ZePrA 6 from ColorLogic with PantoneLIVE integration

Version 6 of the ColorLogic color server features an integration with PantoneLIVE. This allows to online access spectral definitions of spot colors.

There are additional improvements in the area of spot color iteration and better administration of spot color libraries. In addition there are improvement in handling queues and configuration.

In the online help for the ZePrA the new features are covered indepth.


eciCMYK (FOGRA53) as new CMYK exchange color space

ECI has released the ICC color profile eciCMYK.icc. It’s based on the printing condition FOGRA53 defined by Fogra. The goal is a large gamut exchange space which covers all printing technologies (offset, gravure, digital). The eciCMYK profile can be download for free.

Since the gamut of eciCMYK is larger than any real printing gamut and the profile allows a high total ink coverage (TAC), this profile is not suitable for printing.

Weiterlesen / Read more …

Callas pdfToolbox 9.3 with new
color separation feature

The update 9.3 of pdf Toolbox from Callas adds a new feature for the color separation of CMYK and spot color pages. This sounds like a déjà vue. In the late 1990ies color separation of PDF pages was a huge topic. (I was working on a software solution myself.) But it seams that there is still a need. Just recently I had such an enquiry. The customer would like to check separations on the monitor and print them on a laser printer if necessary.

During the first test I recognized a mess with the separation names in the page label fields when the PDF had multiple pages. I have reported the bug to Callas and after a two weeks the problem was fixed in an update. Therefore you should update to version 9.3.434.


Impact of PDF 2.0 on Print Production

Martin Bailey, CTO of Global Graphics and member of serveral ISO committees regarding PDF standards, talks about the impact of PDF 2.0 in a whitepaper (19 pages) and a webinar (YouTube, 40′). He also covers the risks and gives some recommendations for the transition to PDF 2.0.


Nine reasons to preflight

The Ghent Workgroup (GWG) has published an interesting poster:

On the front page the GWG is presented. On the back nine reasons to preflight are listed (compiled by belgian VIGC). Each topic is illustrated with an eample.

This page can be used to check how certain PDF definitions are displayed in different viewers (Acrobat/Reader, Apple Preview, etc.) and output devices (printer, proofer, imagesetter).

In addition one should check this PDF with a preflight tool in order to also detect the problems which are not visible. For this the preflight profiles GWG2012 or GWG2015 (part of Acrobat DC Pro, Callas pdfToolbox, Enfocus PitStop Pro) and of course the preflight profiles for Acrobat Pro from PDFX-ready are highly recommended.


Is JPEG2000 compression suitable
for PDF files for prepress?

For the new Adobe InDesign export settings V2.5 for PDF/X-4 CMYK+RGB from PDFX-ready the technical committee of PDFX-ready has investigated if a change of the compression method from the traditional JPEG to the newer JPEG2000 would be useful.

JPEG2000 uses a completely different compression technology (wavelet transformation) than the old JPEG (discrete cosine transformation). The new technology promises a better quality together with smaller file sizes. JPEG2000 also allows images with more than 8 bits per channel and up to 256 channels. That sounds promising…

We already knew from tests of the Ghent Workgroup that not all PDF viewers (especially on mobile devices) can handle PDFs with JPEG2000. With other PDF viewers (including Acrobat/Reader) displaying JPEG2000 images is much slower than JPEG images.

But after all we wanted to know if we could recommend JPEG2000 compression for prepress data. That’s why we decided to perform a series of practical tests with a calendar with highres images in different color spaces (Device-CMYK, ICC-CMYK, ICC-RGB). Peter Kleinheider has done the output tests with two different RIPs and I did the export tests with Adobe InDesign CC2017.

When comparing the test results we noticed some unexpected surprises!

Weiterlesen / Read more …

Barcode check in PDF files
with ChkBarcode from CSci

Software developer CSci from Hamburg has released ChkBarcode. This software allows checking of barcodes in PDF files for printing.

ChkBarcode checks quickly and securely all barcodes directly in the ready-to-print PDFs. The verification software ChkBarcode finds 1D and 2D barcodes, determines the type, reads the contents and measures the quite zone, checks the dimensions, measures the barcode elements and determines the bar width reduction (BWR). With ChkBarcode, you can create a QS report and use the results to control your workflow.


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!


PDFX-ready Preflight profiles
V1.5 / V2.5 released

PDFX-ready has update their preflight profiles for Acrobat Pro. The latest versions feature the following changes:

  • V2.5 (for PDF/X-4):
    • Removed check for single-color hairlines (< 0.125 pt) since these lines are no longer problematic in modern CTP and Digital workflows.
    • Check of multi-color objects (text < 8 pt; lines < 0.25 pt) also for Digital Printing.
    • More details in explanation for spot color check.
    • Compatibility with PDF/X-4 created by QuarkXPress 2016/2017.
  • V1.5 (for PDF/X-1a and PDF/X-3):
    • New checks for recognition of black texts and vektors which most probably were re-separated (was alredy in V2.4).
    • More details in explanation for spot color check.
    • Removal of check “Annotation of this type not allowed (GWG)” (alignment with V2.x).

Presentation on PDFX-ready Online Tools
at PDF Days Europe 2017 in Berlin

At the PDF Days Europe 2017 organized by the PDF Association  in Berlin I was invited to give an english presentation on the PDFX-ready Online Tools:

Download PDF-Days2017_PDFX-ready-Online-Tools.pdf (PDF, 2.73MB)


PDF/X in a Nutshell

At the PDF Days Europe PDF Association has published a brochure entitled PDF/X in a Nutshell with these chapters:

  • The history of PDF/X
  • PDF/X: The key facts
  • Technical side and requirements of PDF/X
  • Users and industry segments
  • Tools and usage
  • PDF/X-Plus
  • PDF/X and the other PDF standards

I have contributed a chapter on PDF/X-Plus (about the Ghent Workgroup and PDFX-ready).


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.


Enfocus PDF Review Module released

At last years Drupa Enfocus had showcased a new technology which allows to better integrate customers into review and approval workflows. This technology is now released as Switch PDF Review Module.

PDF Review Module consists of two parts:

  • a Switch App which uploads a PDF to a web server, and
  • the PDF Review web server, which can be installed on any internal or external host.

Weiterlesen / Read more …

Enfocus PitStop 2017
with new technology

Enfocus has released version 2017 of PitStop Pro and PitStop Server. It’s the first bigger update sind April 2015 (version 13).

Enfocus has used the time to develop some innovative new preflight features. I have waited for these since longtime.

These features are based on the new PDF Geomapper technology. This makes ist possible to check objects based on their position on the page in relation to other objects at this position. This was not possible with any preflight tool since only properties of single objects are checked.

Weiterlesen / Read more …

Callas pdfToolbox 9.2
with cross-library search

In pdfToolbox 9 Callas has introduced the possibility to define unlimited libraries with collections of profiles, checks, fixups and multiple settings. This allows very easily to combine all definitions for a particular project or customer and save them in an independent way. Changes in one library do not change anything in other libraries. So far so good. It becomes problematic if one uses this feature extensively (like me) and one has to search for a specific definition but cannot remember in which library this was saved.

This problem is now solved with the latest update to Callas pdfToolbox 9.2 with allows to search in all libriaries at once.

In addition to some smaller feature enhancements the new version allows to use an external text editor for definition JavaScripts in variables.