Low Res Images when Exporting to PDF

Hi all, I am relatively new to CorelDraw.  My first major project using the software was designing a new brochure for the museum where I work. (I am not a graphic designer/artists...it is just a many hat organization.)  We have CorelDraw and I've been slowly learning how to use it.  I seem to be having a problem upon exporting the file to a PDF, which is very image heavy.  All of the images in the file are at least 300 DPI if not much, much larger.  However, when I export to PDF the image resolutions are very low.  When I sent it to the printer (who does not accept CorelDraw files so it has to be PDF) they remarked upon the low resolution and you can tell the quality is terrible on the proof.  When I print a copy of the brochure on just our color printer at work (same size as the brochure...it is not larger) the images are completely fine.  What am I doing incorrectly?

  • When you Publish to PDF, you can choose what settings you want. If the bitmaps are being downsampled too low, you can use a different value or turn it off completely. Since you are new to CorelDRAW, you may want to consider my DVD to help you learn much faster. Link is in my signature.
  • Try using the PDF/X-3 preset from the dropdown when you publish to PDF.
    That will convert all your colors to CMYK and downsample your bitmaps to
    300 dpi which is preferred for printing. Of course there are other
    considerations like "Are you using the correct color settings during the
    creation of your file" which are beyond the original question and which
    would best be answered by Foster's training DVDs. I can attest to their
    quality and usefulness if you are looking to expand our knowledge of
    DRAW. For the short term, the PDF/X-3 should sort you out for this project.

  • In reply to Brute-Fish:

    Foster and Steve,

    Thank you so much for your very quick replies.  I was out of the office and just received them today.  :-)  I tried the PDF/X-3 preset and that did seem to make the resolution much higher.  I sent it off to the printer that way and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  Thanks for your advice.  I checked out your training DVDs Foster and I've added them to my Christmas list.  Fingers crossed!  :-)


  • In reply to agomez:

    It seems as if using the PDF/X-3 preset did not work.  I just received the online proof from our printer.  The images are still coming back in the online proof as "very low resolution."  It is particularly noticeable in the online proof for one of the images.  However, when I print off the PDF file on our color printer everything looks fine.

    Here is how I have designed most of the images - I don't know if this makes a difference.

    1. All of the images are placed into shapes (boxes and rectangles) so they all retain the same shape.

    2. I've double, triple, and quadruple checked the files using CorelPhoto Paint.  Most of the images are showing up as between 1000-1600 DPI in the image "resampling."  However, in the preflight printing check it does say that one or more image is below 96 DPI.  However, I've checked every single image in PhotoPaint to see the resolution.  In addition, they were all taken at a high resolution on a good SLR camera.  I don't know why this issue keeps coming up i nthe preflight check.  Does putting the images in boxes using the powerclip somehow change the resolution of the images?

    Thanks for your help/advice.  I have to get this project off ASAP!



  • In reply to agomez:

    PowerClip does not change the resolution. What you've described should be correct in the CDR file. Without knowing the EXACT settings you used for PDF export, anything else is just a guess.
  • In reply to FosterCoburn:

    Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

    I just called the printer to double check and the images they are receiving in the PDF are at a resolution of 95 or sometimes even 65.  It makes we wonder if I did something completely wrong in the redesign.  I've design postcards before in CorelDraw using the same techniques and haven't ever had a problem.  Here is exactly what I do when exporting the files with the exact settings.

    1. I tried just doing the "publish to PDF" as an PDF/X3 and then I thought...maybe that is causing the problem.

    2. Then I did Export to PDF.  In the PDF Settings this is how they are set:

    General Tab: Export Current Document, PDF Preset: PDF/X3, Compatibility PDF/X3

    Color: Color Management = use document color settings, output colors as CMYK, Other Color Controls =  Preserve Document Overprints

    I’ve included a screen shot of the object settings because I have a feeling that is where I am going wrong somehow. Any help or advice is much appreciated.  My heart is just breaking because I am worried that six months of work isn't going to work!!!

  • In reply to agomez:

    Can you post a CDR of a single photo giving you a problem? Then post a
    PDF you created of the file? That might help in figuring out where it's
    going wrong.

  • In reply to Brute-Fish:

    Steve, Sure and thanks for your help.  It appears that all of the files are giving me trouble in the PDF.  Here is the PDF. 

    6371.Brochure_Final Design For Help.pdf

    I have to admit I don't know how to just save one image as a CDR file.  I tried copying one of the images from the brochure into a new Corel Draw file, saving it and then uploading it.  I keep receiving the following error message: "Either the site is offline or an unhandled error occurred. We apologize and have logged the error. Please try your request again or if you know who your site administrator is let them know too."  The "document" I saved in CorelDraw was 600 x 600 pixels so I don't think the image is too large but I don't know....

  • I had the same problem.  My printer told me to convert my photos in Photo Paint, under "Image" to CMYK 32-bit, then "Save As" .tiff files, before using them in my artwork.  They came out much brighter.  Hope this helps.


  • Another suggestion - When you get your final photo into your artwork at the size you are going to use it, right click on the picture...click on properties.  That will bring up the properties box.  Go to the far right tab...and click on it....that will show you the actual resolution of the photo.  Your picture may start out at 300 dpi, but after you manipulate it, it may end up somewhere nearer 180 if you resize it.  Just a thought.  I'm a novice, too.  So, I'm just remembering some of the crazy mistakes I made when I started.

  • In reply to donnar:

    Thanks for the suggestion - I did as you suggested with all of the images and they are all above 300 dpi.  In fact, the photo that jumps out as looking the worst is 1640x1640dpi.  I had to extract all of the images from their powerclips to check, but the resolution looks good.

    I will try your suggestion of changing the format of the images.  Just to clarify, you said changing the color to Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 "CMYK 32-bit, then "Save As" .tiff files" will make the images "brighter."  Will this change the resolution of the images as well?  It is the resolution I am having such an issue with.  Sad

  • I publish files to PDF for printing quite a bit. Question: In settings, at bottom of the window before you hit save, do you turn off jpg compression and bitmap downsampling? Or, do you have compression set at "High Quality"? Tom-