FOSTER CITY, Calif.--Sept. 10, 2002--At Seybold San Francisco 2002, a Key3Media Group, Inc., event, Seybold Publications and Seybold Seminars disclosed results from two landmark projects that evaluated the use of PDF (PDF Usage Survey) and tested 35 PDF prepress systems (PDF Shootout).
The PDF Usage survey can be considered the largest and most comprehensive PDF usage survey yet conducted. In light of the numbers of questions asked, 41 for PDF receivers such as printers, 33 for PDF generators such as designers, the survey represents a diverse group of 2, 221 respondents.
The findings include:
* PDF users rank "fewer cross-platform issues" as the biggest benefit of PDF, and the "difficulty to edit PDF files" as its leading negative.
* 47% of the PDF generators reuse PDF files for other print jobs, 61% for the Web and 39% for CD-ROM.
* In 52% of the PDF generators' print jobs PDF is used for soft proofing.
* A majority of the PDF receivers report that they "sometimes" find errors that require corrections in either native files or in PDF, but a close to a third reports that this is "often" the case.
"As PDF technology has grown beyond its beginning stages, users reap tremendous benefits from PDF," said Hans Hartman, project leader of the PDF Usage Survey and co-chair of the Seybold PDF Conference. "Even today human error and the use of inappropriate tools cause faulty PDF's, which could create problems downstream for the PDF receivers."
The PDF Shootout, divided in two phases, creation and output, measured how different workflow systems could create viable, press-ready PDF's from problematic application files. 21 vendors were asked to solve specific problems of color management, separation issues, overprinting, object transparency, font embedding and numerous other common problems.
The PDF Shootout found that many of the well-known prepress problems, such as missing fonts and color blends or gradients, were handled very well, although the results were by no means perfect. In general, long-standing problems were handled better than relatively new ones such as color management. "One trend to note is that although PDF is capable of solving a host of prepress problems, the applied solutions are not yet automatic," said Pete Dyson, editor of The Seybold Report. "Smart planning and execution are imperative and no prepress system can dispense with an operator's experience and intuition."
For more information about the results of the PDF Usage Survey contact Hans Hartman at [email protected]
, for the PDF Shootout, contact Pete Dyson at [email protected]
To order a copy of the 88-page PDF Workflow Shootout and Usage Survey, visit www.seyboldreports.com or call 610/565-2480.