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PitStop Connect and Preflighting with FlightCheck Professional

A preflighting development appeared on PrintWeek and is expected to be shown in May at IPEX 2010 in the UK. Interesting, for we have been saying for years that just demanding a PDF file in a certain flavor does not work:

Enfocus unveils PitStop Connect pre-flighting tool

Barney Cox, printweek.com, 09 March 2010
Enfocus has launched PitStop Connect – a software tool that printers can supply to clients to ensure files are produced to their specification so that there are “no more headaches” for creatives.
Source: http://www.printweek.com/PreMediaWeekly

Preflighting does not start with checking a PDF!  Rather, it starts with checking native files in Quark, InDesign or Illustrator layouts. FlightCheck and its exportable Ground Controls or preflight profiles offer this. The ability to share what to check for, BEFORE a PDF is created. The fact that just jamming a PDF spec down the throats of graphic designers has not worked, as you’ll read in the article, also does not surprise me, for we have been seeing and saying that all along! We read in part:

“PDF has become the standard for file delivery, but still one in four files fail pre-flight, which is a huge proportion,” said Enfocus’s director of product development, Elli Cloots.
“They fail for the same reasons as always, low-res images,
fonts not embedded, RGB images, transparency, spot colours and trim size.”
Cloots added that, despite the PDF/X standard and the Ghent PDF Workgroup’s development of best-practice guidelines, there were still problems.
“There is still something missing – communication between
printers and creatives is still complicated,” she said. “Creatives find it hard to find correct PDF settings and production problems mean nothing to them.”
Source: PrintWeek.com

First preflight, then PDF. In a sense, this is good news and educational for the market to remember to preflight first. Then from there, send to your printers or service providers. Postflight is also vital in the overall print workflow from graphic design and prepress through printing. FlightCheck can also postflight PDF files… (Note: a recent survey we did showed that 40% of users send both a PDF and the native file and 46% send in only a PDF to the printer.)
With FlightCheck’s “Page Layout” feature, you see not only what the problems are, but where they are. Then you can launch the native app and fix things on the spot in the native file, where the corrections need to take place… not in the PDF.

Here we see an image, used within a Windows InDesign file that is using fonts. Those fonts used within the embedded images need to also be available and active; otherwise, you may find yourself re-making the PDF again and again. FlightCheck spots this for you, in a split-second.
It is true, though; preflighting is both an art and a science, and communication is key.

PitStop Connect and Preflighting with FlightCheck Professional