Importing PDFs degrades resolution?

When I import PDF files, the resolution deteriorates. What was crisp clear handwriting is now blurry. Is this normal? Importing does not have the same effect on the archival files I import in JPEG format.

PDFs are scalable formats, i.e., you can display , or ‘render’ them at different resolutions without losing quality. However, this is not the case for bitmap images embedded in a PDF: those are embedded at a certain size and will be scaled accordingly (potentially losing quality). Because there can be multiple different images embedded into a PDF at varying sizes, it’s not easy to guess what the optimal resolution should be when rendering the PDF (and you might want different resolutions on different pages). Therefore, if you import a PDF, the PDF will be rendered (i.e. converted to pixels) at your preferred resolution (you can change this in the Tropy preferences) – you can also change the resolution of individual pages after import, by changing the resolution in the file info section of the metadata panel. To find a good trade-off between size and quality, I’d adjust the resolution of a single page first until you have a good value. You can then change the resolution of the remaining pages; if the PDF has lots of pages it might be easier to change the default resolution in the preferences and import the file again.