PDF READER for DUMB clients

darioluca

Well-known member
Hi all,

I'm having some issues with clients who don't use updated Acrobat to see our PDFs.
They stick to Osx Preview, Foxit Reader, older Acrobats, and so on - but those software FIRSTLY lack of overprint preview.

I've tried to force them, using passwords, watermarks, and so on... But they don't want to change!

My boss talks a lot about 'teaching the customers' ...
How can I teach them the good things about using Acrobat Reader?

Bye!
 

prepressdork

Well-known member
Are unflattened PDF proofs an option?

If not, I am sure this is wishful thinking but you could force hard copy proofs on them and explain that since the PDF proofs you send them won't show correctly, their only option (in lieu of installing Adobe Reader) is hard copy proofs thus increasing project costs?

Apologies for what are probably useless suggestions but you are kind of in a tough position.

pd
 

darioluca

Well-known member
Are unflattened PDF proofs an option?

If not, I am sure this is wishful thinking but you could force hard copy proofs on them and explain that since the PDF proofs you send them won't show correctly, their only option (in lieu of installing Adobe Reader) is hard copy proofs thus increasing project costs?

Apologies for what are probably useless suggestions but you are kind of in a tough position.

pd
Your suggestion is welcome!
I'm sorry our workflow output PDFs not from raster TIFs, so we usually produce only unflattened PDF proofs.
 

prepressdork

Well-known member
Apologies but I am not sure I understand. What is producing a PDF proof? An application like InDesign or your workflow system? If InDesign, outputting an unflattened PDF eliminates the need for overprint preview.

pd
 

Joe

Well-known member
Apologies but I am not sure I understand. What is producing a PDF proof? An application like InDesign or your workflow system? If InDesign, outputting an unflattened PDF eliminates the need for overprint preview.

pd
Yes but Preview or other 3rd party apps don't handle live transparency well at all.

I think all you can do is to let the customers know the the only way to verify a PDF is to use Acrobat Reader (latest version) and if they choose to view it in any other app you can't assure them that what they are seeing is what will be output.
 

cseas

Well-known member
Hi all,

I'm having some issues with clients who don't use updated Acrobat to see our PDFs.
They stick to Osx Preview, Foxit Reader, older Acrobats, and so on - but those software FIRSTLY lack of overprint preview.

I've tried to force them, using passwords, watermarks, and so on... But they don't want to change!

My boss talks a lot about 'teaching the customers' ...
How can I teach them the good things about using Acrobat Reader?

Bye!
That's a common issue. :) Unfortunately.

What I do is include a note and link when sending PDFs to a client:

Note: Please download latest version of Acrobat Reader. (If necessary)

https://acrobat.adobe.com/us/en/acrobat/pdf-reader.html

Seems to work. But I do occasionally get someone who has trouble downloading, or completely misses (or ignores) this advice/instruction.
Well, as far as your boss' advice, he does have a point. Now if the client doesn't want to learn, that's another issue. But I find most clients are willing to learn and grateful afterwards. We just need to use a little creativity when helping them.
I'll use screenshots and type out exactly what they need to do:

In Acrobat, open the Preferences and under "Page Display” category make sure the “Use Overprint Preview” is set to “Always”. (See Screenshot)
Screen Shot.png

Keep up the good fight! ;)

Cheers
 

Repro_Pro

Well-known member
I'm sorry our workflow output PDFs not from raster TIFs, so we usually produce only unflattened PDF proofs.
I believe that the RIP separates and rasterizes the files so they are already flattened, consequently transparencies are not likely to be a problem.

EDIT: Sorry, re-reading the post makes me want to erase my comment.
The PDFs discussed are merely "Normalized", so they weren't actually RIPed.
 
Last edited:

Dov Isaacs

Well-known member
FWIW. A few thoughts:

(1) If you are a print service provider providing a “proof” to a customer in PDF form, it really should be a raster PDF file coming directly from the same RIP used for printing. Each page should be a single ZIP-compressed (to avoid compression artifacts that accompany JPEG compression) CMYK (+ spot channels if appropriate) raster image at device resolution. Either each image needs to be tagged with a CMYK ICC profile or the file should be a PDF/X-4 file with an output intent matching the CMYK printing condition. Otherwise, what you have is anything but a real digital proof but more like a restatement of the PDF originally provided.

(2) Viewing such a PDF file requires a viewer that properly converts such raster images from the designated CMYK color space (per above) to the RGB color space of the monitor. Such conversions are not possible with MacOS or iOS Preview, Google's PDF viewer, or Microsoft's Edge browser's PDF viewer. Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Reader, and other real PDF products do support such proper viewing.

(3) And of course, if a customer is relying on soft proofing, their monitors should be calibrated.

If the above conditions are not in place, both the print service provider and the customers are simply fooling themselves.

- Dov
 

Puch

Well-known member
First, render all pages to 300 dpi CMYK JPEGs ( in Acrobat: File / Export / Image / JPEG ). Then combine all these images back into a PDF 'container' ( in Acrobat: File / Create / Combine Files into a Single PDF ). Acrobat is intelligent enough not re-compressing the already compressed images.

A poor man's softproof if you don't have online approval. If you're on a tight budget, but still need such a system, please PM me.
 

Dov Isaacs

Well-known member
First, render all pages to 300 dpi CMYK JPEGs ( in Acrobat: File / Export / Image / JPEG ). Then combine all these images back into a PDF 'container' ( in Acrobat: File / Create / Combine Files into a Single PDF ). Acrobat is intelligent enough not re-compressing the already compressed images.

A poor man's softproof if you don't have online approval. If you're on a tight budget, but still need such a system, please PM me.
Sorry, but that doesn't hack it as soft proofing since 300 dpi is way less than printing resolution and JPEG compression is lossy and not only can, but will introduce artifacts that won't be seen in real printed output.

- Dov
 

michaelejahn

Well-known member
Hi all,

I'm having some issues with clients who don't use updated Acrobat to see our PDFs.
They stick to Osx Preview, Foxit Reader, older Acrobats, and so on - but those software FIRSTLY lack of overprint preview.

I've tried to force them, using passwords, watermarks, and so on... But they don't want to change!

My boss talks a lot about 'teaching the customers' ...
How can I teach them the good things about using Acrobat Reader?

Bye!
Well, what can I say. It only takes one miss-communication to do something different than the customer was expecting and lose that customers business. I can assure you that this is a common problem.

In some cases, a simple PDF "thumbnail" preview works fine ( like when I am simply trying to make sure the details in a business card are correct...)

https://test1.presswise.com/account/status.php?webID=MmI1OGQxNDY3ZTY0

and sometimes you need to download that PDF to be sure the right spot colors were used.

Just like we all have smoke alarms to warn us about something bad, we need the right tools to prevent bad printing - sorry, it is 100% an educational issue. If they agree to pay for bad incorrect printing, tell them to do what ever they want, but if they want to security - follow Dovs advice.
 

darioluca

Well-known member
FWIW. A few thoughts:

(1) If you are a print service provider providing a “proof” to a customer in PDF form, it really should be a raster PDF file coming directly from the same RIP used for printing. Each page should be a single ZIP-compressed (to avoid compression artifacts that accompany JPEG compression) CMYK (+ spot channels if appropriate) raster image at device resolution. Either each image needs to be tagged with a CMYK ICC profile or the file should be a PDF/X-4 file with an output intent matching the CMYK printing condition. Otherwise, what you have is anything but a real digital proof but more like a restatement of the PDF originally provided.

(2) Viewing such a PDF file requires a viewer that properly converts such raster images from the designated CMYK color space (per above) to the RGB color space of the monitor. Such conversions are not possible with MacOS or iOS Preview, Google's PDF viewer, or Microsoft's Edge browser's PDF viewer. Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Reader, and other real PDF products do support such proper viewing.

(3) And of course, if a customer is relying on soft proofing, their monitors should be calibrated.

If the above conditions are not in place, both the print service provider and the customers are simply fooling themselves.

- Dov
I know, i know...
I'm sorry to say that our workflow doesn't output HQ raster PDFs - 'HQ' in my opinion - so I prefer to rely on vector PDF from native software and to not think about color accuracy. They are not meant for color proofing.
 

Dov Isaacs

Well-known member
I know, i know...
I'm sorry to say that our workflow doesn't output HQ raster PDFs - 'HQ' in my opinion - so I prefer to rely on vector PDF from native software and to not think about color accuracy. They are not meant for color proofing.
If your “proofs” are not meant for color accuracy, then what are they meant for? How do they differ from the PDF provided to you? What real added value do they provide?

This doesn't make any real sense for either you or your customer(s). :rolleyes:

- Dov
 

pushpixels

Well-known member
If your “proofs” are not meant for color accuracy, then what are they meant for? How do they differ from the PDF provided to you? What real added value do they provide?

This doesn't make any real sense for either you or your customer(s). :rolleyes:

- Dov
I can't speak for dario but I might be somewhat in the same boat.

The whole time I've been in the industry it has been standard that we send the customer a PDF of their artwork. Sometimes their artwork is provided as illustrator files, sometimes as illustrator PDFs, sometimes as a picture of their label. I think your question regarding the value added is valid. In my experience it is used to simulate expected print results (traps, potential white overprint issues, as well as resolution to other problems that their files may have).

Recently I have been receiving files from customers that have good prepress work done to them and the separations have been explicitly defined by the customer so I find myself simply placing our legend calling out the item number, dimensions and colors.

To simplify that answer, it is meant as a content "proof" to confirm that what we see in our editor is what the customer is expecting. How is our PDF different than the customers? Potentially it really is not. I am intrigued by the solution you initially suggested.

I would say even if the artwork in our PDF vs the customer's may not be different there is still value for us. That is because our PDF will be the same format and contain the same amount of information regardless of the customer or SKU. For the operator this will minimize how much "thinking" they need to do and keeps our QC department happy.

If we can also add some value to the customer that would be great. Recently I was questioned by a customer why our digital PDF differed from our physical color proof. There were valid reasons for this but it definitely made me realize that we may need to modify this process.
 

darioluca

Well-known member
If your “proofs” are not meant for color accuracy, then what are they meant for? How do they differ from the PDF provided to you? What real added value do they provide?

This doesn't make any real sense for either you or your customer(s). :rolleyes:

- Dov
What's the point of this statement? I'm sure you must be kidding.
Am I suppose to give back to client the same file they provided me?
If so, the same assertion could be made about color accuracy!

FACTS ARE if clients are prepared enough to give us perfect ready-to-print files THEN there will be no need for proofing at all - just PRINT IT.
BUT REALITY IS the world is filled with people who claim to be graphic designers and still don't know that Illustrator has an overprint preview checkbox (and probably don't know what overprint is at all).
SO we - the printers - must do something in order to protect our business.

I really had to explain this?
What is the PDF proof for? To be sure we and the client are talking about the same design.
What we do for color accuracy? We print a color proof! Or we give'em printed color samples.
​​​​​​​And then we make a physical mockup too - to be sure the client are going to get what they have in mind.
...and still there will be errors!!
 

Dov Isaacs

Well-known member
What's the point of this statement? I'm sure you must be kidding.
Am I suppose to give back to client the same file they provided me?
If so, the same assertion could be made about color accuracy!

FACTS ARE if clients are prepared enough to give us perfect ready-to-print files THEN there will be no need for proofing at all - just PRINT IT.
BUT REALITY IS the world is filled with people who claim to be graphic designers and still don't know that Illustrator has an overprint preview checkbox (and probably don't know what overprint is at all).
SO we - the printers - must do something in order to protect our business.

I really had to explain this?
What is the PDF proof for? To be sure we and the client are talking about the same design.
What we do for color accuracy? We print a color proof! Or we give'em printed color samples.
​​​​​​​And then we make a physical mockup too - to be sure the client are going to get what they have in mind.
...and still there will be errors!!
There is clearly a difference between a print job for which the customer provides a truly print-ready PDF file for which due diligence has been performed to assure as best as possible that content will print as expected and rank amateurs who really need assistance preparing content.

For that first class of customers, in fact the color accuracy is probably the most important aspect of any proof as well as the ability to detect any unexpected surprises (due to any number of reasons). For the second class of customers, you are not simply a printer, but also potentially providing extensive (re)design and prepress services - which if I may comment on, you should be charging more for. The initial proof you provide such a customer might be a simple PDF file exported/saved from whatever program you are using, but that really isn't a soft press proof.

- Dov
 

Automatically Autonomous Automation

Automatically Autonomous Automation
Although the autonomous car is not quite ready, a lights out print operation is something you can do right now if you have a comprehensive Print MIS (Management Information System). The advantages can put money on your bottom line. So what’s your next step? Link to Article

   
Top