How much do you know about managing print media production data?

Laurel Brunner's picture
Laurel Brunner

If you can’t put a price on the cost of production errors, maybe you need to learn more about prepress control methods? Preflight checking is where you start.

How much do you know about managing print media production data? You’ll know that it’s important if you can put a price on mistakes. This goes beyond preflight checking, because quality assurance in preproduction starts at your customer’s desktop. This little quiz should give you some idea of how sound or flakey your knowledge is so if you fancy you’re a preproduction data whiz, have a go!

1. What is preflight checking?
(a) An unnecessary option to keep customers happy
(b) An XML parsing tool
(c) A means of identifying data processing errors
(d) Someone else’s problem

2. Which of the following file suffixes is a standard data format?
(a) .indd
(b ) .xls
(c) .pdf
(d) .psd

3. Which of the following is a version of PDF?
(a) PDF X-n
(b) PDF X-4a
(c) PDF Level 3
(d) PDF X-2b

4. Preflight checking software works by:
(a) Correcting customer content errors
(b) Analysing a file to see if it’s the latest version
(c) By checking data to make sure that what it represents can be
(d) Checking that the file is not a virus

5. What is corrupt data?
(a) Data that is no longer able to describe file content
(b) Data that only works on the desktop but not with native
(c) Data that takes bribes
(d) Data that only works on the Internet

6. Which of the following errors can interrupt an automated
print workflow?

(a) Spot colours
(b) Too many fonts on the page
(c) Untagged images
(d) High resolution images

7. Which of the following developers invented Postscript?
(a) Enfocus
(b) Apple
(c) Adobe
(d) Xerox

8. What version of Postscript is the latest?
(a) 3
(b) 4
(c) 6
(d) PDF

9. When is it best to check for processing errors?
(a) When proofs have been approved
(b) During platemaking
(c) At the customer’s office
(d) Throughout the workflow

10. What are preflight profiles?
(a) PDFs that include colour management data
(b) Different descriptions of preflight software used by manufacturers
(c) Summaries of PDF settings for specific output
(d) Versions of preflight software for different computers

1. - c
2. - c
3. - b
4. - c
5. - a
6. - c
7. - c
8. - a
9. - d
10. - c

So how well did you do? Each correct answer gets you four points for a maximum of 40.

A score of 0-10 suggests that you are clearly living in a world where the digital data formats are of no interest to you. This might be because you think you don’t need to know anything about technology to do your job. However at some point you may need to be at least vaguely aware of the value of error correction and data management, so maybe think about paying a smidge more attention to what’s going on around you.

11-20 suggests you’re sort of aware of the value of preflight checking but that there are some serious gaps in your knowledge. The time to start rectifying that is now, before customers start asking you to do more with their data and automation becomes even more important for your business. Take the plunge and keep yourself ahead of the game.

21-30 says you are reasonably savvy as to the benefits of clean data, but you get a bit confused. It is probably worthwhile auditing your workflow to establish error rates and the cost of correcting them.

If you’ve scored 31-40 then big congrats. You either cheated or you’re in no need of guidance and the digital world’s at your fingertips. Crossmedia and transmedia projects are yours for the taking.

The invaluable source for critical coverage and in-depth analysis of prepress and digital printing technologies

Follow Spindrift on Twitter to be alerted of new content.

Like the Spindrift Facebook page to be alerted of new content.

Join the Spindrift group on LinkedIn to discuss industry topics., like its monthly PDF predecessor takes no advertising. However without the stalwart support of three companies Spindrift would not have been possible. We thank Agfa, Fujifilm and Esko for supporting our subscription model so generously since Spindrift’s inception way back in 2003. We wouldn’t be here without you.

The Verdigris Project investigates the environmental impact of print media and provides information about sustainability initiatives for the international printing community. Keep up to date with the weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner.