Prepress automation in small companies

Automation Prepress 2 min read , February 23, 2021

by Liesbet Olbrechts, Esko

One of the best things about working for Enfocus is helping people take their business – no matter how big or small – to levels they didn’t even think were possible. We believe that even the smallest fish in the print industry are able to automate their way to huge successes thanks to our tailor-made approach.

In part one of this series about prepress automation for SMEs, we answer an interesting question sent to us by prepress operator Matthew:

I work at a small print shop where I'm the only prepress operator. I want to make PDF preflighting and minor fixes go quicker so I can concentrate on more difficult files. What do you have for me?

Prepress automation issues? Enter PitStop Pro

Whether you’re new to the prepress automation game or a long-time player looking for new tricks, you’ll find using PitStop Pro is a breeze. A tried-and-tested Adobe Acrobat plug-in, it’s even quite inexpensive given the high number of features and abilities it offers straight out of the box.

To automate PDF preflighting and minor fixes using PitStop Pro, we suggest the following approach.

Install. Flag. Action!

First, identify which PDF production issues you want to flag during preflight, as the list of checks available to execute in PitStop Pro is very inclusive. Once installed, it offers numerous built-in preflight profiles and action lists to get you going – no learning curve involved! Simply select one and push the play icon.

Here's an example

Let’s say you want to check a PDF file for total ink coverage and RGB images.

First, you open the preflight profile called “CMYKv3.0” and uncheck every box except the color section. The first two items to check in the color section, then, are ink coverage and RGB. If you want to automatically convert the RGB to CMYK while performing the preflight, just check that box.

Once you’ve made the changes, save the profile and it’s ready to use.

What is a PitStop Action List?

You can make your job even easier by creating a PitStop Action List: a group of sequential commands for PitStop to execute when fixing a PDF.

For example:

  1. Select all text
  2. Change color of selection to 100%
  3. Convert all text to outlines

There are plenty of standard action lists that come with PitStop as part of the install. So, when you are just starting out, you can either use them as is or make changes to them to suit your specific needs. For instance, there is an Action List called Ensure Lineweight. It selects lines smaller than 0.0556 and changes them to become 0.0556. All you have to do is change the selection specification to smaller than 0.125, then make the correction value 0.25 (assuming those are your desired values). And there you have your first homemade PitStop Action List!

PDF Editing