The PDF format is an extremely robust format for representing documents containing vector, text and image information, so options for PDF proofing are important.

In order to display a PDF file for web-based review and markup, all the visual content contained in the PDF file has to be represented using standard HTML5 elements. For the vast majority of documents, this conversion can be accomplished successfully. But because the PDF format can a higher degree of precision than is possible in HTML5, some small compromises are sometimes necessary to reproduce the same visual effect.

In addition, PDF files that contain many high-resolution images or large amounts of vector information may result in HTML files that are considerably larger than the more efficiently compressed PDF originals. These files may be slower to download and render in browsers than in the more specialized proprietary PDF readers.

Because there may be occasions in your review workflows when better display performance or more precise visual representation is required, we’re now providing you with two options for representing PDF files in ReviewStudio. These two options include a “Vector” mode and and “Image” mode.

Vector Mode

In vector mode, all vector and text information contained in the original PDF files is preserved. In addition all images embedded in the PDF file are maintained at their original resolution. This conversion produces excellent results that maintains visual clarity regardless of the amount of zoom used so documents with a lot of text or fine detail can be more easily explored.

On the negative size, PDF files containing many large resolution images or a large amount of vector information will take longer to download and display. In addition some subtle variations may occasionally appear in the positioning of some text elements.

Image Mode

In image mode, all vector, text and image information is rasterized into a single image layer that accurately represents the visual information contained in the original PDF file. Rasterizing and compressing this image typically results in a file that is considerably smaller and faster to download and display.

On the negative side, PDF proofing files utilizing image mode are not scalable so as you zoom into areas of detail, compression and anti-aliasing artifacts will become more apparent.

Which to Use?

Vector mode is our recommended default that will produce ideal results for review purposes for the vast majority of documents. For those occasions where performance is constrained (ie. limited network bandwidth or older computers) or in situations where vector mode does not properly capture a more complex visual element, the image mode can provide a viable alternative.

To choose which option to use:

  1. When uploading a file in the review edit menu click on “Supported browsers, media formats and encoding options”.
  2. Under the Encoding Options section select either “Vector” or Image” as a Document (PDF) choice (Vector is the default).
  3. If you wish to usually use Image instead of Vector mode, you can also change the default behavior in your account>defaults tab.