FlightCheck preflighting color A prepress operators overview

TAC (Total Area Coverage) Preflight Ground Controls in Markzware FlightCheck

Preflighting color sums up color management for many in print media. To the prepress operator’s dismay, the corporate customer may cry, “It is the same color on that screen as on my printed brochure, only it looks different.” Markzware‘s FlightCheck with Adobe CS4 and Quark 8 support can help you to preflight color.

In this preflighting tutorial video, see how FlightCheck can help prepress operators and others to preflight color for print quality control before document output:

Preflighting color with Markzware FlightCheck, preflight solution for Adobe CS4 and QuarkXPress 8

In this movie, I would like to address some problems you might encounter when you work with InDesign layouts, QuarkXPress, Adobe Illustrator (YES, FlightCheck does preflight Illustrator files and package fonts and images too! Preflight Adobe Illustrator files or other layout documents in which you use colors. Let’s dive in…

When we open the Ground Controls section of FlightCheck, the first thing we see is the 8 tabs. For now, we only use the Colors and Images tabs, because they contain the most rules for the colors. As you can see, there are quite some rules for colors usage here, but let’s go over them one by one, so you exactly know which ones to use whenever you need them.

First one: Non CMYK/Pantone. This means it will check for colors like LAB HKS or any other color model you used in your file.

Unused Spot Colors. This is to keep a good overview on which colors are actually used in your document. If FlightCheck finds unused spot colors, it means you can throw them away from your document, without any problems.

Uses Spot Color. This is a quick way to check if a spot color is used, especially when the document should be in CMYK.

Unnamed Spot Colors. This is to find colors that have no name and could mess up the handling of your plates. In order to keep it as simple as possible it is advised to give every plate/color a right name so no confusion will occur.

Non Default Trap. This rule will flag if special trapping is set by the customer. Even though this rule often is overruled by the RIP station, it is advised to follow up on this, because it might have something to do with the special wishes of the customer.

Bitmap Frames. This sometimes messes up the quality of the frame and is mostly used within Quark documents.

Mismatched Colors. This rule will flag when colors with the same name occur, but have different color values.

Mismatched Spot/Process colors. These are colors with the same name, but different color types like CMYK and RGB.

Similar Name Spot Color. This rule will flag when two or more spot colors have the same name.

Blend/Gradient. Some Blends or Gradients will give problems in the RIP station. You’d better be aware of it before it goes in!

Patterns. The same goes here as goes for the Blend/Gradient. It’s better that they are in there, before you get any problems in your RIP station.

Hairlines. When working with CTF (Computer to Film), you don’t want the lines to be too thin, for they will be gone by the time you get to plate. Note you can adjust the width of the hairlines.

Transparency. If transparencies are found, this rule will flag and will give you the opportunity to make the right adjustments.

C+M+Y+K Too High. This is to make sure all ink on the paper will dry once printed. If too much ink is printed, it will need a long time before it dries. With this rule you can make sure the CMYK level is below the percentage you entered here.
CMYK Too High or Too Low in Markzware FlightCheckSame goes for C+M+Y+K Too Low. If you want all elements to be visible below a certain percentage and depending on whether you use film or not, you want to avoid elements getting lost.

Where the Color Tab had to do with the document itself, we will now have a look at the Images Tab, which has to do with all the images used in the document.

Let’s go to the column ‘Mode’. In this Mode section you will find all the image modes available and which you might or might not want in your document. By checking or unchecking them, or setting them to a warning or an error, you can make sure no surprises occur once you send your file to your output device.

In the ‘Contents’ column there are only a few rules we want to mention, like the ICC Profile. The use of ICC Profiles and color management will influence the quality of the print. So, you’d better be aware when it is used. If you are not using very defined color management, this might give you some problems.

Ink Density Too High. This common preflighting issue is like the check we had for the document, a while ago, but now applied for the image itself.

With this movie, you can see just how important it is to preflight color and check the colors of EVERY document that runs through your workflow. A thorough check with the number one preflight application, FlightCheck, assures the quality of the colors and prevents wasted time and money spent on reprints, because the color was just not what everybody thought it would be.

And with FlightCheck, supporting Quark 8 and Adobe CS4 on top of all the other applications we support, just around the corner it will only get better and easier. Just have a look at the Markzware website to read more about great Markzware products. You’ll be surprised by the time and money you can save. This is Arnold Roosch for Markzware, signing off…

FlightCheck preflighting color A prepress operators overview

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