Working with control files

As you use Ricoh ProcessDirector Plug-in for Adobe Acrobat to mark up a PDF file, instead of saving markup in the PDF file itself, you save markup to one or more control files. Ricoh ProcessDirector Plug-in for Adobe Acrobat uses a control file to extract data, and Ricoh ProcessDirector uses control files in the different stages of preparing a PDF file for printing.

You use the Ricoh menu options Load Control File and Save Control File to manage control files. You can only have one control file loaded at a time. When you finish marking up a PDF file, you save the control file to a directory accessed by Ricoh ProcessDirector. You configure Ricoh ProcessDirector workflows with one or more step templates that use Ricoh ProcessDirector Plug-in for Adobe Acrobat control files.

  • Do not manually edit Ricoh ProcessDirector Plug-in for Adobe Acrobat control files without advice from a Ricoh support representative.
  • Ricoh ProcessDirector Plug-in for Adobe Acrobat Version 3.6 includes an improved PDF processing library. For most PDF files, the new library improves performance, reduces processing time, and uses less memory.
    When you open a control file created in a previous release, Ricoh ProcessDirector Plug-in for Adobe Acrobat prompts: Do you want to update your control file to use an improved PDF processing library?

    If you click No, the message appears the next time that you open the control file.

    If you click Yes, Ricoh ProcessDirector Plug-in for Adobe Acrobat updates the control file, and the message never appears again.

    When you update a control file, make sure that it produces the same results. Slight differences between libraries could result in slightly different text selection boxes. A smaller box could exclude text that you want to select, and a larger box could include text that you do not want. Using the improved library also could change the position of markup slightly.

    No other changes are required on the Ricoh ProcessDirector server to use the improved PDF library.

  • To use a control file built for a PDF 1.7 file with a PDF 2.0 file, you must update the control file to use the new library.

You must save any page group definitions and document properties to a single control file. You can add markup, media, and finishing definitions to that single control file, or you can separate the definitions into different control files. You specify the control file that defines page groups and document properties in a step based on the IdentifyPDFDocuments step template. The control files that define markup, media, and finishing must be specified in a step based on the BuildPDFFromDocuments step. When you decide whether to create one or more control files, take your print environment into account: the complexity of your changes, how you want to differentiate your markup, and what PDF file enhancements change most often.

In a repetitive print environment where your PDF workflow does not change often, you could choose to create only one control file. When you preview a PDF file to verify where markup is going to print and which pages have media and finishing options, you can view all markup, media, and finishing in one view. You move the single control file to a directory accessed by Ricoh ProcessDirector. You define the control file name and location in both the IdentifyPDFDocuments and the BuildPDFFromDocuments steps.

You could also use one control file when you want to preview the PDF file to make sure that all markup, media, and finishing are applied correctly. When you preview a file, Ricoh ProcessDirector Plug-in for Adobe Acrobat renders markup and applies media and finishing options that are defined in the active PDF file. You cannot use preview to verify markup, media, and finishing definitions in a control file that is not loaded.

You could choose to use more than one control file in an environment that changes frequently or unexpectedly. By using different types of control files, you can mitigate the risk of change or adapt to it quickly. For example:

  • The page group definition is less likely to change than other definitions in your PDF files. You can put the page group and document property definitions in the control file that you add to the IdentifyPDFDocuments step.
  • You have installed the Inserter feature, and you switch between inserters. You do not have to edit your workflow each time you switch. Instead, you save the barcode markup for each inserter in a separate control file with a name that identifies the inserter. In the BuildPDFFromDocuments step, you specify the name and location of one control file, using symbol notation that matches the value of a job property. During print processing, you set the value of that job property to the name of the control file that matches the inserter you want to use for the job.

Symbolic notation also lets you use the same workflow for input files that need different Ricoh ProcessDirector Plug-in for Adobe Acrobat control files. For example, you have two input files, File1.pdf and File2.pdf, with corresponding control files, File1.ctl and File2.ctl. You want to use the same workflow for both files. You can use ${Job.InputFile}.ctl as the control file name that you specify in the BuildPDFFromDocuments step. ${Job.InputFile}.ctl causes Ricoh ProcessDirector to set the value of the Ricoh ProcessDirector Plug-in for Adobe Acrobat control file property to the name of the input file plus the .ctl extension.

 
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