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Fixing hairlines

From: Acrobat X Essential Training

Video: Fixing hairlines

One of the most useful tools in the Print Production pantheon--did you like that?-- is the Fix Hairlines tool right here. Before we go into it though, let me help you out. If you're not seeing Print Production, you can get to it by going to your Tools Panel menu right here, and choosing Print Production, so you can see all these tools. It's not enabled by default. Okay, so what these Fix Hairlines do, and what is a hairline in the first place? A hairline is a print industry term for a very thin line or rule.

Fixing hairlines

One of the most useful tools in the Print Production pantheon--did you like that?-- is the Fix Hairlines tool right here. Before we go into it though, let me help you out. If you're not seeing Print Production, you can get to it by going to your Tools Panel menu right here, and choosing Print Production, so you can see all these tools. It's not enabled by default. Okay, so what these Fix Hairlines do, and what is a hairline in the first place? A hairline is a print industry term for a very thin line or rule.

Sometimes, hairlines can be too thin, and they won't show up when they are actually on press. It's a very common mistake to happen, because a lot of people are just dragging outlines onscreen and then scaling them and not paying attention to what's happening as they scale the lines. So the screen will always show the line. It will make the line disappear, right? It'll always be at least one pixel wide. But sometimes when it's actually printed, it's less than that, so the printer can't print it. So, this will go through and look for hairlines, narrower than or equal to a certain measure, and then fix them-- actually, replace them with a thicker line.

So let's take a look at this document, for example. It might not be obvious from the get-go where is the problem lying, but if you zoom in closely and hold down the Ctrl and the Spacebar to get the temporarily Zoom tool, or Command+Spacebar in a Mac-- I'm just going to drag a little selection rectangle at the upper left-hand corner-- you can see how this line does not match this line. Let's say that we wanted this line to match this line. What we could do is use Fix Hairlines, and I am more of a points person than an inches person when I'm working with the printing.

So I'll just say find a line that is less than half of a point, 0.5, and replace it with a half of point, because I believe that this is a half of point. So you can say all pages in document, or the current page, or a page range, and then click OK. Are you sure you want to do it, because you can't undo. Well, of course, you could always like close the document without saving your changes. So you don't need to worry about that too much. There you go--nice and fixed. Even though this wasn't a hairline per se, it's a really nice way of being able to change the width of certain lines.

But let me show you an actual hairline problem. I have a document opened called Two Trees Business Card. Here is something that typically happens is that the designer lays out the business card, has some beautiful artwork, places the artwork, and then scales it down. Now I happen to know that the original artwork of these two olives on the olive branch is about a letter-size page. This is a business card, which is about 2 inches x 3 inches. So this was scaled down a lot. And when you scale an image down in Word, or PowerPoint, or InDesign, or QuarkXPress for that matter, it always scales everything down, including line widths.

If we zoom in closely here--again with Command or Ctrl+Spacebar--and drag, these lines are extremely thin. So we're going to use our friend, Fix Hairlines, to actually bring any line that is less than a hairline to a hairline's width. Now in the US, we are typically using .125 of a point as the lowest amount of width that a line can hold. That is called a hairline. So we're going to again switch the units to points. I'll put in .125.

So any line that is less than an eighth of the point, please make it an eight of the point. It might be difficult to see a change, but keep your eye on this line and this line here, and click OK. You can see they got a little bit thicker. And so they're still nice, and thin, and delicate, as the designer wanted, but at least they'll print. So that is the job of Fix Hairlines. It's just a one-trick pony, but it's often just exactly the pony that you need.

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This video is part of

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Acrobat X Essential Training

97 video lessons · 31187 viewers

Anne-Marie Concepción
Author

 
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  1. 1m 53s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. Using the exercise files
      20s
  2. 55m 0s
    1. Opening documents and moving them around
      6m 3s
    2. Working with the toolbars
      5m 59s
    3. Working with the panels
      3m 43s
    4. Customizing the toolbar with Quick Tools
      4m 40s
    5. Using the Pages panel to navigate
      3m 57s
    6. Selecting and copying text and graphics
      3m 24s
    7. Rotating pages
      4m 49s
    8. Changing the viewing options
      6m 12s
    9. Reviewing preferences
      7m 6s
    10. Finding words and phrases
      2m 35s
    11. Searching a PDF and working with the Search panel
      4m 21s
    12. Sharing PDFs by email and with Adobe SendNow
      2m 11s
  3. 33m 18s
    1. Creating PDFs from Microsoft Office applications
      9m 46s
    2. Creating PDFs from Creative Suite applications
      8m 57s
    3. Creating PDFs from within Acrobat Pro
      4m 27s
    4. Creating PDFs from a web site
      8m 22s
    5. Creating PDFs from the clipboard
      1m 46s
  4. 30m 58s
    1. Editing text
      8m 51s
    2. Adding text
      4m 40s
    3. Editing images and graphics
      3m 39s
    4. Changing the page number display
      3m 48s
    5. Digitally signing PDFs
      6m 26s
    6. Cropping pages and documents
      3m 34s
  5. 1h 6m
    1. Adding watermarks
      6m 17s
    2. Adding page backgrounds
      5m 41s
    3. Adding page numbers
      5m 56s
    4. Adding headers and footers
      9m 7s
    5. Adding bookmarks
      11m 30s
    6. Attaching files to a PDF
      7m 11s
    7. Adding metadata
      3m 45s
    8. Optimizing a PDF for file size and compatibility
      10m 12s
    9. Creating initial view settings
      7m 16s
  6. 37m 59s
    1. Adding hyperlinks to URLs
      7m 33s
    2. Creating links with the Link tool
      6m 9s
    3. Working with interactive actions
      6m 56s
    4. Creating and adding buttons
      6m 28s
    5. Adding video, sound, and SWF files
      7m 29s
    6. Adding page transitions
      3m 24s
  7. 27m 12s
    1. Extracting pages
      3m 53s
    2. Splitting a PDF into multiple files
      4m 13s
    3. Inserting pages from files and other sources
      5m 42s
    4. Moving, copying, and replacing pages
      8m 17s
    5. Combining PDFs
      5m 7s
  8. 27m 9s
    1. Exporting text
      8m 33s
    2. Exporting images
      6m 33s
    3. Exporting PDFs to Microsoft Word
      7m 21s
    4. Exporting PDFs to Microsoft Excel
      4m 42s
  9. 26m 27s
    1. Working with portfolios
      6m 57s
    2. Creating portfolios
      6m 26s
    3. Customizing portfolios
      7m 23s
    4. Optimizing backward compatibility
      5m 41s
  10. 32m 9s
    1. Creating an interactive form
      6m 42s
    2. Working with form fields
      6m 41s
    3. Editing field properties
      5m 34s
    4. Distributing and collecting forms
      9m 43s
    5. Enabling Reader to save form data
      3m 29s
  11. 34m 26s
    1. Adding sticky notes and other annotations
      9m 2s
    2. Using the drawing markup tools
      6m 10s
    3. Viewing, filtering, and replying to comments
      5m 24s
    4. Printing, summarizing, and exporting comments
      6m 35s
    5. Exporting comments to Word for Windows
      3m 28s
    6. Enabling extended commenting in Acrobat Reader
      3m 47s
  12. 25m 29s
    1. Understanding the different review processes
      2m 7s
    2. Using the email review process
      4m 33s
    3. Conducting a shared review with Acrobat.com
      6m 54s
    4. Using the Review Tracker
      4m 32s
    5. Using the Collaborate Live review process
      7m 23s
  13. 31m 2s
    1. Reviewing the print production tools
      5m 18s
    2. Previewing color separations
      3m 51s
    3. Using the Object Inspector to learn details
      3m 13s
    4. Working with the Preflight dialog box
      5m 34s
    5. Fixing hairlines
      3m 57s
    6. Converting colors
      2m 27s
    7. Saving as a standards-compliant PDF
      6m 42s
  14. 19m 16s
    1. Scanning a paper document to PDF
      4m 44s
    2. Setting up optimization options
      6m 48s
    3. Recognizing text in a scanned PDF
      4m 43s
    4. Reviewing and correcting OCR suspects
      3m 1s
  15. 17m 18s
    1. Using the built-in Actions for automation
      5m 32s
    2. Editing Actions
      4m 7s
    3. Creating new Actions
      4m 51s
    4. Sharing Actions with others
      2m 48s
  16. 35m 27s
    1. Choosing a security method
      5m 27s
    2. Password-protecting a PDF
      7m 28s
    3. Securing a PDF with a certificate
      5m 6s
    4. Creating a digital id
      5m 43s
    5. Removing sensitive content with the Redaction feature
      6m 52s
    6. Revealing and clearing hidden information
      4m 51s
  17. 33m 45s
    1. Opening and navigating PDFs in Reader
      7m 30s
    2. Adding comments
      3m 14s
    3. Viewing extended features
      6m 53s
    4. Digitally signing a PDF
      6m 15s
    5. Sharing PDFs
      2m 29s
    6. Using Acrobat.com
      7m 24s
  18. 3m 54s
    1. Final thoughts
      3m 54s

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