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Reviewing the print production tools

From: Acrobat X Essential Training

Video: Reviewing the print production tools

Unless you're in the printing industry, you may not realize that Acrobat is the primary application that people who work at printers in the department called Prepress use to make sure that the files that are about to be printed will print correctly. PDF is the standard format for these kind of files. So if you're a designer, you're not really sending your live InDesign, or Word, or Publisher, files to their printer; you're exporting them to PDF and then sending the press-ready PDF to your printer. Or even if your printer is asking for the native files, just in case you did something wrong, which of course you wouldn't, otherwise only people who don't go to lynda.com make mistakes.

Reviewing the print production tools

Unless you're in the printing industry, you may not realize that Acrobat is the primary application that people who work at printers in the department called Prepress use to make sure that the files that are about to be printed will print correctly. PDF is the standard format for these kind of files. So if you're a designer, you're not really sending your live InDesign, or Word, or Publisher, files to their printer; you're exporting them to PDF and then sending the press-ready PDF to your printer. Or even if your printer is asking for the native files, just in case you did something wrong, which of course you wouldn't, otherwise only people who don't go to lynda.com make mistakes.

They will take your native file, and they will convert it to PDF and then run it through various checks in Acrobat. So there are a whole bunch of tools built into Adobe Acrobat that are specifically for prepress, meaning before they go on a printing press, to check various things like colors, and printer's marks, and resolution of images--things like that. They're not showing by default in Acrobat X. To see them, you need to go to the Tools Panel menu right here, and choose Print Production--that's where they are hiding--and then you could just whole new dropdown of all these cool tools.

Now in this video, I'm actually going to give you a brief synopsis of what each of these tools does, just in case you're curious. We are not going to go into a lot of detail at all in any of them, but in the other videos in this chapter, I will go into some amount of detail on some of the more commonly used ones, things that you might want to use, even if you're not working in prepress at a big, huge commercial printer. So starting from the top, Acrobat Distiller used to be sold as a separate program. For the past few versions it's been part of Adobe Acrobat, and if you click it, it'll open up the small mini program that actually converts PostScript files and EPS files to PDF files.

Distiller is hardly ever used these days because most programs have it built-in. Like in Microsoft Word, the PDFMaker, that whole Ribbon there--that's actually Distiller, all right. Or in Adobe InDesign, when you export to PDF, it's using Distiller in the background. So it's not used that often. Output Preview is a big, fat dialog box. It has lots of tools for looking at a PDF to preview any kind of issues. It doesn't really fix anything; it just helps you look at specific things. Preflight is a monster of a dialog box. It doesn't look so monstrous at first glance. But it has a ton of little programs built-in that can check and correct, in other words it can modify a PDF to fix things.

Like it can convert color to grayscale, it can do all sorts of PDF fix-ups and prepress things, and create layers, as you can see. It also has a Standards panel that we will be talking about that will let you save it in a press-ready standard format. That's what the whole Preflight dialog box is about. It comes from preflighting, like when you're going to fly a jet airplane. Before the pilots take off, they go through a check list of things to check to make sure that everything is cool before they are up in the air. And that's what a lot of people do before you send a job out to a very expensive press is they make a bunch of checks of the document to make sure all the fonts are there, the pictures are there, and so on.

That's what the Preflight dialog box helps you do. Trap Presets are just to create something called trapping, which is when two colors abut, in case things slip on press to make sure there is no white gaps in between things. Very technical. You'll never need to use that. Convert Colors is pretty cool. It lets you convert colors, believe it or not. Yes, it's true. The Ink Manager gives you fine-tuned control over the actual inks that are going to be used on press, the primary process inks plus any spot color inks. Set Page Boxes is actually the Crop tool, which I talked about before, just that when you're in Prepress you use Set Page Boxes a lot to do things like add extra room for bleeds--things like that.

Once you've added extra rooms for bleeds then you might want to add printer's marks, trim marks, crop marks. Sometimes a designer will export a document to PDF but forget to include printer's marks, which printers really need when you print it out, in order to be able align things up correctly on press. Fix Hairlines is a nice little fix-up that I guess is so commonly in need of fixing that they created a special tool just for this, and we'll be looking at that in a different video. A hairline is a very thin line or rule on a page, but sometimes if it's too thin, it will just disappear completely once it's printed.

So this will make sure that that doesn't happen. The Flattener Preview is a very large dialog box that shows you live transparency on the page, and what things will be effected by live transparency-- a little bit beyond the purview of our video. And finally JDF Job Definitions, these are kind of like files that go along, or they are included in a PDF, embedded in a PDF, that help the workflow. It describes like binding requirements and what job identity and all sorts of information.

So if you're using a JDF job workflow, then this is very useful to you. And that's it. That was the fastest tour of all the Print production tools that I have ever heard, and now if you'd like to learn more about them, I encourage you to watch the other videos in this chapter.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Acrobat X Essential Training

97 video lessons · 31317 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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