Business Advice

A new, streamlined PitStop preflight software package from Enfocus

by FESPA | 23/04/2021
A new, streamlined PitStop preflight software package from Enfocus

Andrew Bailes-Collins unveils Enfocus’s new and improved functions of this year’s much anticipated preflight software upgrade.

Leading industry standard for PDF validation PitStop has improved its prepress control with its latest update. PitStop solves preflighting, editing, repairing and reporting for any PDF challenge a team can face.

Its interactive preflight report can be as basic or detailed as you require to suit customers and contains a clickable list of warnings and errors that visually indicate exactly where the issue is located.

‘Align/Distribute’ Action

Align/Distribute has been available for some time as an option in the PitStop Pro Inspector. We now add it as an Action so this functionality can be automated.
Align Action

‘Consolidate Fonts’ Action

This new action is designed to help with the issue of multiple subsets of the same font causing performance issues on output. The Action merges subsets using the installed system fonts in the case of PitStop Pro, or the defined font folders in the case of PitStop Server.
Please note that PitStop Pro and Server will partially consolidate fonts where possible, but PitStop Server will produce an error since the issue is not resolved completely. Given this specific error, such a file may still be used, as some or most fonts may have been consolidated.

‘Flatten Type 3 Fonts’ Action

Type 3 fonts can contain graphic content and become extremely complex. We have seen a rise in the occurrences of Type 3 fonts due to the use of emojis and OpenType SVG fonts in Illustrator and InDesign. OpenType SVG fonts are not part of the PDF specification, although not inherently forbidden. The way they are represented in a PDF file can change depending upon the output settings used in the originating application. Some applications and output RIPs have issues with Type 3 fonts. Previously, selective rasterization was used to convert them to images,  but this new action provides the option to convert Type 3 fonts to normal page content.

‘Separate Stroke and Fill’ Action

This Action was developed to support the new Add Bleed functionality. If a single vector shape has a fill and a stroke, this Action will split it into two objects, one with a fill and one with a stroke. The original object may also be removed if necessary.

‘Impose Document’ Action

First, it’s not necessary to define a page size for the imposition. The Action uses the existing trim box, crop box or media box. This means the same Action can be used for multiple page sizes. It joins the pages together at the spine based on the trim box (or replacement). The actual page size is defined by the largest trim box in the PDF.

The Action works by calculating four pages to a signature, based on the largest width and height values that it sees among the four pages. The actual sheet size (which will be the media box) is either defined by the media box of the original pages, manually, or by the use of variables. If a new sheet size is specified, the imposed pages will be centered on that size.
Impose Document Action

The Impose Document Action has the following options:

  • Clip Source Page To: Clips content based on the defined page box. This can be used to clip content outside the trim and bleed boxes.
  • Spread Type: Defines the page sequence. Set either printer or reader spreads.
  • Binding Type: Allows the Action to be configured for left-to-right or right-to-left reading. It is also possible to use the setting from the PDF file if it is present.
  • Gutter Width: Allows a gutter to be added to the spine between the two imposed pages. The value equals the total spine width between the two pages.
  • Limit Bleed Into Gutter: Allows the specification of bleed in the gutter. In some circumstances this is required by the finishing technique.
  • Define Sheet Size Manually: If this option is not used, the media box (or sheet size) will be defined by the media boxes of the original file. If a value is defined here, either manually or with variables, the imposed pages are centered on this size.
  • Insert Print Marks: Allows you to generate new trim, fold and gutter marks. It is advisable to remove the marks from the original file prior to imposing if you are going to use this option. Other PitStop actions can be used to add signature and document names, color separations, color bars, barcodes or other custom marks.

 Check for Bleed Around a Contour

This new Action checks for bleed around an irregular closed path such as a dieline or a cutter guide. As there is no standard for the naming of dielines, the ability to define a list is available. If the path is not closed, it can be done using additional Actions prior to the check.


Cleaner bleeds and different offsets

‘Check for Bleed Around a Contour’ has the following options:

  • Bleed area offset from trim area: Indicates the amount of bleed that must be present along the contour.
  • Use different offset for the inner contours: If the contour is a compound shape, the inner bleed value can be set independent from the outer bleed value.
  • Trim area margin: Defines the distance inside the contour from which objects should bleed.
  • White threshold: As the check is raster based it is necessary to provide a threshold to ignore white objects.
  • Ignore missing bleed smaller than: With this option you can ignore small objects that may introduce false errors.
  • Overlay color: This defines the highlight color which will be used to show the areas of missing bleed.

Check Bleed function

‘Clip Original Bleed Based on Contour’ Action

This action clips bleed along a contour so a new, cleaner bleed can be created using the Add Bleed Around a Contour Action.

Add Bleed Around a Contour

This Action works on a closed path, a compound path, and on a trim box.

When used on vector paths
  • Where possible, the Action extends lineart to generate bleed. If it is not possible to extend the objects, then a raster image is generated to add bleed.
When used on raster images
  • Images are extended using a ‘clone last pixel’ method.

Add Bleed Around a Contour Options

  • Use trim box as contour: This allows the Action to be performed on a trim box, which opens up a whole new way of adding bleed to a page. Note that this Action does not support transparency. To use this Action, the files must be flattened first. Additionally, the Action does not support single objects that have both a fill and a stroke, so there is a separate Action, ‘Separate stroke and fill’ that can be used prior to adding bleed.
  • Resolution: This defines the resolution of the created bleed.
  • Color space: Options are Grayscale, RGB, CMYK and CMYK and Spot Colors. The color space should match the contents of the file to ensure the generated colors match the original.
  • Compression: Options here are None, Jpeg, Jpeg2000 and Zip. Helps avoid any artifacts, but also not have a major impact on the size of the resulting file.
  • Convert to Indexed Color Space: In some cases, Indexed Color space maybe an option for compression. Be aware that some RIPs do not accept Indexed Color.

‘Add Hems or Pockets’ Action

Mirrors page content based on the size of the trim and the bleed boxes. This Action has been created to differentiate hem and pocket creation Actions from create bleed Actions. This also gives us the option of adding additional functionality specifically for this task.

‘Add Page Numbers’ Action

An improvement has been made to the Add Page Numbers Action that was requested by many customers. It is now possible to add consecutive pages based on a page selection. For instance, you could select all odd pages, or every 4th page, and have them numbered consecutively.

Added option for Rectangular Data Matrix Barcode

A small addition to barcode types requested by several customers. It is now possible to generate a Rectangular Data Matrix barcode.

Variables added to Remap Spot Color and Page Difference Actions

Some small improvements, but requested by many customers. You can now use variables in these two Actions.

Close Path Action and Combine Subpaths Actions

Both of these Actions have been improved in this version to enhance the functionality for working with paths. This has been undertaken to support some of the brand-new Actions that require paths.

These new automated Actions added to PitStop's already formidable roster of direct PDF-editing functions will only create more time savings for busy printers. PitStop is the industry leading PDF editing and quality control solution. We keep it that way by continuously innovating. Thanks to the input that we get from our customers and our commitment to improve our products in their favour, PitStop is the go-to prepress tool. In fact, it has become a verb: ‘This PDF needs to be PitStopped.’ 

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