Creating reports and comments

After you create a profile, open a PDF document and open the Preflight dialog box. Choose the profile from the list and click the Analyze button as in Preflighting a file. A summary report then appears directly in the Preflight dialog box. The summary is an initial description of any errors found or a list of checked items and a statement confirming the file meets the conditions specified by the profile.

For a more informative document, you can create a report that lists the text summary and highlights on all pages in the document where errors are found. Click the Create Report button in the Preflight dialog box after analyzing a document to create a new PDF file as a report summary. When you open the PDF, you’ll see the first page listing the summarized comments for errors found, and on each subsequent page you’ll find highlights marking each area where an error was found as shown below.

Preflight Report Page
Preflight Report Page

Preflighting a File

Acrobat requires you to have a file open in the document pane in order to run a preflight check unless you use a batch sequence or droplet. To preflight a document, be certain a file is open and click the Preflight tool in the Print Production toolbar. In the scrollable and resizable window, you see a number of preinstalled profiles listed with a description for the kind of preflighting each profile performs. Use the scroll bar on the right side of the window to display additional profiles, and open & close the various disclosure triangles. If the number of items gets too many, try using the Show & search/filter options.

The Options menu contains a number of menu choices for editing profiles, importing and exporting profiles, and creating profile reports.

Preflight Menu
Preflight Menu

If a profile exists containing the conditions you want to check, select a profile and click the Analyze button. After analyzing a file, a summary report appears in the Results tab in the Preflight window. Any errors in the file are reported in the summary. The summary report is listed in a hierarchy with subnotations listed under parent categories. Click the icon to the left of each category to expand the list.

If you see errors reported after preflighting a file, you need to fix the problems either in Acrobat using Preflight’s FixUps, the Print Production tools or back in the original authoring program, and recreate the PDF file.

Preparing to Print Professionally

When you are sending your files for full-service printing, you should take a few minutes to prepare your image and make sure you’ll get the results you want. Proof the image (See our proofing article here), make any changes, and then duplicate and flatten the image so that others can’t accidentally tweak layers and settings.

Follow these steps for the best results:

1. Find out what device your image will be printed to, and obtain the appropriate device profile.

2. Soft proof the image.

3. Make any changes to ensure you’ll get the results you want. Use non-destructive techniques, such as adjustment layers, so you can modify the image differently for another purpose later.

4. Save a copy of the file to a folder that names the print service – or includes the print service name in the filename so you’ll remember later.

5. Choose Image > Duplicate.

6. Select Duplicate Merged Layers Only, and click OK.

NOTE: If the bottom layer was called Background, Photoshop automatically flattens the file. If the bottom layer wasn’t Background, choose Flatten Image from the Layers panel menu to flatten the layer.

7. Choose Edit > Convert to Profile

8. In the Convert to Profile dialog box, choose the destination profile for the device you’ll be printing to. Then click OK.

9. Choose File > Save. Save the image in the format the service provider recommended, such as PDF or TIFF. Select Embed Color Profile, and select the maximum quality possible.