Preflight for graphic arts is the process to check digital files before going to plate, print or output. Preflight is done in PREparation, before you send documents to others or hit command-P (print). Many loosely use the term “preflight” to cover both preflight and postflight, which is the process administered on the resulting PDF file. FlightCheck, patented software for preflighting by Markzware, can preflight documents during prepress to check digital files and check PDF files for print quality. Other preflighting tools to check PDF files offer limited preflighting and pale in comparison to Markzware FlightCheck.
Preflighting to check print quality should be standard procedure for graphic designers and prepress operators. The importance of preflighting to check PDF files and more can be seen in the exhibit below:
The term “preflight” was first used in a 1990 presentation by Chuck Weger, a famous print industry consultant. Markzware, a software development company, applied for and was duly granted a preflight patent on the ‘Device and method for examining, verifying, correcting and approving electronic documents prior to printing, transmission or recording.’ Markzware developed the first true preflight application, called FlightCheck®. A key decision was made for FlightCheck to become a stand-alone application with additional value, such as compatibility with file formats, including formerly Aldus PageMaker, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and others.
FlightCheck was released during the 3-day Seybold Conference at San Francisco in the fall of 1995, selling nearly 500 units, and ‘officially’ shipping in December of that year. With a simple drag-and-drop interface, FlightCheck can validate file formats for several file types, including Adobe InDesign and PDF. FlightCheck remains a stand-alone application that can check digital files, as well as check PDF files, and continues to benefit printing, publishing and creative companies, worldwide.
Printers, publishers and creatives use FlightCheck to preflight the source document in Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, QuarkXPress, Microsoft Publisher and more, before producing a PDF (Portable Document Format). This is a very important step in document and PDF creation. By preflighting with FlightCheck from Markzware, you can check print quality during prepress, before using a printing press or publishing online banners and gifs. FlightCheck is available online via the FlightCheck page.