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Finding errors in approved text copy

by Reuben Malz


When you are working on your text file , you are confident that as you make changes, every page before, doesn’t change. That’s true if you are writing on paper. You are guaranteed no words will fall off the page.

But this is not so true if you are using a computer. If you were to create your text using a modern day word processor, and print it using your inkjet printer, you assume that what you see on your computer screen, will appear 100% exactly the same on paper through your inkjet printer. (WYSIWYG).

“How did the text copy that I wrote,
change in the printer’s proof?”

I would only give you 99% odds of that. Now go to a few friends houses and try printing your text file using their inkjet or laser or dot matrix printers.

First. It probably will not print on the dot matrix printer. Secondly, I would give you only 95% odds that all printouts from these printers are exactly the same.

Now lets make things even more difficult. I take this text, and give it to my Graphic Artist to include in an artwork file being developed on a Macintosh computer using a design tool called Adobe Illustrator.

(I forgot to mention that my original text was written using MS Word on a PC computer.)

When the Graphic Artist finishes typesetting my approved text into his artwork file, I print it out on my friends 5 year old laser printer. I am surprised to see that the text copy that I wrote had unexpected changes in the printout!

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I will need to proofread the new artwork file from my Graphic Artist very carefully! (or should the Graphic Artist check it?)

Therefore, the reasons I cannot assume text will not change include:

1. Word Processor software versions are different on each computer.

2. Word Processors are from different companies.

3. Fonts are different on each computer.

4. Printer drivers vary on most printers.

5. Printers are of different models and brands.

6. Graphic Artists use different software, versions and computers.

7. Electronic to hardcopy printout is a major leap.

8. Electronic to hardcopy printout is a conversion.


Misconception #3 -The Approved Text Copy, is part three in a five part series about the misconceptions in packaging quality control. Visit our blog next week for Misconception #4 – The Barcode.


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