Tokyo (9th May to 16th May)

Sunday, 16th May, 2004

Last day in Tokyo. Sad.

Check out of hotel, and leave my bags in storage at the Yaesu South side of the Tokyo station. I wrote that down because the station is that large.

Head off to Shinjuku to find the Park Hyatt Tokyo. This hotel is central to “Lost in Translation” Go to the 41st floor, take photos. Being gaijin (european) in Japan means people think you belong in the hotel! Cool.

Refind the Yodobashi store near the Shinjuku station (use the Shinjuku Express Bus Terminal exit) and work hard on not spending more money.

Return to the Tokyo station, and find a Starbucks in the largest underground mall I have ever seen – Yaesu – cool.

Grab bags, and using the Y1280 ticket I purchased earlier using the automatic machines, grab the 12 stop “rapid” train to Narita terminal 2. Not the Narita Express (NEX) as this costs way more, and not the Limosine bus: also way expensive. On this train to the airport, I am the only gaijin. 1hr40mins (not too bad) — this is to remember as an inexpensive way to get to the airport next time.

Fill in the special form to convert the last of the yen I have into Australia.

Qantas night flight, good sleep, and home.

I have the measure of Tokyo now; and this is one of the most enthralling cities/countries I have visited. Definitely on the family visit list.

Saturday, 15th May, 2004

Up early, subway to Ginza: the department store centre of Tokyo. I am a little early (shops open at 10am) – but find somewhere to eat and run across the Apple Store Ginza. Call into see what is going on here.

Find my way to the Tokyo railway station and attempt not to get lost. Not easy. To Shibuya exit by the famous Haichiko Special Exit (West) for the full view;on to eat at Starbucks (Lost in Translation moment), then off to Akihabara to start some shopping for the family.

Heading back to the hotel, I decide to take the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Kyoto in a rush of blood to the brain. It’s a little expensive, and sometimes difficult to decipher where and when to go — but some friendly locals assist and I am on my way. Past Mount Fuji, 2 hours later in I am in Kyoto.

The Shinkansen makes inter-city travel as quick and easy as intra-city travel in Tokyo.

Sadly, I’ve left a little late, so the old/historic sights in Kyoto are closed – but at least I can quickly shop for some family items, get a feel for the place. Jump back on the next Shinkansen (Express) to Tokyo.

I am back in my hotel by 9.30pm.

Friday, 14th May, 2004

Conference over, its midday and time to relax. Sort of.

My equivilent in Japan and his team take us to Akihabara and Shinjuku to experience retail in IT, Japan style.

In Shinjuku, I spend some cash at the Yodobashi Camera store. This is 8 floors chockers full of electronics. I want one of everything!

Everything in Japan has a “little tune”: lifts, railway stations (with their own individual signature tune) — at Yodobashi, they’ve taken the Civil war classic “John Brown’s Body” and made it their tune. More Japanese strangeness.

Leaving the Adobe people at around 5pm, I start my two day personal Japanese adventure.

The train at 6pm to Roppongi via Ebisu is packed: Tokyo packed. It’s a strange feeling being very very warm from the neck down from the body heat, and cold in the head with the airconditioning blasting down. Its like being in bed, so sleepy.

I have a hand drawn “mud map” to my next hotel in Roppongi, The Mansions. Thanks to some pre-work reading (thanks Kevin San from the Honda Car Club) I find the hotel easily, and at least have a bed for the night. Now to explore Roppongi.

Roppongi has a new complex known as “Roppongi Hills” — the most up-to-date and upmarket shopping/restaurant/office experience. Accidently find the Roppongi MINI store and call in quickly.

Wander the streets to find the Hard Rock Cafe, Tokyo. Eat in “The Beatles” section, looking at picture around Abbey Road. I was there just a few weeks ago. Strange small world, this.

I am finding that in Japan, if you find a Macdonalds, there will be a Starbucks nearby – sometimes exactly opposite.

Roppongi at night gets a little sleazy: I think this is shown in “Lost in Translation”

Bed, sleep, ready for the next day

Monday, 10th May, 2004

After paying for other’s train tickets last night, the cash is a little low. Thanks to “Lonely Planet”, read that Post Offices in Japan are connected to Maestro/Plus networks – and there is a Post Office about 2 minutes from where our meeting is being held. Cash up.

The Drug Store/Chemist/Pharmacy is an interesting place. What I think is deodorant could be hair removal cream; I am not sure. Best not risk it.

Night off, so some of us head to Roppongi via Shibuya. The train is packed, and it’s more humid in Tokyo than I expect.

Shibuya is pretty at night. Many lights, very very large TV screens, music and young people. Certainly all us 30+ year olds feel, well, old and out of place. Pass on the “meat dog” – whatever that is.

Sunday, 09th May, 2004

So begins the adventure to Tokyo, Japan. The flight is 9+ hours, Sydney to Narita. Along with other people from the Adobe Sydney office, we are attending a regional conference. For most of us it the first time in Japan.

After seeing “Lost in Translation” at the beginning of these world travels, this is an interesting closure.

On D-Day in WW2, the engineers were first on the beach to clear the mines and other obstacles. We’ve sent in our local engineer to recce the ground a day early: so its a mad scramble to get the right adaptors for the stay in Japan. Thanks, Mark.

Arrive at 7.10pm, and its raining. Our plane takes 20 minutes to find Gate 84 at Terminal 2. Narita is sure big!

It’s a live “leadership course” as we navigate our way from the plane to the train (with connection at Nippori) to Shinagawa via the JR Yamanote line. Off the train, and then walk through the rain in a very “Blade Runner” experience to the hotel. Hotel at 10.20pm, and we’ve got a bed for the night.

The first thing I notice is that Tokyo is big, the trains are safe and there are Vending machines everywhere. Jumping at the chance to try one out, I grab a “Boss Coffee” from Suntory (Lost in Translation: “Suntory Time”) — its the best “Iced Coffee” I’ve tasted outside South Australia.

TV is interesting. Channel 6 in the hotel like a 24 hour university where you can learn statistics and production scheduling in an Open University-like course.

The DSL/Ethernet thing isn’t working for my laptop, and the Triband GSM phone doesn’t work so essentially I feel cut off in one of the most wired countries in the world. Plus the language barrier, and its like being a fish out of water. That will pass.

Auckland (23rd March to 25th March)

Thursday, 25th March, 2004

Due to the timezone difference, presently only 1 hour, or more likely the lack of decent sleep: about 4 hours a night for three nights has taken its toll. Forcing myself to concentrate in meetings and actively add value. Mental fuzziness.

Sleeping in strange beds in many hotels you learn how to get a good night sleep. Its an occupational skill. Rule One: keep the room cooler than 17 degrees C. Rule Two: use a flat pillow. The problem with many hotels is they pride themselves on big puffy pillows. Instant neck problems here.

I have a bad habit of falling asleep about when the cabin crew start the safety demonstration and wakeup when level flight is reached. Its uncanny.

Reading the my new purchase in the Lonely Planet range: Japan. I have a theory that I enjoy travel to countries that I wrote school projects on (if that makes any sense) Love Actually on the screen in economy. Ahh, London. See you next week.

Sick of forms. To leave Australia, arrive in New Zealand, leave New Zealand (after paying NZ to get out of Auckland International Aiport, thank you very much) and finally arrive back into Australia takes 4 forms. Name, address, email, SARs, Passport number. There has to be a better way! In the time between the Singapore trip and the Auckland trip, the Australian arrival form has changed!

5 minutes from Immigration to Australia. The joys of packing light!

Wednesday, 24th March, 2004

The Auckland Sheraton property has been sold to someone else, according to the gossip. I hope they have deep pockets as the place is a little tired. The hotel rooms are still stuck in 1983, maybe 1984. No high speed internet access. At least BBC-World is on TV.

Meet Luke in NZ. He is a new dad, only 4 days in. He has another 21 years of fun. Men that have had children, and been involved in all the birthing action, remember more about the process of child birth and other obscure obstitric details than one would expect through the years. Is this universal?

I also realise that I am carrying 896Mb of CompactFlash memory to Europe. This is a massive amount of storage (about 900 digital camera shots) before I load them into the laptop. How the world of memory has moved on.

Tuesday, 23rd March, 2004

6.50pm flight to Auckland, NZ. Hello Qantas Club International Sydney, my second home. Almost second office as I run into Barry and discuss business.

Neil Perry my arse. The food on the 2hour 20 minute flight tastes vaguely familiar. Yes, I am reminded of 3 years of boarding house food. The lamb was probably from the mid 1980s as it was tough. Thanks to the iPod, apart from the dubious food, its a quick and painless flight. Arrive 11pm, hotel lobby bar until late.

Singapore (8th March to 12th March)

Friday, 12th March, 2004

Thursday and flying home. 20 minutes from hotel to checked-in, and through customs. A posse of Singaporean soldiers patrol the airport with their machine guns at the ready. The world has changed.

Whatever you want, there is a place to purchase it at the Singapore airport. The prices are more than the Funan, and the Funan is only about 10% cheaper than Australia.

QF6 from Frankfurt via Singapore leaves 30 minutes late. De-icing in Frankfurt took “frightfully long”, so we’re late leaving Singapore.

2 hours sleep on the flight, and a full day of work on Friday.

Wednesday, 10th March, 2004

After 2 days stuck in internal meetings, and short sojourn to a bowling alley, its time to go shopping. Stod, Lee and I leave the hotel and head toward the Funan Centre: a building with IT stores.

If you are smart, you can walk from one end of Singapore to the other without losing sight of a retail store, and underground so you miss the sky. Half way, we see a tourist-y couple looking at a roadmap of Singapore. Stod assumed they had been stuck underground for days and were permanently lost in the mall underground.

So I got lost too. Too many changes in buildings around Raffles City, one wrong turn and you’re lost. Thankfully, a short S$6 taxi ride and we’re at the Funan. The Funan Centre houses most of the IT stores in Singapore, all under one roof. I am looking for a PCMCIA Compactflash card reader. Lee clocks one in a store on a high level. S$18 and we’re away.

Standing in the rain, 45 minute tough phone conversation. I wonder what people around thought of my conversation? Missed lunch, but didn’t miss lunch if that makes any sense.

Monday, 08th March, 2004

Flight QF5 is delayed by 30 minutes. Something about the engine needing to be “run up”, so it looks like Qantas have just fixed something on the tarmac. QF5 is also on its way to Frankfurt, absolutely full of an eclectic mixture of Formula 1 pilgrims and tragic Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras attendees.

On the pointy end, and I mean pointy end, of a sieben-sechs-sieben vier hundert on its way from Sydney to Frankfurt via Singapore. This time, I am alighting in Singapore. Watching the inseat entertainment, choosing “Lost In Translation” from the various choices. Bill Murray (my father-in-law’s name), Scarlett Johannsen (I am in love) and Giovanni Ribisi (from “Saving Private Ryan”). Hmm, Tokyo in May; Normandy in April. The world is a small place, indeed.

Note to self: purchase the Lonely Planet guide to Tokyo so I don’t get lost. In the past 3 months, the Hodge family has purchased about 12 guides for various cities. The Seoul guide helped my not get lost. Which I think is the point.

I blame my father for giving me professional wonderlust and a desire to travel. As a sailor in the late 1960s, early 1970s I remember seeing pictures and souvenirs from exotic places including Singapore, Hong Kong, San Diego, Hawaii and Toyko. Either by nature or nuture, I want to see other places in the world. The next 70 days is going to be many cities compressed into a short time span.

In roughly 70 days time, I am in Tokyo for the first time. Watching “Lost in Translation” holds many resonant moments. Calling from a very strange time in an unfamiliar hotel room to a chaotic family at home is very common for partner’d travellers.

Sitting at the front of the 747, and I do mean the absolute front: seat 1B, the rain beats on the nose cone. It sounds like rain on a tin roof, but we are in a plane travelling at a couple of hundred kms per hour, on the equator, 25 minutes from Singapore. Ah, the tropics.

Fast and efficient Singapore: out in a taxi within 20 minutes off to the Pan Pacific hotel. The taxi driver is speaking on his mobile, hands free. Also, hands free from the wheel as he gesticulates his points in a language unknown to me. As we aquaplane in Changi to the Pan Pacific, I am eagerly awaiting to get horizontal in a hotel bed.

Singapore Gallery

[1629] Random shot from outside the taxi in Singapore
Random shot from outside the taxi in Singapore

[1631] Nick, Sydney in the background, Qantas Club Sydney Intl
Nick, Sydney in the background, Qantas Club Sydney Intl

[1632] Laptop somewhere near Darwin
Laptop somewhere near Darwin

[1633] Even the toilet in the new 747 as a window. Now the world gets to see your bare arse
Even the toilet in the new 747 as a window. Now the world gets to see your bare arse

[1634] Yes! The bag arrives in one piece
Yes! The bag arrives in one piece

[1635] Rainy night on arrival in Singapore. The taxi driver had it in hand
Rainy night on arrival in Singapore. The taxi driver had it in hand

[1636] View from my hotel room. Large buildings is the Suntec centre
View from my hotel room. Large buildings is the Suntec centre

[1637] Hotel room, Pan Pacific, Singapore.
Hotel room, Pan Pacific, Singapore.

[1638] View from hotel room toward residental portion of Singapore
View from hotel room toward residental portion of Singapore

[1640] Inside Pan Pacific hotel.  Yes, 33 floors up!
Inside Pan Pacific hotel. Yes, 33 floors up!

[1641] Morning over the CBD of Singapore.  This was the view whilst eating breakfast.
Morning over the CBD of Singapore. This was the view whilst eating breakfast.

[1642] View from the meeting room. Stuck in here for 3 days.
View from the meeting room. Stuck in here for 3 days.

[1644] Waiting for taxis, Suntec
Waiting for taxis, Suntec

[1645] Off and away
Off and away

[1646] Ray bowling, Singapore
Ray bowling, Singapore

[1647] Asleep after a long day
Asleep after a long day

[1648] In the lift to the 33rd floor looking at the night lights of Singapore
In the lift to the 33rd floor looking at the night lights of Singapore

[1649] Stod, Lee and Nick somewhere underground in Singapore. Everywhere a store.
Stod, Lee and Nick somewhere underground in Singapore. Everywhere a store.

[1650] Inside the Funan Centre. Every computer store in Singapore is in here.
Inside the Funan Centre. Every computer store in Singapore is in here.

[1651] Outside the Pan Pacific
Outside the Pan Pacific

[1652] Three of the Suntec towers
Three of the Suntec towers

[1653] Fountain of Wealth, Suntec
Fountain of Wealth, Suntec

[1654] Adobe office, Suntec, Singapore
Adobe office, Suntec, Singapore

[1655] Limo to the airport, Singapore
Limo to the airport, Singapore

[1656] Inside Singapore airport. Yes, more shops.
Inside Singapore airport. Yes, more shops.

[1657] Three Australians doing last minute toy shopping, Singapore airport.
Three Australians doing last minute toy shopping, Singapore airport.

[1658] Nick asleep, Singapore Qantas Club. Later that night I had 2 hours sleep.
Nick asleep, Singapore Qantas Club. Later that night I had 2 hours sleep.

[1659] On the flight from Frankfurt via Singapore, we had inappropriate reading material
On the flight from Frankfurt via Singapore, we had inappropriate reading material

Auckland Gallery

[1663] Waringah Freeway out of sunny Sydney
Waringah Freeway out of sunny Sydney

[1664] Nick reading Qantas Club, Sydney
Nick reading Qantas Club, Sydney

[1665] Emmah and Judith waiting in Qantas Club
Emmah and Judith waiting in Qantas Club

[1666] Doing a Jordan: one bag for this Trip
Doing a Jordan: one bag for this Trip

[1667] Mating Sony-Ericssons
Mating Sony-Ericssons

[1668] Lee Gale
Lee Gale

[1669] Craig Tegel, Hotel Lobby Bar, Sheraton
Craig Tegel, Hotel Lobby Bar, Sheraton

[1670] Arrival Maori sculpture, Auckland International Airport
Arrival Maori sculpture, Auckland International Airport

[1671] Departure gate, Sydney for QF49 to Auckland
Departure gate, Sydney for QF49 to Auckland

[1672] Maori iconography, Sheraton Lobby Bar
Maori iconography, Sheraton Lobby Bar

[1673] Best record store in the world: Real Groovy Records, Auckland
Best record store in the world: Real Groovy Records, Auckland

[1674] Skytower, Auckland
Skytower, Auckland

[1675] Bridgework over Auckland
Bridgework over Auckland

[1676] On the Freeway returning to Auckland
On the Freeway returning to Auckland

[1677] Luke the new dad and Emmah
Luke the new dad and Emmah

[1678] Stuck in a meeting room, looking furtively westwards from Auckland
Stuck in a meeting room, looking furtively westwards from Auckland

[1679] Karangahape Road. Shorted to K-Road. I wonder why
Karangahape Road. Shorted to K-Road. I wonder why

[1680] Judith, Emmah, Nick, Two Dells and an IBM. Working in the Qantas Club
Judith, Emmah, Nick, Two Dells and an IBM. Working in the Qantas Club

[1681] Judith, Emmah: retail therapy Auckland International Airport. I purchased nothing
Judith, Emmah: retail therapy Auckland International Airport. I purchased nothing

[1682] Leaving Auckland
Leaving Auckland

Trapping

The *best* resource I’ve read happens to be the InDesign 2.0 (and CS) manuals on trapping.

The whole central idea of trapping is that it corrects for physical errors (such as misregistration of plates) inherit in the printing process. This is either the Printing press itself, or the inks and substrates that are being used. You are adding or subtracting ink
(read: spreading or choking) of elements on the imaged page to ensure there are no horrible white gaps (ie: the substrate showing through)

With Computer-to-Plate, Web presses – printers are not trapping 4 colour documents at all.

5- and 6-colours, where you are using one or two spot colour inks, trapping is imperative. This is especially the case as the special inks or foils are being used. These inks have different “coverage” characteristics.

Digital presses (or just big old photocopiers such as Docucolor devices) don’t really need trapping, but I’ve seen instances where it would have helped…

How do you determine what colour to choke/spread into another, automatically? Mathematically, as there is a software process that is applying the trap. It is overcompensating the size of an element to make it bigger.

There is where the Neutral Ink density is key. It measures the relative ink “coverage” characteristics of a particular colour relative to another. So, if a light colour (with a smaller ink density) isn’t going to “run” enough on the substrate into a darker element (with a high neutral ink density) on the page right next to it — you have to
“spread” the light into the dark colour. If all you remember is
“spread light into dark” you’re on your way there.

On the press, the idea is that the traps are “cancelled out” and effect will be the elements will look great — no horrible white gaps, and hopefully not too overprinted. (with a horrible muddy colour as a
result)

In Postscript, when printing with On Host trapping out of InDesign, extra elements are drawn that “overprint” this light colour into the dark colour (if the element knocksout, the objects are abutting and therefore not trapping). This “overprinting” is why some people confuse trapping with overprinting. Overprinting is just the mechanism used to apply a trap based on the inks used.

How big should the traps (trapwidth) be? This all depends on the press, inks and substrates. That’s why (I think) the printers should be doing trapping.

There are a whole bunch of complexities that I haven’t discussed here: sliding traps (think gradients), trapping text, trapping images — but I’ll leave that as homework for the reader.

For those prepress operators who are from the good ole’ film days, they usually like to hand create the traps on certain elements — and not rely on InRIP trapping or OnHost trapping.

For those who don’t understand trapping, and rely on Brand-Q’s features
— “real” prepress operators snigger behind their backs. I know — I’ve worked with some of them!

The more you use InDesign, and especially CS; then compare it to the high end systems that many organisations think as “professional production engines” that cost more than US$20-30,000 a few years ago: the more you realise what an excellent prepress tool the InDesign engineering team have developed. At a fraction of the price.

Hopefully this is correct (there might be some little errors!) and helps.

InDesign CS: Prepress Overview


Welcome to Adobe InDesign CS

For more indepth articles: Adobe InDesign: Prepress Techniques

This is written in a similar manner to: Acrobat 6.0 Professional: Graphics, Print, Prepress Overview

Since writing this introduction, Adobe has released: Adobe InDesign CS Printing Guide for Service Providers

InDesign CS, the third major revision of InDesign, contains many new prepress features that solidifies my belief that InDesign is the premiere desktop prepress tool on the market today.

Having worked between many pre-release testers and the Product Team and Engineers for nearly two years – it is such a relief to be able to talk publically about all the “new stuff”

What is this Adobe Creative Suite?

The Adobe Creative Suite is a new application that combines the full desktop versions of Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS, InDesign CS, GoLive CS and Acrobat 6.0 Professional with a new piece of technology called Version Cue. This new application installs with a single serial number, comes on single CD and is a application suite. This InDesign CS that comes with either Creative Suite Premium or Standard is the same as the single copy version.

System Requirements

InDesign CS (and the other CS applications) requires Windows 2000sp3, Windows XP Home or Professional. On the Mac, InDesign CS like Acrobat 6.0 requires at least MacOS X 10.2.4. That’s correct: no MacOS 9 support. If you are receiving InDesign CS files, you are going to need a MacOS X to run the files out. From a high quality print perspective, saving backwards is not an option.

New Prepress Features

Separation Preview

Having been exposed to this particular piece of engineering since prior to InDesign 2.0’s announcement, this has to be my favourite feature. It alone will change prepress perceptions of InDesign’s status as the best tool to work with on the desktop.

Until the advent of Quite Revealingfor Acrobat 4/5, Acrobat 6.0 Professional (Acrobat 6.0 Professional: Graphics, Print, Prepress Overview)- the only way to preview the plates that would appear at some stage of the print process was to print separations as Postscript and Distill.

InDesign CS adds a new feature called Separation Preview that is a “mode” for layout. You can work completely in this mode; placing images, changing swatches, editing text if you like – and see how the final plates will appear whilst still editing the document.

[1550] seppv1.gif

The above shows Cyan and Black plates, with a Ink Density count on a per-plate basis.

[1551] seppv2.gif

This shows a separation preview highlighting one spot colour, with the black text knocking out correctly.

I remember first seeing this feature and being on cloud 9 for hours. It has to be experienced. Thanks Matt.

Flattener Preview

Transparency, the ground-breaking set of features added in InDesign 2.0, provides designers scope to create eye catching layouts. When it comes to output, however, some of the print aspects require finessing.

To aid the print side, the Flattener Preview will show what elements are going to be effected by transparency, and in which way. The Transparency Flattener is still required in Postscript 2/3 and PDF/X workflows.

[1552] flattpv.gif

The areas highlighted in red above are Transparent Objects that will result in some transparency flattening at output.

Ink Limit Preflight

Common in newsprint and other print applications where the total ink density is tightly controlled, InDesign CS will now permit a preview of a layout – and highlight elements that are above to total ink limit as specified.

[1553] inklimit.gif

In the image above, an Ink coverage limit of 280% is specified: the areas highlighted in red on the page have more ink coverage than this percentage.

Bleeds and Slugs

No, this is not going postal on the evil garden pests. InDesign 2.0 added the ability to print with independent bleed-per-side in a document. In InDesign CS, documents can be created with predefined bleed and slug areas:

[1554] bleedslug1.gif

These predefined Bleeds and Slugs can be used when printing, without retyping the appropriate values.

[1555] bleedpv.gif

In this image, Print Preview with Bleed has been requested.

To make life easier when creating documents in InDesign CS, page dimensions including Bleeds and Slugs can be saved.

Another commonly requested feature from longtime QuarkXpress users is the ability to see the ‘page edge’ when placing elements. Guess what, its here:

[1556] pageedge.jpg

In the above screen dump, the black line is the trim size of the page, clearly shown through the image.

Word Count

Not strictly a Prepress feature, but I am going to incorporate it here! Yes, there is a word count in InDesign CS:

[1557] wordcount.gif

Not only a word count: InDesign CS also counts sentences, lines and characters. No more need for InDesign 2.0: Word Count using Visual Basic! The above image depicts a text frame that contains a certain number of characters/words etc, and the “+61” indicates that there is overset text.

Info Palette

In PDF delivery of final for-print documents, the two major errors that cause prepress headaches are RGB elements and low resolution images. InDesign always converted RGB elements in bitmaps to CMYK (if printing CMYK). InDesign CS adds the conversion of elements in RGB that are inside placed PDF elements to CMYK. (InDesign 2.0 and CS have a technique that will force EPS into CMYK or Greyscale: InDesign 2.0: Printing Output Choices and Flattener Tricks (including force Greyscale export!))

On the matter of DPI, however, there has been a reliance on the designer on “guessing” the print DPI (otherwise known as effective DPI) by calculating the percentage scaling by the original DPI. InDesign CS has a new palette known as the Info palette that previews the DPI of a placed image element:

[1558] imageres.jpg

The Info palette above shows that the placed image is a JPEG in the RGB colourspace, and due to scaling of the image, its print (effective) resolution is 288dpi in both dimensions.

Mixed Ink Support

An ink swatch in InDesign CS can be what is a Mixed Ink swatch containing spot colours and process colours.

InDesign CS also adds a new type of swatch known as Mixed Ink Group which eases the mixing of two spot colours into a varying combination of percentages.

[1558] imageres.jpg

Support for Duotone Photoshop files

DCS is the thorn in the side of the Prepress professional. It forces print workflows into separated output at a very early stage – and is a legacy of QuarkXpress. In our modern, composite workflows – DCS is a legacy that would be rather forgotten.

InDesign CS changes the scene in rather a dramatic way. DCS 1 and 2 files created from Photoshop (bitmaps only) placed into InDesign CS are recombined into composite for composite PDF/Postscript output. DCS1, for the sake of clarity, is a preseparated format where each plate is broken into a file: one each for C, M, Y and K (there is not spot colour support in DCS1). DCS2, in comparison, is a single file containing each plate – and can support spot colours.

For Photoshop files and designs that contain vector elements and transparency, this technique still applies: InDesign 2.0: Photoshop with Spots, InDesign and Composite PDF

InDesign CS also includes support for TIFF with spot colour channels, Photoshop PSD with spot channels (including Duotones, Tritones and Quadtones) and Photoshop EPS.

PDF/X Support

Like Acrobat 6.0, InDesign CS supports exporting PDFs are PDF/X compliant. More than just a version PDF, compliance also involves ensuring the elements used in the PDF match the strict ISO specification.

What is PDF/X? From the FAQ on the PDF/X site: “PDF/X is not an alternative to PDF, it’s a focused subset of PDF designed specifically for reliable prepress data interchange. It’s also an application standard, as well as a file format standard. In other words, it defines how applications creating and reading PDF/X files should behave.”

[1559] mixedink.gif

PDF/X is a set of international standards: PDF/X-1a:2001 (ISO 15930-1:2001) and PDF/X-3 (ISO 15930-3:2002). PDF is a very broad format: it permits the creation of documents ready for web delivery through to very high quality book production. PDF/X simplifies what can be in a PDF to a known range of parameters. This known, and generally acceptable range therefore gives other software in the workflow a known target. If a PDF is PDF/X compliant, there are two keys added to the PDF file.

Print Workflow Changes

A topic deeply exposed here InDesign 2.0 Prepress Tips & Techniques, there has been a fundamental change in the mechanism InDesign CS uses to print placed PDFs. Placed PDFs (and therefore placed native .ai files, too) pass through a different print mechanism similar to printing through the transparency flattener. A side effect of this print mechanism is that elements are converted to the Print colour space (CMYK, Greyscale) plus a new side effect. The placed elements are Trapped.

With InDesign CS, placed PDFs pass through InDesign’s inbuilt Trapping engine. Now you can trap composite, untrapped PDFs from various sources (like QuarkXpress) and generate a composite trapped Postscript file, and therefore PDF. This technique still applies: InDesign 2.0: Generating Composite, Trapped PDFs

A small change, and probably not documented anywhere, is the ability scale in the “decimal point” range when printing. InDesign 2.0 had a restriction of scaling at print time in whole number increments (100%, 101%, 102% etc) whereas InDesign CS supports percentages such as 100.1%. This is especially required in packaging style printing on flexographic presses.

[1560] exportpdfx.gif

Summary

If you are into laying out documents with great design, InDesign CS raises the bar for its competitors. From a Prepress perspective, InDesign CS is distinctly ahead of the crowd.

Travelling with a Laptop

This was published at Taking the high-tech road. Thanks to Wayne Cosshall

Essentials

  1. Buy a laptop that has international warranty, or where the vendor is an international vendor. Finding “Fred-in-the-Shed” laptop manufacturers in India is probably minimal. I only travel with Dell, and where required for the job, Apple laptops. This gives you a degree of comfort if the electronics (screen, motherboard, cards) fail in the laptop. Obviously, there are other well-known brand names that have service facilities in other regions.
  2. The next most common problem is a Hard Drive failure. Always take your backup CDs with you. I constantly travel with a current OS install CD (Windows XP) and core applications install (Office XP, Adobe applications) This will mean that if the hard drive fails, I can restore my HD and at least communicate with the world. As I backup my data to CD (manually), I take the most recent backup of data too. DVD burners are also affordable, so instead of taking 5-6 CDs, take on DVD containing the bare essential installers.
  3. Ensure that the power supply you take with you supports a “wide range” of voltages (V) and current (A). In countries like India, the power supply fluctuates wildly, and even in 5-star hotels gets cut off at the most inconvienent moments.
  4. Always arrive at the airport with the laptop having fully recharged batteries. In some countries, airport security will require you to boot up your laptop to ensure that it is a laptop. Its best to be able to do this without needing to plug into power. Secondly, if your flight is delayed you can at least startup and do some work. If there is a phone line around, you can check the news, mail and other essential things.
  5. As my laptop has an internal CD burner, I carry a few blank CDs (just in case). As it also has a Firewire (IEEE1394) connection, I also carry an external 10Gb hard drive for emergency backup.
  6. NEVER install new software whilst on the road. NEVER buy pirate software in whatever country.
  7. Be careful with hardware purchases in other countries. Incompatible power supplies are usually supplied, and support is sometimes limited to the country of purchase.
  8. Choose an ISP that gives you a local dial-in number in the country you are in. Taking a laptop with you means that you are not relying on Hotmail-style email accounts, and therefore need to get onto the Internet. Again, in the absolute worst case, enable data communications on your mobile phone and use the Infra-red capabilities to use your mobile as a 9600 baud modem. My Nokia has IrDA and Bluetooth, as does the laptop. I can use this as a modem to at least get connected to the internet, get and send mail. Due to the cost of doing this, especially overseas, use it rarely.
  9. Purchase a good bag to contain your precious cargo. Ensure that it protects the laptop and contains the essential elements needed to be working. Assume that your main, checked in luggage is going to get lost.
  10. Modem communications was once a black art. Now its just a grey art. You still hit strange problems in some hotels. For instance in New Zealand, some older hotels have digital telephone exchanges requiring you to use a special cable to connect from your RJ11 on your PCCard/Laptop to their phone system. I am finding a majority of hotels have “data port enabled” telephones in their rooms that permit laptop style connections. Sometimes I disconnect the cable coming from the wall to the telephone and use this in my laptop when all else fails. In Thailand recently, I had to use the business centre’s computers as the ISP’s phone lines were down for many hours. Thankfully, the RJ11 connector is reasonably universal in the places I visit. If you travel to RAR Australia, I suggest taking the old PMG style connector.

Pleasures

  1. I have recently subscribed and used Skynet Global. In Qantas Clubs, this gives you extra connectivity whilst you wait for your flight. Using wireless cards, you can connect to the Internet, get your mail etc.
  2. Singapore Airlines (and others) have in-seat power. With the purchase of a ~$250 Targus style power supply, you can use your laptop in-flight without draining batteries. The sooner Qantas do this, the better.
  3. Hotels with high-speed internet access such as Intertouch (http://www.inter-touch.com/) This is a godsend if you are an internet junkie.

Wishes

  1. The US would use GSM in the same frequency as the rest of the world.
  2. Every hotel and public telephone had highspeed/ethernet style access
  3. laptops were smaller and batteries lasted longer
  4. a combination mobile phone, PDA and digital camera – that doesn’t make you look like a nerd.
  5. Universal, wide-area 802.11. Wireless everywhere, always on!