Output is very reliable with PDF. The output problems that many times occur with PostScript files are eliminated. Print providers have fewer problems receiving and working with PDF files.
The best method for generating high end PDFs is with Acrobat Distiller. Acrobat Distiller "distills" the important information during the PostScript interpretation and eliminates the unnecessary information. This means that the output speed of the PDF is higher and it also means that the file size of the PDF is smaller than a PostScript file. Direct export of PDFs from a publishing application is also used for generating high end PDFs.
PDF documents can be output to print, the Web, or e-mail. PDFs contain all of the information necessary for accurate display on a computer monitor and for output to various devices such as printers, imagesetters, and platesetters. For PDF output to an imagesetter or platesetter, the easiest method is direct output via Adobe PostScript RIP. Older RIPs require PDF files to be converted into PostScript before they can be RIPped. PDF documents that are color separated and are output require different workflows depending on the type of PostScript RIP.