Its Not Just for Prepress – Existing Software Can Do More

Its Not Just for Prepress – Existing Software Can Do More

Just because a software package is marketed towards prepress doesn’t mean that it stops there. There are many software programs in every prepress department that can be used for other things. It is not that complicated to automate processes in the office, sales department, shipping department or elsewhere in your shop. Below is a list of what other tasks can be accomplished with regular software found in a prepress department.

Pitstop Server software can add PDFs to the background of another PDF like a letterhead. You can have the option of a cover page and multiple continuation pages in this built in action. Hot folders are easily created and setup to point to a copy of your letterhead cover and additional pages. Use a custom Paid stamp to add a Paid or Received date to PDF invoices, correspondence or other electronic files sent via email. Save the files into a hot folder and a removable or permanent stamp can be added.

Using Pitstop server in a flow in Switch can stamp paperless invoices received, print and file them if required.

The FTP client built into Switch can be used to create folders and archive jobs back on a customers server. The FTP send function in Switch can automatically move files from the server to a customer ftp site and then email the customer that it is there. Drop files in hot folders to automatically upload and email customers that files have been sent.

The FTP receive tool in Switch can clean up an FTP drive by downloading and removing items based on simple filters. It can also leave customer Drop folders in place and clean up old files inside based on date received.

PDF Toolbox can be used to create PDFs from Microsoft Office. It also has a feature that can apply your letterhead to any PDF document. PDF Toolbox also has a presentation feature that creates custom presentations and handouts. There are also LightTable and Passe Partout (with borders) actions to create new PDFs from existing items for quick viewing.

Indesign can import xml data from an existing website to create custom invoices and packing slips. Using Indesign in a Switch flow, the xml data can be downloaded by command line or received via email from the website. A template can be picked up automatically and populated with data from the site. Indesign master page feature and can be used to create colorful job specific tickets using xml.

Switch can automate these Indesign processes and trigger printouts to any printer on your network.

Switch has timers and triggers that can be placed in any flow. Use Indesign in Switch to create up-to-date job reports at shift change and have them ready online or print to any printer. Timers and triggers can be used for batch uploads to an MIS system of production data. They can produce an email or printed report of items that have not met their checkpoint by a specific time or at a specific process.

Start flows at certain times of the day, end of the month, Thursday mornings, every ½ hour. The interface is easy to use and change when needed.

Switch has email notification that can send an email when triggered by a file. Any barcode reader on the network can create a file in a specific folder with the barcode as its name. This file can be picked up by Switch to trigger FTP uploads, Unix command lines, Windows command lines, email send, file pickups and routing. This trick allows any department to access Switch.

One example use is in a packaging and shipping department. When the barcode is scanned Switch can pickup a PDF of a customized invoice/packing slip already created and send it to the printer in the shipping department. No matching, you get the customized printout you need when you need it.

Barcodes, emails, drop folders, time of day can all trigger automated flows from your network. Manual repetitive tasks can easily be added to existing prepress workflows without adding too much of a work load. They are simple to set up and don’t require complicated connections from departments and equipment. Start making your work easier by looking into these options and get the most out of the software your company has purchased.