Choosing pdf output version in Plots.jl

Hey all,

I use Plots.jl to create and save images for publication. Generally I use GR.jl and save the plots to PDF. On my machine, using Plots.savefig results in Plots.jl saving a PDF1.2 file.
My publisher uses PDF1.7, and when they convert my plots all colours in the figures become saturated.

My current way around this is to open my plots in Acrobat reader and using print to PDF in order to have the figures saved as PDF1.7. Default behaviour is however to print my figures at A4 format, and thus I lose the specific figure size.

It would of course be far easier if I could directly save PDF1.7 files using Plots.jl, any one know how to do this? I guess this is up to some of the internals? In my Python installation, using matplotlib saves PDF1.4 for example.

I am not sure if the PDF version is crucial here. Rather, I suspect that a different color model is assumed (in your publisher). Have you ever tried to convert only the color model (to CMYK) with Acrobat Reader?

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PDF documents created with Plots don’t have a color profile assigned to them, so it’s possible that when your publisher opens the file, they assign (automatically?) the wrong color profile to it (Like Josef, I wonder whether they’re overdoing it with a conversion to CMYK?).

If you can process your file and save it as PDF/X, with an RGB color profile, this might behave a bit better at preserving important aspects of the original. PDF/X is designed to be better for preserving the original document’s intent as it passes through the printing pipeline…

But with printing generally, you can only do your best before the recipient takes control…

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Thank you for the response! I have indeed also tried converting the colour model to CYMK, but somehow that only fixed it for part of my figures (I’m thinking there is more happening behind the scenes at my publisher).

Thanks for the response! It would make sense if there is no color profile associated that my publisher is indeed changing the color space. When I open my pdfs in Acrobat Reader and print to PDF, I see the same desaturation of the colors. If I enable ‘preserve CYMK colors’ (or something similar) in the settings, I see the colors are correct. If I upload those files however, the colors still become desaturated (so who knows what the publisher is doing haha).
I think using PDF/X is the best approach.

I originally thought the PDF version would be important as the figures which were saved under v1.7 behaved correctly, but I guess it was a fluke because it doesn’t work for the rest.