Viewing preflight results, objects, and resources (Acrobat Pro)

About preflight results

You can view the results of a preflight inspection as a list, as comments, or individually in the Preflight dialog box. In the Results list, mismatches appear according to their severity, with all errors first, followed by warnings, and then just information. An alert icon appears next to each check that did not meet the criteria specified in the preflight profile.

Preflight dialog box with problem objects
Preflight dialog box with problem objects

The icons at the top of the Preflight dialog box indicate that at least one issue of a particular severity has been found: the red error icon , the yellow warning icon , and the blue Info icon  for information only (with no errors or warnings). The green check mark  means that no problems were found.

View results in a list

The Preflight dialog box lists the issues flagged after an inspection that tests against the criteria specified in the selected profile.

  1. Run a preflight inspection.
  2. When the results appear, do any of the following:
    • If details are available, expand an area to see details about the problem object. Your Preflight preferences determine how many results, if any, are listed.

    • To see an object in a separate view, select Show In Snap.

    • To embed an audit trail, click Embed Audit Trail. You can embed an audit trail only if you used a profile to run the preflight inspection.

    • If you switched to a different view in the Preflight dialog box, click Results to get back to the Results list.

    • To see an object in context on the PDF page, double-click the item. The object is highlighted with a dotted line for easier identification. This option is useful when an object such as a font exists in multiple places in the document. In some cases, the item is an attribute of an object (for example, a color space). In those cases, the inspection finds the objects that use the attribute.


    You can change the type of line, its thickness, and its color on the Highlighting tab of Preflight preferences.

    Problem object on the PDF page
    Problem object on the PDF page

Use Snap View to view a problem object

Use Snap View to isolate an item when you’re working with pages containing complex, overlapping areas. Some items, such as document information fields or page labels, cannot be displayed.

  1. Expand a results category to display the problem objects found during the inspection.
  2. Select a problem object in the list.
  3. Click Show In Snap.
  4. In the Preflight Snap View window, choose an option from the Background Color menu. All problem objects are displayed on this color in Snap View.

    You can click the arrow buttons to navigate through all of the results in this view. If the results panel is active, you can also use the arrow keys on the keyboard.

    Snap view of problem object
    Snap view of problem object

View resources and general information

The Overview section of the Preflight dialog box lists all types of properties and resources for the document. It lists the color spaces, fonts, patterns, halftone settings, graphic states, and images used in the document. It also lists general information about the analyzed document. This information includes the application used to create it, the date it was created, and the date it was last modified.

  1. In the Results panel of the Preflight dialog box, expand the Overview and Preflight Information sections to view details.
  2. In the Overview section, expand a property to list the resources.

View results as comments

You can embed preflight results as comments in the PDF and then view them as you would any PDF comments. For example, you can choose Tools > Comment > Comments List in the right pane to list each comment (or filtered comment) in a list.

Insert and view preflight comments

  1. In the Results panel of the Preflight dialog box, choose Insert Results As Comments from the Options menu.

  2. If prompted, click Embed if you want to embed comments, regardless of how many exist.
  3. In the PDF, hold the pointer over a comment or click the sticky note for each comment to view its contents.
    Sample PDF report with a sticky note
    Sample PDF report with a sticky note

Remove preflight comments

  1. In Preflight dialog box, choose Remove Preflight Comments from the Options menu.

Embed an audit trail

When you embed an audit trail, a digital signature is added as well as the audit trail information. The audit trail information lists the profile used and the application that created it. It also specifies whether the preflight inspection succeeded.

  1. Run a preflight inspection using a full profile.
  2. When the results appear, click Embed Audit Trail.
  3. If an informational dialog box appears, click OK.
  4. Save the file and close the Preflight dialog box.
  5. To view basic Audit Trail information, click the Standards icon  in the navigation pane on the left. In the Standards panel, do any of the following, as needed:
    • To verify that the profile used on the document is the same as the profile on your local system, clickCheck Profile Fingerprint. For example, if you asked a customer to use a specific profile, you can use this check to confirm it was used.

    • To remove the audit trail, click Remove Preflight Audit Trail and save the file.

  6. To view additional Audit Trail information, choose File > Properties, and click Additional Metadata in the Description tab. Then in the dialog box, click Advanced. In the list, expand In addition to the basic preflight information, this list includes an overview of results, and the date and time the profile was executed.

You can overwrite an existing audit trail by embedding a new audit trail.

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