Definitive answer needed: Quark 6.5, Tiger and Postscripts/PDFs

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by AlBDamned, May 16, 2006.

  1. AlBDamned macrumors 68030

    AlBDamned

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    #1
    Hi all,

    I’m in the process of shifting my company’s magazine printing process from submitting raw Quark files to submitting print-ready pdfs.

    The current method is to print from Quark 6.5, to a postscript file, which is then distilled in Adobe Distiller.

    I’ve had great success already using my Mac running Panther as the test mule and we’ve had an issue of one of our titles printed already using this method and it’s perfect.

    So, the task now is to set up the custom postscript/pdf settings on one of our main production computers. In this case, a 1.9GHZ iMac G5 running Quark 6.5 and Tiger.

    Big problem though, the process for printing postscripts is completely different under Tiger. The option boxes are all different; the pdf print dialogue screen is different.

    I’ve searched and searched on the internet for help on this but all I can find is non-sensical, rambling threads on various forums talking about Applescripts (and stuff I simply don’t want to get involved in) and some pretty useless threads on Quark’s forums (go figure :rolleyes: ).

    Can anyone help me with a definitive answer on setting up Quark on Tiger to produce proper, hi resolution postscript files just like I’m able to using Quark on Panther?

    I’ve downloaded some extensions which I understand might be necessary, but I don’t want to load these on to the iMac unless I know what the outcomes/process are.

    If anyone has done this before, please let me know.

    Many thanks!
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    You are correct. It changed with Tiger.

    Use the Adobe PDF printer in both Page Setup and Printer boxes. This should have been installed with Acrobat & Distiller.

    You should see your Distiller presets reflected in the PDF Options in the Printer pull-down menu. Also make sure you have Adobe PDF set as the printer PPD.

    Pass4Press recommends a 20mm slug with a 3mm bleed, we make do with 15mm.

    I know this link is for Panther but what I've gleaned from it has been very helpful in the past.
    http://www.pass4press.com/cgi-bin/wms.pl/433
     
  3. artizen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #3
    Blue Velvet's answer is different to how I do it but appears to be more flexible because you are creating a Postscript file which then gets distilled separately. This however uses many software packages when Quark trumpets its capability to create PDFs from within the application.
    I just export as a PDF from the job direct making sure I look at all the options to make sure the correct resolution, compression, trim marks etc are set.
    Quark 6.5 is a pain for PDF creation because you have to keep resetting the file name each time you create a PDF and also always check the settings which are left as used previously. I have been using Quark 6.5 for about eight months now and have created many magazines and stationery items in that time and have had no problems with this method.
    Quark 7 fixes all this preamble and makes PDF creation as easy as InDesign with a drop-down menu of presets (which you can create and name). Looking forward to June when I can upgrade to 7 from beta and be more creative and faster than everyone on InDesign! Love the concept of composition zones, multiple zoom in a page with split screen, job jackets and finally - drop shadows and transparency with Open Type functionality! Stick with 6.5, it gets better! :rolleyes:
     
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #4
    I find the Jaws PDF creator in Quark wholly unsatisfactory; it produces incredibly bloated and occasionally corrupt files on both my home and work machines.
     
  5. AlBDamned thread starter macrumors 68030

    AlBDamned

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    #5
    Yep, we've been instructed by our print house for the magazines not to print pdfs directly from Quark.

    Artizen> It's good that it's worked for you. The majority of people seem to use use the postscript method. However, on some reports we do, the company accepts them exported straight from Quark and they seem to do ok so I'm not sure how it goes really.

    Blue Velvet> Thanks for your help on this. I figured you'd be able to help but you're not too easy to PM ;).

    I'm waiting for a job to finish on the iMac before I can try everything.
     
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #6
    My pleasure and yeah, I felt I needed a little respite from PMs. But as soon as any thread with the word 'Quark' appears, I have to stick my nosy beak in. Makes me feel needed... :eek: :D

    I often use one postscript file for a number of PDFs and sort in Acrobat. Job to press, job to web, front covers to team archive for catalogue distributors and the like.
     
  7. AlBDamned thread starter macrumors 68030

    AlBDamned

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    #7
    Ok, managed to have a pop and despite making sure I have all the settings in the iMac, I'm still having problems.

    It mainly revolves around the difference in where the various menus/dialogues take you in Panther and Tiger.

    In the two posts below are screenshots of the same process, first on Panther, then on Tiger.

    On Tiger, the first problem is the preset - there's no option to change it to my "Pass4Press" setting.

    The next problem comes up when trying to choose "output options." This option simply isn't available in the Tiger version?!

    The next problem comes when trying to use the PDF menu at the bottom left. On Panther you have to check the "save as file" box and then switch the "Format" from PDF to save as "Postscript."

    On Tiger it doesn't have this, but has an option to "Save PDF as Postscript."

    Is this the same thing?

    When I've gone ahead and "Saved PDF as Postscript" the .ps file is around half the size it would have been in Panther 63MB vs 115MB.

    It's messing with my head :confused: :p :eek:
     

    Attached Files:

  8. AlBDamned thread starter macrumors 68030

    AlBDamned

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    Mar 14, 2005
    #8
    Tiger process...
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #9
    How about 'PDF Options'? And just ignore the PDF button on the left-bottom. That's a Quartz PDF, ewww.

    Just hit print.
     
  10. AlBDamned thread starter macrumors 68030

    AlBDamned

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    #10

    Just tried that method on Panther and it prints straight to distiller, the final result being a pdf. Please excuse the ignorance but does doing it this way automatically produce a .ps and distill it all in one go?
     
  11. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #11
    It seems to... but most of my distilling is done at work on Panther. It's Tiger on my home machine (where I am now) and I don't use it so much for final output.

    Had a little play and it says the PDF is produced by Distiller even though it wasn't running at the time. Can't find any PS file through Spotlight.

    Seems to work fine though.
     
  12. AlBDamned thread starter macrumors 68030

    AlBDamned

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    #12
    That's what happened this end too.

    I've just found this new document for Tiger at Pass4Press. Will see what this can do!

    http://www.pass4press.com/cgi-bin/wms.pl/416
     
  13. Black&Tan macrumors 6502a

    Black&Tan

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    Mar 4, 2004
    #13
    If you're producing ps files with Quark, you can create "hot" folders on your desktop through Acrobat Distiller and set up the hot folders with various settings. The ps files will print to an "in" folder and when Distiller does its thing, the final file will be created in the "out" folder.

    What I occasionally do, with Panther and Quark 6.1, is export as a pdf through Quark, and then open said pdf file with Acrobat and resave it. This shrinks the pdf file and eliminates some of the bloat. Sometimes, this is the only way I can create a pdf file, especially if it's some bizarre page size.
     
  14. digitaldean macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    #14
    PDF choices

    I do freelance print production for a national mag. We switched to a PDF workflow for cost savings. Using Quark 6.5, we've saved .ps files from Quark (changing the prefs in QXP to save out .ps instead of .pdf files). In the PDF Export options, we keep the resolution as is and we don't apply any compression.

    I then use Distiller using PDFX1a format. For our mag. we use ZIP compression.
    Works great, prepress turnaround is decreased, because most of our files don't need any trapping. (if you do need trapping, you will have to build it in the app or have it trapped through a RIP that can handle a PDF workflow). As long as you have the Distiller settings set up right, your color quality should be maintained (as long as color was good before making .ps/.pdf files).

    If you want PDF workflow, but need sharpness of detail, DO NOT use JPEG, use ZIP compression. The only trade off would be re: moire's (undesirable wavy pattern which can appear in some textures). Moires are more likely to happen if you have items like textile products (hats, fashion, upholstery) involved. Especially if they are sized in Quark instead of Photoshop.
     
  15. AlBDamned thread starter macrumors 68030

    AlBDamned

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    #15
    Well, I've set it all up on Tiger, used the Pass4Press guide and my pdf seems ok, but it's now a fifth of the size it was using the old method on Panther (1.6MB from 5.7 MB).

    I've sent up a test to our printers to see if it's ok. I can't believe it's right but we'll see.

    It's been pretty cool moving to PDF though. Speeded up our turnaround time by about 2-3 days depending on title, and we're reducing our print costs by 50%. It's a massive improvement to sending raw files, images and so on.
     
  16. Black&Tan macrumors 6502a

    Black&Tan

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    Mar 4, 2004
    #16
    Please keep us posted....I'm curious to see how your pdf's print. I agree, 5.7 to 1.6 us a big jump, but I've seen similar file reduction with 4 color ads.
     
  17. AlBDamned thread starter macrumors 68030

    AlBDamned

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    #17
    Wow - the Tiger PDF has come back as "absolutely perfect" in terms of what we're looking at here (got some colour issues but they're not related!).

    That's an amazing jump in terms of process. I just tried using the same options in Panther and the PDF comes up as 5.7MB. Very impressive on the part of 10.4.

    Thanks to all for the input on this and if anyone has any questions on it let me know. Also, the Pass4Press guide linked above is spot on. I'd seriously recommend looking at this if you're still sending raw files.

    Cheers! :)
     

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