Many companies make PDF-oriented software, and although it isn t possible to mention them all, there are two companies that, through the development of their PDF- related products, have made long- term and particularly important contributions to Acrobat s capabilities and PDF workflow:
I ve included trial versions of both PitStop and FlightCheck on the companion CD.
PitStop (Enfocus) PitStop has both PDF preflighting and editing capabilities. Although Acrobat 6 offers much-improved functions, PitStop s tools are still welcome. PitStop has been a constant companion of mine, and numerous others, for many years of working with PDFs. If you need to preflight, and particularly edit PDF documents, I consider this a must-have tool. Enfocus makes this as a plug-in for Acrobat (both Mac and Windows) and offers a server-based version as well. They offer a range of capability levels. Visit them at www.enfocus.com.
FlightCheck (Markzware) FlightCheck is by far and away the leading (most capable and most used) set of preflighting tools available. If you took away my FlightCheck, I would refuse to create documents! Markzware offers both Mac and Windows versions of its software with various levels of capabilities. I use FlightCheck on my native page layout documents (they support a dizzying array of applications), my PostScript files, and my PDFs. Visit them at <www.markzware.com>.
Preflighting certainly needs to be performed by whoever is going to output the final PDF, typically a prepress production staff member in the case of PDF/X files or a webmaster in the case of a PDF destined for a website. But it is also a good idea for document creators to preflight their own files as well. Preflighting a document before converting into a PDF, and then preflighting the PDF prior to sending it out for final output, will help find potential problems before the document enters the production process. Fixing native files is typically much easier and faster (and therefore less expensive) than fixing PDF documents. Don t be afraid to ask your prepress manager or webmaster, who is responsible for the final output, for instructions on preparing and preflighting your PDFs. This is particularly true when you are preparing a file for a PDF/X-based workflow.