using an older Photoshop-Version, because it has nothing to do with Indesign, its just the Import Dialog in Photoshop thats bugged.

Another option is to save the PDF as JPG from within Adobe Reader, this is yet the best workaround because it will get rid of the lines and smooth the edges.

If you need more control upon import you can open it in illustrator and save it as an eps, then import it to photoshop - the white lines will be gone.

Please Adobe recognize this error and fix it! Its just a bug in the PDF-Import Dialog, it has NOTHING to do with the PDF File your trying to import.
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Chris Cox

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We have recognized the problem, and spent considerable time working on it.
And it has everything to do with the tiling of images in the PDF.

Older versions of Photoshop rasterized PDFs differently, which would hide the artifacts at some resolutions, but still show them at other resolutions. It just wasn't as common to see the artifacts because the older rasterization code did not have as high a quality as the rasterization in CS6.

Disabling anti-aliasing may hide the artifacts at some resolutions, but not others.

Short version: tiled images in PDFs can only be rasterized correctly at their original resolution, or higher resolutions. If you try to rasterize them at lower resolutions, you will get artifacts on the tile boundaries.
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Jan-Philipp Stehli

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@Chris I'm unable to replicate this behaviour in older versions.

The artifacts also appear at every resolution, below, equal or above the original resolution. The resolution doesnt matter, the artifact is always 1 Pixel around the borders, see attached screenshot:

This is the same file as above, only color fill as layer style applied to its easier to see, what I noticed when I did this is that its not a white line - its transparent!
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Chris Cox

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I have more documentation about the problem -- I can replicate it in older versions.

Again, we've spent quite a bit of time figuring this out (at least from the Photoshop side).

And it is a problem with the tiled images -- they cannot be rasterized correctly except at their original resolution or higher resolution (and even then some rasterizers might show artifacts).
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matt v

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Ok Chris I understand the problem but this is a big issue for us.
Do you think you'll fix it shortly or not? I'm a printer and we upgrade to the CS6 but this is very annoying for us, we can see it after printing.
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Chris Cox

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I don't know when it will be addressed. But we understand that it is a problem, and are trying to get the responsible teams to make a fix.
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Jan-Philipp Stehli

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6 months and still no fix, not even a notice about something being done ...
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Chris Cox

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And I'll have to repeat myself: yes, it is dependent on the way the PDF is written. Older versions of Photoshop used a different rasterization scheme that minimized the artifacts, but gave much worse quality and ran slower.

The problem is that the PDF has images tiled in a way that they cannot be rasterized correctly except at resolutions higher than the original image resolution.

This is not a bug in Photoshop CS6, just a change in the antialiasing code that makes the problem in the PDF much more apparent.
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Jan-Philipp Stehli

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Then its the easiest fix to implement: Give me the option to choose which rasterizer is used on import. A simple drop down where you can select CS6 or CS3. Then everyone is happy. Just put it in the next update cycle and ill be happy.

Because right now its not better or faster or anything of that but simply broken! It is currently impossible to rasterize PDFs correctly.
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Chris Cox

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The artifacts could also show in CS5 and earlier, just not as often.

This is something we need to get fixed at the source of the bad PDF files.

Photoshop itself is not broken. This is a problem with the files and the way they were created.
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Jan-Philipp Stehli

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So you're gonna go to to Corel Draw and tell them to change theire PDF algorithm because Photoshop CS6 can't open it properly? Have fun ...
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Chris Cox

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If they are putting out tiled images, then yes - because they cannot be rasterized correctly with antialiasing or at low resolution.
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Markus Wolf

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We are in printing business, too. The upgrade to Adobe Cloud CS6 is stopped, because of this issue. After I read this thread (and saw how long this is known by Adobe with no action taken) I'm feeling vindicated in supporting the upgrade stop.
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Markus Wolf

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Interesting - I will make some tests to get the picture...
In theory I can follow your arguments, and belief me: it's good, that you increased accuracy of the PDF rendering. So much for the scientific approach. But what should I do in real life, what should I tell my colleauges at work. They solely see the results they get using CS5.5 and CS6. Isn't it possible to integrate a switch in Photoshop CS6, where you can choose between the old method (used in CS5.5) and the more accurate new one?
I understand, that the most satisfying sollution for you coders and programmers would be, to solve the problem on its basis (the tiling process in, e.g. InDesign). Everything else is a regress.
But I tell you: sometimes you have to take a look through the customer's eyes. For us only one thing matters: what comes out at the end, fighting with the customer's data.
As long as this problem isn't solved, I don't think I can give my "go" to the upgrade to CS6.
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Chris Cox

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No, we moved to the new antialiasing partly to avoid several problems with the old antialiasing method. Photoshop CS6 is rendering the files correctly, but they are not written in a way that can be antialiased correctly except at resolutions higher than the original image resolutions. And we've tried to work around the bad files and find a way to render the images without artifacts - but everything we've tried has failed.
We can't go back to the old, broken antialiasing - and the only thing causing problems with the new antialiasing are tiled images in some PDF files written by some applications. The only way forward is either to come up with a way to fix the tiled images, or to fix the way the images are written into the files.
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Markus Wolf

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Thanks for the comprehensive answer!
So, what is your appraisal? How is this problem classified in your priority list.
I just want to understand, how long it will take you to develop a fix (however this will look like).
Problem is, that our customers use CS6 more and more (which is good for you, of course) - so I'm a bit in a situation here.
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Chris Cox

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We're still working on it - but don't have any ETA.
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Markus Wolf

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Thanks!
I'll keep this thread bookmarked.
Looking forward to hear some good news from you regarding this quite monumental problem.....
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Juul

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Very big problem here too. I hope the many complaints get this high up on adobes todo-list. Our daily workflow completely depends on it.
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mwolf

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Hi Jan-Philipp,

not completely true. Illustrator or Indesign, which produce most of our customer's data, isn't capable to produce an error free flattening. Instead there are those thin lines (as you can see in the samples at the beginning of this page) which Photoshop CS6 is able to reproduce in its rendering, because it is much more precise compared to cs5.
Point is, that the Illustrator / Indesign Team has to find a way to avoid this effect - and that (I think) won't be easy, because they have to re-think the whole process.
But in the end - if the customers stop flattening their PDFs everything would be fine ;-)
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Jan-Philipp Stehli

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Its an display error in the way Reader handles the PDF -> If you put Reader in "Druckfarbenvorschau"-Mode (Print colors preview-Mode?) the lines disappear.

And every single version of Photoshop before CS6 would correctly rasterize and display the PDFs without white lines. Thats not a Problem of Indesign or Illustrator because since PDF 1.3 was introduced these white lines are present - in every software known to man that is able to produce pdf 1.3. Even if you go the "traditional" route of printing postscript and creating a PDF with Distiller.

Summarized: CS6 import algorithm cant rasterize PDF 1.3 and the blame is shifted onto the creator of the PDF - for using PDF 1.3. Its not dependent on the tool used, there is not a single PDF 1.3 (with pictures) in existence that gets rasterized correctly by Photoshop CS6
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Chris Cox

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No, previous versions would only rasterize them without artifacts at some resolutions. The artifacts can still show up at other resolutions.

The problem is with the PDF creation, the tiled images cannot always be rasterized without artifacts.
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Volker Neumann

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I tried it with PS CS4 with many different resolutions, but I never got these lines. In CS6 you can't use the pdf import. So I have to keep the CS4 just for this.
And imagine that I don't only want to open my own PDF files. It is an essential function for all graphic designers working with customer files.
Fix it please.
And it is a pity that these lines are visible on screen even in the newest Acrobat PRO XI.
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Chris Cox

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The PDF import works -but you either need to disable antialiasing on import, or make sure that your PDF files are not saved with flattened transparency that writes tiled images and causes the artifacts.
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Nigel Morrison

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Same issue here. The same PDF rasterised in PS CS5 (in all 4 resolutions I tried) is fine, in CS6 it isn't fine at any resolution.

Lots of people here saying the same thing, but you don't seem to be able to acknowledge that it's a problem with PS CS6. Not very encouraging.
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Nigel Morrison

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I have read what you have written and understand what you are saying. But, the issue is that the tool we're relying on to produce acceptable results (ie Photoshop) is no longer doing so. We do not always have the option of being able to redo the PDFs, often having to work with PDFs generated by somebody else some time ago and therefore beyond our control. As someone else said these are often pre-press PDFs made as PDF 1.3 compatible for PDF-X/1a (as still used by a large section of the print industry). I appreciate that the PS CS6 rasteriser is sharper than the previous version and looking forward I would love to see PDFs that never have white lines on them, but for the time being my immediate problem is that PS CS6 cannot produce a decent rasterised image from certain PDFs, therefore I can't use it for that purpose. It's fine saying the rasteriser is improved, but if that creates another problem then that needs to be addressed.
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mwolf

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Hi Chris,

your last sentence (including the one in brackets) is something we, your customers, want to hear: "yes, we are working on it - we did this and this to eliminate the error".
Please provide us with updates on a regular basis, so we can see that something happens.
Once more: don't take this easy! I guess if all users which are concerned by this issue would post here, the thread would burst.
Saying this: can you tell us something about the priority, this issue has on your scedule?
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Chris Cox

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The PDFs are broken, and cannot be rasterized without artifacts unless you use a higher resolution, or turn off antialiasing (and even that might have some artifacts depending on the resolution - I haven't done enough testing without antialiasing to be confident that it'll always work).

I appreciate that you can't always fix the files. But we don't have a choice here. CS5 and earlier still showed artifacts on these files - just at different resolutions from CS6. The files have always been bad, you just didn't notice it as often in earlier releases. Having done more testing and been looking for it -- I've seen the artifacts all over the place with these tiled image PDF documents.

We cannot go back to the CS5 antialiasing because it had huge problems with artifacts in many documents. Right now the CS antialiasing only has problems with some PDFs that contain tiled images (aka bad PDF files that can't rasterize well). CS6's antialiasing is still the better choice overall, even if it does not work well for your particular files.

We've tried to find a way to rasterize these tiled images without artifacts, and have not found a way to do so (despite having the best people in the business working on the problem). We are still trying to get all the different groups together to work out the issue - but it's not an easy issue since many of these bad PDFs are already out there.
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Chris Cox

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Sadly, my team's priority does not match up with the priorities of the InDesign, Illustrator, rasterizer, AGM parser, PDF flattener, etc. teams that need to be involved. Again, we are trying to get everyone together to work this out.
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mwolf

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Hi Chris,

then, could you hand this thread over to someone of the other teams who's in charge of fixing this problem (and - of course - willing to talk about it with us customers)?
That would be nice!
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Kārlis Jakadels

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Same issue..
Still waiting for fix from adobe.. because this is not cool in professional application to have such bugs..
And in my opinion its only normal to have some PDF with flattened transparency..
Its not only PDF problem.. its not possible to copy vector objects from illustrator without those "glitches"
Same with PDFs from quark etc.
In CS5 i could open print PDF and check if there will be everything ok in print.. but now its not possible in CS6.. So only solution i found was to use CS5.5

AND other bug i have found is if you copy vectors from illustrator (5x5mm square) than in photoshop after paste it's in some 104% x 96%.. bigger the object smaller difference.. for objects below 2mm its even biger.. so if you making some web object 20x20px and paste in small square from illustrator.. in photoshop its not square any more..

I think photoshop CS6 have some problem between millimeter and pixel convertations

Whats the reason to add more effects and features without thinking about main functions. World is starting to go down :) everyone wants just profit without giving enough quality...
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Chris Cox

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The paste problem is probably because you have the "snap transforms to pixel boundaries" enabled - which will distort fractional pixel dimensions to whole pixel dimensions (as designers asked).

And we still haven't gotten the PDF folks on the other teams to discuss the problem (despite the rasterization folks repeatedly telling them that the files can't be rasterized without artifacts).
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mwolf

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So, after my last post is allready one (in numbers: 1) month old, I celebrate this anniversary with a little "remind me"-post.
Chris: if you still read this thread, can you tell us something new? I think everybody who subscribes to this thread is eager to hear something from Adobe!

Regards,

Markus
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Chris Cox

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No news, unfortunately. I keep trying to push the other groups to work on a solution, and several of them just don't get it.
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Jonas M. Rogne

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Keep up the good work Chris! :)

I'm just grateful that we are slowly moving away from PDF 1.3 so that transparency flattening can die a fiery death... ;)
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Kate Aveling

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Hi Guys, I too have been tearing my hair out with this one...its making me double handle files to try and work around. Say for example i have to send a high res PDF ad to a publication normally Id use indesign, print to postscript and distill my files with the PDFX 4:1.3 settings to flatten transparency properly for certain RIPS. In many cases a plain press ready pdf file is not suitable and I need to flatten in this 1.3 setting.
Some end users of my file may prefer to flatten all their supplied files by converting them in photoshop before printing to save any issues. Im scared im going to send a PDF, that may pass photoshop on the otehr end and end up with these lines and marks, so im supplying a PDF and a flat JPEG in some cases to the publications. Silly, but safe! I have noticed if I export from indesign with the regular 'press' setting and open that PDF in photoshop its fine and smooth and no lines from the transparency....

BUT if I print to a Postscript file from indesign and distill that to pdf with the same 'press' setting, it will not work in photoshop and the lines are back. So the probem must surely be in indesigns flattener transparecy setting on print to postscript or in Distiller. So strange, Ive been playing with settings for HOURS to find the best solution. What a mess, I hope they fix this soon im on creative cloud CS6.
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mwolf

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Hi Kate,

I'm with this thread a while and I must say, meanwhile I'm as desperate as you. As far as Chris Cox from Adobe Photoshop team explaned, the problem has to be solved from his colleagues from the Indesign team.

To Chris / Adobe:
As much as I understand, that you can't speak for another department - please: Chris - do something! We, your paying customers, want a sollution! Or at least some information on a regular basis - if necessary from the appropriate team.

Regards,

Markus Wolf
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Wade Brown

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I'm glad I'm not the only one experiencing this problem...I'm an Architect creating large PDFs and I see this when we import them into Illustrator CS6. It is becoming quite an issue for us. Any efforts to fix this would be *greatly* appreciated.
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Jonas M. Rogne

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See if you can export without transparency flattening (move from PDF 1.3 to 1.4). I'm not sure where you are exporting your drawings from, so that's the only advice I can give.
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Jan Stumpf

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Photoshop CS6 renders PDF Files different from Photoshop CS5 – result is not as expected. If you choose "glätten" (en: smooth/flatten) on import dialog fine lines are rendered in pixel and vector graphics. Is there a solution or a bugfix available?

Kind Regards

Jan

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Photoshop CS6 Render Engine Problem with Flattening on PDF Import.
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Pierre Schmitz

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Same Problem! I consider to downgrade to CS5 until the bug is fixed. Correct PDF rendering in Photoshop is a very important function. When the PDF is made by yourself it is not a problem at all, because you can save it in an unflattened version and then the rendering works fine. But when you are working with a lot of external data which is only available in a flattened version, it is really a big issue. Also because there is no real alternative: The renderers in Acrobat or Illustrator still don't have the quality the one in Photoshop has, respectively had. It is not okay, that state-of-the-art software has such bugs and the paying community has to wait 9 months without any solution.
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Chris Cox

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As explained above, the bug is not in Photoshop - it really is in the PDF data (open one of the files in AI and look at the tiled images).

Without the flattening, the image data isn't tiled, and isn't a problem.
The tiled images in the PDF are the problem.
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Pierre Schmitz

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Nope! Opening the PDF in Illustrator works just fine. The File is tiled as it should and zooming in to 6400 % all tiles are matching together perfectly without any artifacts. When artifacts were part of the file, they MUST enlarge in the same way the picture enlarges. When the artifacts still stay i.e. one pixel wide when zooming in, the artifacts couldn't be part of the file.
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mwolf

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@ Chris / Jeanne,

it would be nice to get an update from you!
As you see: there are quite many customers punished by this problem.
So, in the name of all my fellows in misery: what's the actual status?
I know: it's not a Photoshop issue. So please, transfer this thread to the proper team (Indesign / Illustrator / Acrobat).

Regards,

Markus Wolf
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Chris Cox

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We don't have any updates at this time. We're trying to get the other teams involved, but they seem to be trying to ignore it (and us).
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Jan-Philipp Stehli

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3 minutes before you said nobody is being ignored - now youre telling us were being ignored. Great!
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Chris Cox

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Read what I wrote: you are not being ignored, we (the Photoshop team) are being ignored by another team inside Adobe.
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Jan-Philipp Stehli

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It actually is a Photoshop-Problem and nothing else. If Photoshop is not able to open PDF-Files correctly that could be opened correctly in everything that came before CS 6 then it is a bug, its even a textbook definition of what a bug is. A feature that worked before is now not working anymore.

We the paying customers are being ignored and when we receive an answer it is "thats not our probem - someone else is responsible"! Go over to the Indesign Forums, they are telling you its a Photoshop-Problem.
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Chris Cox

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The flattened PDFs end up with tiled images - images that barely overlap at the seams. Those tiles cannot be rasterized without artifacts except at resolutions equal to or greater than the original image resolution. This works when you're going to print (usually), but fails when you want to rasterize that PDF at lower resolutions.

I've said many times here: Older versions made the artifacts visible less often, but they still occurred - they were just obvious at different resolutions (and subtly visible even at the same resolutions). Photoshop CS6 changed to a higher quality rasterization system that unfortunately made the flawed PDFs more obvious.

Go look for reports of lines in CS5 rasterization of PDF and AI artwork -- there were plenty (more than this topic). Again, I've spent considerable time investigating this, and can reproduce artifacts in older versions fairly easily (now that I know what to look for).

Yes, the tiling of images in flattened PDFs is fundamentally flawed. And our PDF experts really don't know why it is being done. Only the flattener team can answer that, or fix it.

The Photoshop and rasterization teams have not ignored this issue -- but the teams responsible for creating the bad PDFs are not exactly enthusiastic about examining the issue. We will continue to pursue this and try to get it fixed.
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Pierre Schmitz

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You are right, the PDF creation process with flattening is really complicated, but since it is an every-day used function for years it shoud be well-engeneered. And it is so, every print shop I work with uses this kind of file and the process works. But the type how the PDF is produced is not the question here. The question is, if the new rendereing process in Photoshop can handle this type of PDF correctly, that means, in the way how the old rendering process has done it. When the new rendering process is not able to do this, then the renderer is working incorrect and has to be fixed. Newer PDF Versions could render in the new way and get all advantages from the new technology.
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Chris Cox

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Yes, I thought it should be well planned as well - but apparently it was planned for print and nobody thought about the implications for rasterization at lower resolutions.
Photoshop is rasterizing the tiled images correctly - but they cannot be rasterized without artifacts except at resolutions equal or greater than the resolution of the original image data.

Again, we have researched this: it is not a flaw in Photoshop, it is a flaw in the PDF image data and the way they are created.
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Pierre Schmitz

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And what you mentioned above that the artifacts shouldn't appear when the redering is done with equal or greater resolution is not correct. The theme of the whole thread here is that the artifacts appear particularly in this cases. The PDF was exported for printing process, with 300 dpi pictures inside and with high-quality flattening settings (also 300 dpi). When I then render it in Photoshop with also 300dpi evereything should be fine, but it isn't. When the artifacts only appeared in lower resolutions, we had no problem at all, because it was easy to render it with 300dpi and reduce the picture size in a second step.
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Jan-Philipp Stehli

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THIS is the problem. I'm not able to rasterize a PDF 1.3 at ANY resolution at all, neither the original, nor greater