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Review – Markzware FlightCheck Professional 6.10 by Michael Shaw

Markzware FlightCheck is the thorough preflight solution for print quality control. This pre press software can check documents in many file types, including:

  • Adobe InDesign
  • QuarkXPress
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Acrobat PDF
  • Photoshop
  • and more.

Here is a review on FlightCheck:

Markzware FlightCheck 6.10
by Michael Shaw

Wonderful news from Markzware for those of us who use InDesign or QuarkXPress 7. Markzware’s best preflighting software, FlightCheck Pro 6, has just received a really big performance boost. FlightCheck 6 has had many of its internal routines optimized to increase the speed of preflighting documents. This will be most noticeable on larger documents that contain a large number of picture boxes. Markzware reports speed increases of up to four times faster. Besides other minor improvements, this new update also fixed all reported issues with some Quark 7 files being flagged as locked or not recognized.

For those of you who don’t know, preflighting is an important behind-the-scenes step in any publishing workflow. Preflight preparation and testing involves the checking and verification of all aspects of a print job before it gets sent to the printers. This is done to ensure that the progression of steps necessary to complete the job can be carried out by the printer without expensive disruptions. Documents that are poorly prepared, with missing page elements, can create the most problems and cause added expense in terms of accurate output.

I’m careful to create every MaUsE DoubleClick with images that I don’t move, rename or modify after insertion, and fonts that I personally verify but with much larger publications where many more people have input and control it can become a problem making sure that all of the resources required to print a document on paper are all consistent and all available to the printer.

The fact that your document looks good on your monitor does not guarantee that it will come back from the printer looking just as good. And in the printing industry there are no free throws. If you pay your print service to have something printed and it comes back to you totally unusable with glaring errors or missing images because of your carelessness, you still have to pay full price for it. FlightCheck Professional is the pre-press application of choice used to manage quality control for pre-printing. It will help you check your documents to make sure that everything your printer needs will be available when required.

One of the key capabilities of FlightCheck Professional is its power to preflight a wide variety of file formats and image types. A partial list includes QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign, Acrobat PDF, Adobe PageMaker, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe FreeHand, Microsoft Office, Corel-DRAW, EPS, TIFF and many more. FlightCheck analyzes documents thoroughly and warns you about potential printing problems while guiding you directly to the problem for repair. It issues a complete analysis of the document highlighting potential problems – wrong document size, missing fonts, incorrect colors, transparency of spot colors, incorrect image resolution and much more.

FlightCheck then collects all required elements of the print job, such as images and fonts, to insure that jobs print as expected. After verification of the print job, FlightCheck Professional generates a detailed preflight report high-lighting specific print problems, providing an easy means to navigate to them for repair. You can share these reports with customers, helping to communicate your needs and educate them to create better print-ready documents. Preflighting is a crucial step in achieving a successful print job. It’s how to keep small problems from becoming big, expensive problems.

Adobe InDesign‘s basic built-in preflighting tools and QuarkXPress 7’s Job Jackets features offer some protection against native file problems. For basic and small publishing jobs like the DoubleClick that never see a professional printer, these built-in features suffice but for large expensive commercial publishing projects, where even your smallest mistakes can be costly, you need the insurance of a professional checker. Markzware FlightCheck Professional 6 is the best preflighting solution around.

On the next page, you will see the FlightCheck 6.10 application in action generating a report during a routine check of last month’s MaUsE DoubleClick. I launched FlightCheck and told it to open the QuarkXPress January ’08 Layout. You can see the results in the three FlightCheck windows. The eight categories checked in the Print Layout window are File, Colors, Pages, Trapping, Page Setup, Fonts, Print, and Images and as you can see from the Results window, the FlightCheck program cleared the document in three categories (green check) and flagged 278 potential problems in the other five categories (red X). In the Results window, the errors are listed by category with suggested remedies. The large Print Layout window lists a much more detailed report that pinpoints the exact location and nature of the problems that it has determined may interfere with correct printing. The optional Ground Controls windows can be opened for more information.

With a little QuarkXPress 7 document like our MaUsE DoubleClick, more or less edited and created by one person on one computer, and published to PDF in one swell foop, it’s easy for me to retain control and it’s always cheap to fix it with recycled electrons if & when errors do creep in. Unfortunately, unlike the DoubleClick most desktop publishing documents are created by a team of writers and are designed to be printed on real paper. The creators of the various documents that make up most monthly publications do not have the option of undoing their costly mistakes for free when they impact the printing process.

Markzware’s FlightCheck Professional is the recipient of many coveted industry awards and accolades from GrafixWorld, Digital Imaging Association, Electronic Publishing, Publish, Mac-User and MacWorld for having made a major impact on industry production and profitability. Source

Review of Markzware FlightCheck Professional 6.10 by Michael Shaw of MaUsE (Macintosh Users East)

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