After creation of the print file, it is passed on to the printer. In between there is another important step: checking the PDF. Ideally, you will have already installed a Preflight into your layout program, which draws attention to possible errors. However, even if this is the case, checking the print PDF is still highly recommended. The best options for doing this are offered by Adobe Acrobat Pro. Here you can determine whether your file can be printed without errors and that you will achieve the result you want. Here we will show you amongst other things the Output Preview and Preflight functions which allow you to check the most important points.
- Activate the Output Preview via the Tools menu under ‘Print Production’.
- Under the simulation profile, set the corresponding colour space, so ISO Coated v2 300%”(ECI). (1)
- With “Simulate Overprinting” you can test whether the overprint settings are correct, so that the finishings are applied correctly, for example. (2)
- Via the dropdown menu under “Show”, you can check individual points, for example whether any graphics or images are still in RGB. To do so, select “Non-device CMYK”. Anything displayed now still needs to be converted into CMYK. (3)
- To make sure that the total ink coverage does not exceed the maximum value (usually 300%), tick the box next to “Total Area Coverage” and set the corresponding value. Elements that exceed this value will be shown in the selected colour. (4)
- You can see whether your document has the correct dimensions at the bottom left when you move the cursor over this area. (5)
Check the typefaces used
- Open the Properties window via File>Properties and then click on the “Fonts” tab.
- Here, all the fonts used in the document are shown.
- Generally, typefaces are printable when they are embedded and thus shown as an “Embedded Subset”. However, it is always better to convert fonts into paths. These will not show up in the list. So a white fonts window is no bad thing – quite the opposite.
- Activate the Preflight via the Tools menu under ‘Print Production’. Here you can check the whole PDF or individual elements of it.
- For printing with FLYERALARM, you should generally deliver PDF/X-3 files, so check this via the relevant section under PDF/X standard.
- Once the check is completed, possible errors will be displayed. Acrobat differentiates between two levels here: The red circle shows errors that do not fit with the guidelines and need to be corrected. A yellow triangle shows that the settings are not ideal but printing can still go ahead. If everything’s ok, a green tick is displayed.
- You can now see all relevant points displayed in detail.
You can also carry out a limited basic check in Adobe Acrobat Reader, the reduced version of the program. This shows, for example, whether the page dimensions are correct or whether fonts are embedded. For a comprehensive check of your print data, however, you should use Acrobat Pro. Then there is nothing more to stand in the way of your perfect print product.