A basic evaluation can be performed on incoming ads to identify if the ad is usable as is, or if the ad should be sent back to the creator.

Open the PDF Ad in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and choose File Properties….

In the document properties window, verify the PDF was created with an Industry Standard Desktop Publishing Application. If you can’t identify the creator, PROCEED WITH CAUTION as unexpected results are likely. Just because the ad looks correct in Acrobat, it doesn’t mean that it will process properly during later stages of file processing.

 Next, select the Fonts Tab in the document properties window to verify all fonts are embedded. Both Embedded and Embedded Subset are fine.

Once the fonts have been verified, check for Overprints, Spot Colors and Transparency by opening Output Preview…

If the page has overprints “Yes” displayed, be sure to view the page with Simulate Overprinting selected, then toggle on/off to see the effect on the page. It is also a good idea to be aware if the ad has transparency, as these ads can be more complex. If there are unintended Spot Colors, reference Tech Note 59 to convert them to CMYK.

The use of the Magazine Ads Preflight check in Adobe Acrobat can help identify problems.