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Solution TitleHow to setup Smart Preflight in the Switch PitStop Server configurator and PitStop Server standalone?
Solution Number00000634
Solution Details
Background
Creating Action Lists and Preflight Profiles with variables for use in Switch and PitStop Server can be complex. This step-by-step guide will show how you can do this and avoid the most common pitfalls.
 

Solution

1 Preparing the Preflight Profile or Action List in PitStop Pro
It is preferred to first create the Preflight Profile or Action List in PitStop Pro for testing. This way you will have an immediate result when you run some tests and you can make quick and easy fixes to the settings, when necessary. It is also the only place where you can create Action Lists.

  1. Open the PitStop Pro preferences on the Variable Set category.
  2. Right click on the Local Category and create a new Variable Set.
  3. Give the set a name, and optionally, add a description.
  4. Add a new variable and give it a name and a user readable name.
  5. The first name is best kept just short enough to be descriptive for the designer of the Smart Preflight; the user readable name can be used to be readable for everyone.
  6. In the first drop-down, next to 'type,' sets the source type:
    • Constant: Use this for all variables you want to be constant and all variables you want to receive from an external source. We will link to the external source later in the process
    • Rule Based: Use this for all variables you want to calculate on other variables
  7. The next drop-down list, next to 'type,' sets the data type. 
    • Number: Use this for all numbers who are not lengths (nr of pages, nr of separations, ...)
    • Length: Use this for all numbers who are length units (trim box height, trim box width, ...)
    • Text: Use this for all text variables (slug line to be added, ...)
    • Boolean: Use this for all functions that need to be enabled or disabled
  8. Give the Constant variables a value. This will be a default value for all variables which will get their values from an external source in a later step.
  9. Setup the rules for the rule-based values. Do this for all variables you want to create.
  10. Test the rule-based values in the Variable Set tester, which you can open with the magnifying glass icon.
  11. Click "OK" when you have setup all variables.
  12. Select the Variable Set you just created and click the "Apply" button to make it active in PitStop Pro.
  13. Close the PitStop Pro preferences.
  14. Next, create a new Preflight Profile or Action List.
  15. Add a preflight check to your Preflight Profile or an action to your Action List.
  16. Click on the Action menu and choose 'Enable Variable Names' for all steps you want to make variable.
  17. Link to a variable from your variable set by clicking on the "[ ]" symbol, next to the setting.
  18. You can now choose the variable you want to use from the presented list
  19. Repeat this for all steps you want to assign to a variable.
  20. Test the Action List or Preflight Profile on some test files before using in production.
TIP: Use different values for the Constant variables that will be defined by an external location in the finished project, as that makes it easier to fix errors at this stage.

2a Adjusting the Variable Set for use in PitStop Server


In this stage, we will adjust the Variable Set so it uses values from a job ticket in PitStop Server.

  1. Open PitStop Server.
  2. Open the Variable Sets Panel (menu Window/Variable Sets...).
  3. Right click your Variable Set and choose Edit.
  4. Change the source type of the Variable to Job Ticket by following these steps:
    • Click the browse button
    • Click the new browse button and browse to a sample XML-based job ticket
    • Select the XML node where the variable is used in the job ticket to create an XPath expression to the right value
    • Click "OK"
    • (Optionally, do some text manipulations to get a better result)
    • Repeat this for all variables you want to use
  5. Make a new hot folder.
    • Setup the Preflight Profile or Action List you prepared
    • Setup the Variable Set and the Job Ticket file matching in the Smart Preflight category
    • Finish the other hot folder settings
  6. Run some tests to make sure everything works as expected before using in production.

2b Adjusting the Variable Set for use in the Switch PitStop Server Configurator


In this stage, we will adjust the Variable Set so it uses values from a job ticket in the Switch PitStop Server configurator.

  1. Open Switch.
  2. Add a new flow with a PitStop Server Configurator.
  3. Setup the Preflight Profile or Action List you want to use.
  4. Setup a Variable Set. (Don't close the "Select Variable Set Panel" yet!)
  5. Right click the Variable Set you want to use and choose Edit.
  6. Change the source type of the Variable to 'Text with Variables' or 'Script Expression.'
  7. Choose the Switch variable (Database variable, XML/XMP Metadata, ...) or Script Expression you want to map to the Variable.
  8. Click "OK" to close the "Select Variable Set" panel.
  9. Finish setting up the flow and run some tests to make sure everything works as expected.
 
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