Enfocus Worldwide Business Development Manager Peter Soderlund agrees. "In 1999, Adobe clearly placed itself squarely behind PDF with Acrobat 4.0 and InDesign, its new layout application," he states.
Soderlund says that both products are important to the graphic arts market for many reasons. The new version of Acrobat removes the remaining technical obstacles for using PDF for high-end prepress, enabling its use as a primary production format; InDesign will allow one-step generation of PDF (as opposed to "going around" via PostScript and the Distiller), thereby greatly enhancing PDF's appeal as the format of choice for sending jobs from document originator to service provider.
Catherine McCarthy, North American business development manager at Enfocus, brings a stateside view to the changing workflow landscape.
"Most of the complaints about PDF and reasons why people didn't use it before are solved," McCarthy says. "The fact that now you can have multiple Distiller settings—so that, for instance, service bureaus and ad agencies can give Distiller job options to their customers who can consequently make good PDFs—is a boon to our industry."
Making Better Files
McCarthy adds that the bonus with products such as PitStop is that these same service bureaus can make PitStop preflight profiles so that their customers can make better files— "better files" meaning those files needing minimum or no additional work to process through output quickly and correctly.
"Our customers are telling us that we achieved our goals [with PitStop 4.0] to streamline PDF workflow and to make it as simple and automatic as possible," McCarthy says. She adds that PitStop Server, announced at Seybold San Francisco, fulfills preflight automation promises with its robust hot folder capabilities for batch preflighting, automatically executed action lists and fixing files according to preset profiles.
"Up until this point, we've focused on automatic tools for the production stage," McCarthy concludes. "Now, we've taken that a step further with PitStop Server. You don't even have to open up the file; you just throw it into a hot folder and you're done."