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Getting on the PDF Transit Bandwagon -- Waldman

May 2002
Dateline—Monday, March 25, 2002, VUE/Point conference, Washington, DC. I always wanted to do that; it sounds so important. I feel like a crack AP reporter breaking a red-hot story. You probably think the time I spent attending the VUE/Point conference went to my head.

Perhaps, but you have to admit it added a little drama to this month's column. And adding some drama was my intention because I believe that Adobe's PDF Transit is going to be a key component of tomorrow's print shop, and tomorrow's print shop is already here. So, for me, this was a must write and, for all of you, I hope it's a must read.

PDF Transit has been in the trade press for a few months, so many of you might have already heard or read about it—so much for breaking news. But I wish all of you could have been at VUE/Point to hear Rebecca Aquino, who presented a very clear, informative picture of the product. I was even luckier because I had a subsequent conversation with both Aquino and Robin Tobin.

Aquino is Adobe's senior product manager for PDF Transit and Tobin is manager of marketing for the Internet Printing Div. at Adobe Systems. Both of them possess a great deal of energy and enthusiasm.

All of this brought a smile to my face because I have been predicting a product like PDF Transit for quite some time, and now it's becoming a reality. In fact, I have known Rebecca for several years and we have talked about this concept in the past. But as much as I would like to pat myself on the back—if you think about it—PDF Transit is really a natural for both Adobe and the industry, and it had to happen. As I said, I believe PDF Transit will become a necessity for the way printers conduct business in the near future.

The Transit Story

A number of factors make up the compelling story for PDF Transit. First, printers have become victims of clients taking over more and more of what we used to do. The profits are gone, but the blame isn't. The customer sets the type, does the color separations, assembles the page and then sends the printer a bad file, which becomes the printer's problem.

For years we've heard that a PDF workflow was eventually going to be the answer. But it was only the answer for printers with contract clients or repetitive jobs, which enabled client education so that the distilling process was controlled by the printer. For the rest of us, a PDF still meant bad files that were harder to fix. Plus, more and more, the quick turnaround and lower pricing of on-demand printing exacerbates the problem.

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