24 Replies Latest reply: Aug 10, 2012 7:18 AM by rob day RSS

    PPD: Adobe missing

    luca del carlo Community Member

      I'm following POD printer's instructions for creating a PDF. Rather than use the Adobe PDF output option of InDesign, the printers advise that a postscript file be created first, then processed in Acrobat Distiller for the final pdf.

       

      The first step in printing the ps file from ID requires that in the print dialog box under PPD, an Adobe PDF be selected, however, the only option in the menu box is "Device Independent". What needs to be done?

       

      A quick forum search returned similar but somewhat more complicated scenarios. I'm using CS3 and Windows 7. Thank you in advance.

        • 1. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
          BobLevine UGM-MVPs

          This printer is living in the early 1990's. Export your PDF using the X/1-a setting and I can pretty much assure you they'll accept your PDF.

           

          Bob

          • 2. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
            luca del carlo Community Member

            I'm aware that's just how it sounds. The printer is the largest print-on-demand outfit in the world, Ingram's Lightning Source. Not that I'm wedded to the old way of doing this, it's just that my advisor and Lightning Source express a preference for Distiller produced X-1a:2001 pdfs over ID's native option.  I'm only using CS3, which may pose its own issues, but Distiller has been referred to as the gold standard for this. In the past, I submitted files using their preferred process, and no problems were incurred, so I lean towards this.

            • 3. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
              BobLevine UGM-MVPs

              GOLD STANDARD? Sure, like the Model T is the gold standard for automobiles.

               

              Bob

              • 4. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                Since you are using Windows you can compress the distillationinto a single process by choosing Print > Adobe PDF... and select their settings file. THis makes the .ps file and passes it to distiller seamlessly in the background in one operation.

                 

                Which is not to say that this is a good workflow.

                • 5. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                  luca del carlo Community Member

                  Following the most recent instructions from the printers, going from ID, exporting to PDF X-1a:2001 is now recommended. Apologies for not noting this earlier. But rather than Distiller showing as the PDF producer once opened in Reader (File-->Properties--Description), Adobe PDF library 8.0 is listed. Why?

                   

                  The printer's instructions indicate that the producer should be Distiller, and then a host of preflight checks are to be reviewed. I've searched and have not found how one can do a preflight check in Reader X. Must Acrobat X Pro be bought?

                  • 6. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                    BobLevine UGM-MVPs

                    Because that’s what created it.

                     

                     

                     

                    Bob

                    • 7. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                      luca del carlo Community Member

                      If, as noted above in Peter's post, Distiller has been seemlessly integrated, then how can I have Distiller produce the PDF, if that's what''s necessary to do the extensive preflight checks?

                       

                      I'm attempting to follow the printer's instructions and use Distiller, which at this point, I'm not seeing how to do. Is Distiller required for the preflight checks?

                      • 8. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                        BobLevine UGM-MVPs

                        Peter was referring to the print to Adobe PDF command, not exporting.

                         

                         

                         

                        Bob

                        • 9. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                          luca del carlo Community Member

                          Ok, distinction noted. When exporting a PDF, where would the aforementioned preflight check function to use afterwards be? Is Reader X (all that I have to work with at the moment) not capable of doing this, or must I acquire Acrobat Pro?

                           

                          Or is the suggestion here to disregard perflight checks because printers are often poorly informed?

                          • 10. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                            BobLevine UGM-MVPs

                            Reader is, as its name implies designed for READING PDFs. If you want professional level preflighting you’re going to need Acrobat X Pro.

                             

                             

                             

                            BTW, you should start paying attention to the calendar. Until August 31 you can move to Creative Cloud at a 40% discount. Until 12/31 you can get upgrade pricing for CS6.

                             

                             

                             

                            After that you’re going to have to pay full price for what ever you decide to do.

                             

                             

                            Bob

                            • 11. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                              rob day MVP

                              Following the most recent instructions from the printers, going from ID, exporting to PDF X-1a:2001 is now recommended...

                               

                              I'm attempting to follow the printer's instructions and use Distiller, which at this point, I'm not seeing how to do. Is Distiller required for the preflight checks?

                               

                              If the most recent recommendation is exporting to PDF/X-1a, why are you using Distiller?

                               

                              The PDF/X-1a standard is very strict (no transparency, CMYK only) so you can pre flight in ID before the export.

                              • 12. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                                luca del carlo Community Member

                                Frankly, Distiller's function is not clear to me; I am merely followoing Ingram/Lightninig Source's instructions to the T, which print millions of books, literally, per year for smaller and larger clients (Harper Collins, Oxford Univeristy Press). Their instructions are below, and I'm quite sorry for the length here, but, and I'll leave it to you, the Adobe experts, to judge how misinformed they may be:

                                 

                                Exporting InDesign

                                In InDesign, first select FILE > Export

                                Select a location to save your PDF

                                Beside “Format” select Adobe PDF (Print)

                                Click “Save”

                                For “Adobe PDF Preset” choose PDF/X1a 2001

                                or PDF/X3 2002

                                 

                                Reviewing a PDF Before Submission

                                In the Acrobat menu bar select File > Properties

                                Select the “Descriptions” tab.

                                Near the bottom of the window, you will see a listing for

                                “Page Size:” followed by width and height dimensions.

                                Please, verify that the PDF document dimensions match

                                the dimensions necessary to comply with Lightning

                                Source requirements for the item you are uploading.

                                (My note: in their example, PDF Producer field shows Distiller)

                                 

                                Font Embedding

                                Within the same dialogue box select the “Fonts” tab.

                                Beside the name of each font you should see

                                (Embedded) or (Embedded Subset). If you do not see

                                those words your fonts are not correctly embedded and

                                Lightning Source will not be able to process your file.

                                 

                                Reviewing a PDF Before Submission

                                Color Mode And Resolution

                                In the Acrobat menu bar select:

                                Edit > Preflight (Acrobat 10)

                                Select the “Profiles” tab and scroll down to select “PDF

                                Analysis”.

                                • Click the arrow to expand the available options.

                                Select “List page objects, grouped by

                                type of object” and click “Analyze”.

                                A list of results will appear. Click on the triangle(s) next to

                                “Resolution of color and grayscale images” to view a

                                listing of all images present in the PDF.

                                For covers Lightning Source recommends CMYK 300ppi

                                images and for interiors recommends 1-bit black & white

                                line art at 600 ppi and 8-bit grayscale 300ppi continuous tone

                                images.

                                 

                                Checking for Spot Colors and Color Density

                                In the Acrobat menu bar select:

                                Windows > Tools > Print Production and select

                                Output Preview (v10)

                                This window will list all colors used in your document and

                                percentages of each color. The only colors that should be

                                present are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. If any spot

                                colors are used please return to the application used to

                                create your document and covert all colors to CMYK.

                                When the Output Preview window is open you can move

                                your cursor over the PDF and view the CMYK values in your

                                file. This is a good time to verify that the barcode used is

                                100% black only and that your cover does not have large

                                areas of color that exceed 240% Total Area Coverage.

                                If concerned about excessive color density you can select

                                the box at the bottom of the window labeled “Total Area

                                Coverage”, select a maximum limit and all offending areas

                                will be highlighted.

                                • 13. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                                  rob day MVP

                                  Frankly, Distiller's function is not clear to me;

                                   

                                  There's none. They are askng you to Export not distill.

                                  • 14. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                                    luca del carlo Community Member

                                    In their instructions above, the PDF producer is listed as Distillier, so it is indeed a part of the process at some point.

                                    • 15. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                                      Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                                      Yup, standard export for print PDF using either the PDF/X-1a or X3 preset, then use the tools in Acrobat Pro to check the basics. Unless you've turned off the warning, ID will have told you on export that you used a restricted font that it could not embed, so fonts are generally not an issue, and you can read the "effective resolution" for any image in the info panel or the link information, or set a warning in live preflight in ID. You can also set a total ink limit preview in the Separations Preview panel to highlight any area at or above the setting So if you set 240%, it will highlight 240% and higher). One or two perpcent over the recommndation is not a problem in most cases -- you get at least that much variation on press -- and even more in very small areas is usually OK. You want to avoid overloading the paper in large areas like backgrounds.

                                      • 16. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                                        Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                                        luca del carlo wrote:

                                         

                                        In their instructions above, the PDF producer is listed as Distillier, so it is indeed a part of the process at some point.

                                        The only reference to Distiller in what you posted above is your own. In the File submission guide they have on their site (http://www1.lightningsource.com/ops/files/pod/LSI_FileCreationGuide.pdf) with a date of Aug 7, 2012, they explicitly say to use Export from both ID and Quark. I find three references to Distiller in that PDF, all on the Quick Reference pages in the front, and all under PDF producer. I think it would be much clearer if instead of a comma they used the word "or" to separate distiller from Export from ID.

                                         

                                        Most programs don't have their own complete PDF library, the way ID has, and the point of this specification, I believe, is to make clear to you that if you don't use ID you should be using Distiller, not some other third-party PDF converter. Haven't used Quark in years, but back in the days when I did their PDF export was crap and you had to print to file and distill if you wanted a printable file. The guide is implying that is no longer necessary, so either they got their act together finally, or Quark is lying and actually distilling in the background like using Print to PDF with ID.

                                        • 17. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                                          luca del carlo Community Member

                                          Thank you Peter. My questions regarding preflight check in Acrobat, I'll now take over to the appropriate forum.

                                           

                                          The reference to Distiller in my post above concerns what their own PDF shows in the  PDF producer field here: https://www1.lightningsource.com/ops/files/premedia/Reviewing_a_PDF.pdf

                                           

                                          I wouldn't knowingly mislead. Though you've located one of their file submission guides, their supplement (above link) warns that an often overlooked aspect is the preflight check in Acrobat. Would you say that a preflight check in ID provides, for all intensive purposes in this case, identical results?

                                          • 18. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                                            Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                                            That's probably a poor choice of illustration. My guess would be that the dialog came from a PDF printed to the virual PDF printer in before it disappeared in Snow Leopard, and is in contrast to the directions that you should export. It's a tribute to you that you looked so closely, but the the illustration is meant to show you where to check the document dimensions, and nothing else. THere's no mention of Distiller anywhere in the text of that PDF.

                                             

                                            It's always a good idea to preflight in Acrobat, since it's the PDF you are sending, but if you've done your preflights in ID and followed the specs, there's virually no reason other than user error why you would find a problem in Acrobat.

                                            • 19. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                                              rob day MVP

                                              This is a good time to verify that the barcode used is

                                              100% black only and that your cover does not have large

                                              areas of color that exceed 240% Total Area Coverage.

                                               

                                              Scanning through their guide I don't see any profile recommendation. In their screen caps they've used the default US SWOP which has a 300% limit, so any photo with full tonal range will have areas of 300% coverage.

                                              • 20. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                                                Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                                                Yeah, I didn't want to get into that.

                                                 

                                                240% is pretty low. My guess is the print is being done on a toner-based device of some sort and more than 240% is not going to fuse properly and will flake off, but I don't have any real evidence to support that.

                                                 

                                                240% is going to be pretty washed out in the shadows.

                                                • 21. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                                                  rob day MVP

                                                  Yeah, I didn't want to get into that.

                                                   

                                                  If you follow all of their preflight instructions it would come up whenever there's a typical photo on a page. You'd have to use a newsprint or legacy profile to stay under. They'd be rejecting most jobs if 240 was a real limit.

                                                  • 22. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                                                    luca del carlo Community Member

                                                    The language they use is to avoid "large areas" of over 240 - which is quite vague as what percentage of the page constitutes a large area, is anyone's guess, or so it seems.

                                                    • 23. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                                                      Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                                                      This is one reason I hate these types of organizations. They publish all sorts of confusing, conflicting, or just plain erroneous guidelines for inexperienced users, and there's nobody you can talk to to get a straight answer.

                                                      • 24. Re: PPD: Adobe missing
                                                        rob day MVP

                                                        It's actually pretty hard to make a decent separation with a 240 limit if you're printing on a coated sheet. This SWOP separation, which is hardly heavy in the shadows has a fair amount over 240:

                                                         

                                                        Screen shot 2012-08-10 at 10.07.39 AM.png

                                                         

                                                        Screen shot 2012-08-10 at 10.07.53 AM.png