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Monday, November 22, 2010

Proofing your files

Prior to sending your print files to Greater Dallas Press, it is prudent to proof your PDF files.  The tendency exists, once the PDF files have been created, to send them to the printer as soon as possible, but a little extra time taken to proof the PDF files will save unneccesary delays in trying to get the files corrected and printed.  We print from the PDF files, not the layout files and anomolies may occur in the PDF process, espacially with older layout programs.  When proofing your PDF print files, examine the files at between 150% and 200%.  Proofing files at "full page" view or "page width" view will not show issues such as low resolution images or font problems due to the inherent low resolution of monitors.

Look for the following issues:

1. Incorrect page numbers and dates.

2. Low resolution images.
  • This can typically occur due to image links being compromised in the layout resulting in an overly pixelated or low resolution image.
  • Compromised links can be identified in older layout versions by reviewing the "Links Manager". Recent versions of InDesign will allert the user to link issues during the PDF process.  These should be addressed prior to procedeing with the PDF.  Ignoring these alerts will only pass the problem off to the printer and create problems and delays.
  • Low resolution images can also simply be a result of a poor image. 
3. Inconsistent color quality.
  • If one image on a page is dark an another image is bright, that is the way it will print.
  • Hyper colors.  Pictures which appear overly red, yellow or dark are usually due to exposure settings when the picture was taken or just plain bad lighting.  Many of these color problems can be corrected using Photoshop.
4. Font anomolies.

  • Font issues will typically result from fonts not being embedded in the PDF process or unlicensed fonts being used.  Newer versions of InDesign will alert the user about many font issues during the PDF process. These issues should be addressed before proceding. Ignoring these alerts will only pass the problem off to the printer and create problems and delays.
  • Occassionaly, but not very often, fonts become corrupted.  We have seen this on Macs only. When this is identified, the font needs to be re-installed.

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