Common use cases with pdfToolbox

pdfToolbox is most commonly associated with preflight (quality control) of PDF documents, but it certainly is not the only way it is used by its customers. To give a brief overview of the performance spectrum of the pdfToolbox technology, various use cases are listed below.

Preflighting customer files

By far the most common reason to implement pdfToolbox technology still is doing quality control on incoming files and fixing common problems in those files. pdfToolbox supports virtually all preflight standards worldwide (from ISO to Ghent Workgroup, PDF/X-Ready, ...) and can quickly assess whether incoming files adhere to a given preflight standard.

  1. A PDF file (magazine ad) is to be prepared for printing with a corresponding preflight profile. For this purpose, the file is checked and corrected if necessary by pdfToolbox.
  2. The preflight result shows all corrections made by the software as well as any problems and warnings that occur.

Imposing PDF files

While pdfToolbox is far from a dedicated imposition tool, it does have an imposition engine on board that can handle common tasks such as creating a booklet or doing an n-Up, fill page, or Step & Repeat. It can also be configured to handle many more complex tasks.

  1. Shows the original PDF file.
  2. With the help of the action "Step & Repeat", pdfToolbox places the PDF file several times on a new page. A distance between the individual files can be defined and cut marks can be added.

More detailed information can be found in the online documentation under the chapter: Impose.

Performing color management

pdfToolbox can handle a lot of color related tasks; its capabilities can largely be divided in three big areas: with pdfToolbox you can easily prepare your PDF files for the desired output condition. The color conversion can be done either with ICC profiles or via DeviceLink profiles. pdfToolbox also provides a wide range of functions for working with spot colors. For example, the naming of spot colors can be changed, assigned to another spot color or converted to CMYK.

  1. Shows the original PDF file.
  2. Using pdfToolbox, the spot color of the packaging was recolored and renamed to another spot color.

Read more about color management in the online documentation under the chapter: Color conversion.

Decorating PDF files

Very often, PDF files are 'decorated' (have additional content added) while they are being prepared for production. This can include trim marks, additional white space, color bars, textual information about the customer or file, bar codes... pdfToolbox has a range of different tools to add this necessary information to the PDF file.

In the following, three common use cases related to decorating are shown. 

Decorating PDF files: creating varnish

With pdfToolbox it is possible to add a precisely fitting varnish to the PDF file. The pdfToolbox technology uses the already existing content or page information. This means that a varnish can be applied either to the entire page or only to specific objects.

In the following example, a partial varnish was created for all printable elements of the page except of the barcode area on the right-hand side because it is difficult to read barcodes with a glossy surface.

How to create varnish in pdfToolbox can be found in our online documentation under the chapter: Shapes.

Decorating PDF files: generate bleed from page content

If a document does not contain a bleed, fine white lines can appear on the edges of the print product when the sheets are cut. To avoid this a bleed should be added. With pdfToolbox it is possible to create a customized bleed from the page content. This can be done by mirroring, repeating pixels or stretching the content at the edges of the page.

In the following example, a bleed of 3 millimeters was created on all edges.

You can find a step-by-step instruction in the online documentation under the chapter: Generate bleed from page content.

Decorating PDF files: creating a dieline

The pdfToolbox can be used to add a dieline to the PDF file based on the page content or page geometry. The dieline can be created as a spot color as well as on a new layer.

In the following example, a 1 mm thick dieline in the spot color "Dieline" was created for the PDF file.

How to create a dieline with pdfToolbox can be found in the online documentation under the chapter: Shapes.