Press-Quality PDF Files: Preflighting Desktop Publishing

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Preflighting, as done by FlightCheck, the patented software from Markzware, for preflighting during prepress, is mentioned in a book on ground rules for desktop publishing (DTP). In the chapter on preflighting, graphic layout designers, or graphics layouts creators, are recommended to send both press-quality Adobe PDF files and the collected original DTP layout, as printers can attest:

Today, the majority of print shops accept press-quality PDFs, and for many types of jobs, printers prefer PDFs rather than native files. But I still recommend you provide both types of files:

—> A package of the native files that includes the desktop publishing files from InDesign, Quark, Pagemaker, or other professional graphic layouts program; the fonts used in the files; and the EPS, AI, PDF, TIF, and PSD graphic files used in the package layout.
—> A press-quality PDF with all these items embedded into it.

Why send both?
Because it gives the printer the best of both worlds…and covers emergencies. When a press-quality PDF is made correctly, and when I don’t request any last-minute changes to text or graphics in the job, the PDF can then sail through the prepress process without a hitch and get my job on press a bit quicker and, maybe, with fewer costs.
But, what if I have substantial editorial changes once my job has entered prepress? Or what if my printer thinks that a photo in my layout needs some technical adjustments for color or something else? Or what if I didn’t create my files correctly and my printer needs to fix them? In any of these situations, most printers would prefer to use the native desktop publishing and graphic files to make these changes and adjustments because it can be nearly impossible—or difficult and time consuming—to make changes to the PDF.
So send both: if  you are able to print 2 PDF, that’s great! And if it doesn’t, your natives have you — and your printer — covered.

Seems sort of odd that one should have to send both a press-ready PDF as well as the open or source file with all job elements – after all, wasn’t PDF supposed to do away with all of that? Preflighting with FlightCheck is the solution. As many of our FlightCheck users will confirm, the print world (especially digital print) continues to accepting original application files or limited acceptable files to only PDF. On the contrary, many printers are seeing a decline in the number of PDF files arriving and an increase in collected proprietary files, as FlightCheck, the solution for preflighting during prepress, can handle.

How to Prepress in Adobe InDesign with FlightCheck

FlightCheck, preflighting software for press-quality PDF files in desktop publishing

It is also interesting to note that some digital printing presses are now asking for much higher resolution images at 400 DPI (Dots Per Inch). In any event, rest assured that FlightCheck preflighting software (available online at the FlightCheck) can check both the files created in the original design program (QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, etc.) during prepress, as well as the resulting PDF!

You can buy Markzware’s preflighting software via the FlightCheck page. More printing solutions for printers and publishers are available on the Markzware Products page.

Press-Quality PDF Files: Preflighting Desktop Publishing

Title: Press-Quality PDF Files: Preflighting Desktop Publishing
Published on: March 12, 2012
Patty Talley

Strategic Marketing Analyst at Markzware

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