This page is a history of the changes that have been made to PrePress AutoTools
since version 1.1 was released on May 11, 1998.
This version includes many, many bug fixes, and a number of new features.
The most important change in this version is the improved stability and compatibility.
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- Balloon Help!
Balloon help was added to the main Tasks window, and to the Print Setup window.
- PreFab Player: RAM
PreFab Player's RAM allocation has been increased, to prevent the
"Out of Memory" errors that some users reported.
- Alias Processing
AutoTools now handles and processes aliases exactly like it does all other files.
Previously, aliases were filtered out of the batch processing queue.
- Problems with Fronteir 5.0.1
A change in Frontier 5.0.2's compiler had made AutoTools incompatible with
Frontier 5.0.1. Fixed!
- "Invalid Item Specification"
An error could be generated, simply by opening the Preferences or Print Setup windows
in AutoTools. This was caused by conflicting extensions: any system that contains
both the "FaceSpan Extension" and the "FaceSpan Extension 2.1"
should remove the file "FaceSpan Extension 2.1" from the Extensions folder.
Please note: the AutoTools installer will remove the conflicting extension, and it is very
important that you run the installer with all extensions off.
- Popup-Menu Selections and Preferences
The method used to select popup menus, during batch printing, has been dramatically
improved. The result is MUCH faster and more dependable printing.
Also, a new preference was added (available in the General Preferences panel of the
Preferences window), to fine-tune the speed of menu selection for your specific
- Printing Errors
AutoTools now does a better job of handling Quark's printing error messages, such as
"Images have been modified." and "Images may contains binary data.".
- Watched Folder bug fixes
All known bugs, in AutoTools' "Watched Folder" windows and functions, have
been completely eliminated.
Turning off all of the tasks, in the Watched Folder window, automatically deactivates the
All errors that occurred when generating a report, at the end of a batch - processing
cycle, have been eliminated. Fixed!
Also, the user is no longe required to enter his/her initials for the report.
Finally, if a Quark document fails to print for some reason, an error message is placed in
the report, easing diagnostics.
More activities in AutoTools are now logged, either to a Frontier outline, or to a text file.
Also, it is now virtually impossible for "logging" to generate an error. Finally, if
logging is deactivated, then log messages are sent to Frontier's message window.
- Batch Printing Errors
All known bugs in the Printing task have been eliminated, including those related to:
scaling, page orientation, and font inclusion in PostScript files. Fixed!
- Appearance Manager - Not Required
Apple's Appearance Manager extensions are no longer required at all.
- Paper Width (Optional Feature)
The Print Setup window in AutoTools now allows you to specify an additional value for
Paper Width. That is, the value you enter is automatically added to the width of the
document, and that new value is entered as the Paper Width in Quark's page setup window.
- Saving QuarkXPress documents
If the only batch processing task being run is Printing, then Quark documents are not
saved when they are done being processed.
- Non-QuarkXPress files
QuarkXPress is no longer instructed to open non-QuarkXPress files, ever.
- Launcher - Removed
AutoTools no longer includes the AutoTools Launcher. The only purpose of this applet
was to launch Frontier before AutoTools, but it tended to generate questions and
confusion more often than it would prevent them.
- Images Task
When the Images task is running, AutoTools now takes a few extra steps to try to update
all of the images in the QuarkXPress documents (if necessary).
Suppressed images are now ignored, when AutoTools checks the document for
missing images (in order to determine if the document is fit to print). Fixed!
- Progress Window
A progress bar is now available, with a standard progress bar, to show how far the
batch processing has progressed. The Cancel button in this window kills the current
batch process immediately.
- PS Printer 8.2.1
Support for Adobe's PS Printer 8.2.1 was improved, with a new driver (internal
Check out all the new features that were added in AutoTools 1.1 !
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- Watched Folder support (hot folders)
Any QuarkXPress files (or aliases) which are dropped into a user-specified folder will
automatically be run with the tasks specified for that 'watched folder'. The first version
will only allow ONE watched folder, but eventually multiple folders will be supported.
- Filter Manager
A new panel in the preferences window makes it easy to add, remove,
enable and disable the filter scripts in AutoTools.
- New Installer
The installer has been completely rewritten,
it now has the familiar "look and feel" of many other standard
- Quark 4 Compatible
Everything that can be done with AutoTools and QuarkXPress 3 can
now be done with Quark 4. Everything!
- Paper Size
AutoTools now allows you to preset the paper size, for batch printing
- Persistent Print Setup
The Print Setup window now opens preset with the settings from
the last printing. In effect, this makes the Print Setup window its own
- Support Renamed Printer Drivers
Previous versions of PrePress AutoTools did not work correctly if
you renamed your printer driver (e.g. renaming your LaserWriter extension
LW 8.4.3). This has now been fixed, you can name your drivers anything!
- New Printer Drivers
Here's the complete list of the supported drivers:
LaserWriter 8 versions:
- 8.5.1 -- most recent version
Adobe PS Printer versions 8.2.1 and 8.3.1
- New Fitler Support: Print Filters
Support for a fourth filter script, which acts on the PostScript file after it has been
written to disk. This makes it easy to do custom file naming (renaming),
or to send the PostScript file to Acrobat Distiller for making a PDF file, or anything else
that you do with a PostScript file after it's been created.
- Persistent Print Setup
The Print Setup window will always open up with the settings from the most recent
print job. Time Saver!