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Scaling JPEGs or TIFFs inside PDF slides (using Illustrator)?

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  • Subject: [mg98467] Scaling JPEGs or TIFFs inside PDF slides (using Illustrator)?
  • From: AES <siegman at>
  • Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2009 04:55:38 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Stanford University

I often place JPEG or TIFF images (color or B&W) into PDF files, then 
add or edit title lines, text annotations, arrows, and the like in 
vector format using Illustrator 11, in order to make PDF slides for 

This has proven to be a very convenient technique for me to organize and 
repurpose graphics for presentation -- especially if I start out by 
cataloging all the slides, or potential slides, that I may want for a 
certain presentation into an iView MediaPro catalog specifically for 
that presentation; and then use the very convenient tools and interface 
in IVMP to organize and manage the presentation, as well as to open the 
individual slides in Acrobat and Illustrator, edit them or touch them 
up, and save them back into the presentation.

The primary purpose of this note is to ask a minor technical question 
about that process.  That is, sometimes I want to rescale an image in a 
slide up or down in size by, say, 10 or 20 percent.  One way is to go 
back to the original JPEG or TIFF, make a resized copy of the image in 
Photoshop Elements, and then replace it in the PDF.   

An alternative is to rescale the image directly in the PDF document 
using Illustrator -- and my experience is that Illustrator does an 
extremely good job of doing this kind of rescaling, even on nasty things 
like scanned images of B&W printed documents.  (They may not look so 
good when viewed in Illustrator -- but they look extremely good after 
being saved back to PDF and opened in Acrobat.)

My question for the PDF profis here is:  When I do this rescaling of a 
raster image within a PDF document, using Illustrator, is Illustrator 
actually building a complete new (rescaled) raster image inside the PDF 
document, and keeping it in the PDF along with the originally placed 
version?  Or does it just keep the rescaled version and discard the 
original one?  Or does it just  insert a brief command for the image to 
be rescaled "on the fly" any time the PDF is projected or printed?

Thanks for any info and assistance.


[And as an addendum, I'm copying this post to cssmm frankly to tweak 
some of the people who argue that all presentations in the future should 
and must be done directly from Mathematica notebooks and nothing else 
(and, secondarily, that _all_ of the capabilities I've mentioned above 
should and must be built into and carried out from one single, massive, 
eventually un-learnable and un-documentable Mathematica application.  

I have no objection at all to making presentations direct from a live 
Mathematica notebook in situations for example where this might be a not 
too lengthy, single-topic or one-shot discussion, maybe in a class or 
group meeting or informal situation, of material that can be covered 
from a single Mathematica notebook.  That makes total sense.

But suppose you have a collection of literally many hundreds if not 
thousands of slides and graphics, some generated by Mathematica, others 
collected from all over the place, over many years; and you're 
continually re-organizing and re-purposing and revising these (or copies 
of them), for presentations at different levels, to different audiences, 
or in different formats, on screen, in reports, in papers, in books.  

Suppose, as would be the case if you insisted on the "Mathematica 
notebook only" approach, that these materials may have come from many 
dozens of different Mathematica notebooks, assembled over a dozen plus 
years, in a half-dozen successive versions of Mathematica (so that some 
of these notebooks will not even execute any more; and those that still 
do are likely produce different results than they originally did).

So, to do this repurposing, or assembling a new presentation from a lot 
of varied existing sources, you're going to try to pull out and 
reassemble bits and pieces from these dozens of notebooks, into a new 
notebook for your upcoming presentation?  And debug that?  And then, 
every time you want to make even some small but significant change in 
one or a few slides in a many megabyte notebook, you have to re-edit and 
re-run it?  Insane!!

In the approach I'm suggesting, and using, any time I want to add a live 
or interactive demo as one part of a presentation -- and I've been 
programming interactive onscreen demos for teaching, for research, for 
professional presentations, and for my own education, using multiple 
computer tools, since the late 1980s[1] -- it's trivially easy to just 
add a link to that Mathematica demo or animation (or Flash or QuickTime 
or whatever material) from within the PDF (or PowerPoint, or Keynote, or 
whatever) presentation or online document.

Mathematica has long been a truly great (even "insanely great") tool, 
and still is.  But a lot of what it's currently doing as regards its 
overall approach, documentation, and interface, strikes me as just plain 
[1]  For a 1991 invited presentation and article I prepared on this 
topic of this post (and which I think is still pretty good nearly two 
decades later), you can take a look at the link below.  Those of you too 
junior to recall Apple's "Knowledge Navigator" buzz-phrase, or MIT's 
"Athena Experiment", or the concept of the "3M-3K" computer, may find it 


[also at <>]

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