Preflighting 101 Part 4 Inspect Documents and Collect For Output

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

What Is A Preflight Check? Checking Everything From PDF To Graphic

A preflight check for checking PDF, graphic design, graphic arts, and other files for printing quality:
Preflight PDF Tools in Markzware FlightCheck Preflight Solution
A preflight check scans everything from PDF to Graphic for print quality assurance. FlightCheck, the patented preflight technology from Markzware, is the standard solution for providing a preflight check. FlightCheck can process a preflight check to ensure print quality for such file formats as Adobe InDesign, Acrobat PDF, QuarkXPress, Photoshop, Illustrator, Microsoft Publisher, and many more.

What is a preflight check?
A preflight check is a final look through all of your production files for an output quality check before they leave your desktop. This saves time while eliminating common project-delaying errors, as well as saves money as a final output quality and content check ensures that all of the client’s colors are correct and all project specifications are met with the best image printing. It is a good idea to have someone other than the production artist look over the files as a fresh set of eyes is more likely to catch potential problems. FlightCheck performs a thorough preflight check.

Create a preflight checklist to keep your work methodical and which you can hand back to the artist flagging problems for correction. Depending on your industry or the nature of your files, use and adapt the following preflight checklist when preflighting files:

Quick Quality Checklist by a dedicated Preflight Manager
1. Artist: Collect or package all your files, ready to burn to CD and update links. Prepare all your paperwork, burn to disk, and package everything up ready for the supplier, then hand it off to your quality control manager for a final print quality check. If you need help preparing your package read my article on How To Ship Files.

Goal: Preparing the package to go out means that all materials in your package – digital or paper – can be checked and if it is approved it can go immediately to the supplier.

2. Preflighter: take the package and download the contents of the disk to your hard drive so you have a record of what you checked and what shipped.

3. While they are downloading: Look at all the paperwork and the printouts supplied by the artist.
Goal: This visual check gets you familiar with the job and flags the most obvious problems quickly.

a) Do they seem to have been built to supplier specifications?
b) Are printouts of all elements on the disk provided?
c) Do they seem to conform to your company’s expected standards?
d) Do you see any obvious errors (i.e., safety, spelling, improper template usage)?
e) Are the markups to your supplier clear or do they raise more questions?

4. Run a preflight software like FlightCheck by Markzware.
Goal: For me, FlightCheck is the fastest way to get a snap shot of the project as a whole, allowing you to flag potential problems immediately. Once files are downloaded and you have made some notes from the printouts for follow up, load the fonts and run the files through FlightCheck.
It will flag:
a) RGB Images which should be CMYK
b) low resolution images, missing fonts, Pantone colors in use, missing images

5. Now look at the files
Goal: You have flagged issues from the printouts and FlightCheck. Now it’s time to open and have a look at the files themselves.
a) are they built to the correct size?
b) what file formats are they (Illustrator, Quark, InDesign, PDF) and is this appropriate to the job?
c) are they the right scale?
d) is there enough bleed and are all graphics within the safety area?
e) are folds, die lines and glue flaps created properly?
f) check Ink densities (see my Ink Density post)

Total time for check up to this point: 15-30 mins (perhaps up to an hour for a larger project)
At this point you have three options for your project:

1. Run with it as is and ship package to supplier
2. Request revisions and a new disk from the artist
3. Flag marginal problems with the Studio Manager or Account person and decide on course of action (ie: fix or ship)

Stay consistent and allow that extra 1/2 hour for the print quality check and you will see your re-run or re-print costs go down. You will not eliminate every error but in a busy studio, where artists are often rushed, taking a moment to stop and double check things with FlightCheck will be time well spent.

David Williams is from Toronto, Canada. He has over 20 years of experience in print production, prepress, creative, studio management, print purchasing and client liaison and currently works for Silverpeak, a large format printing firm in Mississauga.

What Is A Preflight Check? Checking Everything From PDF To Graphic

Check PDF, graphic design and other file formats with FlightCheck.

You can buy Markzware’s preflight solution via the FlightCheck page. See more printing solutions for graphic design and graphic arts on the Markzware Products page.

What Is A Preflight Check? Checking Everything From PDF To Graphic

Preflight Adobe InDesign for Print Quality Control: Prepress with FlightCheck

Markzware invented FlightCheck, the preflight solution to check print quality before printing. FlightCheck scans documents thoroughly to catch printing errors during prepress before output. Markzware develops this preflight solution for the prepress and printing industry, including graphic designers, marketers, advertisers, publishers, printers, and other professionals who use prepress solutions. These various businesses share similar prepress challenges.

Printing businesses creating colorful marketing pieces with the latest technology may command higher prices for their products. To produce this type of high-quality document, smart businesses will want to use FlightCheck, since it can help avoid color printing problems and an entire list of other printing problems for documents created in a number of file types. FlightCheck can preflight Adobe InDesign, Acrobat PDF, Illustrator, QuarkXPress, Microsoft Publisher and many other file formats.

Preflight Adobe InDesign during Prepress: Use FlightCheck for Print Quality Control

Preflight Solution – Markzware FlightCheck can preflight Adobe InDesign and other documents for
print quality control in PDF or non-PDF workflows

The prepress department may handle graphic design, desktop publishing (DTP), web-to-print, and more. Time, materials and labor can be costly, so it is important to save on printing to help balance the budget against the other costs involved in printing production. FlightCheck helps avoid printing problems by checking documents to ensure printing quality before printing, thereby saving on printing costs.

As the use of graphic design technology grows, more files are created by customers. Many commercial printers receive customer-created files that require prepress work before printing properly.  It is easier for prepress to prepare a print-ready file than to have to redesign it. Some printers train customers on how to create and submit a file, often favoring PDF. FlightCheck can preflight InDesign documents for PDF and non-PDF workflows.
Preflight Adobe Creative Suite and Creative Cloud File Formats with Markzware FlightCheck
Prepress professionals can ensure print quality control for their documents by using FlightCheck preflight software by Markzware to preflight Adobe InDesign, PDF files and more for quality print output. FlightCheck warns you of potential printing problems before it’s too late. Try the free FlightCheck demo and see how FlightCheck can provide print quality control for your prepress process. FlightCheck is available online from Markzware at the FlightCheck page. See more printing solutions on the Markzware Products page.

Preflight Adobe InDesign for Print Quality Control: Prepress with FlightCheck

Adobe InDesign Printing Guide: FlightCheck Preflight Solution

FlightCheck, preflight solution by Markzware, is a valuable resource for prepress providers. If you work in prepress, let FlightCheck be your Adobe InDesign printing guide: 

Adobe InDesign printing is much in demand, and prepress providers need to preflight files for print quality control. To define preflight profiles, check out the FlightCheck preflight solution from Markzware. Markzware is the inventor of FlightCheck, the preflight solution for quality control in prepress workflows for Adobe InDesign printing and more.

Consult with your prepress provider to obtain a preflight profile or to learn what the settings are for preflight profiles. See how easy Adobe InDesign printing can be with FlightCheck in this video demonstration for prepress providers of Adobe InDesign printing:

Adobe InDesign Printing Guide: FlightCheck

FlightCheck, the preflight solution from Markzware, can be a valuable Adobe InDesign printing guide

FlightCheck scans files to alert you to potential printing problems, so that you can ensure printing quality. FlightCheck also provides a detailed preflight report to guide you to properly printing Adobe InDesign documents. FlightCheck is available from Markzware at the FlightCheck page. See more printing solutions on the Markzware Products page.

Preflighting Multiple Adobe InDesign Files with Markzware FlightCheck
Preflighting Multiple InDesign Files with Markzware FlightCheckFlightCheck Ground Controls, Page Layout and results screens help act as an Adobe InDesign printing guide

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Adobe InDesign Printing Guide: FlightCheck Preflight Solution

Auto Preflight Options

Auto Preflight Options in FlightCheck

Watch here how to turn on Auto Preflight Detection within FlightCheck v7 Mac:

Auto Preflight

Alright. Today, we’re going to go over Auto Preflight Detection in FlightCheck 7. How to automatically switch preflight profiles, or Ground Control sets, and preflight paines, based on file type. Now, everyone should, hopefully, know what Ground Controls  are. If not, we have a great series of videos on how to set up your Ground Controls.

Markzware FlightCheck Auto Preflight Options

You go in here and click on or off all the settings. One small dot is a warning. A full dot or square is an error. And you can change these and you can make different sets of Ground Controls. And some can be based on PDF, and some can be based on Open files. And this, the default, I always have based for InDesign files. And there, you can adjust things to how you like. Right? You can export and share these, etc.

Under File, the Preflight Mode, you can change languages there, as well. German, Dutch, French, but you can also, Spanish. You can also go under English, US English, and change to the PDF interface. It even warns you Auto Preflight is there, and you see the Ground Controls change. Now, these are all PDF-based set of checks, and we get a different interface up top. There’s no package or collect job, which is more important in a, for a Quark or InDesign or Illustrator file.

Auto preflight detection under FlightCheck Preferences, just says click here in the flight strip Preferences. And under Advanced, you can then choose the Auto Preflight Detection and click on Customize. From there, you can see we have some object classes and Preflight Mode set up. And if you hit Expert Mode, you get even more information. We’re going to have Minimum and Maximum Doc Versions, Application Types, Creator Type, Extension Type, etc. Turn that off for now. Or you can add a new class, a new type of file type just by here and you can say, “Okay, well, I want Photoshop native files to have… and you must go into your Applications > FlightCheck 7 Mac >  Data > and the language you’re choosing, you’re using.

And then you can choose non-PDF interface, or Preflight Mode, as we call it. And then, you can also define a set of Ground Controls. So, we’ll say Default. And you’ll see it here. And you’ll see you have for Illustrator, a set of checks [to preflight and package Illustrator]. And also, set at Default, and lots of others. Okay? So, when we click OK, the Auto Preflight Detection should now work. Alright. What I’ll first do is take a PDF here and we’ll drop it on the FlightCheck flight strip. (FlightCheck eagle screeches.)

And you’ll see the Ground Controls are at PDF/x1-a, but, you see, this is not a perfect PDF/x1-a. So, right away, we know, and you see what the problems are. Right? Now, if I leave those Ground Controls open and note the interface. If I then take one of these Illustrator, native Illustrator, files and drop it on the flight strip… (FlightCheck eagle screeches.)

Look at that! We get a whole different interface. We get, automatically, it warns us of the problems. There’s a missing font I have. I did not convert fonts to outline. I have a missing font in there. Very handy to know. And we can see it and this is extremely useful, FlightCheck, for checking Illustrator and Photoshop files. What you see is the Ground Controls switched from those PDF/x1-a to PDF interface, right to the Default set of Ground Controls, which we just set up, up in the Preferences. So, very handy!

So, that’s FlightCheck, and how to set up in the File Preferences the, under Advanced, the Auto Preflight Detection, a very powerful way to automatically change your preflight checks, based on file type, and even versioning, and extension, and much more. So, it’s been, here, David Dilling, with this tip of the day, how to set up Auto Preflight Detection in Markzware’s FlightCheck 7 for InDesign, QuarkXPress, Illustrator, PDF, Photoshop, you name it. We’re going to help you preflight it, before you go to print, press, or even for online use.

Check us out today on and try the free demonstration version of FlightCheck for 30 days. Try it for yourself. It’s really amazing! A great tool to have in anybody’s toolbox. It goes much further than just InDesign, or any other preflight tool. It’s stand-alone, powerful, and it’ll help you in your workflow, to save time, money, and, more importantly, stop headaches. Take care.

Buy FlightCheck and get your Auto Preflight options in order today!