Re: "Print on demand" and "Docutech"

Subject: Re: "Print on demand" and "Docutech"
From: Christine Pellar-Kosbar <chrispk -at- merit -dot- edu>
To: Gilda_Spitz -at- markham -dot- longview -dot- ca
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2000 18:32:11 -0400

Hey Gilda,

> Our company has always printed our manuals in runs of 200, 300, or 400,
> depending on anticipated demand. Sometimes we guess incorrectly and have
> lots of books left over by the time we're ready to put out the next version
> of the software.

I used to work for an association where we faced this very problem. Inventory
was very expensive for us.
We switched to Docutech in 1995.

> 1. I always thought that small runs would be prohibitively expensive. Does
> the Docutech make it reasonable to print 10 or 20 books at a time?

It did for us, but we were concerned with printing costs and storage costs.

> 2. We use FrameMaker, not Word. I assume that Docutech works with Frame as
> well - is that correct?

I used Frame and Word with Docutech.

> 3. Instead of providing the printing house with the printed pages, I would
> instead generate a ps file from Frame, and send them that ps file - is that
> correct?

That is how I had to send it -- ps. Of course, it had to be completely perfect;
they could not change anything in the file (they didn't have Frame).
Occasionally, even the PS would have strange artifacts not visable in the
FrameMaker version.

The printing house would accept Word files (and modify them if necessary). At
the time, Word repaginated randomly and caused us some problems.

> 4. We use the Acrobat Distiller printer driver to produce a ps file for
> Acrobat. Can we use the same printer driver, or do we need a different one?
> (I saw some references in the archives to a special Docutech driver.)

We had to install a special printer driver the printing house gave us. That was
five years ago.

> 5. Are there any major pros or cons that I should know about?

How seriously do you take typography? At the time we were using it, the quality
of Docutech was not the same as the "old way" (Linotype? I can't remember).
Occasionally, we had odd problems with graphics.

Hope that helps.
Christine Pellar-Kosbar

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