If you’ve seen Star Wars, you may know the famous Admiral Ackbar saying, “It’s a trap!” And while that may have been a warning for Star Wars characters, in printing, traps are a good thing. Amongst the long list of benefits, faster makereadies and registration are just a couple of the benefits traps can have on a workflow.

In my opinion, Prinect has one of the best trapping modules available. Why’s that? Because it not only exists in the workflow for automated trapping, but it also has an Acrobat plugin. These trapped PDFs can be used in any workflow as we trap the PDF. In Prinect Production Manager, the customer will not only have the automated trapping in the workflow, but the customer also has the option of using the Acrobat plug-in to edit or analyze the trapping.

For most jobs, Prinect Trapping is to “fire and forget.” However, in this article, we are going to look at some of the basic settings of the Prinect Trapper, which are the same settings for both Acrobat Plugin as well as the Trapping engine in the workflow.

In Acrobat:

In the workflow, it is part of the Prepare Sequence:

Since they both work together, it is very easy to create and test a trap setting in Acrobat and use it in the workflow automated.

Before trapping, it is very important to define the colors correctly, as well as clarifying the opacity and if it will be overprinting. Keep in mind that transparent colors will be ignored by the trapper – everything will trap to a color that is defined as opaque. If you are doing a packaging job, you can set the color to the dieline, which the trapper will also ignore.

With Prinect, you can save these special color settings so that it can be automated after doing the job for the first time or if these colors are encountered on other jobs in the future – making it quicker to set up.

Adobe Acrobat:

In the workflow, you can find this in the job under colors. Or you can find it predefined in Administration – color and varnishes.

Now, let’s look at some of the most important trap settings! In these examples, I will be using the Acrobat Plugin; however, theses settings are the same in the workflow, so you can still follow along!

Under the Geometry tab, we set the width and height of the trap to its size and geometry. A nice feature here is Clipped Chokes, which ensures that a choke doesn’t turn into an overprint in the thin corners of an object.

Under the Rules tab, the most important setting is the Step Limit, which allows you to show the difference between colors before a trap occurs – a higher percentage means less traps and lower means more traps. Quick note – as you are specifying that, there should be less of a difference between colors before a trap occurs.

In the tab Black/Text, we can specify the Black Width Scaling, which is used when we want more trapping to the black (be on the lookout for a future blog where I will further explain the width scaling). We also have the ability to reduce the trap width on thin lines and fine type so it does not turn into an overprint. With Opaque Color Limit, we can also specify that a color is no longer opaque if it is below a certain percentage.

Once the file is trapped, we can see the traps in the view of the PDF file. For anybody looking at traps in either Acrobat Reader or Pro, make sure that that in Acrobat Preferences under Page Display – Page and Content Information – Overview Preview should be set to Always.

This is a trap even Admiral Ackbar would be happy about! Prinect Trapping is generated fast and automatically as well as can be edited at any time. It is truly a great feature in the Production Manager workflow.

I’ll be back next month with another tutorial on our Prinect capabilities! Make sure to Subscribe to Connect to be the first to see these inside scoops.

While you’re waiting, check out our older Prinect “Did You Know” blogs below:

Click here to see our last Prinect “Did You Know” blog on Hotfolders!

Click here to see our Prinect “Did You Know” blog on the Coating Editor!

Click here to see our Prinect “Did You Know” blog on Creep!

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    Joe Banich
    Prinect Product Specialist
    Heidelberg Canada