In the world of graphic production, it is common to produce several versions of the same PDF file. Here an high-res. version for print, there a low-res. version for online distribution… Usually, this leads at best to automated cascade processing; at worst to a succession of manual actions.
However, thanks to callas pdfToolbox, it is possible to obtain all these versions at once! Indeed, version 10 offers the capability of generating several versions as an action, as part of a process plan. This feature is called “Create PDF copy”.
Using it will ask ask pdfToolbox to produce one or more additional outputs of the file being processed. A process plan can therefore produce much more than a single file and the time and hassle saved is significant. Demonstration!
Not clear? Here is a diagram:
To summarize, the same process is applied twice, but with different values and generating two outputs. Why do we have three output files here? We will discover it a little further on.
“Create PDF copy” and “File pick-up”
If you are not yet familiar with the process plans in callas pdfToolbox, they are very useful for performing multiple actions within your automated process. You can combine “PDF profiles”, “checks”, “fix-ups”, “variables” or “quick checks”, and therefore for today’s topic… an additional file generation via the element “Create PDF copy”.
To use it, nothing could be easier! Just add it to your process plan and it’s “almost” done!
- You will have to be careful to place your item at the end of your process (understand here all the useful actions for the output, e.g. low definition or high definition). Otherwise, you will generate a file that will not be up to date with the requested changes.
- You will also need to use the “File pick-up” item if you want to generate changes based on the original file or from a previous step. For example, if you use a fix-up to outline fonts, this change is actually valid for all downstream actions. However, if you need the content to still be live text for another output, you must ask pdfToolbox to pick-up the file before the outline process.
Still not clear? Here is another diagram:
Here, the text is outlined first because we want a version without live text. We also need a version where the live text is kept, but this time, where the color of the text is changed to blue. In the diagram above, the search for the text fails, because it has been outlined beforehand. If nothing is done to prevent this, the output file is not colored as expected.
In the diagram above, we achieve the correct result, because pdfToolbox is asked to color the text based on the original file that was picked-up. So we have a outlined file on the one hand and a document where the text has remained live but of a different color on the other hand.
Once this potential has been revealed, it is now possible to use it to simplify the design of your workflows with Enfocus Switch:
As you can see here, and as mentioned in the introduction, files produced with the “Create PDF copy” action generate “additional” files. This means that the input file is always generated as an output file. This is one of the limitations of this feature. It would be nice if the input file could be renamed on the fly in the process plan, but this is not possible at this time.
Note that these additional files generated in this way can also be saved in a subdirectory related to the file.
The two elements, “Create PDF copy” and “File pick-up”, are extremely useful when several versions of the same file must be generated. It can also allow you to significantly reduce your production workflows by limiting the number of connections. Finally, this type of simplification always give more performance. By generating n files in 1 time, it is n times the loading time of the file and the necessary callas libraries that is saved!
It is always fun to note that such a useful feature is still relatively unknown. Of course, it only appeared with version 10 of pdfToolbox, but as version 11 is about to be released and new features will be added to the PDF tools of this product, it is nice to highlight these elements. We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you found it interesting.
You didn’t know this? You already were using it? Why not share this with us below in the comments? And, of course, agileStreams remains at your disposal to study with you the implementation of these elements in your production and save you time and productivity.
See you soon!