Remote Prepress


Well-known member
Hi all,

With many companies having employees work from home, bossman asked me if from home if it should become necessary . I was wondering if anyone else on here has looked into this and/or gone down this route at all? If so, what sorts of hurdles did you encounter? How did you overcome them? Other issues? Special procedures?



Well-known member
We did some prepress from home back in the spring. Those if us with Macs at home and work just used the built in Mac Screen Sharing application over a VPN connection from our Firewall and it worked great. Those without Macs at home used Google Remote Desktop where you use the Google Chrome web browser to Remote into their Macs. You can use it Windows to Windows Remote Desktop as well.

The only issue we had is the prepress people have to create work orders for plate/press/bindery/billing/shipping so someone still in the building had to gather all of the paperwork out of the printer to distribute to the proper people. But it worked.


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One of our clients moved whole design teams home. The workers installed the company-supplied Adobe CC software components onto their own computers. The main issue was to have a very large, 99,9 uptime, extreme bandwith server somewhere with a rock-solid VPN. After 6 months, I have to say it's working. The only remaining problem is that some people has no concept of "working hours", so they're unreachable through the day, but trying to get us to the phone at the night. Of course the courier traffic increased a lot (sending out mostly hardcopy proofs).


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We have prepress working from home and it works just fine. Every now and again we have to physically reset their connection to the office if it glitches but it works 99% of the time.


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I was working from home for several weeks at the beginning of the pandemic. I went in to fill the platesetter and check replenisher levels and paper/ink in the plotters. Everything else worked fine, just like being there.


I work for nine month now at home with different remote tools like VPN+RDC or CITRIX.
The former has been a little bit frustrating due to the available bandwith. But the latter works incredibly well like if I was in front my tools in the prepress room.

Nobody mentioned it so far, but the most challenging part arise when you have color post production to do on files.
I had to receive one of our EIZO display in order to properly do the job.

VPN, remote are good enough to streamline prepress tools ans servers but there's still some limitations.
Color correction is one of them.
And I did not mention the proofing part as well.
Because dealing with customers to verify jobs on the fly is also a serious matter. :)
It's already quite challenging in ordinaries days but now…
DISCLAIMER: I neither work for EFI or own shares in them.
That said I am able to VPN into sites and connect into the Fiery RIPs (as I have Command Workstation on my Mac mini), process jobs, send soft proofs to clients, etc. I have to have two dongles on my machine to license the Compose & Impose functions within CWS. I also do artwork from home using Adobe apps. The only problem is someone has to be in the shop to actually print the job and package it for delivery. Currently many sites are also moving their accounting/CRM/MIS/etc into the cloud so they can be used at home too. Using either Zoom or the telephone to talk to clients and colleagues is also working out fine. I would suggest that anyone doing this has a separate room with a locked door to stop dog/cat/child/etc walking in on your Zoom session; especially true for grand children who may have just got up and are not dressed appropriately for a Zoom conference.
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We have a solution called Metaboard that puts your prepress dept and jobs in the cloud so they can be accessed by any user with an internet connection. It also has a Callas pdfToolbox server on the backend which does preflight and allows a user to perform PDF FixUps, customer proofing, imposition and job tracking with XML/JSON data retrieved or pushed to MIS/Web-to-Print systems. Drop me a line and I can arrange a demo with you.


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