Enfocus has released an upgrade to the Connect product family with support for Switch 2017 and Pitstop 2017. Connect helps creative and print professionals create print ready PDF files and delivers them, with job ticket specifications, in an easy to use way from most applications to internal or remote locations.
The latest versions of the Axaio plug-ins for InDesign MadeToPrint and MadeForLayers allow the definition and the PDF export of layers with Processing Steps metadata:
PDF Processing Steps were defined by the Ghent Workgroup and will soon be releases as ISO-Standard 15993. PDF Processing Steps allow standardized identification of non-printing objects in packaging files (e.g. dieline, braille, varnish, folding) and help automating production.
After the version jump from 2015 to 2015 in April, Acrobat now was updated to version 2018 after only half a year. But only for the subscription variant (Continuous track). The subscription variant (Classic track) stays with version 2017:
- Acrobat 18.009.20044 for subscribers of the Document Cloud (Continuous track)
- Acrobat 17.011.30038 for users with a perpetual license (Classic track)
(The update can also be installed using the Acrobat menu Help > Check for Updates….)
Many users have got an automatic update since the corresponding option in the preferences was recently activated by default.
Despite the divergent version numbers all of the new features of this update are available in both variants!
The new Acrobat versions support PDF 2.0. Documents using PDF 2.0 are now opened without a warning. They can also be saved as PDF 2.0. However PDF 2.0 is not supported in Acrobat Preflight (yet). Since Callas has already integrated PDF 2.0 checks and fixups in pdfToolbox 9.4 this feature will certainly soon be available in an upcoming Acrobat update.
Unfortunately Adobe is quiet about which of the new features of PDF 2.0 are supported in the new Acrobat versions!!!
The new version 2.0 of the text based PDF comparison tool PDiff from CSci brings new features and more comfort for the user.
PDiff 2.0 features an additional format for PDF reports with a side by side view of the two documents with highlighted changes. The report also contains PDF comments:
The InDesign update to version 13.0 (2018) released in October 2017 features some enhancements in the export of accessible PDFs:
- Alternate text for graphics and InDesign objects
- Group level tagging
- Support for footnote
- Anchored text frames and anchored groups tagging
- Master pages tagging
- Index tagging
- List tag language
- List tagging
- Caption tagging
- TOC tagging structure
This comparison feature will certainly help me in the development of upcoming versions the thirty PDFX-ready preflight profiles.
Martin Bailey, CTO of Global Graphics (Harlequin-RIPs), talks in his blog about tests to avoid the orange peel effekt for inkjet presses using special screening methodes.
When inkjet presses print on non-absorbent, poorly wettable media such as flexible plastics or metal, prints are characterized by a mottle effect that looks a bit like orange peel. This effect seems to be triggered by ink shrinkage during cure. This can be corrected with a halftone with specially designed characteristics.
In order to avoid these artifacts Global Graphics will soon introduce a new screen technology.
It’s interesting that the topic of screening becomes important again for the new printing technologies…
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:
- PDF Preflight (with the well known PDFX-ready preflight profiles)
- Color Preflight (Analysis of the undefined color spaces in a PDF)
- ISO<–>PSO Converter (for color transformation between the old and new offset standards)
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.
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).
On October 15, 2017 Adobe discontinued the support of Adobe Acrobat XI und Adobe Reader XI. Adobe only supports during five years. That means that Adobe no longer provides technical support, including product and/or security updates, for this version of the application.
However the software can still be used!
According to my survey last year Acrobat XI is the most used Acrobat version by my readers. This is also confirmed by the feedback of the attendees of my seminars.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!