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  • PDF Workflow Question

    Recently, we printed a job where the customer only supplied a PDF file. We processed it, proofed it (which the customer approved), and printed it. The customer later called complaining that what we printed was not what she approved. Apparently some type was missing so we began troubleshooting. Upon disabling Overprint Preview in Acrobat, the "missing" text appeared. The customer had Overprint Preview disabled while we have it enabled (the missing text was filled with the same color as the background behind it but instead of making the text a 50% screen, she made it 50% transparent). Sooooo, I would like to ask you all a question.

    Assuming that all you have to work with is a PDF, how do you know if what you're printing is what the customer intends? What steps do you go through to confirm this?

    Thanks,
    pd

  • #2
    What PDF standard do you specify for the customers?

    You should be specifying PDF/X-4 which normally would show overprint preview on within Acrobat. If the user specifies PDF/X-4 export from InDesign or save from Illustrator and specifies the PDF/X-4 joboptions, when viewed in Acrobat, any overprint issues should be fairly apparent simply by paging through the document.

    At that point, you should be off the hook and more importantly, the user will better preview what will actually print before submitting the job.

    - Dov

    Comment


    • #3
      pd,

      Another thought, maybe place the PDF in Indesign without 'Separations Preview' being ON. And that should show you the PDF without Overprint Preview, and without the need to turn it off and on again in Acrobat, which is a PAIN. We do that quite a bit in our shop as we get files from all sorts of clients. And I agree there should be standards, but so many customers have a problem just making a PDF some times, and to get them to make one with bleed and included fonts, and then to make it to an actual standard...I'm afraid we would lose some. In our case. When I have to actually talk to customer I try to educate them as much as I can.

      - SRS

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Dov Isaacs View Post
        What PDF standard do you specify for the customers?

        You should be specifying PDF/X-4 which normally would show overprint preview on within Acrobat. If the user specifies PDF/X-4 export from InDesign or save from Illustrator and specifies the PDF/X-4 joboptions, when viewed in Acrobat, any overprint issues should be fairly apparent simply by paging through the document.

        At that point, you should be off the hook and more importantly, the user will better preview what will actually print before submitting the job.

        - Dov
        Hi Dov,

        Well I personally push PDF/X-4 but our sales reps are a different story and I can't get past them.

        Thanks,
        pd

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by prepressdork View Post

          Hi Dov,

          Well I personally push PDF/X-4 but our sales reps are a different story and I can't get past them.

          Thanks,
          pd
          Maybe you can have those “sales reps” sent off to a retraining gulag? Or maybe make them eat the costs of reprinting out of their commissions when they don't properly communicate best practice requirements to their customers?

          - Dov

          Comment


          • #6
            How did you proof it?
            Senior Product Manager
            Enfocus

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by prepressdork View Post
              Recently, we printed a job where the customer only supplied a PDF file. We processed it, proofed it (which the customer approved), and printed it. The customer later called complaining that what we printed was not what she approved. Apparently some type was missing so we began troubleshooting. Upon disabling Overprint Preview in Acrobat, the "missing" text appeared. The customer had Overprint Preview disabled while we have it enabled (the missing text was filled with the same color as the background behind it but instead of making the text a 50% screen, she made it 50% transparent). Sooooo, I would like to ask you all a question.

              Assuming that all you have to work with is a PDF, how do you know if what you're printing is what the customer intends? What steps do you go through to confirm this?

              Thanks,
              pd
              So you gave them a hard copy proof that was correct but what you printed didn't match the proof? I'm afraid that is on you if that is the case.

              If it was a soft proof and the customer had OP off than it is on them. If they are capable of applying transparency in their file they should know to have OP turned on when they view the PDF.
              Joe
              OS: Mac OS X 10.10.2 - RIP: Prinergy Connect 6.1 - CTP: Luscher XPose! 160 (2)

              Comment


              • #8
                After checking the file, we sent their PDF right back to them (the logic in this still baffles me but it's what the customer wants).

                So when I look at their PDF as provided:

                Acrobat - with OP off, the text appears and with OP on, the text disappears
                Mac OS X Preview - text is visible
                Mac OS X Quick Look - text is visible

                I am thinking that using one or both of the last two might be a good way of checking to confirm that everything appears the same after looking at it in Acrobat.

                pd

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dov Isaacs View Post

                  Maybe you can have those “sales reps” sent off to a retraining gulag? Or maybe make them eat the costs of reprinting out of their commissions when they don't properly communicate best practice requirements to their customers?

                  - Dov
                  I love your thinking, Dov and although I would love to dictate requirements to our customers, unfortunately, it's just not going to happen and it's an argument I've already lost with the sales manager. They simply won't do anything that would potentially inconvenience our customers (they see it as potentially lost business). My hands are tied.

                  To be fair though, we do have some customers who will actually ask us how we want things in which case the sales rep will allow me to speak with that customer.

                  pd

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by prepressdork View Post
                    After checking the file, we sent their PDF right back to them (the logic in this still baffles me but it's what the customer wants).

                    So when I look at their PDF as provided:

                    Acrobat - with OP off, the text appears and with OP on, the text disappears
                    Mac OS X Preview - text is visible
                    Mac OS X Quick Look - text is visible

                    I am thinking that using one or both of the last two might be a good way of checking to confirm that everything appears the same after looking at it in Acrobat.

                    pd
                    The last two are not ever a good option. Neither displays transparency well. The best option is Acrobat with OP turned on.
                    Joe
                    OS: Mac OS X 10.10.2 - RIP: Prinergy Connect 6.1 - CTP: Luscher XPose! 160 (2)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We offer a free PDF viewer that will give you accurate PDF Rip previewing on any kind of PDFs. Please feel free to give it a try. I use this a lot to figure out things like white overprinting objects etc..

                      http://www.view.packz.eu/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Déjà vu:


                        https://printplanet.com/forum/prepress-and-workflow/adobe/276050-pdf-reader-for-dumb-clients?p=276163#post276163



                        Stephen Marsh
                        Comments are personal and my views may not be shared by my employer or partners.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          PDF approvals can be a big problem. Overprint on or off, are you approving the PDF I just sent you or a PDF I sent two days ago (wrong version)?

                          Problem solved. https://www.esko.com/en/products/webcenter/features. Scroll down to the Approvals features.
                          "you never know how the past is going to turn out"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Every time one of our sales reps (CSRs) requests a "PDF Proof" I tell them there is no such thing, a PDF is not a proof and I have a number of examples taken from jobs we have printed that are vastly different when overprint preview is on or off.
                            After many years of pushing for it, I finally got the directors of our company to agree to purchase Insite to complement our Prinergy workflow. When "PDF Proofs" are requested I now send a link to the job on Insite. That way the customer sees exactly what will print.
                            Another situation I have encountered is when a customer adds annotations to a PDF believing that they are actually editing it, then can't understand why their "edits" don't print, when they print just fine on their desktop inkjet printer.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Magnus59 View Post
                              Every time one of our sales reps (CSRs) requests a "PDF Proof" I tell them there is no such thing, a PDF is not a proof and I have a number of examples taken from jobs we have printed that are vastly different when overprint preview is on or off.
                              After many years of pushing for it, I finally got the directors of our company to agree to purchase Insite to complement our Prinergy workflow. When "PDF Proofs" are requested I now send a link to the job on Insite. That way the customer sees exactly what will print.
                              Another situation I have encountered is when a customer adds annotations to a PDF believing that they are actually editing it, then can't understand why their "edits" don't print, when they print just fine on their desktop inkjet printer.
                              I Agree with you 100% as far as PDFs not being a proof. I am a software salesman and while I try to stress this point to my customers, I still find a ton of clients that can't (or don't think they can) justify the cost of the solution. Unfortunately people will continue to request PDFs for proof. The problem with Adobe or Preview not rendering them properly will continue.

                              Comment

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