Getting Creative About the PDF
Yet it is not just their willingness that is making the difference. I believe 2003 was the first year where all of the enabling technology components were available, at least for basic PDF workflows.
Many things can and will be improved upon, but the basic components are there. Industry associations and groups uniting stakeholders, such as the Ghent PDF Workgroup, used 2003 to come to terms with what's available, to reach consensus about what technology to use, and to agree on quality requirements to ask for.
This work is absolutely essential and very good news, but even so, it just scratches the surface of what is needed to gain control of PDF workflows. While printers and publishers—the receiving end of a typical PDF workflow—are working towards those quality goals, designers, artists, editors, and other creators must be convinced as well.
This part of the PDF workflow, the crucial creation segment, will undoubtedly be a major focus in 2004. First off, creators have yet to become aware of how fast PDF is advancing. It will soon be apparent that PDF can make their work better and easier than was possible not long ago.
We'll all look back to the period before DRUPA as an era when the PDF seemed completely targeted to the receiving end of the workflow. But having new PDF options for creative professionals isn't enough.
It's incumbent upon vendors, such as our people at Enfocus, to convince creatives of the enormous benefits they can gain from delivering higher quality PDF documents. These benefits are concrete. They include shorter throughput time for documents, higher fidelity for output, fewer returns, and lower costs.
As the technology for creating high-quality PDF documents gets better and easier to use, the year 2004 could offer the creative market the same opportunities 2003 afforded printers and publishers.