Screentones in PDF

I’ve been test-printing some pages with screentones, and had a few moments of horrible panic. Something that looked not at all bad when printed straight from Photoshop became hideously full of moire pattern when saved as a pdf and then printed. Actually, it was more a sort of allover argyle or plaid effect. I triple-checked all my settings, and everything — size, dpi, etc. — was being preserved. There was no compression or downsampling either. I searched through Sweatdrop’s useful forums, but didn’t find anything that helped this particular problem. Then, stricken with inspiration, or something rising from the subconscious I’d seen somewhere about a different technical problem that seemed related, I resaved the greyscale (grayscale to Americans) Photoshop page as a bitmap, and converted that to pdf. Hey presto, no moire. Well, not much. There’s one tone alone that has a little faint plaid pattern. At least now we know that it’s a problem with that particular tone, and not our entire technique. My guess is that Acrobat was, in effect, rescreening the toned page, generating the interference patterns.

On to the next problem.


About K.V. Johansen

The author of Blackdog, The Leopard, The Lady, and Gods of Nabban, epic fantasies from Pyr, I also write for teens and children, including the "Torrie", "Warlocks of Talverdin", and "Cassandra Virus" series, and the "Pippin and Mabel" picture books, as well as a couple of short story collections and two works of adult literary criticism on the history of children's fantasy literature. I have a Master's degree in Mediaeval Studies, and read a lot of fantasy, science fiction, and history. Blog at
This entry was posted in art, making a manga, technical stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s