Scaling JPEGs or TIFFs inside PDF slides (using Illustrator)?
- To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
- Subject: [mg98467] Scaling JPEGs or TIFFs inside PDF slides (using Illustrator)?
- From: AES <siegman at stanford.edu>
- 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 -- 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
 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 <https://www.spie.org/etop/1991/338_1.pdf>]
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