A method for processing page description language commands improves the efficiency of the digital work flow in graphic arts. The method first translates the page description language commands into a structured object display list. The display list is then examined to identify the occurrence of specific predefined properties of graphical objects. The display list is modified to correct or eliminate the properties, and the corresponding page description language commands are modified accordingly. The specific predefined properties that are identified include spurious contours, double contours, redundant colors and inks, useless clips, tight continuous tone clips, blends, degenerate strokes, and strokes having unprintable thickness.