pdf placed in quark guaranteed to print?

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Glenn McDowall
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pdf placed in quark guaranteed to print?

Post by Glenn McDowall » 23 Nov 2004, 05:38

Is there a preflight technique(s), either pitstop or acrobat, which highlights and or fixes pdfs for placement into Quark5 or Quark6?

When printing pages with placed pdf I use the Acrobat ppd out of Q5 and print composite postscript, then use Distiller5 (press settings with OPI turned off), then let the RIP force the job cmyk.
We have a Heidelberg Delta RIP. Quite often pdfs will RIP ok individually but not after coming out of quark.

(I've not encountered too many Q6 jobs with placed pdf yet. Is it any better?)

rich
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Joined: 09 Jun 2004, 15:21

pdf placed in quark guaranteed to print?

Post by rich » 23 Nov 2004, 09:10

There are many vagueries in your question, but yes, PitStop and Acrobat 6 both have preflighting which you can customize.

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Glenn McDowall
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pdf placed in quark guaranteed to print?

Post by Glenn McDowall » 23 Nov 2004, 10:23

Sorry about the vagueness. I am asking which checks and fixes are specific to getting pdfs into quark and getting a decent pdf out the other side.

Anonymous

pdf placed in quark guaranteed to print?

Post by Anonymous » 23 Nov 2004, 15:05

Hi Glenn,

you have to be aware of a couple of things:
- if you place a PDF file in QuarkXPress 4 or 5 you're using a lossy technology. The PDF import in this application versions works on an outdated Adobe technology which is called 'Placeable PDF'. The technology behind it is that the placed PDF is converted internally into a PostScript Level 2 EPS file. That's the beginning of all problems because what you typically place in your QuarkXPress document is a PDF 1.3 file which is even more powerful than a PostScript 3 PostScript or EPS file.

- during this conversion process things can become corrupted which were absolutely ok on the PDF stage. So even if a preflight on PDF stage would give you green light it says nothing about the printability of your layout

- a PDF based preflight can tell you 98% of the truth about your PDFs. But there are areas where even the best preflight tools oversee problems today. So e.g. in the area of fonts. Preflight tools tell you within seconds whether a font is embedded or not and how it is embedded. But it can't tell you whether YOUR output device will be able to process the resulting PostScript code correctly. There might be some kind of corruption inside the font data (which even Acrobat does not recognize) or the font format might be too complicated or too new for your output device (e.g. CID encoded fonts).

What do I whant to say whith that all?
- If you want a stable and lossless production than I would recommend to create a EPS file from PDF files which were preflighted before. Then place the EPS file instead of the PDF. Choose the PostScript level according to your output device and your workflow. PostScript 3 would be the best (practically lossless) but if you don't have a PostScript 3 output device or you have to use the 'Separations' feature of QuarkXPress, you might be forced to go down to even PostScript level 1 (which is of course lossy)

- there is no guarantee that a job will run through your output workflow. You can raise the likelyhood to nearly 100% if you do it correct but you'll never reach 100%.

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Glenn McDowall
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pdf placed in quark guaranteed to print?

Post by Glenn McDowall » 24 Nov 2004, 04:56

Thanks rzacherl

Creating the eps file from Acrobat sounds like a sensible approach, rather than let quark handle it.

Postscript3 and CID fonts are both ok through our RIP, will CID fonts go into the eps OK?

Also will RGB and other non CMYK objects need to be converted by Pitstop before saving as eps, or will they pass through quark and distiller to be handled by the RIP?

Is putting the final composite postcript from quark back through distiller a totally unecessary step, would I be safer to send it straight to the RIP?

Anonymous

pdf placed in quark guaranteed to print?

Post by Anonymous » 24 Nov 2004, 07:27

[strong]Glenn McDowall:[/strong]... will CID fonts go into the eps OK?

Yes they will if you use Acrobat 5.0.5 or newer. To be on the save side you should always try to embed CID/doublebyte fonts as font subsets. This increases the processing reliability.

[quote:6922819743]Also will RGB and other non CMYK objects need to be converted by Pitstop before saving as eps, or will they pass through quark and distiller to be handled by the RIP?

The answer to this question depends a lot on your workflow. First, yes all color spaces within your EPS files will be passed untouched into the output of your QuarkXPress. QuarkXPress isn't able at all to modify the color information in a placed EPS file. That's the reason why color management doesn't work in combination with EPS images and line art files.

If you let your RIP handle non-CMYK colors than there must be some kind of sophisticated an configurable color handling built into the RIP. Every PostScript level 2 or PostScript 3 RIP can do color space transformations. The question is if the result is suitable for your needs. Does it convert into the right color space? What does is do with uncalibrated RGB colors? What does it do with calibrated or wrongly calibrated color? Does it recognize neutral RGB gray and black? Does it set black objects which result from a RGB to CMYK transformation automatically on overprint? ...

If you dont know the answer or you're not sure about it then it might be a good idea to fix all this problems on a PDF level and then to make a 'perfect' EPS file out of it which can be directly feeded into your output workflow without haveing to apply any further changes.
The big benefit of doing it on a PDF level is the ability to visually check the result.

[quote:6922819743]Is putting the final composite postcript from quark back through distiller a totally unecessary step, would I be safer to send it straight to the RIP?

Again, this depends on your workflow. If you give data out of your comapny you might produce a PDF/X-1a or PDF/X-3 file from the complete layout to be on the save side. If you process the data inhouse than it might be a good idea too if you use digital imposition as today's solutions work much more stable on a PDF level then on a PostScript level. If you only send the document page per page to a output device then it's an optional step which might be skipped.
Sending the complete layout through Acrobat Distiller introduces a first interpretation step at a very early stage of your output workflow. this can be a benefit because PostScript errors which are hidden in your data can be detected very early. Also a last preflight can be done on a document level. Both aspects help to make your production more stable.

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Glenn McDowall
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pdf placed in quark guaranteed to print?

Post by Glenn McDowall » 29 Nov 2004, 07:41

Hi Robert,
Thanks for all your detailed explanations.

"if you place a PDF file in QuarkXPress 4 or 5 you're using a lossy technology"

Is it any more predictable with Quark 6.5?


"must be some kind of sophisticated and configurable color handling built into the RIP....What does it do with.....wrongly calibrated color."

Cynical repsonses here; configurable yes, sophisticated :!: :(
wrongly calibrated color?...... the customer is always right :!: :wink:

Best Regards Glenn

Anonymous

pdf placed in quark guaranteed to print?

Post by Anonymous » 29 Nov 2004, 13:15

[strong]Glenn McDowall:[/strong]...Is it any more predictable with Quark 6.5?

Hi Glenn,

yes, definitely it is. But it's not perfect either.

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Glenn McDowall
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pdf placed in quark guaranteed to print?

Post by Glenn McDowall » 15 Dec 2004, 06:11

Just to let you know, that I've used the Save as EPS on three previously nightmare jobs, and so far all is OK. :D

Many Thanks
Glenn

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