It has been my goal with this blog to illuminate the many nooks and crannies of Prinect Production Manager. What I would like to discuss in today’s entry is something many people take for granted, the Online Help. In many pieces of software, the help files can be so outdated and/or lacking depth of information that they are mostly irrelevant. While trial and error can be used, and I encourage it, to discover new parts of any software sometimes you just have to read the manual to fully use a function or feature. Heidelberg has a great bunch of support staff and trainers to lean on as well, but another pillar of this should be good documentation.

Before I worked for Heidelberg, I worked in prepress production at different shops in the Toronto area. It was at a time when rips and prepress workflow were rudimentary, compared to today. Even networks were extremely simple. Some of you may remember the joys of 10Base2 networks and their like.

Printing from macs or pcs was very slow and queuing to rips was not usually possible. When you hit print the mac would then be locked waiting to print the file and was unusable until the rip accepted the file. It might even crash at printing, but you did not usually know other than your printed file never reached the rip. Usually, the computer was locked up as well. There was no such thing as real multitasking. Many prepress operators would just hit print and hope.

My hair laden self would stand proudly in the middle of the Service Bureau while 6 macs all waited in line to print to the imagesetters. Today most printers have everything in house. Not that long ago each area was, many times, separate companies for prepress, press and post press.

One of these imagesetters was using software on the mac as a rip. It had been there before I arrived and was being used the same way as the faceless rips on the other imagesetters. One day I opened the manual for it and started reading. Flipping through encyclopedias for hours and today going down rabbit holes in Wikipedia is something I still enjoy. In it I discovered that it could use hotfolders and not just Apple Talk printers. This meant printing to a postscript file, which did not have to wait for the network printer to be available to accept the data. The mac was free to continue working and the rip would work on the file when it got to it. This increased the amount of work we could do. In the end all the rips were replaced with ones that could use hotfolders. I know I am waxing long on this, and I am not trying to show what a smart guy I am. What I am trying to illustrate is that a good manual and staff that want to explore and learn can be a great asset to any company in any industry. Curiosity should always be encouraged.

What makes Heidelberg’s help such a pleasure to use? First, when you launch it, you will see that it says Online Help. It is not a stale file locally on your computer, it’s reading from external Heidelberg servers. This means it is actively updated with new content. In Prinect Signa Station, for example, go to Help and choose Online Help. Signa Station also has an online help for those using Packaging Pro as well.

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All of the online help has been carefully organized. This is for any of our products, whether Prinect Cockpit, Prinect Signa Station, PDF Toolbox or Portal, along with many others.

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It is also indexed and searchable.

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Videos are also available to illustrate certain procedures. They cover many of our products with practical how to’s.

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You can get to the help overview for all products from any products help page by selecting Prinect Know How.

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Prinect Know How is your central hub for all Prinect knowledge online, including new version information.

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There is even more information in Functions and Workflow with our Quick Start Guides and pdf manuals for certain tasks.

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There are even posters that can be downloaded and printed for display as reminders for operators. It’s just a plethora of information at your fingertips that can printed at your site.

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This month’s blog I digressed from my usual tips and tricks because having the right documentation and support system to lean on is critical to succeed today. Curiosity should always be encouraged, but sometimes it needs guidance. Exploring without a map is never a bad start but having a map, which is what help in software is, helps you find new destinations. It changed me from that curious young man to the mature Heidelberger I am today. I still enjoy discovering new ways to produce work and new features. There is no other company in the printing industry with such a collection of experts as Heidelberg as well. We have them in almost every conceivable area. They can also help be a guide on your journey to using your Heidelberg products of all kinds, not just Prinect, to their fullest.

If you have any questions about this article or would like more information regarding Prinect, contact your local Prinect Representative or fill out the form below.

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    Joe Banich
    Prinect Product Specialist
    Heidelberg Canada