Heidelberg technology


Help with creation
of data sent to the
CTP workplace

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The Principle of Creating Data for CTP

Welcome to the page that will help you to create data sent to your CTP workplace.

Our Meta Dimenzion workflow prefers mainly PDF data from Adobe company and even if it is able to work with classic PostScript, we would be glad if you use PDF format.
Currently, PDF/X-1a is the most frequent and most secure standard, which we will deal with on these pages.

We were the first in the Northern Moravia to manage the technology of linking data from CTP with Heidelberg SpeedMaster printing machine. This data link is carried out by Prepress Interface system which controls the setting of colour box and closes the technology within the whole system.

The Principle of Creating Data for CTP

Creating a secure PDF document is principally possible in two ways:

In both cases a PostScript file is created.

  • We create a classic PostScript file which will be further distilled by Acrobat Distiller.
  • We use Distiller as a printer directly from a graphical application. (InDesign, QuarkPress) PostScript is created virtually and is automatically deleted after distilling)

We never use export to PDF even if the application permits it.

When creating a PostScript file usable for prepress we should:

  • Use the right PostScript driver, preferably from Adobe company. Here you can download the installer of a PostScript driver together with a PostScript printer u - Postscript_driver.zip
  • Always load True Type as font.
  • PostScript Level of the highest version (PostScript Level 3)
  • Type 1 or Open Type type fonts are preferred. Use the corresponding type faces, do not create them electronically in the application.
  • PostScript Printer Definition: For CTP and mainly for imposition it is preferable to use general Acrobat Distiller PPD.
  • Colour management: Always disabled. (There may not occur any colour conversions.)
  • Resolution: Generally choose 2540 dpi. (The specific resolution will be added on RIP.)
  • Convert all graphical data before page breaking to CMYK colour space, which is defined in ISO 12647-2/3 standards, using ICC related to it.
  • Colour spaces: CMYK, Greyscale, Black&whit (line art). Do not use data in other spaces, e.g. RGB (used for displaying on monitor)
  • Data formats: Bitmaps such as TIFF and EPS. Resolution of 300 dpi is required for offset printing. (for EPS format, take care of conversion functions, that are reasonable only for duplex). For JPEG format, take care of image quality. Do not embed data such as cdr, ai, fh into page breaking applications even if the application permits it. When exporting from Corel and Illustrator to EPS, we suggest converting fonts into curves.
  • Beware of transparency and shadows, especially from Indd. They have to be converted to bitmap equivalent (so called merging of transparencies) in sufficient quality, preferably high resolution.
  • Spot colours: Pantone colour must be always identified as spot colour and must have CMYK equivalents defined. The correct name is in Pantone xxx X format, where xxx is colour number and X defines material to be printed on. In composite PDF it is not possible to explicitly define whether the spot colour has to be separated to CMYK or used as a fifth, etc. Therefore it must be specified in the order.
  • Overlays: Make sure that the media size is at least 8 mm larger on each size than the size of the net page (3 mm for bleed and 5 mm for printing marks).
  • For imposition it applies that page orientation is always portrait, the page must be centered in both axes on the print format (on center). Filenames must match page numbers. Data must be in composite format.
  • Use only basic alphabetical letters (without accents), numbers, underscores instead of spaces in the filenames.

Here you will find Adobe Acrobat Distiller settings for download (component of Adobe Acrobat full version), which is optimized for creating PDF/X-1a document. –    PDF/X-1a_Grafico.zip

After unpacking, drag this into Settings folder in Acrobat Distiller. If the PDF file is not created when using this setting, you have made a mistake and it is necessary to check the graphical data or PostScript settings.

When submitting the job we recommend to clearly specify requirements for data processing in the job order, which should contain:

  • Methods of storage and file names
  • Reproduction (requirement for raster frequency etc.)
  • Page geometry (format size etc.)
  • Dummy copy (preferably 1:1)
  • Colour scheme (CMYK, PANTONE, etc.)
  • Resolution (notice of low resolution bitmaps, e.g. from web)
  • Overprints (whether they are set or shall be set on RIP)
  • Duplexes (identification of their presence because of conversion functions)
  • Separation (whether this involves composite or separated type of PDF)

This text stems from PostScript a PDF publication issued by Grafie CZ, which we warmly recommend because it practically exhaustively describes perhaps all stumbling blocks of creating PostScript and PDF. You can order the publication and get the used Distiller settings at www.grafieacademy.cz