Prepress operators spend a lot of time checking customers artwork for errors or just differences between the original submitted artwork and the revisions. They can catch many artwork flaws and mistakes with PDF Report. Even fix these with Prinect components like Object Editor and Ink Reduction. Comparing differences between original artwork and revisions can be challenging and time consuming. Especially if these differences are very subtle. Heidelberg has a solution for this. PDF Compare is part of our PDF Toolbox suite of Acrobat Plugins. These come standard with Heidelberg’s Prinect Production Manager our all-encompassing workflow.

The first thing you need to do is open the two pdfs that you want to compare. The one you keep in the foreground is the master for comparison.

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By choosing PDF Plugins and picking PDF Compare launches the interface.

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We are then presented with PDF Compares interface. The comparison is done automatically and is immediately available.

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Let’s take a quick look at what we can do with the interface.

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Across the top we can toggle between pages if there are multiple. Zoom tools and fit tools. We get a visual of the differences in the main window area but we can also generate a report in pdf that can be distributed to illustrate the differences for others who maybe don’t have this tool like the originator of the artwork.


 
Down the side we get a preview of the two pages. We can toggle which page we want in the foreground view.

The Tools at toward the bottom left allow us to do visual comparisons between the two pieces of artwork in the main preview window.

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The first arrow towards the bottom left shows us the difference between the two pages using a positive view. If everything were exactly the same, we should see nothing here. I have made a few changes that would be difficult to see and some obvious ones like completely changing the body of text on the right. With this view we immediately know the newly supplied artwork has some serious deviations from the original supplied.

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Negative view of the differences can help bring smaller deviations into view.

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Viewing the differences in red can help highlight them as well.
These are very good tools for helping Prinect operators in Acrobat determine differences but what if we want somebody else to be able to see them. The report button I mentioned earlier, when overviewing the interface, allows us to make a pdf report of all the differences.

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The first page of the report gives us a summary showing us the original on the left. The compared artwork with highlighted differences is center and then the differences by themselves. Since it is just PDF it requires no special tools to read and can be distributed to interested parties in the means you see fit. After the first page each difference is given its own page where it is illustrated. Here are two important examples from this report.

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A number is missing from a bar code which would be a critical problem and would probably result in the entire print run being rejected. Worse if it made it to the shelves. Luckily PDF Compare caught it and we can email the report to the customer to show them.

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I added a 0.35 mm stroke to this object. It would have been visually very difficult to see and could have caused a rejection of the print run.

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Above is another example of a 0.35 mm stroke applied to a piece of type.

We should never leave it to chance when receiving revised artwork where components are so critical it could ruin the print run.

PDF Compare is an easy to use and very fast PDF Plugin by Heidelberg. It is included with the suite that joins many different areas of your shop into one unified interface Prinect Production Manager.


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