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To trap or not to trap...that is the question.

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  • To trap or not to trap...that is the question.

    I'll be the first to admit that my knowledge of trapping is lacking. Up until recently all I needed to know was that when I ripped my files through PSM, FAF took care of the trapping after the rip process. I have now been tasked with prepping files to be sent out and used at various print houses across the country.

    My gut reaction is the just make x1a compliant PDFs, and send them off to let the end printer do the trapping assuming they'll do it at their RIP stage just like I would. I am now hesitant to do this because I've found that one of the things that will appear on our invoice to the customer is that we charged them for trapping.

    The only way I know how to go about trapping is through Creo PSM and FAF which will produce CT/LW trapped .job files. If this is an acceptable format to pass on to any printer then I guess I'm all set. But if not is there a way to go about trapping an x1a PDF? and is it effective? Or is the best policy to let the end printer do the trapping because they know the tolerances of their presses best.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    Re: To trap or not to trap...that is the question.

    If you sent it here I would want to do the trapping, and we'd do it for free.
    The logic behind this is that you don't have our presses or CtP in
    your office or shop, so how could you know what we would like
    when it comes to trap? It probably depends on who your sending
    the job to whether or not you get charged, but I'd guess the majority
    of prepress departments would like to do their own trapping.

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    • #3
      Re: To trap or not to trap...that is the question.

      I have always requested un-trapped files for the reasons you state. When they come in trapped 9 times out of 10 they are not as the pressroom personel wants them. My employers have never charged for trapping. Today's RIP's do a fine job with very little additional proccessing time for most pages.

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      • #4
        Re: To trap or not to trap...that is the question.

        This is the answer I expected. Now here is the kicker...I have told my boss that I would like the contact info for the printers I am sending these files to find out the specs they prefer. My boss wants to deny me this contact info because he will have to go through the customer for this and fears that the customer will see this as some kind of weakness. So essentially I'm flying blind with my hands tied behind my back and everything better go smoothly or its off with my head.

        I'm sure that It depends on the printer but is a ripped PSM .job file a reasonable file to submit to another printer? My thinking is to submit both x1a PDFs AND ripped trapped files. This way the end printer can use what they want and no one can tell me I didn't trap the files. Any thoughts on this?

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        • #5
          Re: To trap or not to trap...that is the question.

          I'd only want the PDF file if you sent it here. Again, I would want to trap
          your files the way I want them. If it would make you feel better I'd ask
          for the ripped trapped files also, but I probably wouldn't use them. You
          might send them along to the printer for the peace of mind factor, but they
          should be clearly labeled to CYA.

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          • #6
            Re: To trap or not to trap...that is the question.

            One thing you could do when sending the files. Only send the PDF files and have a Note with the PDF's saying you can provide RIP'd and Trapped files and for the printer to call you directly to let you know what they want. This would by pass your boss and go straight to the Printer.

            Most printers should be willing to help you out the best they can. After all it helps them.

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            • #7
              Re: To trap or not to trap...that is the question.

              Thanks alot guys. Everything you've said has confirmed my instincts. I just wanted to have a second or third opinion on the matter. Everything that I know has been self taught and I've never really had someone show the the "right" way to do things. If that even exists.

              Thanks again!

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