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Using Flyerlink® FileCheck 2.0

Simon Tranter
by Simon Tranter 2 years ago

This is a guide to using w3p Flyerlink® FileCheck 2.0 to check PDF, Tif and Jpg files. The guide covers how to use FileCheck, what it can fix and report on, and which products that are supported.

Introducing Flyerlink® FileCheck 2.0

FileCheck 2.0 Overview FileCheck 2.0 Overview

How To Use FileCheck 2.0

Step 1: Create your job in Flyerlink® Step 1: Create your job in Flyerlink®

Step 2: Activate FileCheck Step 2: Activate FileCheck

Step 3: FileCheck Results Step 3: FileCheck Results

Step 4: Check The PDF Step 4: Check The PDF

Product Specific Advice Product Specific Advice

FileCheck Support

FileCheck Support FileCheck Support

Excluded Products Excluded Products

Warnings & Correction List (Reviewing Your FileCheck Report) Warnings & Correction List (Reviewing Your FileCheck Report)

FileCheck 2.0 improvements FileCheck 2.0 improvements

Common Fixes

The PDF page boxes: CropBox, BleedBox & TrimBox The PDF page boxes: CropBox, BleedBox & TrimBox

Using Flyerlink® FileCheck 2.0

This is a guide to using w3p Flyerlink® FileCheck 2.0 to check PDF, Tif and Jpg files. The guide covers how to use FileCheck, what it can fix and report on, and which products that are supported.

FileCheck 2.0 Overview

The Software

We have built into Flyerlink® a suite of software that when combined, allow us to validate and report on PDF, Tif and Jpg files reducing manual intervention. This current installation supersedes the old online preflighter and also Enfocus Instant PDF which is now obsolete and thus no longer supported.

When should it be used?

Flyerlink® FileCheck is available for use with most products available to order from within Flyerlink®. It can be used for in-house designed PDFs, or for validating client supplied PDFs.

The software can check, correct and report on PDF files from all the major software applications:

  • InDesign®
  • Illustrator®
  • Photoshop®
  • QuarkXpress®
  • Corel Draw®
  • Microsoft Word®
  • Microsoft Publisher®
  • Apple Works®
  • Apple Keynote®
  • Serif Page Plus®

Are there any limitations?

The software has been set up to check and repair many artwork elements that may cause your PDF to print unexpectedly. However, there may be artwork contained within PDF files that cannot be corrected. Like with checking PDFs and native files manually, there are from time to eventualities that cannot be foreseen.

Step 1: Create your job in Flyerlink®

Create a job as normal in Flyerlink®, then set the job to a required status.

There are two ways to upload files to be FileChecked:

  1. Browse to Workgroup > Jobs > View/Amend> Files for Production > Supplied Files. There is an option here to Choose Files to Upload. You can upload PDFs, Tif files and Jpg files. If you are uploading Tif or Jpg files then we recommend that these are flat composite files.
  2. Once the files are uploaded and accepted the FileCheck All button will become live, click this and FileCheck will start to process the files
  3. Rename your PDF with the job number from Flyerlink® then Upload your supplied PDF via your normal FTP log in.

Page order when uploading to Files & Images

If you are uploading 2 single page PDFs to the Files & Images ready to use  the FileCheck All button, then please note that the first page that you upload will be treated as page 1 and the second file that you upload will be treated as page 2.

We would recommend that you use the Waiting Flag system on jobs that are to be sent through the Flyerlink® FileCheck. Due to you uploading a PDF to Flyerlink®, if the PDF is the correct dimensions,
the 081 status will be available. To prevent jobs being sent to print by mistake that haven’t been FileChecked, add a Waiting Flag, then remove this Flag when you are performing your Final Review and Final V&V, which will always take place after you have received back the checked PDF.

Number of pages in your PDF

You can upload your PDF as normal, either as individual pages or as a single PDF containing all pages. We would highly recommend that to take advantage of the full time saving to be
gained, that you upload one PDF containing all pages. Remember that you may need to change pages in Workgroup > Jobs > View/Amend> Files for Production when creating your job.

PDF Export – Distiller Settings

We have configured some Distiller Settings for use when Saving or Exporting a PDF. These can be found under w3pedia article 4803. These settings will prepare the PDF ready for processing via FileCheck. To load these open Adobe Distiller, then go to Settings > Add Adobe PDF Settings.

PDF Type

If you are using InDesign to generate your PDF, ensure that you use the Print option, not the Interactive option. An Interactive PDF will contain RGB elements that we will convert to CMYK. This conversion may cause an unrequired colour shift.

Uploading Bitmap Files

Jpg and Tif files are supported. We recommend that these are flat composite files and that they are the same aspect ratio as the item being ordered.

The following bitmaps aren't supported:

  • PNG files
  • 1bpp TIFFs (index coloured included)
  • GIF files
  • Psd files


Step 2: Activate FileCheck

Receive a Newsfeed

If you have uploaded your PDF via your normal FTP log in then you will get a notification via Newsfeed once Flyerlink has received and accepted your PDF. If you have uploaded your PDF via the Files & Images in Step 1 then you won't receive this Newsfeed. If you have multiple jobs then it is worth uploading the PDFs at the same time.

Change the Job Status

Once you have received your Newsfeed and notification email you can change the status. A status is available in Flyerlink® called
Status 021 – Check Files, select this and press the Save changes button. If you have uploaded your PDF via the Files & Images in Step 1 and pressed FileCheck All then you don't need to change this status as the FileCheck All option does this for you.

The Job Status becomes locked

Once you have saved the status, the job will become locked so that you can’t make any changes to the Flyerlink® record whilst the PDF is being FileChecked.

The screen will refresh once the file has been FileChecked and the results have been delivered back into Workgroup > Jobs > View/Amend> Files for Production for you to view.

FileChecking Time

This depends on the size of the file, but most simple jobs will be FileChecked within a couple of minutes.

The maximum size PDF that we can FileCheck is 250MB. If you have a large document such as a Booklet that exceeds this, then you will need to change your Files for Production to be set to accept multiple pages, then split your PDF, rename, and upload as required.

Step 3: FileCheck Results

Passed or Failed?

When Flyerlink® has finished checking your PDF file, it will automatically change the status to be either 024, 026, 028 or 029, depending on what it has found. Flyerlink® will also send you a Newsfeed to alert you that the FileCheck has completed.

Status Description
024 Checked: Failed Your PDF has been checked and elements have been found that have caused it to fail.
026 Checked: Fixed Your PDF has been checked and elements have been corrected. There may also be Warnings present.
028 Checked: Warnings Your PDF has been checked and elements have been found that you need to be aware of.
024 Checked: Passed

Your PDF has been checked and it has passed with no errors or warnings.

Examine The Report

When your PDF has been processed, a new PDF and also a report will appear in the Files for Production in Flyerlink®. The report and PDF are located at Workgroup > Jobs > View/Amend> Files for Production > FileCheck Report

Once in the Graphic Files section, you can click on the View Report to see what has been identified as Failures, Warnings or Fixes within your PDF.

Report Heading Description
We found these errors but we couldn't fix them: If you have errors in this section then your supplied PDF has failed
You should be aware of these issues we found: If you have anything listed in this section then your PDF contains
elements that you need to be aware of and maybe contact the
client about.
We fixed these errors we
This means that your PDF contained errors that we have fixed.

If there are still outstanding issues with the file then you can download the corrected PDF from within the Files for Production, then go back and resolve them, upload a new PDF and FileCheck the new file again. If there are warnings, you can decide how you want to proceed depending upon the severity of the issue. If the PDFs passes with flying colours you can perform your final checks and put it to 081.

Failed Files

If a PDF fails FileCheck 2.0, then we deliver the failed PDF to your FTP portal and a message is displayed in the Files for Production.

To locate the failed PDF simply log into your FTP software, and browse to the Rejects folder. We also have a link in the Files for Production to the failed file for you to download, just click the Download Failed File button to retreive the failed PDF.

The failed PDF will have been through FileCheck and had corrections made to it, you'll need to rectify the issue causing the failure and resubmit the PDF. Alternately you may elect to use the failed PDF and risk the error.

The failed file may not have completed the whole FileCheck process, and thus the file delivered back may not be completely checked.

We keep failed files for 14 days.

See Also

Client Supplied PDFs under w3pedia article 2948. This guide provides instructions and advice for processing client supplied PDFs so that they are ready for the our production process. This document also explains how to edit images and artwork elements using Acrobat Professional.

Step 4: Check The PDF

Carefully Check The New PDF

Before setting the status to 081 you will need to download the PDF to perform your Final Validation and Verification as you would with any other jobs. The PDF is available to be downloaded from the Graphic Files:

To help with the Validation of the PDF, we advise that you use the Output Preview to check separations, ink levels and any overprint that may be present along with visually checking that nothing has disappeared or moved on your design.


Check the PDF Post FileCheck

ALWAYS download the PDF that is sent back from the FileCheck. Viewing the PDF before setting to 081 is still part of the Validation process. Failing to check the post Preflight PDF
could result in the file not printing as expected. If your PDF contains spot colours for extra finishing (Die Cuts, Spot UV, Embossing or Foiling) then use the Output Preview to ensure that the separations and overprint is present as expected.

Send to proof or production

Once you are happy that the new PDF that FileCheck has produced is correct, you can either send the new PDF for approval via Status 037 FileCheck results, Status 038 BulletProof or email. Alternately, if the PDF is already approved then set the job to Status 081to start the production process.

Compression Noise

Compression noise can appear when uploaded files contain very compressed Jpegs, with the noise marks being more noticable around text on light backgrounds. The compression noise can be exagerated if your uploaded file is set in RGB or triggers ink reduction. The No Compression Distiller options in our Distiller settings will help with this, but not eradicate it.

Compression noise example:

Product Specific Advice

Checking PDFs that have special production requirements


These products can be checked using the Flyerlink® FileCheck. As part of your Final Validation of the files you will need to place the checked PDF into an InDesign template to ensure that any quiet zones have been observed and that the artwork allows for page creep.

Folded Leaflets

These products can also be checked using the Flyerlink® FileCheck. As part of your Final Validation of the files you will need to place the checked PDF into an InDesign template to ensure that any quiet zones and panel widths have been observed and that the artwork is set in the correct orientation. If your design hasn’t been constructed in an InDesign TGI template, then we would suggest placing the PDF into the Template then Exporting out a new PDF to upload so that the important red border on the front page is present.

Products with extra finishing

These products (Die Cuts, Spot UV, Embossing, Foiling etc) are supported by Flyerlink® FileCheck. These products are generally
more complicated than the standard core range, and thus the post-FileCheck PDF should be downloaded and checked carefully to ensure that the special finishing spot colours have been left as specified.

PDFs using extra finishing spot colours

FileCheck supports most products that contain extra finishing spot colours. We have configured FileCheck to leave those spot colours as spot, and we also force overprint on strokes and fills using those colours. The spot colours are:


The graphic files for products containing these colours must still be set up following the advice outlined in w3pedia article Supplying Files to HubM (Designing for Production).

FileCheck does not for example:

  • Check stroke widths on die cuts
  • Check stroke types on die cuts
  • Correct bleed on Spot UV
  • Check number of ‘nodes’ on die cuts
  • Check imposition on die cuts
  • Check for tints or gradients of spot swatches used

Always use the Acrobat Output Preview to check that your extra spot separations are present and set to overprint as expected.



FileCheck Support

Help, it's not working as expected!

Should you have any unexpected results from the Flyerlink® FileCheck when checking your final PDF then please email sending your job number, the original PDF file, and a detailed description of the issue. A member of the team will then be in touch. If the job is time critical you may elect to process the PDF manually.

PDF Errors

Jobs that become locked in Flyerlink®

There are a small number of errors that may occur when using the software, resulting in your job becoming locked out in Flyerlink®. If your job becomes locked for more than 30 minutes please email the job number to and we will unlock the job for you.

If you are using the system outside of business hours, or your job is urgent then you will need to set up a new job and Validate the PDF manually. Still send us the email if you set up a new job so that we can investigate and unlock and cancel the old job.

Corrupt PDF or Corrupt Fonts Error

It could be that if the file couldn’t be processed, then it is likely to be that the PDF is corrupt, or the fonts embedded in the PDF are corrupt. To check if the PDF is corrupt then try opening the PDF in Photoshop. If that fails to open then there is an issue with the PDF. You can also Place the supplied PDF into an InDesign template, then create a new PDF that you can then upload to Flyerlink® to be checked.


If the PDF contains security that has been added in Acrobat, then the software may not able to check it. Most security can be removed by opening the file in Apple Preview, then going to File > Save As.
Then once resaved, upload the new PDF to Flyerlink®.

PDF resized incorrectly.

The resizing of files is by far the most complex area of the FileChecker. We’ve had some feedback that the cropping or scaling  doesn't always produce the required results, but this is only on certain PDFs, normally when the internal measurements are undersize but the actual page is oversize. We have implemented a solution to FileCheck 2.0 that works on over 99% of files sent through.

If you do receive a PDF from the FileCheck that isn't behaving as expected please email it to and we will take a look at it within the hour for you.

Known FileCheck 2.0 Issues

  • Items in the Quiet Zone. This sometimes warns about design elements that are bled to the page edge. We are planning to refine this.
  • We plan to add a conversion to change any 4 colour black vector graphics, or any items set in Registration to just be 100%K.
  • Custom Size Large Format Posters can be set to be FileChecked, but they return a 6x6mm PDF. Custom Size Large Format Posters need to be checked manually.


Excluded Products

The following products are unavailable to be processed by FileCheck V2.0:

  • Open Network products (pens, embroidery etc)
  • NCRs
  • Envelopes
  • Perfect Bound Booklets
  • Jewel Case Inserts
  • Evolution Pop Up Display Kits
  • Promo Outdoor Banners (with and without eyelets)
  • Canvas Products
  • Chief/Marquis/Viceroy Gazebos
  • Glimmer Parasol
  • Sound Covers
  • Kola Max Seating Cube
  • Kola Lite Storage Footstool
  • Las Vegas Bar Stool

Warnings & Correction List (Reviewing Your FileCheck Report)

Reviewing Your FileCheck Report

If your file fails FileCheck you can correct it manually:

If your job becomes locked during FileChecking, for more than 30 minutes please email the job number to and we will unlock the job for you.

Full list of exactly what FileCheck will check, correct and report on.


FileCheck Correction Action
Page Size Correction – If the page size is oversize then the PDF will be cropped, if the page is undersize then the PDF will be scaled up.
Remove printers items

Removes items outside of the page dimensions such as printers crop marks and colour bars.

Fonts Where permissions allow, all fonts will be converted to outlines. The only exception to this is if the fonts embedded are corrupt or not supplied within the PDF.
Colour of bitmap images Any non-CMYK images (LAB, RGB etc) will be converted to CMYK using a generic profile. Greyscale images are left untouched.
Colour of vector elements Any non-CMYK vector artwork (Pantone®, LAB, RGB etc) will be converted to CMYK.
Ink Levels Where possible, reduces any ink over our recommended total CMYK percentages to a more suitable level.
TGI Layers and elements Removes the Quiet Zone, Trim Lines and Folding Guides from any PDFs supplied with them visible (providing that the Spot Colours and names haven’t been changed from the TGI template).
Layers  Removes hidden layers in the PDF.
Registration Colour Any elements set in Registration or All will be converted to Black only
Finishing Colours Where an extra finishing spot colour is required, we will automatically set the spot colours to overprint.
Hairline stroke widths Any stroke widths that are less than 0.24pt are corrected to 0.25pt.
Large Format Images Resamples any images over 200dpi to be 150dpi.


FileCheck Warning Action
Image Resolution Warns if images are present that are less than 150dpi.
Image Resolution Warns if images are present that are less than 80dpi. Always check that your PDF is suitable for print if an image is lower than 80dpi.
Image Resoultion Warns if colour or greyscale images are above 450dpi. You may wish to resample any images above 450dpi to decrease file processing times.
Graphic element outside
page dimensions
Warns if there are elements outside of the page dimensions.
Items in Quiet Zone Warns of any elements within the 5.5mm recommended Quiet Zone or Safe Zone.
Overprint Warns of any overprint that is present in vector strokes or fills.

Transparency present
Warns that transparency or layer effects are present in the PDF and that the new post FileCheck PDF should be visually checked.
Artwork tint below 5% Warns of any strokes or fills that are below 5% per CMYK channel.
Text below 5pt Warns if there is any text present below 5pt.

Text below 12pt using tertiary colours

Warns of any text present that is below 12pt and using 3 or more of the CMYK printing channels.


FileCheck Failure Action
Number of pages Fails if the number of pages supplied in the PDF doesn’t match those set in Workgroup > Jobs > View/Amend> Files for Production.
PDF quality Fails if the PDF is corrupt.
Font Issue Fails if a font cannot be converted to outlines.
Font Issue Fails if certain TTF fonts contain more than one encoding in their character mapping tables.
Overprinting White Text Fails if there is white text set on Overprint.
Ink Levels Fails if the coated ink levels are too high and can’t be fixed by the ink reduction feature in FileCheck.

Visual Validation Check List

Check Manual Action
Elements too close to page edge Check and correct if required any elements that are closer than 5.5 from the page edge that don’t bleed to the page edge.
Overprint Use Acrobat Output Preview to check for overprint.
Extra Separations Use Acrobat Output Preview to check for any extra separations in addition to CMYK. Ensure that your extra finishing spot colours are set correctly.

Check to ensure that no elements have moved or disappeared.

Raster Images/Text

Check the pdf to ensure raster images and text do not look pixelated


FileCheck 2.0 improvements

Intelligent ink level reduction

We recently introduced an improvement to FileCheck to reduce the number of files failing due to high ink levels, especially on our uncoated stocks. Our update on 7th July 2016 lowered the number of failures by 68%, we are continuing work in this area.

More products supported

We're working on FileCheck 2.0 support for the following products:

  • Crystal Credit Cards
  • Scratch Cards
  • Desk Note Pads
  • Jewel Case Inserts

CMYK black and grey warnings

Use of four colour or CMYK black or grey can cause issues with your print, so we are working on a warning to alert you of elements in your artwork.

More flexibility on scaling

We are looking at how we can deal with files when an over size file is ordered on a smaller sized product - for example, when a client uploads a file at A5 size, but selects an A6 product.

Stop FileCheck

We are going to add a Stop FileCheck button to the Job screen in Flyerlink®. This will abort the FileCheck and set your job to status 014.

The PDF page boxes: CropBox, BleedBox & TrimBox

Your PDFs Internal Measurements

Your PDF contains a number of Internal Measurements used to set the page size.

To show these internal measurements go to Adobe Acrobat > Preferences > general > Show art, trim and bleed boxes.

Then select Set Page Boxes.

The TrimBox is the mesurement we use to impose your PDF. For a business card the demensions of this Page Box should be 88 x 58mm (on a client supplied PDF they may relate to the finished size 85 x 55mm - This is corrected during FileCheck).

The BleedBox is the area that sits outside of the Trim Box, it includes our 1.5mm bleed. For a business card the demensions of this Page Box would be 88 x 58mm (Matching the TrimBox) (on a client supplied PDF they may relate to a 3mm bleed so the measurement would be 91 x 61mm).

The CropBox is the area that sits outside of the Bleed Box, it includes any Crop Marks which are present on your PDF.

Fixing your Page Boxes ("incorrect page size")

You can set and fix your Page Boxes using Margin Controls.

If your PDF includes a 1.5mm bleed which is set by the document page size (rather than using InDesign's Document Bleed Settings) but shows your TrimBox as the Finished Size you can set the TrimBox to Zero to reset the page size (Finished Size + Bleed). You do this when you get the error message, 'Incorrect page size' during FileCheck.

If a PDF appears to be the correct page size but is scaled up during FileCheck this is usually because the PDFs' Bleed or Trim Box appears smaller than the expected page size (Finished Size + Bleed) visible on Workgroup > Jobs > View/Amend> Files for Production.



See also

File Supply Guide - How to supply your own artwork

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