Last week, we covered a very important step that should be done before using Markzware FlightCheck to preflight jobs which was in a post titled, “Preflighting 101 Part 3 FlightCheck-Ground Controls“. Today, we move right along and cover the last three steps in the preflight process with FlightCheck to collect files for output:
Inspecting a Document, Viewing the Results and Collect for Output (Job Packaging)
Preflighting 101 – Part 4
IIII b. Inspect Documents
To begin preflighting of print output of one of the various layout design document formats FlightCheck Professional supports is easy. To inspect documents, you can simply either drag and drop it onto the FlightCheck application icon. (Or you can open it from within FlightCheck via a standard “file->open” process>) At this point, FlightCheck can report any potential file problems. When you inspect documents, FlightCheck analyzes the document and measures what it finds against the Ground Controls that have been set and discussed earlier in this lesson series.
Once the preflight inspection of documents is complete, FlightCheck will summarize its findings in the Results Window. The items listed there are based on the Ground Controls activated to use to inspect the document. Potential document problems will be displayed in the categories that are activated (red= errors, blue- warnings). There is also additional help information given about the potential document problems that are found. This educational text includes such items as font manufacturer, image type or image format, image resolution and colors usage, and much more.
III c. Viewing the Results
Once a document has been preflighted, FlightCheck displays what problems might prevent your document from outputting in three different areas: the Results Window, the Overview Window and the Sub Overview Window (page layout window). The Results Window displays the different categories of potential file problems and rules them as fine or as having a potential document problem. If a category has potential document problems, it is placed in a list in the Results window along with brief details about the errors. Additional information about each potential file problem can then be accessed by placing your mouse cursor over the item in question. This is a collection of detailed descriptions of problems and their possible solutions.
The Overview Window also reports potential file problems within the document. The same categories of problems listed in the Results window are listed here. Each category has a button that when selected will display all information about the elements on that category. For example, when the Images category button is clicked, the Overview Window will display all images in the document along with detailed information about each image. This information includes image mode (color mode), image type, file format, image resolution, scaling, and much more. If any one of these characteristics has a potential file problem, it will be highlighted.
In addition to the Results and Overview windows, FlightCheck also features a Sub Overview window (page layout window). This window displays a preview of the document along with a list of potential file problems. From this window, FlightCheck can open the document in its native application (e.g., QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign, Acrobat PDF) and select individual problems automatically. For example, if there is a potential file problem with a font used in a page layout document, FlightCheck can open the document and select the text that is using the font. The Sub Overview page layout window also allows you to open images that have been placed into a document. FlightCheck will search your workstation for applications that can open images. You will then be allowed to select which application FlightCheck should use.
When a potential document problem is corrected in another application, FlightCheck will alert you that the document has been changed and will prompt you to re-scan the document. This will ensure that the results you are viewing are accurate and current. In addition to correcting potential document problems, you can also modify the Ground Controls to eliminate errors. For example, if the control for entered print registration marks has been activated, FlightCheck will alert you if the document is using centered registration marks. If this is not a problem for your workflow, you can simply deactivate the control for centered registration marks to eliminate the error.
IIII d. Collect for Output (Job Packaging)
The last stage of preflighting with FlightCheck is to collect job info for document output. You can collect files and all items for output that may be required when the document is output, such as to package fonts and images used. In addition, FlightCheck will include any XTensions or Plug-ins that may be required for output to PDF or plate. It also includes application preferences and the controls that were used to preflight the document. Once the elements to collect for output have been collected, you can have FlightCheck compress the file into a .zip archive. You can send the .zip archive to the printer or next person in the workflow via FTP, email or CD. This will save disk space and help keep files from being lost.
Markzware’s preflight solution offers several collect options available to collect files of all the document elements for output. FlightCheck will collect files associated with the job to be collected and organize the elements in the output folder. You can tell FlightCheck to make a folder for all images and a folder for fonts.
You can also create a single font suitcase to hold all of the screen fonts used in the document. It is important to note that when the compression option is used, you will not be able to organize the different elements into folders. The number of files and total uncompressed job size can be seen in the Job Info. This job packaging to collect files with all elements is very handy to collect for output, especially with the compression options.
It is important to make mention of the fact that similar to a certified PDF, FlightCheck can place a watermark on the collected folder, giving it a mark of failed or approved. Naturally, we all want to be sending and/or receiving print jobs that have the FlightCheck Approved eagle mark on them!
This is the end of the Preflighting 101 lesson series with FlightCheck for job packaging and to collect for output to PDF in Acrobat before print output. Use Markzware FlightCheck preflight software to open images, inspect documents, and prevent document problems, like file problems with image format or image resolution. The next step is to religiously perform this all-important output print quality assurance task. Like Dr. Demming said, “Quality is everyone’s responsibility.”
Learn more about Markzware FlightCheck by watching videos on MarkzwareTV! You can buy Markzware’s pre press software via the FlightCheck page. See more printing solutions on the Markzware Products page.
Preflighting 101 Part 4 Inspect Documents and Collect For Output