Preflighting: Examining Your Documents

When you submit a document file to us, our first step is to examine it in a process we call preflight, a term borrowed from aeronautics. Before beginning a flight, aircraft pilots run through a standard checklist to be sure the plane is airworthy and ready for flight. Similarly, we inspect your file against specific criteria to qualify it as ready to enter the production workflow.

Before prepress became digital, “preflight” consisted of reviewing mechanicals – the artboards used to make film or photomechanical press plates – for quality and completeness. Preflighting a digital file amounts to the same thing: checking the file to be sure all required elements are present and that no mistakes have been made in file assembly. The checking can be done manually or with software tools.