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Join author Claudia McCue on a journey that introduces the printing process and reveals the keys to designing a document that prints as well as it looks onscreen. This course takes you on the floors of two commercial print houses (BurdgeCooper and Lithographix), to better understand the life cycle of a print job and observe printing presses in action. Along the way, discover how to better communicate with your printer, choose the correct paper, inks, colors, and fonts for your project, and how to correctly lay out your documents in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. This course is designed to help you and your printer produce a professionally finished print job, whether it's a business card, brochure, or multipage magazine.
lynda.com thanks the BurdgeCooper and Lithographix printing companies for access to their facilities and permission to film on site. Learn more at www.burdgecooper.com and www.lithographix.com.
When you receive a PDF and you want to check to see if perhaps there are some problems with it, your best set of tools is really the print production tools. When you click Tools though, print production tools aren't available by default. So to open them, go up to this little tiny icon at the upper right and choose the Print Production tools from the list. And so here are your Print Production tools. I recommend that you start with Output Preview. It gives you a lot of information right off the bat. So we immediately realize that we have four spot colors.
You can pretty much tell where they are, but here's a good way to double check. Turn the little checkmark off and on. You can see that the barrel of the paintbrush uses the 7571, the bristles of the paintbrush in some instances are using the 485, and then the two blues are used in the bodies of these two bears. Now this is a demo file, this would be sort of an absurd file to print, but it's a great way to show you the capabilities of the Print Production tools and the Output Preview feature in particular.
There's some other things that I can have it show us. If I come up here to Show, I can say, hey, show me if any of these are CMYK. So it hides everything that's not CMYK. So you might think that this is grayscale, Acrobat thinks of it as being CMYK but just being black only. And notice when I roll my cursor over it, look at the numbers next to the plates over here in Output Preview. You can see that I'm only getting numbers next to the black. And if I scroll over this little guy over here, it's going give me all the CMYK values.
By the way, the Sample Size down here by default is a Point Sample. I recommend that you change it to at least the 3x3. You might want to use the 5x5. But that way, you're not picking on just one little renegade pixel that doesn't represent the area. So when I move this out of the way, you can see, okay, those are my CMYK components. So we suspect that some of them are spot, so I can say, hey, show me everything that's spot color. So that would be these two little bears. Gee, why is this little beret spot, we don't have the spot black.
I'm going to find out about that in a minute. I'm going to ask it to show me everything that's RGB. So it does a really good job of selectively showing you stuff, but think if it were little bitty details in a very complex page, it might be sort of hard to pick these out. If you're trying to do that, well, we're going to take a look at the preflight possibilities later on. Keep in mind that Output Preview is a visual check and it relies on you to sort of pay attention. So let's look at some of the other ways that we can look at this page.
Under Color Warnings, I'm going to go back to show me all. In the Color Warnings, let's see if there's anything that's set to Overprint. Nope, apparently not, nothing lights up. Let's see if there's anything considered rich black. Ah, this is. Now a lot of blue going on in the page. If I find that that blue highlight isn't really obvious, I can click on this little color block next to the Rich Black checkbox and I can pick another color to use for the indicator. I'm going to go for the bright green. All right! So if I scroll back over these, I have to just sort of remember where they are.
If I go back to Separations, if I scroll over this little black beret, look at the total area coverage over there in Output Preview, 800%. How is that possible? Well, that's because somebody used registration as the color of the beret. And I always tell people, don't use registration either in Illustrator or InDesign. It's not a color to be used in the page. And what registration does is put in 100% of every printing plate. So you can see it's 100% of every color. That's not a rich black; that's an opulent black and that's an area that frankly just wouldn't print correctly on press.
So that's a big heads-up there. An Object Inspector is a sort of a core sample of what's going on. So if I click here, it tells me that it's DeviceRGB and it gives me color values in sort of an odd way, but it's in percentages of 1. If we come down on the rich black beret, it says, well, it's 7690 and then it's filled with everything else. That's why it says ColorSpace: Separation, All, and this is PANTONE 7690 and so forth.
Now let's look at one more little part of this. If I click over here, this is actually an image. Everybody else is made out of Vector Art, but this little guy is a Photoshop guy and so it will actually tell me the resolution of this, so it tells me that it's 340.909 pixels per inch. So this is about the only way I know of to find out the resolution of placed image parts. Now you can do it through preflight, but this is a way to do it visually. So these are great little forensic tools for finding out what's wrong with this picture.
Now you have to keep in mind that there's a limit to what you can fix in Acrobat and in subsequent movies I'm going to show you some of the things that you can fix and I'm also going to demonstrate the difficulties in trying to fix some simple things like text. And that's because you should consider a PDF as sort of a sealed final product. The ideal is that you don't try to take a PDF apart. It should be a healthy PDF with good content and you shouldn't have to repair it. But we all know how it is in real life, people can send you things with problems.
So at least this first step using Output Preview, which is part of the Print Production tools, at least you can start to find problems.
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