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Using TouchUp tools


Print Production Fundamentals

with Claudia McCue

Video: Using TouchUp tools

There are some limitations to what you can repair in a PDF, so let's look at some of the repair tools. Now the two handiest ones don't appear by default in your toolbar, but it's easy to put them up there. If you right-click, and on a Mac of course you can Ctrl+Click and you choose Quick Tools. Here on the left, under Content, Edit Object and Edit Document Text, so I'm going to choose Edit Document Text, hit the little triangle to add it to my Quick Tools and, of course, Edit Object, and when I click OK, I now have two new tools up here.
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  1. 2m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 7m 5s
    1. What is print production?
      1m 51s
    2. Understanding roles and responsibilities
      5m 14s
  3. 13m 50s
    1. Communicating with your printer
      3m 49s
    2. What does the printer do with my files?
      2m 40s
    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 55s
    1. Understanding font formats
      1m 45s
    2. Using OpenType fonts
      5m 20s
    3. Fonts to avoid
      2m 50s
  9. 13m 53s
    1. Comparing raster vs. vector images
      3m 24s
    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 54s
    1. Understanding Illustrator
      2m 34s
    2. Illustrator layout tips
      2m 49s
    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 9s
    1. InDesign layout basics
      5m 22s
    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
  16. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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Watch the Online Video Course Print Production Fundamentals
4h 26m Beginner Jun 29, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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. thanks the BurdgeCooper and Lithographix printing companies for access to their facilities and permission to film on site. Learn more at and

Topics include:
  • Understanding the importance of contact proofs
  • Handling corrections and alterations
  • Choosing from offset, letterpress, thermographic, or digital printing options
  • Understanding how the inks, colors, and paper interact
  • Building a document at the correct size
  • Folding and trimming
  • Choosing fonts
  • Working in Illustrator with swatches, effects, and more
  • Laying out a document in InDesign
  • Generating a final PDF
  • Troubleshooting print issues
  • Preflighting your print job in Acrobat
  • Submitting files to the printer
Acrobat Illustrator InDesign Photoshop
Claudia McCue

Using TouchUp tools

There are some limitations to what you can repair in a PDF, so let's look at some of the repair tools. Now the two handiest ones don't appear by default in your toolbar, but it's easy to put them up there. If you right-click, and on a Mac of course you can Ctrl+Click and you choose Quick Tools. Here on the left, under Content, Edit Object and Edit Document Text, so I'm going to choose Edit Document Text, hit the little triangle to add it to my Quick Tools and, of course, Edit Object, and when I click OK, I now have two new tools up here.

So first, let's look at editing text. I'm going to choose my Edit Text tool. I'm going to come down here and my goal here is to change this ampersand to the word "and," so I highlight it and when I type "and" Acrobat sort of hollers at me and I get this alert. It says, well, that uses a font that's not available on my system. So the truth is that since I don't have the font I'm not going to be able to edit this text the way I'd really like to. Now I can change the font, but that's really going to change the design.

So this is something that you're frequently going to see when you try to fix somebody else's PDF. Now if you want to change the font, here's what you do. Then I'm going to have to change this whole line, so I'm going to select the whole line. I'm going to right- click and choose Properties, and I'm going to change the used font to something that I know that I do have on my system, MyriadPro-Regular. Now it's going to change the look of it, but if I want to change that ampersand to "and," that's what I'm going to have to do. And this is something important to check: Can I embed that font? Because here's an interesting thing, when you use any program to make a PDF, all the fonts that are embedded in that PDF carry with them little flags that say I can be embedded or I cannot be embedded or I can be embedded for creation of the PDF but I can't be used for editing, and it's going to vary from font to font because it's based on what the font vendors put in the font.

And that's why if you've tried this it may seem to you that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Well, it depends on the particular font. So when I click Close I've now changed the font. So let's see if I can now convert that ampersand to the word "and." Yes, I can, but of course it's using a different font from the font used in the rest of that address, but it might just bail me out if this job is on deadline. Let's see what happens if I have a font that does allow itself to be embedded and edited. So up here on the left I'd like to change this to Roux Academy, so I just click with my Edit Text tool, type Academy.

Notice what happens. Acrobat thinks of this line by line. It does not think of this text as a paragraph. We see it that way, but under the hood in Acrobat it's really just seen as a succession of characters. So you can imagine the fun this would be to go through and convert each line, to force my own little line breaks there; I'm going to lose my justification. Truthfully, the message here is that any time you try to edit text in an Acrobat file, it's really going to be a challenge. Sometimes you get lucky, but I want you to expect these strange results, because frankly that's most of the time what's going to happen.

But oddly, you're going to have better luck trying to edit graphics in a PDF. So let me choose the TouchUp Object tool, and let's say that this logo up here, I don't have the original file, I need to change the color of the logo. If I drag a little marquee around it, you can see all the little teeny selection blocks. If I right-click, I'm going to see this option, Edit Objects, because it's vector art. Acrobat says, well these are objects and so those ought to be opened in Illustrator and it gives you a little warning.

It says, well, there is some transparency in there. Basically the short story is, well, you're playing with fire here; things could fall apart. I thought I should warn you. Well, there it is in Illustrator, so I'm just going to select this and I'm going to change the color, just as a way to show you what goes on. I'm going to go to Edit > Edit Colors > Recolor Artwork, switch it to the Edit mode, lock all my little colors together, and then we're just going to swing these nodes around the spectrum and you can see that it's changed. Now before I save this, I want to point out something.

Look up in the title bar. It has this bizarre name, sort of a random construction of numbers, dot pdf. So here's what I've just done, I've gone into the PDF and I've selected these little components that are vector art and I've sort of duplicated them, come out to Illustrator and changed them. When I choose File > Save; what happens is that Illustrator communicates that back to Acrobat. You think nothing has happened, but then when you switch back to Acrobat, you can see that it's changed the color. Here's a little thing to consider too. While I'm in Illustrator, I have extracted that vector component. What if I need this logo and it's been lost by somebody and the only vestige of it is what's in that PDF? As long as I have it here in Illustrator I can do a File > Save As, and I have vector art.

So this is a way to extract vector art from a PDF if you can't get it any other way. What if I have an image that I need to fix? Well, I'm going to come down here, and again, I'm using my TouchUp Object tool and I want to change the color of this guy's shirt and again, you only do desperate things like this if you have no access to the original. It's always better to go back to your original file, make the changes you need to make and then generate a new PDF. But let me show you what you can do with an image. I'm going to right-click and this time notice that it says Edit Image, because Acrobat recognizes it's made out of pixels and it says well to do that I'm going to have to send this off to Photoshop.

It gives me another little warning, it says, it's using transparency and it might look different, do you want to edit anyway? Well, yeah I have to change the guy's shirt to green. So when I click Yes, I also get this, now this is an important consideration. I have sort of snuck into the PDF, grabbed that image content, and I'm taking it out, going to sneak it over to Photoshop and change it. In order to slip it back into the PDF it has to be flattened. So you can add layers to correct it, but you have to flatten it before you send it back. When I say flatten notice that this is a floating layer, so it's not really a flat image, but to send it back to Acrobat, I have to send it back in exactly the same shape.

So I'm going to come over here to my Adjustments panel and I'm going to get a fix on my little hue/saturation, but I want to apply it only to his shirt. So I'm going to get my Quick Selection tool and I'm going to drag around on his shirt and select it. Now if I were doing this for real, of course I would be very careful making my selection. What I really want to show you here is just sort of that relationship between Acrobat and Photoshop, so I'll be good enough to take out this little tripod there, there we go. Now, coming over to my Adjustments panel, I'm going to choose Hue/Saturation and I'm just going to change the color of his shirt.

Well, let's make it green, there we go, maybe back off on the saturation a little bit, and that's good enough. But remember I can't send it back to Acrobat this way. I have to sort of squish it down, so I'm going to say that I want to merge these layers. So I'm going to hold down Shift, select both my hue/saturation and my layer 0, and in the Layers panel I'm going to choose Merge Layers. So it keeps the transparency, but now it's just the way it was when I took it out of Acrobat.

Again I want you to look at the title, it's this random name, and this is what's called a Touchup image or a Touchup file, and member that if I needed this image I could save this, although any background that was gone because of a layer mask that's gone forever, but at least I have the image and it's full resolution. But what I want to do here of course is communicate back to Acrobat that I've changed this. All I have to do is choose File > Save and Photoshop talks back to Acrobat and says here comes your new image content, and there we go.

So here's the irony. It's really easier to fix graphics in a PDF than it is to fix text. And keep in mind that using the TouchUp tools not only can change content and it's safe to do this, it writes it back into your PDF. But remember it's also a great way to extract content if you need something like an image or a piece of vector art that you can't find anywhere else.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Print Production Fundamentals .

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Q: The exercise files provided aren't working in my version of InDesign (CS4/CS5). What should I use?
A: This course was recorded using InDesign CS6. For InDesign users working with CS4 or CS5, IDML files are provided.
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