RE: Printing from Word using DocuTech systems

Subject: RE: Printing from Word using DocuTech systems
From: "Fisher, Melissa" <Melissa -dot- Fisher -at- delta-air -dot- com>
To: "'Hart, Geoff'" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000 13:14:15 -0400


The *most* important thing in Docutech printing is finding a competent,
experienced service bureau. Be careful because a lot of small print shops
treat a Docutech like a big fancy photocopier. (Well, okay, in a sense it
is, but that's like saying a car is a big, fancy bicycle.) When you find
one, ask what format they prefer to work with. Then do what they tell you.
I have always sent postscript files, not pdfs, but I understand there is not
necessarily any reason to avoid pdfs.

How do you tell if they are competent and experienced? Ask them:

- How do I get my files to you? Postscript files (especially from Windows)
can be HUGE - dozens of megabytes, even when zipped. If they say "email or
disk is fine" then they haven't done this much.
- Once I've sent you a file, can I make minor changes without resending the
whole thing? If you need to fix a typo on page 23, you should be able to
make a ps file of page 23 and they should be able to insert it in the
appropriate place. They may charge tech time for this, but they should know
how to. Likewise they should be able to insert or remove blank pages if
necessary, rearrange pages, etc.\
- How many Docutechs do you have? How long have you had them? More than one
machine is good. More than a couple of years is best.
- Do you have a dedicated Docutech operator/technician? Yes is a good
answer. There apparently is a whole WAD of training you can get on
Docutechs. Likewise, you can throw a body on one and treat it like a
photocopier. Analogy: who do you want working on your transmission, a
mechanic or a gas station attendant?
- What printer driver should I use? They should be WAY more specific than "a
postscript driver." I have always used a Docutech-specific driver. It may be
possible that other drivers work as well or better, but if they do not
recommend a Docutech driver they should be able to give you a reason that
their choice is better. Meaning, they should know there is such a thing as a
Docutech driver.
- How do you store files once you have printed them? Every printer I've
worked with has stored our files so that we could re-order whenever
necessary. Smaller operations may not do this for legitimate business
reasons, but if they do store files, it shows they have a concern for your
repeat business and are likely to have more of a customer-service attitude.

As long as your DTP can print to a postscript file, it does not matter if it
is Word, Frame, PageMaker, whatever. I agree with your instinct to avoid any
service bureau that recommends sending Word files to them. If they won't
discuss postscript with you, it makes me wonder if that's because they can't
discuss postscript intelligently.

I have more war stories etc.- if you are interested, contact me off-list.

Good luck and HTH,
Melissa Fisher
melissa -dot- fisher -at- delta-air -dot- com
(404) 773-8674

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Hart, Geoff [mailto:Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA]
> Any tips, warnings, war stories, or suggestions (other than
> "use a real DTP
> program")? I'll be talking to another service bureau today to
> find out their
> specific recommendations for their specific Docutech setup,
> but I'd like to
> have some facts in hand to perform a reality check on the advice I've
> received.

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