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Using Output Preview

From: Print Production Fundamentals

Video: Using Output Preview

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.

Using Output Preview

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Print Production Fundamentals
Print Production Fundamentals

68 video lessons · 23847 viewers

Claudia McCue
Author

 
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  1. 2m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 7m 5s
    1. What is print production?
      1m 51s
    2. Understanding roles and responsibilities
      5m 14s
  3. 13m 49s
    1. Communicating with your printer
      3m 49s
    2. What does the printer do with my files?
      2m 39s
    3. Understanding the importance of contract proofs
      1m 57s
    4. Handling corrections and alterations
      2m 8s
    5. Attending press checks
      3m 16s
  4. 13m 27s
    1. Choosing the correct type of printing for your project
      3m 15s
    2. The art of letterpress
      1m 33s
    3. Understanding the advantages of sheet-fed printing
      2m 22s
    4. Using a web press for long runs
      1m 39s
    5. Understanding thermography
      1m 38s
    6. Considerations for digital printing
      3m 0s
  5. 15m 11s
    1. What's a process color?
      2m 55s
    2. What's a spot color?
      2m 52s
    3. Exploring how ink behaves on paper
      5m 14s
    4. Comparing monitor vs. press output
      4m 10s
  6. 15m 15s
    1. Building to the correct size
      4m 37s
    2. Folding and trimming
      3m 18s
    3. Setting up for die cutting
      3m 19s
    4. Embossing
      4m 1s
  7. 3m 17s
    1. Choosing an application
      3m 17s
  8. 9m 54s
    1. Understanding font formats
      1m 45s
    2. Using OpenType fonts
      5m 20s
    3. Fonts to avoid
      2m 49s
  9. 13m 52s
    1. Comparing raster vs. vector images
      3m 23s
    2. Understanding color space
      4m 26s
    3. Examining image formats
      6m 3s
  10. 13m 13s
    1. Looking at image resolution
      7m 16s
    2. Masking basics
      5m 57s
  11. 39m 53s
    1. Understanding Illustrator
      2m 34s
    2. Illustrator layout tips
      2m 48s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure
      6m 29s
    4. Using swatches
      5m 22s
    5. Working with effects
      5m 16s
    6. Cautions about some effects
      1m 23s
    7. Importing images
      2m 41s
    8. Exploring fonts
      2m 42s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      3m 2s
    10. Saving as PDF
      4m 36s
    11. Gathering up the pieces
      3m 0s
  12. 57m 8s
    1. InDesign layout basics
      5m 21s
    2. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method one
      7m 19s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method two
      3m 21s
    4. Working with color and gradient swatches
      7m 12s
    5. Making gradients and creating a rich black swatch
      4m 45s
    6. Exploring fonts in InDesign
      2m 54s
    7. Importing graphics
      7m 49s
    8. Copying and pasting graphics
      3m 38s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      2m 21s
    10. Packaging up a print job
      6m 57s
    11. Generating PDFs
      5m 31s
  13. 22m 43s
    1. Using Overprint Preview in InDesign
      3m 3s
    2. Managing swatches in InDesign
      5m 29s
    3. Preflighting in InDesign
      7m 58s
    4. Using the Links panel in Illustrator
      3m 16s
    5. Using blending modes in Illustrator and InDesign
      2m 57s
  14. 35m 35s
    1. Basic forensics in Acrobat
      11m 3s
    2. Using Output Preview
      5m 30s
    3. Dealing with display artifacts
      2m 52s
    4. Using TouchUp tools
      8m 17s
    5. Converting colors
      4m 11s
    6. Using preflight profiles
      3m 42s
  15. 3m 27s
    1. Submitting the job
      2m 29s
    2. Being a good print customer
      58s
  16. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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