PDF Workflow Part 1

Part I - PDF Workflow

The PDF format has established itself as a universal exchange format for offset printing and digital copy jobs in the prepress sector. Pittsford Printing has adopted a standard PDF workflow originating from almost any Mac or PC DTP program. By standardizing our High-Res PDF workflow, we have been able to provide reliable customer proofs via email, reduce prepress errors, and improve the quality of our printing and copying by taking advantage of the most sophisticated features of our state-of-the-art equipment.

PDF workflow procedure
The basic procedure for a PDF workflow compatible with the High-Res PDF workflow at Pittsford Printing is as follows:
• Prerequisites: Adobe Acrobat 4.05, 5.05 or 6.0 (not Reader) has been installed on your DTP workstation. Acrobat Distiller is a part of the Acrobat program which creates PDF files. The Acrobat program itself is used to view, modify and print PDF files.
• Set-up of the Acrobat Distiller: In preparation for using the Acrobat Distiller to create PDF data, you have to configure the Acrobat Distiller properly for High-Res. You can save the settings under their own name in the Distiller.
• Printing from the DTP application into a PostScript file using the Acrobat Distiller printer driver (Windows) or the corresponding Acrobat PPD (Macintosh).
• Starting the Acrobat Distiller and converting the created PostScript file into PDF format.
{Note: is some Distiller installations, the creation of the PostScript file and it's conversion to a PDF by Distiller may appear as a single operation.}
• If necessary, further processing of the PDF file using Adobe Acrobat and appropriate plug-ins.
• If necessary, perform offline trapping.
• If necessary, check using a Preflight program such as PitStop.

What is the PDF workflow needed for?
The PDF workflow, in fact it has certain advantages, especially when exchanging printing data between different systems and locations and archiving print jobs. In a work environment in which the DTP workstations, the imaging system and the necessary output devices (imagesetter, printer, copier, proofer) are in the same location or are interconnected via a network, PDF still provides a way of standardizing file processing.

If you create the print job data offline at the DTP workstation, e.g. as a customer without your own output facility, or if you do not yet know on which devices (imagesetter, proofer) and with which settings final output is to be performed, PDF format is a good exchange format for print data. You can generate a PDF document at your DTP workstation and, for example, send it to Pittsford Printing for printing (via disk, CD, e-mail, or Pittsford Printing's website file transfer facility).

If you make the right settings on creating the PDF document, you do not have to worry about whether all necessary fonts, all integrated images, etc. are available at the imagesetting achine. PDF format works with compressed data, which means you can include all necessary data in the PDF document and still have files which, thanks to their size, are easy to send or archive.

Which points must be observed?
In order to use Pittsford Printing for processing PDF print jobs with a high output reliability, you should observe a few points:
• If possible, create PDF documents using the Acrobat Distiller. PDF Writer, for sure, and some Freeware tools are not suitable for High-Res PDFworkflow.
• If possible, use the Acrobat Distiller printer driver (or the PPD) to create the PostScript files
• Do not use a Jobstream
• Only create composite jobs
• Fully embed all fonts
• Embed all images (if possible, avoid using OPI)
• If necessary, embed all necessary color profiles for Color Management
• Do not make any settings relating to a special output device (e.g screen settings)
• Only create PDF 1.3 or 1.4 format with the Distiller (corresponds to Acrobats 4.0 or 5.0 format)
• Use Preflight software for checking output (PitStop, for example).

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