PDF And You
Acrobat and PDF are starting to fulfill their prepress potential. Find out how to make them work for you.
Unless you've been stranded on a remote Pacific atoll, there's virtually no way you could have avoided hearing about Acrobat and PDF (Portable Document Format). Not only has Adobe churned out numerous news releases, but other vendors are jumping on the bandwagon, as well—and with good reason: This application and its derivative file format are now coming of age.
To recognize Adobe for its efforts to develop and promote PDF, In-Plant Graphics is honoring the San Jose, Calif.-based company with the 1999 Industry Leader of the Year award.
One thing that is just now becoming apparent to many people is the relationship between PostScript and PDF:
• PostScript is a page description programming language, also called an imaging model.
• PDF is a file format that relies on PostScript for imaging.
This is a critical distinction, as some people thought that PostScript would "go away" once PDF took hold. On the contrary, PostScript will stay right where it was always intended to be: in the background, acting as an interface between the digital design and its presentation on paper, film, plate or screen. What is more likely to disappear is EPS—encapsulated PostScript.
The third part of the puzzle is Extreme, which is Adobe's emerging architecture for high-performance printing using multiple processors and multithreaded OSs. By definition, a PostScript Extreme workflow requires PDF files as the means of exchanging content, the Portable Job Ticket Format (PJTF) to automate tasks in the workflow, and Extreme, which consists of the processing modules—including a RIP—and the framework for moving files from input to final output.
Meanwhile, Back In San Jose...
Acrobat is Adobe's application for creating, cataloging, viewing, modifying and outputting PDFs. As with previous versions, it is segmented into different applets, including Catalog, Distiller, Exchange and Reader. The last applet can be downloaded for free, but offers limited functionality; if your organization is going to work with PDF, install the full Acrobat.