Export to PDF turns *embedded* PDF image blurry

elbie's Avatar


15 Jul, 2015 05:40 PM

Hi Brett & co.,

I've got a Markdown document with several embedded PDFs -- charts that I've exported from RStudio. When I view the preview in Marked 2, the charts render clearly, and if I export to .rtfd they also render clearly. But when I try exporting to PDF, they come out with an awful blur -- worse, even, than when I export the charts directly to something like .jpg, which RStudio does quite badly. I do want to stick with PDF because it does the best job of preserving my other formatting, that which I've written into my CSS file; it's PDFs that I have to share with my collaborators ultimately as well.

I looked through the settings to try to find a culprit but had no such luck. Do you have any advice on how to get my PDFs-within-PDFs looking pretty as they should be?



  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Brett on 15 Jul, 2015 05:58 PM

    Brett's Avatar

    The next version of Marked implements Quartz PDF filters, which should
    allow high-res embedded images. In the current version, though, you're
    printing an image of a PDF through the PDF print system, and degradation
    is sure to happen.

    You might have better results exporting to HTML, opening in Safari, and
    printing to PDF from there, though it may have the same issue.


  2. 2 Posted by elbie on 15 Jul, 2015 06:04 PM

    elbie's Avatar

    Got it, Brett -- thanks for the quick response!

    Sadly your prediction was spot-on about printing to PDF from Safari. But interestingly, I don't get the same degradation when printing to PDF from, say, TextEdit. I'll just take some more care with my .css file and use .rtfd as my export target for now.

    Looking forward to the update anyway! (And to the successor to nvALT ;)


  3. 3 Posted by Ulrich Junker on 09 Dec, 2015 09:47 PM

    Ulrich Junker's Avatar

    I encountered this problem too. I exported images from Magic Maps in png format, included them in an Ulysses document and exported this to Marked 2.5.2. I then did a pdf export in Marked 2 and was disappointed with the resulting image quality. Then I learned from this forum that Marked2 supports svg images. I reexported svg images and did the whole game again. And this time it worked. And of course, the new pdf is scalable and small in size. Excellent!

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by Brett on 09 Dec, 2015 10:40 PM

    Brett's Avatar

    Have you experimented with the quality settings in the save dialog as well? It won't help pdf-in-pdf saves, but will reduce compression on raster images.


  5. 5 Posted by Ulrich Junker on 10 Dec, 2015 07:13 AM

    Ulrich Junker's Avatar

    Yes, I have chosen a high quality when saving. Choosing a medium or low quality leads to slightly smaller pdf files, but even worse image quality (even for png images). So I am really happy for the support of svg images.

  6. 6 Posted by Jens D on 17 Mar, 2016 10:00 AM

    Jens D's Avatar

    same problem here, any solution upcoming?

  7. 7 Posted by Olav on 16 Dec, 2016 12:12 PM

    Olav's Avatar

    I just use the "Open PDF in Preview" dialog from the Print menu (bottom right).
    From there I save the file as PDF.
    Result: crystal clear images and reduced file size compared to the standard export Marked 2 produces.

    @Brett, you really got to look into this ;-)

  8. 8 Posted by Tonu on 23 Dec, 2018 07:07 PM

    Tonu's Avatar

    I am using Maked 2.5.27(964) and these problems seem to still sit here.
    Embedded images were in pdf already. Preview in Marked is sharp but saving to pdf makes them blurry. During saving I didn't found any links to QuartZ filters neither there were any quality related sections under Settings/Export. Interestingly saving to RTDF retained image sharpness and workaround could be to print it as pdf using better image quality settings. But all fonts are big (not converted to smaller) and go through the whole text is kind of pain.

    Is there any more intelligent way to get pdf with high quality images?

  9. Support Staff 9 Posted by Brett on 24 Dec, 2018 05:05 PM

    Brett's Avatar

    Hi Tonu,

    I really can't fix the PDF-in-PDF issue. The easiest solution is just to
    convert the embedded images to PNG files...


  10. 10 Posted by Tõnu Margus on 24 Dec, 2018 08:41 PM

    Tõnu Margus's Avatar

    Thanks Brett,
    That was the missin bit of information.

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