One year PDFX-ready Online Tools

In the morning of Octobre 26th, 2016 we have launched the PDFX-ready Online Tools. which I had developed for PDFX-ready. Right at the beginning we offered three tools:

There is a FREEWARE and PREMIUM versions for members of PDFX-ready.

The experience we made in the past year is pretty good. The Enfocus Switch server with the applications Callas pdfToolbox and ColorLogic ProfileTagger is running very stable. But of course there were a few problems.

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Quality loss after color conversion
in Acrobat

In preparation of my new seminar PDF Color Management I have tested the image compression before and after color conversion in the most popular PDF tools.

In highend PDFs destinated for quality printing the images are usually compressed using JPEG maximum quality. Before color conversion the images must be decompressed and afterwards compressed again. Acrobat always uses JPEG medium quality for this recompression. The consequence is that there is an (unexpected) loss of quality of the color converted images (see table).

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in Acrobat

Problem with Enfocus PitStop Inspector
in Adobe Acrobat DC 2017

There is a problem with PitStop Inspector in Acrobat DC 2017. After starting Acrobat it is impossible to select an object with the PitStop Inspector tool.

This is also true for older versions of Enfocus PitStop. The reason for the problem seam to be a change in Acrobat DC 2017. Enfocus is working with Adobe to find a solution.

The recommended workaround is to open the window Adobe Acrobat DC > About Third-Party Plug-Ins > About Enfocus PitStop Pro… and close it. Afterwards objects can be selected as usual … until the next start of Acrobat DC 2017. Then you have to open the About Enfocus window again!

UPDATE: the problem has been fixed by Adobe in the November 2017 Update of Acrobat.

Most important problem
in PDF workflows

The biggest problem in PDF workflows for print production is certainly the topic of color. Often there are surprises after printing because the printed colors do not meet the expectations.

PDF/X files have a mandatory output intent but often the color spaces of the objects in PDF/X documents do not match the output intent.

This can be checked very easy with the Color Preflight of the PDFX-ready Online Tools.

Since this happens frequently and the reason is often lack of know how I have decide to create a seminar entitled PDF Color Management (for now only in german). This will be offered at the usual places in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The first seminar will take place in Olten on 31.8.17.

An other update of Quite Imposing 4 Plus

In January already Quite Software has released the update to Quite Imposing 4.0f. It seams that not all problems related to the January update of Acrobat DC could be solved. That’s why Quite had to create the Update to Quite Imposing 4.0g.

Plugin-WerkzeugeBeside further improvements in solving the problem related to the Acrobat update when inserting pages, an other issue of non-english versions of Quite Imposing on the Mac was adressed where incorrect numbers may have shown in some dialogs. Also the wrong display of the list of documents shown by Shuffle Even/Odd in Acrobat DC with tabs was fixed.

In addition Quite is the first plugin developer who could solve an ugly problem. In Acrobat DC, the tool icons of third party plugins (e.g. from Enfocus, Callas, Quite) are displayed as yellow “Lego” bricks. The Quite developers seam to have found a solution to display their tool icon correctly (see screenshot on the right). Hopefully the developers of the other plugins will also find this solution…

Unplanned update of Acrobat DC

On February 16th Adobe has released an unplanned update of crobat DC to version 15.010.20059. There is only an update for subscribers of the Document Cloud (continuous track). Users with a perpetual license (classic track) get nothing.

One could think that the subscribers get new features and the users with a perpetual license not. But in the release notes of the new version only two bug fixes (PDF Library and Webcapture) are mentioned.

Dangerous Edit feature in Acrobat DC

In Acrobat DC Adobe wants to facilitate editing texts in scanned documents. For this Acrobat tries to convert text defined in pixels or even vectors into editable live text using text recognition (OCR). This works quite well if Acrobat finds a suitable font on the system. If not a substitution font is used or an artificial font (ClearScan) is generated which often doesn’t look that good. Interestingly there are differences between the Mac and the Windows version of Acrobat DC. This example with vectorized text looks different after text recognition with option “Use available system fonts” and without option “Use available system fonts”.

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New bugs in Acrobat DC

In addition to the bugs taken over from former Acrobat versions which have never been fixed there are some new bugs in Acrobat DC:

  • Using an RGB profile as Output Intent (e.g. for PDF from Office applications) crashes Acrobat DC on the Mac when the Output Preview is used.
  • The Trapped key in the Document Info is not displayed and cannot therefore be changed.
  • Buttons created in InDesign which are using effects (e.g. drop shadow) do not display correctly in Acrobat/Reader DC.
  • PDF pages which only contain images are processed by the OCR feature (because Acrobat thinks that it’s a scanned page) when the Edit features is called. Unfortunately this removes the ICC profiles of the images!

Of course this list is not complete. Please send me more bugs as comment (below) or by email

UPDATE: Three of those bugs are resolved with the first update of Acrobat DC.

QuarkXPress 2014: Error for overprinting in EPS

Some readers of PDF-AKTUELL have reported problems with the PDF export in the new QuarkXPress 2015. If a PDF export is done with native transparency (as requested for PDF/X-4), overprinting operators in imported EPS pages get lost. (This was not a problem in QXP 10!) If the PDF export is done with the options “Ignore Transparency” or “Flatten Transparency” overprinting in EPS is still exported correctly into the PDF.

This can easily be tested using the Overprint Verification Control Strip from Global Graphics.

Overprinting in imported PDF pages is honored (most of the time). That’s also the workaround. Problematic EPS files can be converted to PDF in Acrobat Distiller (with the options “Preserve Overprint Settings” and “Overprinting default is non-zero overprinting” enabled). The PDF is then imported into the Quark layout.

Quark has already aknowledged the problem and promised a fix in the next version.

UPDATE: In the meantime Quark has solved the problem in the 2015 Updater (version for Macintosh and Windows.