Preflight for Print
FlightCheck, now at version 7, has added InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, and Photoshop CC support. Along with CC support, like Adobe, Markzware has added a subscription model. A one-year subscription costs $199 and a three-month subscription costs $59. For those who don't like subscription software, a perpetual license is still available for $399; however, unless you're staying with a perpetual license of CS6 or sticking with QuarkXPress 9.5 (or older versions), the subscription model could make more sense. Adobe or Quark could easily change file formats with newer versions and the subscription model will include any future upgrades. Any format changes within two years would make Markzware's subscription model a better deal.
FlightCheck's preflight is better than what's offered in InDesign or Acrobat because it covers more options. That itself may not be enough to warrant the purchase of FlightCheck. What gives FlightCheck the edge is the ability to preflight multiple formats, including PDFs, QuarkXPress files, Illustrator files, and Photoshop files. In fact, FlightCheck can preflight multiple files at one time—even from different programs. While subscription versions of Illustrator CS6 and CC include a Package function, there's no preflight function included. Also, Photoshop files can be collected for fonts.
Unfortunately, FlightCheck is still only available for Macintosh. The Ground Control panel could be designed larger—it's hard to read on a high-resolution laptop. Also, the Ground Control checkboxes could be in color; the difference between a Warning and an Error is a little too subtle for my tastes. (It's better in the Results and Overview windows.) FlightCheck still supports other programs, including FrameMaker, Microsoft Office programs, and CorelDRAW, but the versions supported haven't been updated for many years. In my opinion, those versions should either be updated to current versions or removed from FlightCheck. A final minor peeve is that the PDF manual is a simple dump of the HTML manual. Why not use a program that can output a properly formatted PDF and HTML?
Price: $399 (Subscription: $199/year)
Hot:Â Updated for Creative Cloud
Not: Only for Mac; not updated for other programs