‘If you could only have one Acrobat plug-in, which one would you choose?’ I get this question in just about every PDF-related seminar that I present. It reminds me of my seven-year-old son’s frequent query, ‘Who do you like better, me or my sister?’ and I respond in much the same way to both questions: there are no favorites here! While that’s strictly true when it comes to my kids, I have to admit that I consider Enfocus PitStop Professional the absolute must-have tool for anyone working with PDF files in a graphic production environment.
The fact is that, outside of Acrobat proper, PitStop Professional is very likely the single most widely-used tool for PDF preflight and repair — being sold both off-the-shelf and bundled with most major prepress workflow solutions on the market. While Adobe continues to chip away at the value of many third-party Acrobat plug-ins by including their functionality as a core component of the base application (PitStop Pro included) Enfocus has always managed to up their value ante with each new version and 7 is no exception. PitStop Professional is not an inexpensive solution, at $599 for a full version ($199 for the upgrade from version 6 and $299 from older versions) it costs more than a base copy of Acrobat Professional 7, so should be expected to add a whole lot of value to it — and it does.
That said, many of the prepress and design pros that I talk to use PitStop Professional for a few specific purposes and barely scratch the surface of the product’s full capabilities. One reason for this could be that the interface had never been terribly intuitive and hadn’t changed much as the product evolved. That is, until now. One of the most obvious changes to PitStop Professional 7 is in the interface and the result is that it will be much easier to use going forward.