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In Acrobat X Essential Training, author Anne-Marie Concepción demonstrates how to create, modify, review, and share PDFs in Adobe Acrobat X Standard or Pro. Starting with a tour of the new panels-based interface, the course covers the basics of the software, such as creating and customizing PDFs, searching, editing text and graphics, and extracting PDF content to use in other programs. Also included are tutorials on creating forms, inserting interactivity and rich media, using the prepress tools, combining PDFs with other types of files to create customized portfolios, and ensuring document security. Exercise files accompany the course.
There is an innocuous little tool over here in the Print Production section of Adobe Acrobat called Preflight. If you're not seeing Print Production, just go under the Tools panel and go to that little menu here, and turn on Print Production. It's not turned on by default. Now, it's a cute little icon, isn't it? It's got a magnifying glass and a little printer. But once you open it, holy moley! You're looking at the mother of all dialog boxes. I believe that lynda.com could do an entire eight-hour video title just on the Preflight dialog box, but I won't subject you to that.
We're just going to take about five minutes and talk about a few things that it can do, and actually do something to this document that we're looking at out in screen. In fact, let me show you what the problem is. If you watched one of the other videos prior to this one in this chapter, you will have learned that this blue ink at the bottom, the page number and the phone number on the left, are using a spot color. And you can quickly see that from Output Preview, if we go to say show me all the Spot Color, you can see these are using spot color. Every thing else is using CMYK, one of the primary process colors, and the objective here is to convert the spot color to a combination of the process colors.
So we still want it to look blue, but we don't want to pay the extra couple hundred bucks to put a fifth ink on the press to print this spot color. That is the job of Preflight. So, the Preflight dialog box has three tabs: Profiles, Results, and Standards. The Results are what happens after you run a profile, so you can't really click anything yet. And the Standards tab lets you save a PDF according to one of the prepress standards, and I have another video talking about this. So we're going to stay here under Profiles. The profiles are a combination of automated routines that can either analyze the document or both analyze and change the document based on the results of that analysis.
The ones that change it are called fix-ups. So, if you look through here, there are various profiles for different aspects of a document. For example, if you wanted to run a profile that prepped the document for color digital printing, you could choose this one. And when you select one of the profiles, it gives you a little explanation of what this does. You could take a look at a few of the different fix-ups; they're very interesting. So, Convert to CMYK, Downsample image resolution, Embed fonts, Flatten transparency-- these are all things that prepress normally has to do in order to ensure that a job will print correctly according to the customer's specifications and according to their equipment and software.
The thing is that all of these are kind of daunting to search through. So, one of my favorite things is up here, you can choose one of the filters. Instead of showing all, you could say, "Show me everything having to do with digital printing and online publishing." So there are only four things. So, Online publishing (optimize for quality), for example, or show me everything having to do with prepress, where you have a lot more. Prepare something for Sheetfed offset and using one of the process colors, or including the spot colors and the process colors.
Let's go back to Show All. Another feature that I like is using the Find command. So, let's go back to our example, and we want to convert those spot colors to CMYK. So I would type in "convert" to find any of the profiles that have the word "convert" in them, and here we have the one that we want: Convert to CMYK only. SWOP means standard web-offset printing, which is the standard that we want to use. So, I'll select that one. Now, when you select one of these profiles, either a PDF fix-up or an analysis, they have a little Edit button to the right. And if you click that, that opens up the subject of another lynda.com title where all the different things that this one Preflight thing will do.
You could select any of these elements, and if they are locked, you can unlock them and then start editing all of this information. And then, you could play with all these buttons. You could have for yourself a high old time, fiddling around in the Preflight definition for what this does. But we're just going to accept what it does right off the bat. And if you think you're going to be using this a lot, you can click over here on the right and choose it as a favorite, and that way you can choose to show only your favorites, which after a time, if you're constantly using the same five or ten different Preflights and fix-ups, makes this a much easier dialog box to deal with.
We're going to run this Convert to CMYK only, and we're going to click the button down here: Analyze and fix. So that's why you see two different buttons. If the preflight that you selected is actually going to change the document, it will say Analyze and fix; otherwise it'll just say Analyze. Part of the Preflight definition-- remember when I clicked the Edit button?-- said to make a copy of this document. It's not going to actually change this. So we'll call this page5-fixed, click Save, and that's it.
When you see the green check mark at the top, in Results, that means you're a happy camper. Did not find any problems. It was able to do its job. You could create a report if you wanted to. You can embed it in an audit trail. You can do all sorts of crazy things. But for us, all we care about is-- let's check out Output Preview to see if it did its job. Well, first of all, we can see there is no spot colors down here, but if we say show me Spot Color, nothing. It converted those instances of spot color at the bottom of the document to CMYK using the same color blue.
That is the job of Preflight. It is the prepress operator's best friend.
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