PDF Workflow in Richie Editions

Creating and uploading PDFs to Richie


Richie Editions is a PDF-based e-paper solution. We ingest the pages of a publication in standard PDF format and our servers then convert it to the proprietary format understood by Richie Editions client applications. This document includes our recommendations for generating the PDFs as well as details on how to upload them to Richie’s servers.

PDF Format Requirements

In almost all cases, the original PDFs you send to print are also the best ones to use with Richie Editions.

You should never scale down or recompress PDFs for use with Richie Editions. Modern smart phone and tablet displays have higher resolution and fidelity than newsprint or even glossy magazines, and as such require just as much resolution from your PDF files.

The PDF files you upload are source material, not the end result. Richie’s conversion process will optimize the file size individually for various target devices using Richie Editions’s proprietary compression technology.

However, if you pre-process PDFs before sending them to print, these pre-processing steps can be worth skipping:

  1. Skip color conversions. If you convert your PDF files from RGB to CMYK before sending them to print, skip that step when sending the PDFs to Richie. Conversely, if you have CMYK or mixed material, don’t convert it to RGB before sending to Richie.

  2. Don’t flatten or distill PDFs, or convert text to paths. Richie Editions does not need this step, and it might degrade fidelity. It might also remove useful PDF features, such as web links or selectable text.

We recommend that you generate and upload a separate PDF file for each page of your publication. Uploading the complete publication as a single PDF file is possible, but setting section names to generate a Table of Contents is not possible in this case.

Uploading PDFs through SFTP

Richie Editions is set up to automatically ingest PDFs uploaded via SFTP. Your Richie account contact will provide you with your SFTP server hostname along with the username and password to use.

The SFTP server shows a folder hierarchy based on the organizations and products the username has access to. Typically, each newspaper or magazine is set up as its own organization, and within that organization, individual products are set up for each publication type.

For example, given an imaginary publication called The Fleet Street Journal that publishes a daily paper, a monthly magazine and commercial supplements, the SFTP folder hierarchy might be:


These first two levels of hierarchy are driven by the Richie Editions product database and are not writable from an SFTP client.

Table of Contents metadata: Richie Editions includes a table of contents feature. In newspapers, the ToC usually includes the main sections of the paper, allowing the reader to easily skip to a specific section. The section metadata in the ToC also allows full-page Richie Ads to be targeted to a specific section. To enable these features, it is recommended that you provide section names with your uploads as described below.

Uploading to a hot folder

"Hot holders" are write-only upload folders that automatically process the files you upload to them. In Richie Editions, using hot folders requires that your PDF files are named in a way that allows Richie systems to extract (at minimum) the publication date from the file name. We recommend hot folders for all new publications on Richie Editions.

New issues are automatically created based on files uploaded to the folder, and individual files are routed to the appropriate issues based on the publication date parsed from the file name. For example, a file name such as FLT_20190801_001_Front page.pdf would be parsed to determine the publication date (1 August 2019), the page number (1) and section name "Front Page". The recommended file naming scheme is documented in the next subsection.

When using hot folders, a folder called upload will be present within all product folders. All files should be uploaded to this folder. Examples paths for the products described above:


Naming files for hot folder upload

The recommended scheme for naming files is to use the following format (with parts in angle brackets replaced by the corresponding attributes of the item being uploaded):

<issue title>_<publication date YYYYMMDD>_<page number>_<section name>.pdf

This scheme contains the following fields separated by _:

  • issue title: the name of the issue displayed to readers. Magazines and other non-daily products should always specify a title, but newspapers and similar daily products may omit the field or specify a product code instead. If you cannot provide a title, please consult with your Richie account contact. This field should be URL-encoded if it contains the character _. Replace the forward slash with #.
  • publication date: the date on which the issue should be published (shown to users), in format YYYYMMDD. For example, 1 August 2019 would be represented as 20190801.
  • page number: number of the page within the issue. The field should be zero-padded to at least three characters. For example, page number 2 should be represented as 002.
  • section name: name of the section contained in this page. This field is optional and may be omitted if the data is not available. This field should be URL-encoded similarly to the issue title field.

Usage examples (all published on 1 August 2019, file for page 2):

  • A monthly supplement with an explicitly set title and named sections: Monthly Trends 8#2019_20190801_002_Contents.pdf (note title with hash character; the title shown to users will be "Monthly Trends 8/2019").
  • A daily newspaper with a product code instead of an issue title (final title will be automatically generated based on publication date; in this case the title shown to users will be "8/1/2019"): FLT_20190801_002_Editorials.pdf
  • Same as above, but without section names: FLT_20190801_002_.pdf (note the _ before the file suffix).
Alternative naming schemes

If the recommended scheme is not suitable for your systems, Richie Editions can support a wide variety of alternative naming schemes. Consult your Richie account contact regarding setting up uploads with a custom scheme.

Note that a publication date is always required, and a page number is required unless you intend to send each publication as a single PDF file (not recommended).

A custom naming scheme is required if you wish to publish multiple issues on the same date within the same product. For example, a daily newspaper plus a weekly supplement published with the daily paper's product tag requires a custom scheme. Using separate products is normally recommended instead.

Disconnect When Done

When an upload of a PDF file completes, the SFTP service does not yet know whether you are done uploading or whether further files will still be uploaded. Disconnect from the SFTP service when you have uploaded everything, and the new issue generation will start automatically.

Deprecated features

The following features are currently available, but are not recommended for new publications.

Uploading to issue-specific folders

Issue-specific folders are an alternative to the hot folder upload method. With issue-specific folders, a folder is created for each individual issue, and the PDF files of that issue are then uploaded into the folder.

The folder name includes the the display name and publication date of the issue:


Note: A forward slash is a common character in issue names like 8/2019 but on the SFTP server it is used as the folder separator character. Replace the forward slash with the hash character (#) like in this example to avoid problems during upload. The hash character will be replaced with the forward slash automatically by our SFTP server.

The date is expected at the end of the name in parentheses and in YYYY-MM-DD format.

Metadata for issue-specific folder uploads

ToC entries can be extracted from the PDF file names or from a separate metadata file uploaded alongside the PDFs (this is only supported within issue-specific folders). The exact naming scheme or metadata file format should be coordinated with your Richie account contact.

Note that using hot folder uploads instead of issue-specific folders allows specifying section names without using custom metadata files or naming schemes.

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