Staff Handbook: Tasks : Posting an Issue of the Spectrum

Connect to SCP Drop | Print to Postscript | Convert to PDF | Upload to Scholar | Add a Link to the Spectrum Index

Connect to SCP Drop

"SCP Drop" is a shared folder that we and our contributors used to store files. Among other things, "SCP Drop" is where the publishers of the Spectrum leave the files that are used to create the PDF version of each new issue.

To connect to "SCP Drop", go to the apple menu and open the chooser. Highlight "Appleshare" in the upper left corner to indicate that you'll be connecting to a file server (as opposed to a printer, etc.). Then make sure the Zone "Library (LIBR)" is highlighted in the lower left corner. Then highlight the server named "SCP G4" in the upper right corner and click the "OK" button in the extreme lower right corner.

You should then see a dialog box asking you to enter a username and password. Ignore the username and password boxes, select the "Guest" radio button and click "OK" You will then see a list of drives that are available to the Guest account, which should only include "SCP Drop". Highlight "SCP Drop" by single-clicking on it. DO NOT click the checkbox to the left of the drive name, this will cause the drive to be loaded every time the machine starts up and is a pain to fix. Once you've highlighted "SCP Drop", click "OK" and an icon for the "SCP Drop" folder will appear on your desktop.

Open the "SCP Drop" icon by clicking on the icon. The folder you're looking for will be named something like "Spectrum August 25". In this folder there will be two or three files. Most are images used by the issue, the only one you need to work with is the one with the PageMaker icon [Pagemaker Icon] next to it, which may or may not have the same name as the folder. Click on this file and it will automatically open in Adobe PageMaker.

Printing to Postscript

While Pagemaker is opening the file, you'll see two warning messages. The first window that will come up is shown below.

[Screen Shot]

This window is just letting you know that PageMaker is substituting some of the fonts that aren't available on the local system. Click on OK and then window show below will appear.

[Screen Shot]

This is a warning about a few images for which there is no original on the local system. The thing is, even if you don't have the local image, there's a lower quality version stored inside the document that'll be perfectly acceptable for creating a screen-viewable PDF document, since the conversion process generally down-samples all images to screen quality anyway. In other words, just click on Ignore all when you see this message and the document will open normally.

Below is an example of a spectrum issue. The issues are usually about four pages. The next step is to get rid of all the non-printing content that's placed outside of the margins of the document. This non-printing content mostly consists of headings and images that are used occasionally, they don't show up in the paper version, so the people who publish the Spectrum don't care about them. The thing is, if they're left in, they screw up the PDF version, so we have to care.

Zoom out as far as you can, then use the arrow tool to highlight all of the content outside of the margins and press delete. Make sure that each page is checked for the non-printing junk. Some of them hide in the corners so look at the whole page.

[Screen Shot]

Now that the document has been prepared, all you're really doing at this point is a special kind of print, saving all of the instructions that would ordinarily go into creating a printed document to a file. For more information on creating a PDF file in general, check out the page on Creating a PDF File. In this case, there's a nice shortcut set up for you that's got all the right settings to create a decent PDF file. To access this shortcut, select:

File >
Printer Styles >

The Print Document window will come up, like in the diagram below. Click Save.
(The Style button in the example below is actually the Save button. When the screen shot of the window was taken it switched it to Style. When you encounter this window it will be Save.)

[Screen Shot]

Next a warning will come up like the one shown below, it's complaining about the missing fonts and images that we ignored when we opened the file. Click Print Pub to ignore the missing images and fonts and create the Postscript file.

[Screen Shot]

Save the document and then quit PageMaker. You now have a Postscript file, ready to be converted to a PDF file.

Convert to PDF

To convert the Postscript printer instructions to PDF format, you'll need to use Acrobat Distiller. You'll find Acrobat Distiller in the Apple Menu under Apps. Below is the window that will come up when you open the Distiller.

[Screen Shot]

Next, go to File > Open. Click "Desktop" to jump to the desktop, open the SCP drop folder and find the folder that you were originally working with. Inside the folder will be the Postscript file that was created when you used PageMaker. Usually, the name of the file will be the same as the original except that the extension is .ps and the icon is [Screen Shot].

You will then be asked where you want to save the PDF file and what you want to name it. It's most convenient to save it to the same location as the original Pagemaker file. Name the PDF file sp(Year-MonthDay.pdf) with no spaces. (ex. sp2000-0711.pdf). Click on Save and the Distiller will automatically start. Let it run all the way through.

Note: Make sure that there is not an Error message at the end of the job. If the message at the end tells you that the Job could not be completed then you must run the Distiller again.

Now you have your PDF file. This might be a good time to open the new PDF file using Acrobat to make sure everything converted the way it should.

Uploading the PDF File

Now that you've got a PDF version of the new issue, the next step is actually uploading it to the web site. To do this you will use Fetch, which is also in the Apps folder under the Apple menu. Below is what the window looks like.

[Screen Shot]

Once you've connected to the server, navigate your way through the file system until you reach the directory scp_1 > web_root > vtpubs > spectrum > 2000. This is where you'll upload the PDF document you've created. Do this by clicking the "Put File" button, selecting the PDF file you created, then clicking "Ok". Once the file has been transferred, go ahead and quit Fetch.

Add a Link to the Spectrum Index

The next stage is adding a link to the new file to the list of issues available for the Spectrum, which can be found at To do this, start by opening BBEdit. Select "Open from FTP Server" under the "File" menu. Navigate your way thourgh the file system until you reach scp_1 > web_root > vtpubs > spectrum.

Open the file index.html and create a new link in for the spectrum. (The easiest way to do this is by copying a previous link and changing the volume number and date and the reference path.) Below is an example of a link in the spectrum index.html page with the three parts in blue that you'll need to change.

<li> <a href="/vtpubs/spectrum/2000/sp2000-0707.pdf">

Volume 22 Number 36 Friday, July 7, 2000<img src="/images/acrobat.gif" border=0></a></li>