Enfocus PitStop Pro Updated for PDF Preflighting and Editing
While design for the web and mobile devices continues to grow in importance, design and illustration tools, such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and QuarkXPress are still being put to good use to create work destined for the printed page. And when it's time to send finished work to service bureaus or printers, the format of choice is without question Adobe's venerable PDF. However, while such applications can be counted on to generate print-ready PDF/X files, there are still many fiddly bits that can result in unwanted surprises on the press. To that end software developers have created a variety of tools that help designers ensure their PDF files are problem free. Enfocus has been active in this space for many years, with version 12 of PitStop Pro adding to its capabilities to correct typographic errors, convert fonts to outlines, change RGB images to CMYK and fix dozens of other PDF problems.
PitStop Pro is an Adobe Acrobat plugin that provides both interactive and automated editing functions that make possible advanced PDF editing and correction until the last moment of the prepress cycle, with full tracking of edits made to the PDF file. Its preflight abilities identify and correct errors, or highlight them, and provide the ability to set up global criteria to make automatic modifications throughout a document. Users can also select and edit such PDF elements as text, vector objects, raster images and color profiles, and change properties such as fonts, font embedding and outlining, color spaces, size and position, image resolution and ICC profiles. It's possible to import color libraries and support is provided for Pantone Plus. Ink coverage preflight covers such parameters as transparency, overprint settings, overlapping items and layers, while the Eyedropper allows users to inspect the ink coverage manually.
The most innovative new functionality in version 12 comes from the incorporation of the Monotype Baseline technology. In essence this is a cloud-based library of more than 30,000 fonts, with support for over 40 Latin-based and non-Latin languages. Monotype Baseline provides access to this library for OEMs, ISVs and developers, along with functionality for user administration, authentication, billing and usage reporting of fonts used within partners’ products or services. Enfocus would thus seem to be the first solution provider to integrate this and currently has the exclusive right to use it for preflighting.
The approach provides a simple yet effective approach to printing PDF documents that have missing Open Type or TrueType fonts. When PitStop Pro detects these and they're not available locally, users have the option of licensing them for an introductory rate of $1.49 per font, per document, if they can be located in the Monotype Baseline library (apparently more will be added from Monotype's massive 150,000 font collection, based on "user demand.") With the correct font embedded the document is good to print, reducing delays and output snafus.
While that's pretty nifty, version 12 also added new tools for editing and correcting images and blends, adding to PitStop's previous abilities that minimized the requirement to use native apps to make such changes. New functionality adds image curve editing; image brightness and contrast adjustment; unsharp masking for all or selected images; blend editing; and the ability to save image edits as Actions. The Server version adds the use of the Adobe transparency flattening engine, which is said to ensure consistency with flattening performed externally in Creative Suite/Cloud or APPE pre-press workflows.
PitStop Pro 12 for Mac or Windows can be purchased on the Enfocus site for $799, with the Server version priced at $3599. Trial versions of both are available for download.