Bad PDF color rendering on iPad

Just a quick note today (since I haven’t written anything in months) about PDFs on the iPad. As part of my job, I get to work with some really awesome designers. In the last two apps we have occasionally noticed some issues with how colors appear when viewing a PDF on the iPad. This has only been an issue with a handful of PDF’s but if you have a product brochure that looks great in print we want to it look amazing on the screen as well.

In our particular case, we had a lot of purple tones that were appearing blue and pink tones that looked purple. The saturation also appeared more intense and while the images and text were crisp, the colors just looked slightly (or on some more severe occasions) completely off. If you have experienced this, apparently the iPad does not do a great job of rendering PDF’s designed and saved as CMYK.

Various attempts to fix it

I discovered several differing opinions on both the cause and resolution as I scoured the net. One suggestion was to open the pdf in Preview and re-export with the Quartz option to reduce file size. I tried that and it did not work. I also attempted creating custom filters in Apple’s ColorSync Utility. I still am guessing there is a way to make that work but my attempts failed.

Something that worked for me

Finally, I found a posting on a discussion board suggesting converting it to sRGB with Adobe Acrobat Pro. That fixed the problem! For my version of Acrobat, the option was found under View->Tools->Print Production. This brought up a side menu. The option that worked was under Preflight->Convert to sRGB. Double click that and save the corrected pdf.

As always, there are a lot of great ideas strung around discussion boards but sometimes you have to dig a bit to find something that works. Hope this helps someone get to a solution faster.

I am still here!

Hey everyone! It has been a while since I have written anything yet I have been hearing nice comments from many of you regularly for several days. Thanks EVERYONE for stopping by. How you find this site is a serious mystery but somehow you find it. The number of visits and diversity of locations from which you are from is very cool! It is really meaningful to see things have started to take off.

So what have I been doing? I have been working a LOT of hours lately both with my day job and some other side projects. Also my wife had knee surgery so I have been quite busy helping out around the house. Consequently my writing time has been lacking. It hasn’t been bad though. The work has been a lot of fun! I have been learning a lot about core animation and listening to the Stanford University Advanced iPhone classes during my daily commute. These are a great FREE resource if you are interested in learning more about iOS. Apple development is a blast and the tools and API really give us developers a lot of power.

I did take a break a couple weeks ago from the development activities to meet again with the band. We hadn’t practiced in months but wanted to meet and record some demo material in case we do try to play out later this spring. The recording sessions went quite well overall and my buddy and bandmate Steve has been mixing the songs all week. We recorded seven and of those he thinks 3 or 4 sound really good so I am anxious to hear the final mixes and figure out how to share some of them with you.

So what’s coming up? I started writing an article on “A day in the life of my iPhone” that I hope some of you will enjoy. It is close to being done and I am anxious to share it and hear back from you. I am also packing up to head out to the Big Nerd Ranch near Atlanta next week for their Advanced iOS Boot Camp and really can’t wait. I have been looking forward to this class ever since it was announced!

Rocket Tubes – The Transportation System of the Future

IMG_0748-768x1024Yo – hey!  It is the second day of the year and I head back to the office tomorrow.  I have been working on cleaning my home office and basement over the holidays.  In the far corner of my basement there has been a rather large box that I have kept sealed for years.   The box has moved three times and has sat in this particular corner for at least the last ten years.  My mom had packed it up right after I moved out.   I knew one of the things in that box was my old Rocket Tubes track.  I had fond memories of that toy and wanted to keep it well preserved until I had kids old enough to enjoy it and not immediately destroy it.  Today was that day!

In the box I found some other real treasures of long ago.  In addition to the Rocket Tubes, I found my old Star Wars X-Wing and action figures!  I also found my old Radio Shack morse code practice oscillator, an astronomy kit, a little wood workshop, an electronics kit, and Star Bird toy.


IMG_0730-1024x768My kids weren’t really interested in most of the stuff but did find the Rocket Tubes of ´particular interest.  We took it out of the box and set it up.  This really was an amazing toy and I am surprised after all of these years it still works.


I have never seen a toy like this since.  After a little investigation I discovered thatIMG_0742-768x1024 the Rocket Tubes came out in 1979 from Mego Micronauts.  They were billed as “Rocket Tubes – The Transportation System of the Future.”  The set was similar to race tracks of the time only in this case it was little cars and robots that float thru air powered tubes.  With the track you could create space elevators or typical racetrack type loops.  Very cool indeed!  My oldest son was the most interested.  It was pretty good entertainment for a couple of hours and a nice trip down memory lane.


Here it is in action!

Oh and I had to play with the StarBird too.  Here it is.

Now play time is over and time to get back to work!


Welcome to my world!

I installed WordPress on my site months ago (actually in April) and am just finally having a chance to mess with it to see what I can do.  Seems like WP has a huge following and I have never understood the attraction but curious about its use as opposed to other wiki tools or straight html/css based site generation.  I do agree it is easy to get content up but not sure yet about the work needed to customize it.