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PDF Tools for Graphics Professionals

(July 2005) posted on Thu Jul 28, 2005

A sourcelist of products for compressing workflow.

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Other CMYK PDF Creator capabilities include: impose documents
into print-ready booklets on-the-fly; choosing different
media sizes; output media cropping; trim marks; registration
marks; black generation; color-output mode; image conversion;
spot-color conversion; and automatic overprint. CMYK PDF Creator
requires Windows 2000 or XP as well as Adobe Acrobat 5.0 or later.


Helios PDF Handshake 2.1 offers users the ability to print PDF
separations and composite PDF documents on PostScript-compatible
devices. Graphic designers can create files in Quark-
XPress, Adobe InDesign, or Microsoft Office. PDF Handshake uses
ColorSync and ICC color management, creates proofs of PDF files,
and supports spot colors as well as TrueType and CID fonts. The
software also features the ability to print registration marks and
receive print jobs over the Internet in the new "PDF Internet Printing"
feature. Additional capabilities include OPI and Unix support.


OneVision's Asura software is designed to correct common publishing
workflow problems. It can automatically open native PDF
and TIFF files as well as interpret PostScript and EPS files (separated
as well as composite), and check file contents while automatically
repairing errors. The software provides default check
criteria to provide actions to fix errors, issue warnings, and reject
documents. Once unnecessary data is removed, Asura outputs
files and provides a complete log of every checked file.

Asura Pro offers everything as Asura, and has additional features
including automated correction of column width and
height, conversion of process colors into predefined or customized
spot colors, cropping of pages with existing crop marks,
and conversion of complete documents into HTML.

Solvero is OneVision's editing software for the modification
and post-processing of PDF, EPS, and PostScript files. Users can
select substitution fonts; evaluate OPI comments; process separated
or composite files; change color spaces or blends; handle
spot colors; adopt tonal range, gradations, and resolution; create
duo-tone images; process images; import and export image
data; change text flow and alignment; and make changes to page
formats. Solvero also offers a "search and replace" function for
color, fonts, and graphics.

Polkadots Software

PrePage-it, from Polkadots Software, features a drag-and-drop
interface for PDF, EPS, TIFF, PS, and DCS files to hot folders. The software
preflights files, automatically fixing problems as well as separating
spot colors or RGB images into CMYK and creating error
reports on missing fonts, PS, and RIP errors. PrePage-it sorts jobs
to individual folders based on job-ticket numbers or job names and
generates ROOM-file page numbers automatically. Users can also
soft proof files from 72 to 1200 dpi in PDF or Photoshop format.

Files can be output to a hot-folder device, a local or remote
network calibrated proofer, as well as imagesetters and CTP
devices. Export formats include: 1-bit TIFFs, DCS 2, PDF, EPS, Photoshop,
PS, and TIFF.

Also from Polkadots is Manage-it, a software that enables
users to perform queue, job, error, archive, and file management,
as well as create PDF proofs and PDF paginated booklets, and
output to network devices.

Quite Software

Quite a Box of Tricks, from Quite Software, is an Adobe Acrobat
plug-in that allows users to subsample and/or recompress
images without any need to redistill a PDF. In addition to offering
"extra-strong" JPEG compression, it also will convert any PDF file
to CMYK by converting all RGB and Lab data to CMYK. The software
can scale pages and also mirror them for film or fabric
transfers. Users can search a document for the largest images or
for an RGB image to identify trouble spots. Images are shown in
exact dimensions.

Quite Imposing/Imposing Plus: Both of these products enable
users to create booklets, insert blank pages into a document, shuffle
pages for imposing, reverse page order, and trim from the edges
of pages, among other features. Quite Imposing Plus also allows
users to execute manual imposition, step-and-repeat, and define
bleeds, among other functions. Users must have Adobe Acrobat 4.0,
5.0, or 6.0 (not the free Acrobat Reader) for the plug-ins to work.