Preflighting the Printing Workflow for Potential Problems: FlightCheck

The ideal preflighting workflow is a goal toward which many prepress professionals strive. Markzware is the inventor of FlightCheck, the patented preflight technology to check documents in many file formats to ensure proper printing. FlightCheck thoroughly scans documents in Adobe InDesign, Acrobat PDF, Illustrator and more to flag potential printing problems before you print.

How do I preflight with what criteria and where in the printing workflow should preflight occur? The answer: At every stage of the print workflow. Native files should be verified before a document is converted to PDF.  FlightCheck can preflight native files. That file should subsequently be verified before it is sent to the supplier, and the supplier may want to verify it yet again before the file is imposed and plates are set.

You’ve typically got a content creator; you’ve got either a publisher or prepress house, and you’ve eventually got a printer in the printing workflow. Potentially, at least three people handle the document. FlightCheck is the ideal preflighting solution, since it can be used by each of several people involved. Preflighting should be done immediately when the file is created and at every step in the workflow when the document is modified.

Why should we build a workflow? To streamline the workflow, to reduce the turnaround time, eliminate problems, and, to avoid missed deadlines. Most problems occur when a document is handed off from one party to another.  When done properly, preflighting can save time, save money and stop workflow headaches.

Preflighting in the Printing Workflow: FlightCheck Checks for Potential Printing Problems

Markzware FlightCheck scans documents to catch printing problems during prepress before printing

Ideal Preflighting
Typically, where preflighting happens today is at the printer, and what you find is that you’re ready to take a job to press and then discover you have missing fonts, low-res images, RGB, etc. FlightCheck can catch these and many other potential printing problems. Otherwise, the document has to be rejected and sent back. Time is lost, we all start over, and potentially miss our deadlines.

In the prepress world of fantasy, we would preflight files before they are submitted to their destination. For an advertiser and publisher, we want to preflight the ad file while it’s still on that advertiser’s desk, before he burns it to a CD or e-mails it to the publisher. If you are a printer, you’d like to know that every job you receive from a customer has been checked before you get it, and that includes a nice preflight report provided by FlightCheck, which hopefully shows that everything looks good.
Preflighting Multiple InDesign Files with Markzware FlightCheck
Giving your customers a new perspective
No one really likes change, so it seems likely that there will be some resistance from print buyers who may not immediately accept preflighting responsibilities. So, it’s up to the printers to sell the preflight workflow as a win-win for themselves and their clients.

Graphic artists don’t like the idea of preflighting, generally. They look at the screen and say “Yuck,” as they may just want to create beautiful things on screen, so there’s this prevailing mentality of “It’s my job to make things look good on screen, and it is your job to print them.”

There are more benefits to preflighting besides simply catching file errors earlier in the workflow. Preflighting at various stages of the print workflow helps those responsible for making sure documents are built correctly. The printing workflow is smoother when quality has been ensured for the state of the file before it is sent on to the next step. Markzware FlightCheck provides thorough preflighting to ensure print quality.

No longer can content creators rest on the assurance that their printers will take responsibilities for print errors if they don’t catch files they’ve submitted. If a publisher submits a problematic file to the printer, accountability falls back on the publisher’s shoulders. To change the customer’s perspective of preflighting, printers may want to scream this message from the mountaintops: Send us bad files, and you’re running a risk.

How do you teach your clients how to make bullet-proof, error-free documents? A lot of printers buy preflight software (like FlightCheck, the preflight solution available from Markzware at the FlightCheck) for their customers. Yet, customers may not know how to use it or how to configure the specifications properly.

What is needed is free training for customers, because they shouldn’t continue to submit bad files. Teach these customers how to fix files and prepare them correctly from the beginning. The free FlightCheck demo and FlightCheck videos may provide a great headstart. See more printing solutions on the Markzware Products page.

Preflighting the Printing Workflow for Potential Problems: FlightCheck

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