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PDF preflight and versaworks

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Post Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:49 am

PDF preflight and versaworks

Hi

Can anyone suggest a free or reasonably priced program or service for preflight checks of PDF files please.
I've had a few recently that initially look ok but then once it's printed there are details that can be missing or even bits the wrong colour.

I do normally tell my customers that a JPG preview would help so I know what to expect or even just supply a hi res jpg but sometimes the files much better as a pdf.
EPS files seem fine though, however they are usually huge file sizes so they become impractical for electronic transfer.

Also for you Versaworks users, do you normally have the use embedded colour profile ticked?

Regards
Steve
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NeilFox

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Post Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:53 am

Steve,

As a VersaWorks user I always use the 'Color Management' preset to Sign&Display. This does [b]not use[/b] the Embedded Color Profile.

I have found that I get good all round image quality.

I was told that this preset will be lacking in flesh tone definition, but as I don't print many faces etc, it is not a big issue for me.

Hope this helps.

Neil
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Post Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:12 am

Yeh I use the sign and display preset, just wondering if ticking the colour profile box does much.

I'll tick it anyway and see what happens, seem to remember I've tried it in the past but it's one thing I didn't check before reloading windows onto the computer.

Steve
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NeilFox

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Post Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:04 pm

Steve,

I don't have it ticked. That was how I was told it was to be used.

Neil
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David Hammond

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Post Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:38 pm

Adobe Acrobat Pro has a preflight tool,

You can use acrobat to convert a pdf into an eps which we do quite often when we have problems with pdf's
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Post Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:33 pm

Acrobats very expensive though or can you get it as a stand alone program now?

I think the main problem is a lot of my clients think they know what their doing :lol1: and when they save a pdf from Illustrator they don't do it right so fills don't get converted correctly etc.

I had one job that every program or pdf reader that opened it showed what looked like a blue lake, it turned out it was meant to be a shade of grey and a hill!
When I then opened it in my wifes old student version Illustrator it showed properly.
Obviously an old student version of Illustrator is no good for me to use commercially it's getting on for 8 years old any way.

Steve
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David Hammond

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Post Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:52 pm

Doesn't it come with the creative suite?

I know we have distiller/acrobat pro with our edition.
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Post Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:07 pm

That's just it, I use CorelDraw and I'm not about to spend a fortune on Adobes overpriced software just to use Acrobat.

Just found checkpoint but it's only for MAC.

I'll just have to insist that customers supply a jpg to make sure the pdf is ok or just supply me with a jpg anyway.

Steve
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Paul.Gardner

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Post Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:06 am

are you importing the pdf to corel & then viewing & printing ?
often get the same problem, the image will look different to if viewed in pdf reader.
I have Ai (not late version) & have found that if open the pdf in illustrator & save as Ai file or eps, it will then import to corel correctly
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Richard Daniel

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Post Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:50 pm

You can buy acrobat as a stand alone.

I've started to use it's pre flights day in day out. - it's got some fantastic features, such as convert all colours to cmyk, flatten transparencies, extract pages. - probably stuff you can get in various other software but it's great to have it in one place.

You can build custom pre flight profiles using your favourite tools so you can carry out the basics in one click.

The flatten transparency tool is great, it prevents any of the issues we used to get with gradients when printing, not only that, it makes the files tiny in comparison and they rip in minutes compared to versions that haven't had a pre flight.
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Alan Drury

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Post Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:03 pm

If you are working/importing pdf files on a regular basis and experience issues when importing them into other programmes take a look at PStill (www.pstill.com) it has become an invaluable tool to me regarding font and transparency issues and for the money its a 'must have'.
Alan d
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Stephen Morriss

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Post Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:23 am

So you can get Acrobat as a stand alone, I'll look into it then.
Thanks Alan, I've just looked at their website and I'll give the trial a go, do you use the full commercial version?

Steve
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David Hammond

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Post Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:09 pm

I've actually started using the acrobat pre-flight function.

Had an issue with a PDF supplied by a customer, the transparent image boxes were printing light boxes around all the images.

After many hours rasterising, trying to match colours, editing artwork, after finally getting the job printed decided to try Acrobats Preflight.

A few clicks of the mouse and the PDF was fixed fit for versaworks.

A few things I learnt reading online last night.
Get pdf's supplied as PDF X1a:2001

The important things this ensures are:

    All fonts are embedded in the file.
    All color data is grayscale, CMYK or named spot colors.
    Transparencies are flattened (the issue we had)


We've modified the profile, to alert us to certain things, such as small text, registration black in the artwork, low resolution images. Things that might not print as the customer anticipated, or cause us issues with drying times.

A useful website I have learnt quite a bit from is http://www.prepressure.com/

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