PDF In-Depth

Review: callas pdfToolbox 3 and DeviceLink-Add-on

pdfLayerMaker

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The specialty of pdfLayerMaker is quite obviously making layers. The beauty of this solution lies in its support for user-defined setups. All you need to do in order to teach pdfLayerMaker some new tricks is import an Acrobat preflight profile (using the Import Profile command from the flyout menu). What this means is that you can split up a PDF file into separate layers using any conceivable criteria, if you can only come up with an adequate preflight profile.

callas pdfLayerMaker


Figure 6. callas pdfLayerMaker can be extended with Acrobat-compatible preflight profiles.

To some extent, pdfCorrect and pdfColorConvert compete with some of the built-in features in Acrobat 8 Professional, but they allow you to produce results much faster. If you tweak PDF files rather frequently, you probably shouldn't try to do without pdfToolbox 3.

Transforming office PDFs into production-savvy files

PDFs created in office applications are frequently a source of problems. In theory, PDFs which originated in office applications are not admissible for production purposes. In reality, it you cannot always reject them.

To get the record straight, PDFs created in office applications sport horrible layouts, poor kerning and break all rules of good taste. In many industries, especially outside the realm of prepress, print and design, only few or no considerations are made as to whether a print product obeys traditional rules of layout and design. It might be prudent not to lecture your client about such things and instead figure out how to efficiently produce such PDFs based on office documents. It certainly might not make sense at all to re-layout existing office documents if the deadline is tight and a low price is also an important concern.

Whenever you only have raw data anyway and are asked to come up with a quality design, then creating a professional layout from scratch for instance in Adobe InDesign CS3 might be just the right thing to do.

But if the looming deadline and budget constraints are the most relevant aspects of a print job, then you better make sure that these PDFs created in office applications print flawlessly. Not less, not more. It's a matter of good business sense.

callas pdfColorConvert, which is part of pdfToolbox 3, allows you to create flawlessly printable and completely production-savvy CMYK files. pdfColorConvert cannot compensate for the lack of good taste in PDFs created in office applications, it just makes sure that these files print correctly.

So is pdfToolbox 3 really indispensable? It probably depends on the volume of data you process.

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