PDF In-Depth

Review: callas pdfToolbox 3 and DeviceLink-Add-on




pdfCorrect allows you to easily perform a variety of optimizations such as eliminating transparency, deleting blank pages or moving annotations outside of the BleedBox, all of which can be accomplished with Acrobat Professional if you know how to do it and don't mind some inconvenience. But why should you even bother if you can perform advanced optimizations using pdfCorrect with your eyes closed. Tuning a file for news printing or web printing, increasing line width or removing unused objects is a no-brainer.

callas pdfCorrect

Figure 2. Setting black to overprint in callas pdfCorrect.

pdfCorrect is supplied with quite a few useful optimizations, but even more importantly, you can easily adjust them and even create new ones. All you need to do is click the Edit button, create a new correction, select an icon and add the actions you want it to perform with a click on the New Feature icon. For example, pdfCorrect can set small black text to overprint, remove black generation settings or set trapped key to a defined value unless it is already set. This way, you can group several actions into one feature and execute them with a single click (Apple's Automator comes to mind).

Creating new features in callas pdfCorrect

Figure 3. Adding features to a user-defined correction in callas pdfCorrect.


pdfColorConvert is callas' own take on color transformations. As you may have guessed, this tool competes with the Convert Colors command available in Acrobat 8 Professional. However, pdfColorConvert is very easy to use, and -- unlike Acrobat's built-in feature -- it almost gets out of its way in helping you to do the right thing. The plug-in attempts to guess the origins of the file and usually comes up with a useful result such as "Prepress USA (SWOP)" or "Office Application (...) contains RGB data". All you need to do in order to set up the conversion is define the target color space (for example "Black and Spot Colors" or "CMYK and Spot Colors") and then select the destination (for example "Digital Printing" or "Commercial Printing"). Spot colors can be adjusted one by one and there is even an option to set them to overprint or knockout.

callas pdfColorConvert

Figure 4. callas pdfColorConvert is easier to use than Acrobat's built-in feature.

callas pdfColorConvert can handle RGB, Lab, ICC colors as well as spot colors. Among the highlights is sophisticated handling of spot colors, including renaming and merging, performing conversions to CMYK and adjusting the CMYK representation for proofing.

All gray objects -- both text and images -- are converted to the black plate only, and all the black vector elements are automatically set to overprint.

Among the highlights of pdfColorConvert is its support for CMYK-to-CMYK transformations with the optional (payable) DeviceLink Add-on. pdfColorConvert also sports correct compensation of dot gain in both vector and text elements.

It also comes in handy being able to recall repeatedly occurring spot color adjustments to minimize user interaction, so that you can perform only as few steps as possible. Last but not least, pdfToolbox 3 can deploy the most recent ICC profiles based on ISO standards.

Adjusting spot colors

Figure 5. pdfColorConvert can create color aliases, convert spot colors to CMYK, RGB or Lab and set overprint settings, among other things.

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