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Preflighting 101 Part 3 FlightCheck-Ground Controls

Earlier this month, we presented you part three in a series of posts on preflighting titled, “Preflighting 101 Part 2 Common Issues-layout problems.” Today, we dive into more specifics on preflighting in the form of FlightCheck, the preflight solution from Markzware. In particular, we will discuss the all-important Ground Controls settings:


III. FlightCheck

III a. Ground Controls

FlightCheck, the preflight software by Markzware, is a stand-alone application for electronically preflighting numerous types of file formats in mere seconds. It can preflight InDesign and preflight Illustrator, as well as PDF, QuarkXPress, Photoshop, image formats and more. The first step of preflighting with FlightCheck is setting up the Ground Controls. The Ground Controls enable you to select how FlightCheck should inform you about the file being checked. By default (The “Default Settings”) the Ground Control settings have many items checked to “on,” which you may not need to worry about.

FlightCheck gathers large amounts of information about the DTP document. The Ground Controls allow you to request FlightCheck to notify you which possible file problems or printing problems you need to know about. You can also request what guidelines it should use to identify what are considered potential printing problems. You can choose each item to be flagged as either an “Error” (red), a “Warning” (blue) or to be ignored by simply not checking it at all.

Ground Controls sets can be created for different types of files, output environments, and applications. We even have separate FlightPlans, one for non-PDF types and another one for PDF files; so that you can have the exact terminology on the reports and accurate information. You can also create a set of Ground Controls to be used with a document created by a specific application. For example, you can create a set of Ground Controls and tell FlightCheck to use it every time an InDesign file is preflighted. Customized Ground Controls sets can also be created for various types of jobs and selected before projects are preflighted. For example, the Ground Controls for a two-color job will most likely have different criteria points than that of a six-color job. Similarly, if your creation will be output in an OPI environment, it will have different requirements than if it is to be printed with embedded high-resolution images.

This last example warrants some additional attention. In an OPI or FPO (For Placement Only) environment, the type of images placed in the document are low-resolution, which are exchanged for high-resolution when the document is printed. When setting up Ground Controls for OPI environment, it is important to ignore certain errors and stress the importance of others. One error that should be ignored is the use of a low-resolution image for any manipulation that has occurred within the page layout application. If a low-resolution OPI image is altered in the page layout application, the changes will be ignored when it is exchanged for a high-resolution image during output.

Image settings make up only one type of Ground Control in FlightCheck. The other profile types are File, Pages, Page Setup, Print, Colors, Trapping, Fonts, Pages, Supporting and Images. There are many sections and individual Ground Controls in each of these categories. Each Ground Control can be made active or inactive. An active Ground Control will produce a warning, if the conditions it represents are found. As mentioned above, which Ground Controls are activated will depend on the type of document and output environment being utilized.

If you will be sending your creations to a prepress vendor, repro house or print vendor, it is a good idea to discuss your FlightCheck Ground Controls settings with that vendor. Vendors know which conditions produce errors.

View a FlightCheck demonstration video on preflighting:

Markzware’s pre press software is available via the FlightCheck page. For more information, see the Ground Controls section in the FlightCheck Manual, which you can access via the FlightCheck page. More printing solutions are available on the Markzware Products page.

Preflighting 101 Part 3 FlightCheck-Ground Controls

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