Could anyone give me a technical definition of 'refining a file' and 'normalising' a file.
How is a refined PDF different from a standard PDF prior to import?
What is different about a normalised PDF as apposed to a refined PDF?
Normalizing is part of the larger Refining process. The Normalizer is a piece of software that comes from Adobe which is very similar to Distiller in that it's main job is to convert PS to PDF.
Refining is a larger series of tasks that includes the Normalizer but also can include things like Optimizing PDFs, Color Matching/Mapping, Trapping, OPI processing, splitting of reader's spreads, Recombining separated files, reformatting of CT/LW and/or copydot data and Preflighting. You can add or remove most of these tasks in your Refine Process Template according to your needs. Refining also splits multi-page files into single page PDFs to make it easy to replace an individual page in a layout.
A Refined PDF differs from a PDF that came directly out of a desktop app or Distiller in that it may contain Traps or be color matched or have low res FPO images replaced - it all depends on which features were enabled during Refining - the main goal being to ensure that the file is optimized to print correctly on your equipment with the correct colors, traps etc.
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