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Printing Industry Exchange (printindustry.com) is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

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Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

Commercial Printing: New Software for Print Designers

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

I just read two articles that provide options for designers in search of page composition and preflighting software. I thought you might find the information useful.

Quark Upgrades Its Software

The first article I read in CreativePro.com (6/13, by Mike Rankin) notes that Quark is offering an upgrade from any prior version of QuarkXPress to version 9, and then to version 10 for free when it ships in August 2013. This deal expires on June 30, 2013. After that, you can still buy QuarkXPress version 9 and then upgrade to version 10 for free.

Why This Is Significant

  1. First of all, version 9 of QuarkXPress will open documents from versions 3 through 6. This is helpful if you have old documents from prior years and/or if you have been using older versions of QuarkXPress to maintain compatibility with older system software and hardware.
  2. Users of any prior version are included. This is unusual. In most cases, the prices are different depending on how recent your version of a particular software package is. For instance, it would usually cost less to go from version 8 to 9 than from version 6 to 9.
  3. Unlike Adobe, Quark is offering a perpetual license rather than a subscription to this software. Basically, you don’t have to pay subscription prices month to month (or in an annual lump sum). You don’t risk having the subscription prices rise. And you don’t have to shift from buying software to leasing it.
  4. Quark, which used to be the de facto standard when I was an art director in the 1990s, and which then lost ground to Adobe, is working really hard to win back its prior customers.

More Good News from Enfocus

A commercial printing vendor once told me that 80 percent of the files he received had at lest some kind of problem. In other words, it’s really easy to create a PDF of a document, but it’s not as easy to create a press-ready PDF that your custom printing supplier will love and that will fly through prepress.

To help those who create these files, Enfocus (makers of PitStop) have developed Connect YOU for designers and Connect ALL for print service providers. The second article I read (“Enfocus Connect 11 Helps Creators Deliver Perfect PDFs,” 6/11/13, from Enfocus) describes this new software offering.

Why This Is Significant

  1. You don’t need a lot of IT experience to make this work. Your custom printing vendor can help you set up Connect YOU to allow for seamless PDF production from Adobe Creative Suite or any other application. You create “Connectors,” applets that sit on your desktop and automate most of the PDF creation, verification, and correction tasks. Your printer can configure these to his workflow and then distribute the Connectors to you and other clients. (This means you don’t need to worry about making sure all of your PDF settings comply with your printer’s needs.)
  2. The software will verify PDFs using Enfocus PitStop Preflight Profiles, checking for such things as missing fonts, insufficient image resolution, etc. (This means you will know the files are press ready.)
  3. The software will automatically correct PDF files based on Enfocus PitStop Action Lists. (This means you can automatically fix anything that’s not press ready.)
  4. Fast, easy, and accurate. If Enfocus can help your commercial printing provider help you hand off print ready files the first time, both you and your printer will be happy, there will be fewer mistakes, and the whole process will avoid reprint charges due to file errors. Everyone wins.

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