Screening technology to avoid the orange peel

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…


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.

Weiterlesen / Read more …One year PDFX-ready Online Tools

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).

Weiterlesen / Read more …Quality loss after color conversion
in Acrobat

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 …Is JPEG2000 compression suitable
for PDF files for prepress?

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)


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.


EFI Fiery DFEs and Workflows Process
the Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0

EFI has announced that the six pages with 48 test elements of the Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0 can be flawlessly processed by  Fiery DFEs und workflows.

On the web site of the Ghent Workgroup one can find the settings used for the successfull output of the Ghent PDF Output Suite 5.0 (also for some other vendors).


Use of GWG preflight profiles
with Agfa Apogee Prepress 10

Agfa offers in Apogee Prepress 10 a choice of two different preflight processes. Apogee Preflight is a solution developed by Agfa while Preflight is based on Enfocus PitStop. For both there are now preflight profiles available which are compliant with the lastest GWG2015 specifications of the Ghent Workgroup.

In a short instruction the use of the GWG2015 profiles with both preflight processors in Apogee 10 is described.


New online help for callas products

Callas software has created a comprehensive online help for pdfToolbox, pdfChip and pdfaPilot. One can find an overview of the new features of the latest versions with step-by-step instructions and a lot of screenshots. These pages shall be extended in the future.


New MadeToTag version
with a clever form field function

The latest version 1.7.080 of the InDesign plug-in MadeToTag from Axaio, known for the features for the definition and export of tagged PDF (PDF/UA), now also comes with a feature for better export of form field properties out of InDesign.

Since longtime the Adobe layout application offers the possibility to define form fields directly in the layout. During PDF export they are converted to PDF form fields. Unfortunately the possibilities for the definition of the form field properties in InDesign are very limited, compared to what can be done in Acrobat. That’s why a lot of users still prefer defining their form fields in Acrobat. Which has the disadvantage that one has to update the form fields after each change of the form layout.

Weiterlesen / Read more …New MadeToTag version
with a clever form field function

Guideline for GWG 2015 PDF/X workflow

The Ghent Workgroup has published a Guideline for the GWG 2015 PDF/X workflow. The publication is based on the PDFX-ready Guideline.

There are dutch and english translation available at the moment.

In addition there is a dutch and an english sample page.

In the Ghent version of the guideline only the first part of the PDFX-ready guideline was considered. Unfortunately important topics like PDF preflight and output workflow are missing.


Can QuarkXPress 2016 edit PDFs?

Quark has announced XPress 2016. In the new version it shall be possible to convert imported PDF pages into native XPress objects which can be edited directly in XPress. This feature is demonstrated in a YouTube video.

However in the announcement of the PDF conversion feature I have detected the footnote *Restrictions apply. The quality of the PDF conversion will be crutial.

I will follow this topic closely and report in my findings in PDF-AKTUELL…