• Price: 429 . 119 . 189 . 1799

  • Company: Enfocus

  • Pros: Comprehensive problem detection for PDF documents, with a range of automatic- and manual-editing tools, plus useful Certified PDF metadata for audit trail and undos.

  • Cons: Requires a copy of Adobe Acrobat to function. Creating Profiles and Actions could be easier, though it’s simpler and more flexible than Acrobat’s own preflighter.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 8 out of 10 We rate this 8 out of 10

Enfocus PitStop is a publishing mainstay, and its PDF checking is central to publishing workflows throughout the industry.

It’s used to detect errors in PDF documents prior to professional printing, avoiding the need for expensive re-runs. It’s a wide-ranging plug-in for Adobe Acrobat 7, and can fix some problems automatically – others have to be fixed in the original layout application.

Although Acrobat 7 has a built-in preflight function, PitStop is easier to use. It supplies a range of manual-editing tools that expand on the small set that come with Acrobat.

PitStop runs through a checklist of potential problems based on a pre-defined profile, generating a report file (below) that flags warning or failure notices for each item. Enfocus provides profiles for common job types, including PDF/X subsets required by some publishers.

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It’s easy to modify the profiles, and profiles can be resaved and distributed to other users – typically a printing company will send them to customers to standardize the process. 
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<p>
Version 7 of PitStop can analyze file attributes as well as pure content. These include colour profiles, overprint settings, file-naming conventions, and file sizes.
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There’s a new interactive navigator that can take you to highlighted problems within the PDF document, where you may be able to fix them with the editing tools. PDFs can now be placed within other PDF pages, typically to place late or replacement advertisements into an existing page.
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PitStop’s preflight report (which can be saved as a separate multi-page PDF document) has been redesigned to give <BR>
a much clearer first-page overview of errors and warnings. 
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<b>Present and correct</b>
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The software can embed metadata to form a ‘Certified PDF’, with an audit trail for all preflighting or editing throughout the life of the PDF, including undos to return to previous states. The Certificate menu and display has been clarified in PitStop 7, and it’s much more useful as a result.
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<p>
Automatic repairs can be defined by an Action list that can be distributed to other users. This might include items such as automatic conversion of spot colours to CMYK, resolution downsampling, or ICC profile changes. A new management menu allows grouping and sorting of Profiles and Actions. 
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<p>
Enfocus offers several versions. PitStop Server (£1,529) is a fully-automatic version, while PitStop Automate (£3,595) extends the PDF creation workflow to pass documents to external programs via hot folders. The low-cost (£149) Instant PDF automates the creation of preflighted and certified PDFs at a customer site.
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