Fools and Their Foolproof Workflows --McIlroy
I can also report that from a second question looking at problems of greatest concern, it's agreed by both reports: Fonts not embedded or missing, followed closely by wrong color space and insufficient image resolution (or image missing altogether).
Until I sat down to write this, I had not realized just how closely the responses track in both reports. Given that these are two different studies conducted by two different organizations, at roughly the same time, but with different sets of respondents, the results can be considered as near-conclusive.
"It's impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious." —Murphy's Second Corollary
As I reported in my last column, the Seybold survey revealed a key disparity underlying the problems being faced in working with these "foolproof" PDF workflows. While most PDF file receivers (printers and prepress shops) report that they offer training to their customers, less than half of PDF generators think they receive any training at all.
The GATF survey looks at this discrepancy at a more profound depth. "Nearly half of all participants in the survey said they provide formal training on PDF creation, and 78 percent provide settings to help clients prepare PDF files to their specifications, yet 88 percent say that the biggest problem in working with PDF files is that clients don't make them correctly," Shaffer writes.
"One has to wonder what accounts for this disparity. Are we not providing the right training to content creators? Are we talking to the wrong people when we do provide training? Are they simply not listening or bothering to follow the instructions provided?" she continues. "Is the process more difficult than we think? Are there so many caveats and exceptions to the rules in composite PDF workflows that it's impossible to anticipate problems and provide training to cover it all?"