Preparing templates for Liftoff

❗️

Important!

Please read and follow the steps outlined in this article carefully and completely. In addition, please refer to Creating User Input Fields on Liftoff before attempting to install a template on your site.

Getting started

This article makes several assumptions about the reader and process. Please ensure the following statements are true before continuing with this article:

  • You are already familiar with developing templates in Pageflex Studio
  • Your template is at least version 7.0.X or higher
  • You know your template is functioning properly using Studio's built in testing features

If you are unsure of any of these items, you should refer to the documentation in our Pageflex Studio article.

Project organization

Please note the following considerations for project organization:

  • Each template should be compartmentalized into its own Pageflex project, separate from any other templates. If you have a product named "TEST BC", your project should be named identically to that product.
  • You have placed all of your template's fonts into the fonts folder of your project. Launchpad will not install fonts on the server for your use. All fonts must be present in your project.
  • All images and collateral are properly linked and included in your project.
  • The project folder must contain a single ".pf" file, a single ".tsl" file, and an ".xdt" file for each proof / output template available for the job.
  • The folder must also contain the ".xml" file that Liftoff uses for rendering user input fields on-screen. For details on that, please see Creating User Input Fields on Liftoff.

The image below illustrates a properly-established project folder:

Ensuring variable compatibility

While Pageflex has many variable types available, only one type of variable is sufficient for passing data from Liftoff into a template. If you're creating a variable and expect a user to input that variable on Liftoff, the variable must be of type Plain Text with a source of Constant. You may use other variable types available in Pageflex against this variable, such as rules and scripts, to perform follow-up actions during rendering.

The image above illustrates the proper way to set up variables for user input.The image above illustrates the proper way to set up variables for user input.

The image above illustrates the proper way to set up variables for user input.

Output template vs proofing template

Your Pageflex project for a given product should have two templates (XDT files) implemented:

  • A template meant for low resolution rendering; and
  • A template meant for print-quality rendering and vendor output.

What is the difference?

In many cases, print output has different requirements. These requirements may include bleeds or crop marks or, in some cases, color separations on multiple pages. If you wish to give your customer a "clean" version of the template without print marks and other artifacts, it is recommended that you create a lower-resolution template for this purpose.

Naming the template files

Ideally, you would name the low-resolution template after the product SKU you're designing. The high-resolution output version of this template should be suffixed with _out.

The image above is a representation of properly-named template files.The image above is a representation of properly-named template files.

The image above is a representation of properly-named template files.

Establishing output jobs

Output jobs in Pageflex are the driving force behind what the user sees on screen as well as the files vendors receive for print and fulfillment purposes.

Each template you set up MUST have the following jobs set up, otherwise proofing will fail:

  • jpg_preview - This job creates JPG output and is the proof visible to the user during proofing.
  • pdf_comp - This generates a low-res PDF for online rendering purposes.
  • pdf_out - This is the hi-res output file(s) sent to vendors upon completion of the order.
When set up, your jobs tab should look identical to the image above.When set up, your jobs tab should look identical to the image above.

When set up, your jobs tab should look identical to the image above.

Please read the text below to understand how to properly establish each of the previously-mentioned jobs. It is critical that you follow these directions, or you risk failure when attempting to render jobs.

Job: jpg_preview

To create a jpg_preview job, perform the following steps:

  1. Click the alt textalt text button in your Jobs tab.
  2. Type jpg_preview in the Job Name field. Case is important!
  3. Choose your proofing template in the Template drop-down list.
  4. Choose Bitmap as the format. Your screen should look like this one:
  1. Click Properties... to continue.
  2. Change Bitmap Format to JPEG (*.jpg).
  3. Change Quality / Compression to Better Quality.
  4. Set Output Resolution to 96. 72 is also acceptable.
  5. Leave Size as is. You may refer to the image below for additional details.
  6. Click OK on the Bitmap Properties window.
  7. Click OK on the Job Setup window.
Example of a properly established JPG setup.Example of a properly established JPG setup.

Example of a properly established JPG setup.

Job: pdf_comp

To create a pdf_comp job, perform the following steps:

  1. Click the alt textalt text button in your Jobs tab.
  2. Type pdf_comp in the Job Name field. Case is important!
  3. Choose your proofing template in the Template drop down list.
  4. Choose Portable Document Format (PDF) as the format. Your screen should look like this one:
  1. Click Properties... to continue.
  2. Set each of your tabs up on this screen similar to the one below:
  1. Click OK on the Bitmap Properties window.
  2. Click OK on the Job Setup window.

Job: pdf_out

Creating the pdf_out job is identical to the steps above, with the exception of the following items:

  • The Job Name should be pdf_out.
  • The template you select should be your "_out.xdt" template.
  • Compression / Quality settings in your properties menu should be set to optimal quality.
Properly configured "pdf_out" job.Properly configured "pdf_out" job.

Properly configured "pdf_out" job.

❗️

Before you move on!

Each project file MUST have an xml descriptor file in place before Liftoff will accept your template!