PDF Workflow Part 2

Part II - Using the Acrobat Distiller


PDF files can be created using different methods:


• Creating PostScript files ("Print to file") and subsequent processing using the Acrobat Distiller or directly printing to the "Acrobat Distiller" printer, if available.


• Printing from an application using the PDF Writer printer driver (NOT RECOMMENDED)


• Saving in PDF format using the Export function of some applications (Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Macromedia Freehand, etc.) (NOT RECOMMENDED)


Out of these options, you should only use the first one, if possible, namely creating a PostScript file and then converting it into PDF format using the Acrobat Distiller. It is possible that Pittsford Printing cannot correctly process the PDF files created using the other methods or that they are not suitable for the prepress stage.


• You can use the PDF Maker, which is available for Microsoft Office products, as this software uses the Acrobat Distiller to create PDF files through a user friendly interface inside of Word, etc..


Creating the "right" PostScript code

In order to create a safe and portable PDF format, you should only use the Acrobat Distiller printer driver (Windows) or the Acrobat Distiller PPD (Macintosh) to create PostScript files. You should use the lastest edition of the Adobe PS print driver (Windows and Macintosh) available for free on their website, www.adobe.com/support/downloads/main.html. As the PDF files should not, if possible, contain any device-specific settings, any specific PostScript print drivers (HP, Agfa, Canon or others) are not suitable for PDF generation. ONLY USE the ACROBAT DISTILLER PRINT DRIVER (Windows) or PPD and APOBEPS PRINT PRIVER (Macintosh) TO CREATE PDFs.


Only create print jobs in Composite format

When you use the PDF workflow, you should only create composite print jobs, i.e. you should deactivate all separation options in your DTP application when printing. If you have already got separated job data, which you cannot create anew, you can use special Acrobat plug-ins, with which you can convert separated print data into composite data.

In the PDF workflow the color separation is only performed as an InRIP separation by MetaDimension. The virtual printer or hot folder must be configured accordingly (output plan settings: automatic color detection also of spot colors and suppression/substitution of spot color separations).


Embed all fonts

You should activate the Embed all fonts option in the Acrobat Distiller settings. This ensures that all the required fonts are available on the printer.


Embed all images

In MetaDimension you can use the OPI image data substitution. In principle, this option also

functions in the PDF workflow, however the OPI image data substitution function always requires that the RIP has access to the fine image data and that the references to the fine image data are integrated into the PDF data when a print job is created. To do so, you must activate the Preserve DSC comments and Preserve OPI comments options in the Distiller settings.


As the PDF workflow is intended to be an exchange format between different work environments, the requirements of OPI image data substitution contradict the demand for universal interchangeability. You should therefore only use OPI image data substitution within a work environment in which the network constellation between DTP workstations and

the OPI server (MetaDimension) is fixed. The PostScript workflow is preferable in such a constellation.


In the PDF workflow, you should therefore integrate all necessary images in a high-resolution format into the PDF jobs. As the Acrobat Distiller has the option of compressing images and graphics, the resulting PDF file sizes are kept within reasonable limits.


Color Management in the PDF workflow

If your print jobs contain color objects, which are prepared for true-color output, you should embed all necessary color profiles (ICC profiles), which describe the source color space, in the PDF files. The color profiles are used in MetaDimension, with a corresponding configuration of the output plan, for the printout / proof output.


Avoid device-specific output settings

In order to retain the universal interchangeability of PDF files, you should avoid device-specific output settings, for example, specifying certain screen systems or resolutions, during the PDF generation process. For output on MetaDimension, you can make these settings in the configuration for the virtual printer/output plan which is used.


Acrobat Distiller Versions

You are advised to use Acrobat Distiller Version 4.0 or higher. The following description is based on versions 4.0 and 5.0.


Use Preflight software to check the output

In order to ensure a high output reliability in the PDF workflow, you should use Preflight software to make a preliminary check of the print job data. To do so, we recommend using Enfocus PitStop software. For more information on working with PitStop, refer to the PitStop website www.pitstop.com.


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