InDesign / Acrobat

March 31, 2014 § Leave a comment

Today’s the last session with Steve =(

We’re looking at Adobe Acrobat and the importance of it. Adobe thinks that Acrobat is the most important program of the Adobe suite; if you want to be a certified print specialist, you Are required to pass an exam in acrobat, and one of either Illustrator, Photoshop, or Illustrator.

To gain a full understanding of Adobe Acrobat, Go to Lynda Lynda.com, watch the Acrobat 10 essential, all 502 minutes of it (!!), by the end of my graduation, since it’s incredibly invaluable as a designer.

After opening Acrobat Pro, click on the ‘Tools’ menu. The print production menu is hidden, which is by far the most important tab, hiding by default, to view it simply click the top right drop down and tick ‘Print Production’. Acrobat distiller (different to Acrobat Pro) will convert a postscript file (a very cut down of a PDF (PDF being more advanced)), but isn’t used that much, I’d use this to convert any of these postscript files into PDFs.

Get into the habit of instead printing directly from the application (such as Photoshop, Illustrator etc.), using instead a PDF through acrobat, so then if there are any print problems, I can do it through Acrobat rather than the source document.

Acrobat allows me to troubleshoot separations (of colour (eg. CMYK)) amongst other problems:
‘Output preview’ > make sure that the (colour) separations I choose for my document are colours I wish to use, i.e make sure I don’t have any spot colours selected that I don’t want, as this can become very costly if undesired. To convert any back from pantone spot colours, simply untick the box. Make sure also that I’m printing in the correct output, such as CMYK or RGB, confirming that none of my files/colours are of a non corresponding format, for example, making sure it’s all CMYK with no RGB.

A PDF is a soft proof, which something on the screen.
A hard proof is the physical copy.

‘Object Inspector’ preview by default is blank, but by clicking on objects on the file with the crosshair cursor it will tell you if it’s protected or if there’s a problem, such as a missing typeface. This tool also gives the resolution, pixels, size, colour space etc. Whatever I click on, it will tell me about it, so it really depends what I click on what it shows.

‘Simulation Profile’ is what the print material will be; use the U.S Standard Web Offset Press if I don’t know what the print profile is.

Preflight

This is like the mother of all dialogue boxes! This links back to the aviation industry, where a pilot would have a preflight check list, where they’d check petrol, wings, levels etc. The same principles are applied to the printer. Clicking the drop down ‘Show all’ will display other options to filter results:
‘Online publishing’ will optimise the print for online publishing
With this option, we want to fix the accidental spot problem > select the ‘PDF fixups’ tag, which will drop down > select ‘Convert to CMYK only (swop)’, converting the spot colour to a process colour > click on this option and press ‘Analyze and fix’ at the bottom right > saving it as a new file. When looking at the ‘Output preview’ now, the spot colour should no longer be present.
The ‘Flatten transparancy’ fix option is important, blelnding modes can cause a lot of problems, with little bounding boxes present, so run this fix up option to (hopefully) fix it.
Any errors with my document, always go on Acrobat and check on ‘Output preview’ & ‘Preflight’ to rectify any issues.

Trap Presets

Very technical and usually discussed by the actual printer themselves.
If there are colours together, such as blue or yellow, and the press slips a little, there will be a bit of green, however this isn’t important to worry about, as we’re not controlling the printing press.

Convert Colours

Clients may need to drop the price for various reasons, usually happening at the awkward stage of the printing stage, meaning you’d usually have to go back and alter the file(s) to comply with the new budget, however, there are other ways, pre-print. To set up criterea that converts all images to greyscale > under matching criteria > Colour type dropbox ‘Image’ >
Under ‘Conversion attributes’ Convert to profile > conversion profile drop down ‘Grey Gamma 1.8’ (1.8 being a lighter and white, and 2.2 being darker)

Set Page Boxes

changing page sizes

Add Printer Marks

adds ^^that^^

Fix Hairlines

Hairlines are straight lines in documents, such as borders. These hairline strokes can be a problem with print, with inconsitiency of these lines being present. This can occur whn you scale things, you increase/decrease the scale AND the stroke. In this option you can change rules that will replace hairlines that are meant to be the same but are not.

Flatten transparency (in preflight)

If theres’s a transparent PNG ewith an image in the middle, there’s sometimes a bounding box, this will flatten the image and fix the problem

JDF Job Definitions 

here you can add comments and any specific details, “designed to simplify information exchange between different applications and systems in and around the graphic arts industry”.

 

if anything foes wrong, PDF my document and run Acrobat

 

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