PDF Preflight PDF preflight is one of the most important things you must do, before sending a PDF file to printer office. Preflighting means, reviewing the document one last time before printing process, for errors, in colors, fonts, and other areas of PDF document. Why is it called preflight check? Well, if you print 10.000 flyers, on expensive paper and printer, you probably want to get them right, not wrong. So, as in airplanes, before they flight, preflight checks are done, the same checks applies here. You want to get your printed stuff right. Preflighting should happen as earlier as possible, when you receive Quark, or Indesign document. But if you work as printer, not the designer, you will probably work with pure PDF files. Always is better to preflight ‘open document’ files such as Indesign files, it’s easier to repair errors in design or typos. But PDF files on the other hand are harder to repair.

Colors Many PDF files in graphic design business are based on CMYK and spot (named, like Pantone) colors. Other than that PDF files also support RGB, LAB and other different types of color processes. If use wrong color process in PDF you might end up with printer printing nothing, or really wrong colors without notice or any warning. Because of that, it’s really important for you to choose right color process, and use the right colors. For Offset printing process you will use CMYK color space, and if you want to add an extra color on that CMYK range, you can use Pantone spot colors (like for metallic colors).

Fonts If you end up with PDF file with typographic error in it, you can repair it, only if it has embedded all characters from used font. Embedding means that PDF file carries in itself all characters from used font. That way, wherever that PDF file comes, on any platform, it will always look the same. That is one of the best things about PDF document, and that’s why it is so portable and popular. If you forgot to embed fonts in PDF document while making it, you will end up with all fonts replaced probably with font Courier, and you get a feeling how will that look.

Images PDF files support almost all kinds of images in them, but you will get best results in print if you use TIFF documents without compression. Always check for image sizes, because low resolution images might look pretty good on your screen, but later when printed, they will look like oversized.

PitStop Professional It’s one of the most comprehensive and most professional preflight plug-in for Adobe Acrobat you can find today. With PitStop you can preflight your PDF documents for numerous errors, in fonts, colors, vector graphics, overprints and much other stuff.

You can visit PitStop website here.