April 16, 2007 / InDesign / Spring 2007

Perks of PDF submission

Written by Idea File Staff

One day, page submission via shipment will be as obsolete as page paste-up. While transitions to new methods can be scary, the switch to online PDF submission should not be. PDFs offer advantages, such as complete control over yearbook pages, no missing links and no shipping. Two yearbook advisers found other perks.

Dawn Hogue, from Sheboygan Falls High School in Sheboygan Falls, Wis., and Joni Bartell, from Curwensville High School in Curwensville, Pa., are in their second year of using Walsworth’s PDF Performance program with online submission via Yearbook Connect. They both looked forward to trying it.

Hogue prefers the flexibility of submission using PDFs and Yearbook Connect.

“What I really like is the way I can submit smaller batches whenever I want and not have to worry about delivery charges. Smaller batches also let me control the number of pages in proofs, which is good because I tend to get bogged down with those when I least need to be,” Hogue said.

Bartell likes seeing the pages exactly as they will print.

“It allows us to make changes and adjustments before we send them in so the proof corrections are limited. It also lets us see if new ideas really do look good,” Bartell said. “I think it helped improve the advertising section because sometimes the artwork supplied by the local businesses is not very good. I would take it into Photoshop and do some repair work but was never sure how it would look until the proofs came back. This allows me to make other changes to it if necessary before submitting.”

Some advisers allow students to use Yearbook Connect, but both Hogue and Bartell submit the pages themselves. Hogue submits at any time and likes not being tied to Fedex’s pick-up schedule. Bartell tries to do the submissions on the weekends or after school hours so the school internet connections are not slowed by students.

Some advisers may be concerned about making PDFs and trying online submission. Hogue said she has always liked the technology aspect of yearbook, so Yearbook Connect was a natural fit for her. Bartell felt some slight trepidation.

“I was excited because it was going to save us money but I was a little nervous because sometimes computers have a tendency to do strange things,” Bartell said.

Neither adviser said they experienced difficulties with technical aspects of making PDFs.

“I don’t recall having any problems beyond forgetting how to do some of the steps between deadlines. We just followed our step-by-step directions and usually figured it out,” Bartell said.

Hogue said, “One problem I had last year was keeping track of which pages we submitted. I thought I had sent four pages and found out that we never did. So, I’ve had to come up with a better recordkeeping method. So far it’s working better.”

Yearbook is a club at both of these schools. Hogue has about 15 staff members who produce a 165-page, size 9 book. Bartlett’s 20 staff members create a 160-page, size 8 book.

Both advisers recommend PDF Performance.

“It’s easy! It’s fun! It gives you instant feedback on your layouts – what you see is what you get,” Bartell said.

Idea File Staff

Idea File Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.