The PDF Toolbox is a suite of plugins for Adobe Acrobat created by Heidelberg. The Toolbox has many different purposes. It is available for both Mac and PC and there are no differences in their features and functionality between both. After it is installed, it can be accessed in Acrobat from Plugins-PDF Toolbox.

Today in part 2, we’ll be continuing where Part 1 left off in the PDF Report so now let’s look at the next tab in PDF Report Images. It is very important these days considering the people supplying the artwork are becoming less and less experienced in the requirements for printing. Images that are hi-res enough for a web page will not be acceptable in the much higher resolution world of printing. These low-res images can be flagged, with thresholds of severity. This allows you to differentiate between images that are very bad, with ones you and your customer may be okay with but requires inspection to confirm. Unfortunately, there is no way of pulling more details if the images are bad enough and they cannot be fixed. New images with the proper resolution must be supplied. Images that have too high of a resolution can also be caught as these might create long processing times. These can be down sampled in the workflow using the Prepare sequence Optimize step.

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The Other Tab lets you catch aspects on an image that might be unacceptable like compression. Indexed images come from the web and would be completely unacceptable in an industrial printing environment.

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Fonts are critical to get right when printing a job. There are a lot of fonts out there that are not acceptable in any professional graphic arts environment. On top of not working, they can also be unstable and produce different results under different conditions. PDF Report can even fix some of these issues, but just like low-res images, there is only so much that can be done with bad fonts. There may be restrictions on how small a font can be based on how you are printing.

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Character tab catches issues with very poorly encoded fonts. These fonts will most likely display on your screen okay, but they will not output correctly. A good example that we can catch is when a font glyph is missing. This font will not look right ripped to a Heidelberg Suprasetter CTP at 2540 dpi.

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Certain font types can be more problematic than others. Font Type can flag these for you, especially if you still receive Multiple Master fonts. Please remember friends don’t let friends use Comic Sans! The last option allows you to check for specific font names.

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Colors tab General tab lets you catch things like R=G=B black so you don’t type that instead of being black is made of 100% CMYK. This can cause quality issues on digital and offset presses. It can also catch images with an ink limit that is too high. I cover how to catch this and fix it with the workflow in a past blog.

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Under the Color Space tab, issues can be captured like page elements in RGB. Again, this can indicate your images were pulled from a web page. Or even a high-end digital camera. They both work in this color space. In both cases it is good to consult with you customer on how to proceed as conversion to CMYK will need to be checked.

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Separations is usually used when you are having a specific problem with artwork or want to set a specification, such as limiting a job to a certain number of colors.

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Color Names covers how spot colors are named. For example, if it is a Pantone color, does the actual name follow its naming convention.

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Overprint is a very important part of printing. Making sure certain areas of the artwork overprint, while other areas do not, can make a big difference in makeready time. It can also fundamentally change the appearance of the artwork if it is wrong as well.

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Content and Functions tab lets us flag aspects of the pdf that might have transparencies. Layered pdfs need to be reduced to a single layer to produce correctly. It might even occur that the pdf has form data. This is an interactive pdf where somebody can fill out information on the form. We can decide whether to incorporate that information into the final pdf or ignore it

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The highlight of the Other tab is that we can check whether the artwork has the correct bleed and even try to add bleed if it is missing. It is much more difficult to trim a job after without any bleed.

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Complexity covers issues like an excessively large pdf which creates needlessly long processing times. Too much quality can be just as bad as too little, although, easier to fix. The rest covers issues that really amount to bad design, or artwork that is overly complex for no reason.

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PDF Report can be done through the plugin in Acrobat or in the Prinect Production Manager workflow. This isn’t just a prepress workflow but an all-encompassing production system for your entire shop!


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