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Preparing Final Pages

Once your PDF files are ready to go, your prepress partners will appreciate it if you take just a few final steps to make sure they're in order.

Renumbering Pages

Acrobat automatically numbers pages in a PDF document consecutively from Page 1. Any time you add or delete pages from multiple PDF documents, it updates automatically. If you're simply proofing pages or producing online documents, Acrobat's generic page-numbering system is probably fine. However, if your pages are destined for prepress, you may need or want to renumber them so that the page numbers in the PDF file reflect actual folio numbers. In book production, for example, you might have one PDF file for each chapter, or in magazine publishing, one PDF file for each feature article in an issue. Or perhaps you're submitting some last-minute changes to a job, and you've received new versions of pages 4, 14, and 404 in a single PDF file, which your prepress provider will swap into his or her imposed signatures. In these scenarios as well as for numbering pages in electronic documents, you can use Acrobat's Number Pages feature to apply numbering styles to all or part of a PDF file, so that the page numbers in the file you hand off to your prepress provider reflect the final folio.

To change page numbers in a PDF file—for example, to make Chapter 3 begin on Page 22 instead of Page 1, open the file and view its Thumbnails palette. First look down at the page number box at the bottom of the document window: In a generically numbered PDF file you'll see 1 of x (Figure 4-43, “before”). Click to select the thumbnail of the first page in the document, and choose Number Pages from the Thumbnail or Document menu. In the Page Numbering dialog box (Figure 4-44), you can renumber the selected page (1, in my example), all of the pages in the document, or a range. Since I'm changing all of the numbers in the file and keeping them as a unified section, I choose Begin New Section, and apply a Roman figure Style (other choices are None; i, ii, iii; I, II, III; a, b, c; or A, B, C). Choosing Prefix lets you put a prefix before your numbers (for example, to use scientific numbering such as 1-1, 1-2, and so). Finally, enter the page number for the first page in the section in the Start box (22 in my example). Acrobat shows you the styled series in the Sample area of the dialog box so that you can preview your choices before clicking OK.

Figure 4-43. The document page number box in Acrobat before the pages are renumbered (left) and after (right).

Figure 4-44. The Page Numbering dialog box.

If you're sectioning the document by numbering only selected pages or a range of pages at a time, you can opt to Extend Numbering Used in Preceding Section to Selected Pages. When you check this box, Acrobat automatically applies the same styling to the numbers in the current section, picking up consecutively from the preceding section in the document. After you've renumbered your pages you'll see the new (folio) number in the document page number box, preceding the parenthetical 1 of x count (Figure 4-43, “after”).

Removing Comments and More

Using Acrobat's PDF Consultant feature, you can run JavaScripts that strip unwanted data from a PDF file or use that data to analyze and repair problematic links, bookmarks, and other metadata associated with electronic documents. To ensure, for example, that all sticky notes have been removed from a PDF file before you send it to your printer, choose Tools > PDF Consultant > Detect and Remove. In the Detect and Remove dialog box (Figure 4-45), check the All Comments box to remove all of the comments and notes attached to the file, including sticky notes and edit marks on the pages of the file, stamps, sound, file attachments, and multimedia clips that could accidentally image or add bulk to the file. Clicking Analyze simply generates a report of the attachments; you might want to click it just to see what's there. To actually remove comments, however, click Remove. The other types of elements you can remove—JavaScripts, form actions, and external cross-references—pertain more to electronic documents and probably don't exist in PDF files created for graphic arts workflows, but check and remove them if necessary.

Figure 4-45. The Detect and Remove dialog box.

Don't worry about the Image Alternates checkbox: It's there to let you choose from multiple versions of a single image's dictionary, but as of this writing, no mainstream publishing tool supports the feature yet.

The PDF Consultant feature has another useful function, particularly for electronic documents: Optimize Space (Figure 4-46) lets you remove invalid bookmarks and links, thereby reducing the size of your PDF file. Destination links are links across multiple PDF documents, which—unlike bookmarks—remain intact when pages are added or deleted from the target PDF file.

Figure 4-46. The Optimize Space dialog box.

PDF Consultant's final feature is called Space Audit (Figure 4-47). As with the Document Properties dialog boxes (Fonts, Summary, and so on), you can use this feature to glean information about your PDF file. Specifically, Space Audit provides details about what's taking up space in your file—text, images, comments, thumbnails, and more. “Unknown content” refers to any code or data in a PDF file that Acrobat cannot recognize. By clicking Remove Elements, you can jump to the Detect and Remove dialog box, where you can delete any extraneous data. Extraneous is the key word here: You can't delete essential or structural data (for example, the PDF cross-reference table or embedded fonts), and you probably won't trim much, if anything, from the file's unknown data.

Figure 4-47. The Space Audit dialog box.

Unsecuring Files

Finally, if you've been encrypting files with signatures or security restrictions as you collaborate on or proof them, you probably want to remove these restrictions before you send the file to your prepress shop. Choose File > Document Security and make sure the Security Options pop-up menu is set to No Security. The exception would be if your prepress partners were in your security loop and had the requisite passwords for full file access. If your final file has a signature stamped on it that you don't want to be imaged, you must either delete it or redistill the final file without the signature.

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