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.

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If you like using the very useful Tools Center, it can be added to it there as well.

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Many of these tools have overlapping functions with what is in the workflow, but this allows you to use these functions in different contexts or even for other output functions in your shop. I overview some of these workflow components in my two blogs covering the Qualify and Prepare sequences. For instance, it saves you the money of buying plugins for tasks like editing the PDF content.

I have covered three other tools in this suite: Object Editor, Geometry Control and the extremely awesome Coating Editor. I also discuss trapping. Today in part 1 of 2, I would like to illuminate the tool PDF Report.

You can use this plugin to preflight, and many times fix, different aspects of the production PDF. These can be configured to the printing standards you use in your shop. Some typical presets are also provided. In an earlier blog we looked at how we can use it to capture images with unacceptable ink limits and reduce them. Our Acrobat plugin is organized in tabs and sub tabs representing different types of artwork elements we would like to check. The Document tab, then General tab can be configured to check things like if the PDF is locked with a password and what level of PDF version is acceptable.

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PDF/X compliance can also be configured if you require those standards for the artwork that is being submitted to you.

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If we are working with variable data. PDF/VT can be configured to check for any errors or mistakes. Prinect is comfortable preflighting jobs for the digital world as well as commercial and packaging. Prinect unifies these worlds so operators have one place to go to do their work. This reduces training needs as well.

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In any PDF based workflow, it is very important that the Geometry of the PDF is set correctly or you can force a specific trim size. Sometimes, like I said before, your production PDF could have been made from several different source PDFs so their trim size could be different. We can catch these issues.

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The Other tab has options that can affect pages like page rotation. Maybe the pages of the PDF you are working with were combined from several different source PDFs. Orientation Is Not Uniform makes sure that they are all oriented the same because you can mix orientations and trim sizes in a PDF. The Number of Pages can be set if we should always be receiving a certain number of pages. Multiple PDF reports can be configured based on different criteria or even specific to a monthly job you receive.

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In my next blog we will look at the rest of PDF Report. As creators and designers become less skilled at setting up jobs correctly for printing and turnaround times become faster and faster, it is imperative to have a consistent and fast way to check artwork to the standard of your printing house. Whether you are doing it in Acrobat or the workflow, the settings and features are the same and allow you to use them flexibly based on your needs.


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    Joe Banich
    Prinect Product Specialist
    Heidelberg Canada