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Direct2Time Print Ad Specifications Online Digital Ad Specifications Digital Magazine Ad Specifications
Ad Portal

Ad portal guide

Section 1. Registration

Before you use the Ad portal you need to register with the system. This is to gather your user name, password and contact information. To register simply go to and click on the ”Click Here” link under the text ”First Time User”? Once you click it you will see the registration screen.

Click here to begin

AP2 Registration

Once you have filled out all the information click the ”I accept, create my account” button at the bottom.

After you click the button you will automatically be logged in.


Section 2. Sending an Ad

Once logged in you will see a welcome message that gives you a couple options to start with. To send an ad click the button next to ”Send an Ad”. If you want to never see this message again you can click the ”Don't show this again” check box at the bottom.

You will now fill out a Job ticket to give us some information about the ad. Please be accurate to avoid Miscommunication.

1. Select the publication that the ad is running in. If it is going to run in multiple titles you can assign it to more titles once it has been uploaded and approved the first time please see the section 6 for pickups.

2. Fill out the ad information. You have two options CMYK or Spot + CMYK. Use only if you intend to have PMS colors in your ad.

You can also choose multiple issue dates. Simply select the first one from the Issues pull down. Then select another issue date from the Issues pull down.

3. Verify that the contact information is correct. By default the information will be what you used when you registered with the system.

To change the contact click the ”Change Contact” button. You will then be presented with a pull down menu. This list will be everyone who has registered from your company. If you don't see the correct persons name. Choose ”Add New Contact” you can then fill in a name, e-mail and phone number. Click the ”confirm this contact information”check box to continue.

4. In the Additional Instructions box you can type in any additional information that the magazine might need. Once you are satisfied with all the information Click the ”Choose Ad” button.

5. Click the ”Browse For File” button. Once your file is selected click the ”Upload” button.

Once the upload is complete. You will continue to the next section of reading preflight report, positioning and approving your ad to finalize.

Upload speeds will vary based on file size and Internet connection speed. Large file sizes and/or slow Internet connections will result in several minutes to upload.


Section 3. Viewing an Ad and Preflight Report

Once the file is uploaded it will automatically start to preflight to the Specifications. Once the ad is finished processing you will see a preview of it and on the right hand side the preflight report with some suggested action buttons.

There are three conditions that the ad may have. Depending on these conditions there will be different suggested action buttons available.

1. ”This Ad has Serious Errors” This means that the file did not pass preflight. If this happens you cannot continue. You must go back to your document and fix the error. Once that is done then you can click the ”Revise Ad Button” and upload the new file.

Note, when reviewing the error if you place your cursor over the text of the error(A in the image below), the object in the preview will highlight(B in the image below).

2. ”This Ad Must be Repositioned” This means that the file has passed the preflight but the trim size of the PDF does not match the specification. You must reposition it before continuing. Simply click the Reposition button. Please refer to section 4 repositioning an ad.

3. ”This Ad Has Warnings” This indicates that the file has warnings in the preflight report and may be positioned correctly. Please review the warning on the right hand side. Also, make sure you verify that the preview is accurate. Both in positioning and content. If you need to re-position the ad click the ”Reposition” button under Available Actions.

4. If you are satisfied, you can click the ”Approve Ad” button. Once you have approved the ad the magazine will be notified that they have received an ad and the contact in the job ticket will get an e-mail notification.

TIP: You do not need to approve the ad at that time. You can wait to do it later if you want. Simply press the ”Back” button. This will take you to the manage ads view (see section 5).


Section 4. Repositioning an Ad

Once you see the preview of your ad after processing you may see that it is not positioned correctly. This could be due to the fact that the trim does not match the specification that you chose or it just needs some minor adjustments for example to move the ad so some type is in the live area.

To Reposition, please click the ”Reposition” button, the trim tool will now load.

A new screen will appear with tools and you will see your ad with colored boxes around it. The red box is the safety of the ad. The green represents trim and Blue is the bleed.

Use only the ”SELECTION” Tool, you can now drag the image of your ad around until it centers within the boxes properly.

To help you get more accurate you can use the magnify glass or the zoom pull down to zoom in to a particular area of the add. Then you can use the arrow keys on the keyboard to ”Nudge” the ad into place.

Also, you can turn on centerlines if you wish they are located in lower right hand corner of the screen.

Once you are satisfied with how the image is positioned. Please click the ”Trim and Save” button in the upper left corner. This will save your positioning and it will re-preflight the file.

Once you are back in the view screen and you are happy with the content and position click ”APPROVE AD”. Reminder this must be done or the magazine will not be notified that the ad is ready. At the end of this, you have successfully completed sending your ad to Ad Portal. The steps below are extra features which we encourage you to explore.

Section 5. Manage Ads

At any time you can see what ads have been uploaded and what stage they are in.

To manage ads simply log into your Direct2Time account by going to with your user name and password. Or if you are already logged in and viewing an ad click the ”Back” button (see Section 3).

On the left hand side of the screen you will see some available options.

Dashboard- This will take you to a screen that will show you some options of things you can do like send an ad or a revise.

Send My Ad- This will start the sending process of a new ad

Pickup an Ad- this will allow you to send an ad that is already complete to another publication. (See section 6)

Ads- This will allow you to browse all of your ads that you have uploaded.

Ad sizes- This is a list of available ad specs. For the titles.

Users/Groups/Company Profile- These are advanced features if you want someone in your organization to modify access right to people in your organization.

To see all your ads simply click the Ads option under Manage. You will be brought to a Thumbnail view of every ad that you have uploaded. If you want to see a list view click the List view button.

In both views you can see information about the ads. If you click on any ad it will open it so you can view it. In the list view you can sort any of the columns by clicking the column header.

By default you are going see every ad for every publication. If you want, you can filter the list by publications by selecting the all publications pull down. Further more you can filter even more by selecting the ”All Issues” pull down. So for example if you only want to see ads that were uploaded for the 2/9/09 issue of Sports Illustrated. You would first change the publication in the publications pull down to Sports Illustrated and then change the ”All Issues” pull down to the Issue date. The list of ads will only be displayed that are for that issue.

Also every ad has a ”Stage” assigned to it. This refers to where it is in the process.

- This indicates that everything is done and the publication has been notified.

-This indicates there is a problem with the ad. Either because it failed preflight or the ad needs to be re-positioned. Click on the ad to view the preflight report.

- This indicates that the file has not been approved yet. The publication HAS NOT been notified until the ad is approved. Further action is required for these ads. Click on the ad to view the preflight report and re-reposition the ad if necessary. Once you are satisfied with the positioning and the preflight warnings click the ”APPROVE AD BUTTON”.

Section 6. Pickup an Ad

Once you have approved an ad, you have the option of sending it to another title.

1.When you are in the manage ads view click on the ad you want to send. Note: only completed ads can be sent to another title.

2.Click the ”Pickup This Ad” button.

3. Once you click on the ad you will be asked to fill out the information about the new publication; Ad size, issue dates etc. Once that is complete click the ”Confirm Pickup” button at the bottom.

4. The ad will now be pre-flighted for that publication. NOTE: you may have to re-position the ad for the new size. Refer to section 3 and 4 for reviewing preflight reports and re-positioning.

Section 7. Common Preflight Errors and Warnings

After an ad is uploaded the Ad portal automatically checks the PDF against the pDFx1/a Specification and some publication specific items. Some of these include: Image Resolution, Color Space, Fonts, Trim Size etc.

Please note if you get an "Error" in the report, that needs to be fixed, not everything listed in the report, is considered an error. Some are just warnings for your inforamtion. All Errors must be fixed before continuing.

Also note, If your only error is because the Trim size is incorrect. You will be allowed to re-position and trim the ad within the portal. If you do not have that ability then there is SOMETHING else wrong in addition to the Trim size. Please fix the other issue first, re-upload then you will be able to re-position the ad.

Category Message Reason Solution
Error- Images with ICC Profiles Image found with ICC profile. This is not allowed. If you receive this message, there is a device specific profile embedded into the file. A profile is a description of how the colors will be displayed on a particular device (Monitor, printer etc.). Generally this means you have some images saved as RGB. Also your PDF file was not exported as a PDFx/1a. Please make sure to save all images as CMYK and properly export your PDF.
Error- RGB Images Image in the file was found to have RGB colorspace in it. This is not allowed An Image in the PDF is in RGB Color Space. This is not allowed the PDFx/1a specification Please make sure all Images in Photoshop are converted to CMYK. Then Make sure to re-export your PDF as a PDFx/1a:2001
Error- Spot Colors An item in your file has been found to have spot color. This is not allowed. This means that you have an element in your PDF that is set to a PMS color or a custom color Swatch that was created Make sure all elements are using only CMYK colors. Verify that if a custom color Swatch was created that the Color Type in the Swatch options is set to "Process"
Error- Transparency An object was found to have transparency. This is not allowed. Generally it applies to vector objects that are overlapping with other, drop shadows, or when an objects opacity fill isn't 100% This is an indication that your PDF was not Exported as a PDFx/1a. Simply re-export as a PDFx/1a to resolve this
Error- Low Res Images Required resolution is 148.0 dpi. This image's resolution is "x" dpi. We have a minimum spec. of 150dpi, we allow a variance of 2dpi. So this is saying that the image is to low of a resolution Verify that all your images are at least 150dpi at FINAL size in your layout. Note the effective resolution will go up and down as you scale the image in your layout. To verify this in Indesign, Select the image(s) and look at the Link info. There should be a part where it says "Effective Resolution" make sure that is at least 150dpi.
Error- PDF Version INcorrect The PDF Version of the file is incorrect. This is not allowed. This will appear if you do not export your PDF as a PDFx/1a Properly Export the PDF
Error-Unsupported Fonts This File contains an unsupported font name. This is not allowed Some Printers have alserted us to some potentially problematic fonts. These have been identified as causing problems on press. a Preflight check is in place to catch these fonts. This will give you the opportunity to fix the problem. For any type in your document that uses these fonts, please convert them to outlines in your page layout program. Click here to get more information and what the current list of rejected fonts are.
Warning- Black Knockout This black vector based object was set to knock out. This is not recommended. Generally you want all Black objects in your PDF to overprint. Since printing ink is transparent this will help keep your black objects looking Dark. Since the ink will mix with any background image or other objects. There are some very rare instances that you would want black in an object to Knockout. This Warning is a bit subjective. The general rule of thumb is is you have black Objects or type You want to make sure the Overprint Flag is On in the Attributes window. If you are a doing fancy Trapping then let the software make the decision. If the portal is flagging the trap elements then they can be ignored. Or if the Black object is over a white background it can be ignored as well.
Warning- White Overprint This White vector based object was set to Overprint. This is not recommended. Generally you want all White objects in your PDF to Knockout. Since in Printing "White" is the paper you are printing on. If you have them set to Overprint they will disappear when the page is printed. There are some situations though that Indesign will create White objects set to overprint in the Export Process of the PDF. Just Verify that when you are looking at the Ad in the portal that ALL white Elements are visible. If something like a White logo is missing that is an indication that the Overprint flag is set to Overprint. To resolve this in Indesign, Select the objects and in the Attributes window make sure the "Overprint Fill" and Or "Overprint Stroke" are NOT set. Then re-export your PDF.