Dealing with PDF production is one obstacle which most Pages users find difficult to overcome once they move beyond office or home printing.
The process I use involves going through the PostScript stage.
- 'Print' Pages to 'Save as PostScript'
- Create PDF, Open in Acrobat or just drag the PS file onto Acrobat or Acrobat Distiller icon in the Dock
Two years ago I was looking for an affordable publishing programme to start a magazine, glossy paper, full colour, mass-printed. Which meant going through professional printers with CMYK.
"using the PS stage seems to be the key element in making Pages work for professional printing"
I posted a request for advice on several Mac forums. Someone on the British Macuser forum recommended looking at Pages, a new suite of DTP software that had just been released by Apple. I looked at it and was immediately seduced by the elegant look of their templates, the apparent ease of use and, of course, the price.
I discarded drafts made in MS Word and AppleWorks and designed publicity brochure for a local estate agency and a pilot for the magazine - all in Pages.
The next stage was to see if Pages would work at professional printshops. The printer I had chosen assured me that he could work from PDFs. I made a set of PDFs using Pages>Print>Save as PDF path. The document looked fine on computer screen and on proofs printed on a digital printer.
However when those PDFs where processed to CMYK film the colours wouldn't separate. I am afraid I didn't take note of exactly which colour went blank and which completely black. The fact is neither 'Export to PDF', nor Print>Save as PDF worked.
Luckily the printer was as interested in making the project work as me. So we sat down and went through all possible options eventually discovering that Pages>Print>Save as PostScript>create PDF with Acrobat gave documents that could be CMYK processed with satisfactory results.
I've been fine-tuning this process ever since. But using the PS stage seems to be the key element in making Pages work for professional printing, i.e. when your finished project is to be put on a set of four films from which colour plates are made for printing Presses.
It doesn't seem to matter as much with digital printing where print-runs are limited, e.g. up to 500 copies. But even there you get better quality PDFs when the PS stage is used.
I am afraid I lack the technical knowledge to explain why that is so. From what I read it has something to do with Quartz technology used in Pages, layers and flattening.
Also check these earlier articles:
Three steps from Pages to PDF
and an outline of a slightly different process:
Preparing colour-separated PDFs using ColourSync utility