1 2 Previous Next 17 Replies Latest reply on Jun 20, 2013 11:58 AM by Tracy Rodgers

    Tableau 8: the quality of PDF report

    Xinmin Shuai

      I attached two PDF reports created by Tableau 7 and 8 on same data.


      The good news is that PDF file size created by Tableau 8  is much smaller than those by Tableau 7.


      But I personally feel the PDF report by Tableau 7 looks better to my eyes. I cannot explain why.


      How do you think?

        • 1. Re: Tableau 8: the quality of PDF report
          David Murphy

          The quality does look a lot more ropey in the Tableau 8 version. The small files size and quicker rendering times are a godsend, but it'd be great if there was a High and Low quality option in the PDF generation options. Anyone else agree?

          • 2. Re: Tableau 8: the quality of PDF report
            Nathaniel Fitzgerald-Hood

            There have been a few aspects of this mentioned in the Beta forums.


            I'm looking at those PDFs in Acrobat 9.5 on Win7, there's a slight difference I can see in the text. Looking in Chrome (which uses Foxit's rendering I believe) the main difference is that first table of text - the font is maybe a point larger in the Tab 8 file.


            The key difference is the Tab8 PDF is using actual text and then it's Acrobat rendering the font, etc. I think you'll see machine specific impacts here - anti-aliasing settings and all that playing a part. How does it look on a Mac?


            The big benefit is you can actually copy and paste text out of a PDF now! For things like captions, that's a massive bonus in my eyes.


            Notes from the beta forums reference tech: "The desktop PDF export and the server PDF export share as much code as possible and use the same technology" and a few things internally.


            I'd suggest, where you discern a difference in quality, shoot them through to support as examples.


            Also, aside from PDFs, with regards to rendering vizzes from Tableau Server these URL parameters are available:

            • ?:render=false - will force Tableau 7 style rendering with images, rather than the new Canvas rendering
            • ?:jsdebug=true - adds a small letter "B" (browser) or "S" (server) to the toolbar to indicate the render mode
            • 3. Re: Tableau 8: the quality of PDF report
              Andrew Thacker

              I too find new PDF engine producing poorer quality output. Fonts are fatter, chunkier ... far less readable. A bit embarressed to send them out,

              • 4. Re: Tableau 8: the quality of PDF report
                Nathaniel Fitzgerald-Hood

                I did some testing today too, I'll post screen shots in the morning. The filesize is beautiful at 31Kb however the fonts look they've been drawn with a marker on crappy paper and bled. They're just so anti-aliased when viewed at 100%. Zooming in I can see they're fine and they print no worries. Compared to a PDF output from Word of a similar filesize, something's definitely not right with what Tableau's outputting, the Word text is clear as a bell at 100% or 400%.

                • 5. Re: Tableau 8: the quality of PDF report
                  Bryan Jones

                  Our version 8 PDFs in Tableau have actually gotten significantly larger (1MB for a page to 2MB) - there are a lot of data points so I was expecting the size to still be large. But not bigger!


                  We can create the PDF using Print... and then selecting our Acrobat printer instead of Tableau and end up with a 200KB file. The only quality difference we notice is some very thin reference lines show up a bit fatter than they should. Unfortunately, something in version 8 is creating problems with Acrobat PDFs - bold fonts in anything other than titles seem to be turned into normal versions of that font.

                  • 6. Re: Tableau 8: the quality of PDF report
                    Jeff Westphal

                    We produce a newsletter and have discovered the same issue comparing v7 and v8 fonts. V8 text looks darker, chunkier, and of less quality. I too support a higher quality version.


                    I am holding back adopting v8 (unfortunately), because of the lower quality product being produced using "print to pdf".


                    (If I print using Adobe as printer setting, I lose borders since it does not scale it down to fit page, but the text font quality is good again. Neither option is good right now).

                    • 7. Re: Tableau 8: the quality of PDF report
                      Daniel Riljic

                      I'm also struggling with the new PDF quality compared to Tableau 7. Especially, when you insert images such as company logos to the dashboard. I've already openend a case with the support team, but they were not able to reproduce the issue locally.

                      • 8. Re: Tableau 8: the quality of PDF report
                        Joshua Galun

                        It's not just the quality of text - it's all the pixelation of shapes that have colors applied to them. See the attached. The black and white shape looks fine but the others do not. In Tableau 7, all of them looked fine.

                        • 9. Re: Tableau 8: the quality of PDF report
                          Bryan Jones

                          Yep, I get the same thing - image quality is noticeably lower than in version 7 - and unfortunately since using Acrobat to make PDFs isn't an option while they fix this font problem, there doesn't seem to be much I can do about it. Our company logo comes out looking absolutely awful and .emf files vary from looking perfectly fine to being unreadable (I haven't been able to figure out what makes them behave differently though).

                          • 10. Re: Tableau 8: the quality of PDF report
                            Daniel Riljic

                            Below you'll find the answer I received today from the technical support:


                            A few other customers have also reported the same issue. Our Engineering team is already working on fixing the issue and is likely to release the fix in an upcoming version of Tableau Desktop 8.0.


                            I hope it will come up soon so that I can finally use Tableau 8 ;)

                            • 11. Re: Tableau 8: the quality of PDF report
                              Eva Wachsen

                              Hi all,


                              Did you hear anything from the technical support re the PDF quality? We are working with Tableau Desktop 8.0 and give all or reports to the clients as a PDF. Would be VERY nice to get them in a better quality!

                              • 12. Re: Tableau 8: the quality of PDF report
                                M?Nica Marrades

                                hi all,

                                Does anyone know if technical support have solved the problem?

                                We also make report to pdf and need better quality.


                                • 13. Re: Tableau 8: the quality of PDF report
                                  Prabhjot Singh

                                  Similar problem here, pdfs are low quality in Tableau 8 when compared to Tableau 7. Have tried printing it with Adobe pdf engine and it did solve the problem, however the distribution of text in Adobe pdfs is same as Tableau 7 than Tableau 8 implying that I have to allow overflow of the text in the text box so that it appears correct. At the end of the day, I had to reinstall Tableau 7 to continue working without all the hassles...


                                  Haven't seen any response from Tableau to this issue.



                                  • 14. Re: Tableau 8: the quality of PDF report
                                    Cristian Vasile

                                    Try to patch your v8 system with the latest release aka 8.0.2


                                    Release Notes | Tableau Software

                                    Fixed several issues in Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server related to PDFs, including: unusually large file sizes, compared with earlier versions of Tableau; white areas within some PDFs; blank pages when size was set to Unspecified; issues with the color legend displaying in Tableau Server even though it had been disabled in Tableau Desktop; floating legends in dashboards; and fuzziness and illegibility in the PDF output.




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