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FreeFlow User

PDF Fixup Challenge

Hi everyone...I hope you are doing well!

Several of our workflows create files used by our laser cutters and other finishing equipment. I have created custom fixups that convert the neccesary spot colors to colors needed by the laser control software. This works great as our design team has a standard set of spot colors to work with. We can then use Freeflow to convert those into whatever colors are needed for the different laser and finishing systems.

The fixup also removes all non-spot color objects from the sheet so artwork and other print marks are gone just leaving the cut paths. This works well...most of the time. Every now and then there are invisible objects, clipping paths, the paths Freeflow adds when doing an imposition, etc. that despite our fixup, still remain in the file. I have tried everything I can think of when creating a fixup to remove these objects, but they still remain.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what PDF fixup I can create that will remove absolutely everything from the page except spot colors?

Thanks all!

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17 Replies
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Xerox Analyst
Xerox Analyst

Re: PDF Fixup Challenge

FreeFlow Core really should not "add" anything to your layout or Impositions. The only thing it will do is adjust the size of existing items like trim boxes, media boxes, etc.

How are you seeing or finding these "clipping paths" or other items in the file? Is your laser system doing something with them? Do you see them some other method?

Can you post a sample file that might show these extra items after your workflow completes so they can be seen / reviewed / analyzed?

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FreeFlow Production Workflow Moderator
FreeFlow Production Workflow Moderator

Re: PDF Fixup Challenge

If the spot color content is one a separate layer, you can remove the other layer(s) using this fixup.

layer.png

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FreeFlow Production Workflow Moderator
FreeFlow Production Workflow Moderator

Re: PDF Fixup Challenge

What happens if you run the attached fixup.

remove objects except 1.PNG

Where Is Spot Color:

remove objects except 2.PNG

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FreeFlow User

Re: PDF Fixup Challenge

Hey everyone. Thanks so much for your feedback. Unfortunately, I have tried those fixups and they do not solve the issue. I have attached some screenshots to show what I'm running into.

The first screenshot is the file opened in Illustrator and doing a "select all." As you can see, there are boxes around the entire sheet and around each imposed cell (the red and black are the spot colors that are supposed to remain).

It seems like the other objects are clipping masks because if I select all and then release clipping masks, I can apply strokes to them (including the clipping masks from my original 1 up file). This is shown in the second screen shot (paths in blue).

So, it seems that the fixups I've applied so far remove color and image objects, but I cannot find anything to remove clipping masks. Unfortunately, these masks sometimes interfere with our laser software correctly recognizing the spot colors.

https://imgur.com/a/OV2JYMu

https://imgur.com/a/OuqUnl2

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FreeFlow Production Workflow Moderator
FreeFlow Production Workflow Moderator

Re: PDF Fixup Challenge

If you know the RGB or CMYK values of the objects you want to eliminate, one of these fixups should work.

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FreeFlow User

Re: PDF Fixup Challenge

Hi David. Excellent idea! Unfortunately, I have tried fixing this issue with color mapping. The problem is these objects do not have color values to be targted. I'm not sure if invisible is the correct term, but that is how they appear from a color standpoint. The only reason you see them in my previous screenshot examples is that I have applied a color to them to show what they look like.

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FreeFlow Production Workflow Moderator
FreeFlow Production Workflow Moderator

Re: PDF Fixup Challenge

Have you tried this fixup?

remove all clipping paths.PNG

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FreeFlow User

Re: PDF Fixup Challenge

Sadly, yes. I was so hopeful when I found that one, but it did not do anything.
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FreeFlow Production Workflow Moderator
FreeFlow Production Workflow Moderator

Re: PDF Fixup Challenge

Quite often dielines are within their own layer. If you can make this happen for your pdfs, the pdf fixup that I attached earlier would work -- just remove the layer with the dielines.

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