Control Strip Verification
In a design application, the PDF/X overprint control strip is supplied as an EPS file that can be placed outside the trim or bleed area of a job. When the job is later converted to one of the PDF/X conformance levels and then proofed or printed, the strip will show whether or not the rendering process in that proofing or pre-press system has been configured in conformance to the PDF/X standards. It may also be placed on a press sheet by an imposition application or the RIP software.
When processing a PDF file the PDF/X validation icon will be displayed. If the file claims to be a specific PDF/X version, the RIP will validate that claim during interpretation. The claimed conformance level will be displayed above the PDF/X validation icon, and the characterized printing condition for which it was prepared will be displayed below it. If the file is a valid PDF/X file the icon to the right will be a tick, otherwise a cross will be shown. A PDF file that does not claim to be PDF/X compliant will show Baseline PDF on the green background. Files that claim to be PDF/X conformance levels that are not explicitly supported by the RIP will not be validated, and will show a question mark in the black box to the right. This also applies to files that claim to comply with a conformance level which are not fully validated in the current Page Setup. For example, PDF/X files will not be validated if the option in the Accept Type(s) menu of the PDF Options dialog box has been set to Any PDF <= 1.4 as basic PDF, for instance.
PDF File Status Check
If you select the "Do status check" check box in the PDF Options dialog box, you will see one of the following icons in your control strip. The first icon appears when a certified PDF file is printed, and when the PDF profile used to certify it matches one of the profiles selected in the PDF Options dialog box. The second icon appears when a certified PDF file is printed, but the PDF file was made with a PDF profile that does not match one of the profiles selected in the PDF Options dialog box. The third icon appears when a PDF file is printed that is not certified. That is, the PDF was file was never certified, or was certified but has changed since. No icons are shown if the file printed is not a PDF, or if the Do status check check box has not been selected in the PDF Options dialog box.
ChipCheck is designed to allow very rapid and easy validation that a proofer has been correctly configured without requiring the use of instruments. It will identify whether an error has been introduced by, for example, the wrong media selection in the RIP interface, or whether the required calibration has not been performed. It can also quickly check whether a stored proof has aged enough to alter the colors significantly. To read the strip, compare chips from a valid Pantone Coated swatch book with the patches
in the color bar under appropriately controlled lighting (typically D50). For even faster and easier checking of proofs, build a strip of Pantone chips in the correct order to compare with the patches.
Process Step Wedges
The process step wedges allow you to measure the process colors at various increments. The
increments used depend on the space available.
The progressives strip allows you to measure color combinations. Each patch has a label above it indicating the colors used in the patch, for example, CM is a patch containing Cyan and Magenta. The percentage of each color varies, according to the space available. For example, the first six patches in the strip contain 100% of each named color, and the last six patches contain 50% of each named color.
The neutrals strip allows you to test the neutral grays produced by your job settings. The neutral patches compare CMY combinations with plain Black, and use values from a variety of standardized printing conditions, such as SWOP and ISO 12647-2. The appearance of the neutrals strip varies depending on the space available. Combined with the ChipCheck strip, this provides a very rapid method of checking the configuration of the proofing device. If the CMY combinations do not match the K tints you may have selected the wrong media in the RIP, or you may need to recalibrate the printer.
Job Style Icon
The job style icon indicates the separations, screening and color Style used for the job, as specified in the Page Setup. The first icon indicates a composite color job. The second icon indicates an unrecombined, preseparated job. The third icon indicates a recombined, preseparated job (monochrome jobs will be marked as composite).