Enfocus of Ghent, Belgium, is introducing its new Connect 11 product line to be made available sometime in the third quarter of 2013. Enfocus Connect 11 combines PDF creation and quality control for press-ready file delivery. There are two editions in the product line, including Connect YOU ($99) for designers and Connect ALL ($2,999) for service providers.
“[Connect 11] addresses the most common problems with PDF files at the source – on the designer’s workstation, where they can be easily fixed,” stated Michael Reiher, Connect Product Manager at Enfocus. “By controlling the overall PDF creation process, and tying it to the correction and preflight capabilities of the built-in PitStop technology, common issues such as missing fonts, low-resolution images and other common problems are easily addressed before the PDF files are received for production.”
Enfocus Connect applets called Connectors, which sit on the user’s desktop and contain all necessary settings. Connectors can be created to handle what the company describes as one-click PDF creation through applications like Adobe Creative Suite, using Adobe Normalizer technology built into the Connector.
The Connectors can also allow for automatic PDF correction and enhancement based on Enfocus PitStop Action Lists; PDF verification using Enfocus PitStop Preflight Profiles; custom job ticket generation to help automate downstream processes; and secure delivery of PDF or any other file type to (S)FTP, HTTP, email, or directly into an Enfocus Switch automated flow.
Dynagram of Quebec City released version 7.5 of its DynaStrip imposition software with several new productivity features.
DynaStrip 7.5 includes new tools to manage the colours and ink densities for every imposition mark. Users, according to the company, now have complete control in placing any mark on selected colours and avoiding excess ink coverage by using a different percentage of ink density for each colour layer (CMYK or Pantone).
A colour selection dialogue menu, with density settings allowing values between zero and 100 percent, is available for all printable marks, including: Linear marks (the density value of each segment is combined with that of the ink), Register, Assembly, Text, Trim and Bleed, and Fold marks, as well as barcodes, distance tags and sheet corners. Dynagram states this new feature is compatible with all output formats like PDF, JDF, PJTF and PS for separation and composite environments.
DynaStrip 7.5 also includes improvements to the import and export of TPL templates, which allows users to minimize the layout differences due to each format’s specific aspects. According to the company, this includes better management of text marks placed on both sides of the sheet; automatic addition of process colours in the colour table to better manage marks; and support for ink densities during import/export of TPL templates.
With version 7.5, it is now possible to manage up to 400 hot-folders simultaneously in the DynaStrip Automation module. In addition, the JT-Flow module allows new algorithms to increment and decrement pagination when copying sheets.
PDQ North America Inc., the North American subsidiary of UK-based Haybrooke Associates, has launched its self-branded desktop estimating product for printing in both the United States And Canada.
The PDQ (Predictive Dynamic Quoting) Estimating System has been available in Europe for several years. One of the first Canadian installations of PDQ is with Capital Colour Press in Edmonton, Alberta.
“We couldn’t be happier with the way business has started in North America,” said Lee Short, PDQ North America’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “My first exposure to the PDQ product line in the UK left a big impact on me… My new role with PDQ North America will allow me to offer a product that I am confident will become a genuine contributing factor to the profitability and success of printers in the United States and Canada.”
Agfa Graphics has launched Version 1.3 of :Apogee StoreFront, which is a cloud-based application enabling print service providers to set up Web stores. The new version features additional creative control over the look of online shops and includes the ability to create what Agfa describes as microstores.
“Many of our :Apogee StoreFront users sell printed products to a multitude of businesses that order a fairly limited set of products on a regular basis,” explained Andy Grant, Global Director of Software, Agfa Graphics. “Microstores help to easily target that market. A microstore inherits most of its settings from a template store. But each microstore has its own unique URL and a well-defined product range for specific print buyers.”
New features of :Apogee StoreFront 1.3 also include support for real-time UPS shipping cost quotes, alarm levels for stock products (near end of stock, for example), and an image library that can be shared across all the customizable documents in the store.
:Apogee StoreFront integrates with the :Apogee 8 workflow, while :Apogee Prepress downloads orders from the Web-to-print system and processes those automatically. For jobs that will be printed on a toner press or wide format device, :Apogee now has the ability to generate a press operator job summary.
PTI Marketing Technologies launched version 9.0 of its FusionPro VDP Suite, which, according to the company, provides more functionality for tailoring brochures and newsletters, creating targeted direct mail campaigns and print pieces, and customizing billing transactions with promotional messaging.
The newest version of PTI’s flagship VDP product includes support for both Microsoft Windows 8 and Adobe Acrobat 11, in addition to its earlier support of Acrobat 8, 9 and 10. With Windows 8 support, users may have to be logged in as administrator for some functions, but most operations can be performed with standard user accounts.
FusionPro 9.0 now handles more alpha channel graphics, such as TIFF and PNG graphics. Because of limitations in the output formats, according to PTI, these alpha channels work best in PDF-based output formats, including straight PDF, VDX, and PDF/VT. File formats tested by PTI include CMYK TIFFs with Alpha channel, RGB TIFFs with Alpha, and RGB PNG with Alpha.
The newly added GS1 Stacked barcode rule in FusionPro 9.0 can be accessed via an XML rule template, to simplify rule creation. The new version also adds enhancements to presorted cleansed data zip files for United States-based mailing.
FusionPro 9.0 also includes improvements to auto-detection if fonts are missing. According to PTI, when opening a template that uses fonts not installed or loaded into FusionPro, the user will now be prompted that there are missing fonts. The user will then be given the option to ignore or replace these fonts with others that are loaded onto their computer. (This feature, released in 8.2, has improvements to adjust more quickly and reliably.)
At its MAX conference this week, Adobe announced it will no longer provide standalone licenses for its Creative Suite software. Starting with the next version, all licenses will go through its Creative Cloud licensing.
“We launched Creative Cloud a year ago and it has been a runaway success,” said David Wadhwani, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Digital Media, Adobe. “By focusing our energy -- and our talented engineers -- on Creative Cloud, we’re able to put innovation in our members’ hands at a much faster pace.”
The next version of Adobe’s software will be denoted with a CC suffix, indicating Creative Cloud. Licensing starts at US$19.99 per month for a single application, the complete suite for $49.99 (with a one year commitment). Users upgrading from Creative Suite 6 can license the new CC suite for $19.99 a month while CS3, CS4, or CS5 users can license for US$29.99 per month. Team licenses start at US$39.99 per user for previous CS3 to CS6 users; US$69.99 per user otherwise.
For the time being, licenses for CS6 will continue to be sold online for electronic distribution. Adobe announced it would discontinue physical boxed copies of Creative Suite in March.
Agfa Graphics released version 7 of its :Fortuna software for security printing applications. The technology is specifically designed to help provide high-level security for printing jobs like banknotes, ID-cards, brand protection, documents, tax labeling and packaging.
Version 7 of :Fortuna includes new design security features and external verification tools. Agfa claims to have discovered new ways to include more complex patterns in printed designs.
“The new design tools in :Fortuna 7 are helping users stay one step ahead, providing more than 26 tools to help keep brands, sensitive documents and packaging safe and secure,” stated Koen Heyndrickx, Agfa Graphics’ Business Manager Security Software Solutions. “Agfa Graphics has been actively participating in security and anti- counterfeiting measures for many years and is a reliable partner to many government institutions and private industry worldwide.”
:Fortuna 7 software features different levels of verification tools that can be utilized by both experts and non-qualified end users.
Seven years after the launch of the first version of Lightroom, Adobe has released a beta package for its upcoming version of the popular photo management software.
Lightroom 5 introduces several new features aimed at amateur and professional photographers, most notably a more advance healing brush tool, which allows users to more easily remove and fix defects without using Photoshop.
Also new to Lightroom 5 is the ability to create and share video slideshows that can be viewed on a variety of devices and an improved ability to create photo-books that uses text technology driven by InDesign.
The software is available for testing until June 30. The software can be downloaded from the Adobe Labs site.
Below are system requirements to run the Lightroom 5 Beta:
Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor
DirectX 10–capable or later graphics card
Microsoft® Windows® 7 with Service Pack 1 or Windows 8
2GB of RAM (4GB recommended)
2GB of available hard-disk space
Internet connection required for Internet-based services
Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support
Mac OS X v10.7 or v10.8
2GB of RAM (4GB recommended)
2GB of available hard-disk space
Internet connection required for Internet-based services
Agfa Graphics has launched a new version of its :Apogee Suite 8 PDF workflow, which now runs natively on 64-bit Windows Server operating systems. The latest version also features new web printing imposition that, according to Agfa, can account for every parameter of a web press to automatically define the best imposition, including post-press functions like cutting, slitting, folding, binding.
The latest version of :Apogee 8 also includes tighter integration with Agfa’s :Apogee StoreFront, a cloud-based web-to-print module to set up Internet storefronts for both printed and non-printed products. Online orders can be downloaded into and processed by the :Apogee workflow without operator intervention.
“This is great for typical e-commerce environments. :Apogee StoreFront gives printers the opportunity to automate customer communication with jobs of any size, typically the smaller or repeat jobs,” stated Andy Grant, Global Director of Software, Agfa Graphics. “:Apogee 8 also features a Merge Jobs functionality, which merges jobs that have similar characteristics, such as paper type or ink sets, to be imposed on one sheet for cutting later. It’s another convenience tool offered by :Apogee that can help printers become more productive.”
An additional enhancement to :Apogee Suite 8 is :Apogee Preflight, which verifies that colour profiles are attached to all objects and automatically updates incorrect profiles. :Apogee Preflight also makes the necessary adjustments should the output target change.
EFI of California released Version 5.0 of its Fiery XF digital front-end (DFE) designed for wide-format production and proofing. The company states its new DFE seamlessly integrates with VUTEk and EFI wide-format devices, as well as with EFI MIS/ERP systems.
Version 5.0 of Fiery XF includes what EFI refers to as completely new spot colour tools, which can be leveraged through the Fiery Color Profiler Suite. The new version also includes more than 50 new wide-format print drivers. The software also features a customizable user interface so that users can tailor Fiery XF to their specific tasks and skill set to reduce error rates.
“With all of the job data available at our fingertips, there is less time wasted tracking down answers,” stated Greg Priede, GM of Category 5 in Burlington, Ontario, an early user of the new version. “With the integration between the VUTEk printer, Fiery front end and EFI MIS system, we see detailed job costing, and can calculate how long the printer actually ran versus how long the press operator took to complete the job.”
Fiery itself is built on a modular infrastructure, allowing users to upgrade as their needs increase. According to EFI, this modular upgradability translates as than 20 Fiery printer or software options.
“Advancements included in our new Fiery wide format software gives print professionals more power than ever to produce accurate, high-quality work quickly and reliably,” said John Henze, VP of Fiery marketing at EFI. “The new, customizable interface makes the system easier to use, as it can be tailored to meet each customer’s exact production needs.”
In a post by Software Media Blog, an authorized Adobe Reseller for over a decade, physical boxed copies of Adobe’s Creative Suite will no longer be available after April 30th, 2013. The company will instead transition to a digital-only distribution model.
While Adobe has yet to make an official announcement to this effect, Mike Chambers, a Adobe spokesperson, posted the following excerpt from a company FAQ:
Why is Adobe discontinuing boxed copies of Creative Suite?As Adobe continues to focus on delivering world-class innovation through Creative Cloud and digital fulfillment, we will be phasing out shrink-wrapped, boxed versions of Creative Suite. Electronic downloads for Creative Suite products will continue to be available – as they are today – from both Adobe.com, as well as reseller and retail partners.
Adobe started promoting its Cloud-based subscription model since May of last year and the end of boxed copies can be seen as a move to drive more people to it. In the meantime, users will still have the option to buy the complete set electronically using a one-time payment. According to vendor TechFarm, physical back-up media for Creative Suite packages will be available, but at an additional cost.
Dynagram of Montreal launched what it calls a major version upgrade for its PDF-based inpO2 imposition software. Version 5.0 of inpO2, compatible with Acrobat XI and OS 10.8, includes several Document Manager improvements for easier management of the run list.
Document Manager within inpO2 v5 now allows users to insert or replace document pages, and move documents or pages inside the run list, with drag-and-drop of single tree nodes. The upgrades allow for quicker access to the run list from the contextual menu of the selected page, allowing users to visually set or adjust documents from the light table.
With inpO2 v5, prepress workflows for single-page PDF files can now handle multiple page adjustments at once, using a range of pages as well as render an unlimited amount of PDF documents in the same job. PDF page thumbnails can now be displayed with inpO2 – instead of high-resolution PDFs. These rendering thumbnails are part of a new built-in inpO2 Working Profile and can be selected when creating custom profiles.
The Wizard of inpO2 v5 has been enhanced with an option for single- or double-sided Text Marks. It is also possible to override the spine gutter value (zero by default) for saddle-stitch bindings.
As well, customers who need to manually modify jobs generated with the Layout Manager (.mlay) or the Assembly Manager (.ably) of inpO2 can now do so with the “Export to Layout” function. Text marks and side guides can be placed on one or both sheet sides, and may follow the work style (turning axis of the sheet) for double-side positioning.
Dynagram also added functionality into version 5.0 of inpO2 for the exchange of presets between workstations. The Import or Export can be done for one type of Presets (Sheet, Imported mark) or globally for all user Presets. Imported Presets can either replace existing ones or can be merged. Should a different Preset with the same name exist, the conflict will be detected and a suffix will be appended to the file name.
The PrePress module within Agfa Graphics’ :Apogee v8 workflow suite, first introduced in May 2012, has been awarded the Passed Accreditation in RIP testing for correct rendering of a very broad set of PDF/X-4 features. The series of tests was run by the VIGC, the Flemish Innovation Centre for Graphic Communication in Belgium.
“:Apogee PrePress v8 was introduced at drupa 2012 and has the latest Adobe PDF Print Engine built in,” says Erik Peeters, Marketing Manager at Agfa Graphics. “We have always been amongst the first to implement the most advanced PDF processing and value independent product compliance testing. In an open system environment the compatibility amongst systems is crucial. We were keen to take part and pleased with the result.”
Montreal-based Objectif Lune, maker of VDP/transpromo software, announced it has opened a new office in Sweden to target the Nordic market.
The company has been active in the Nordic territories for several years through its UK subsidiary, but has since seen a steady increase in business for the region.
"Our business development activities in the Nordics have been very successful for Objectif Lune," said Colin Casey, EMEA Business Development Manager for Objectif Lune. "Our channel network already has an established presence in this region and with the growth of our customer base and steadily increasing opportunities, formalizing our presence with a dedicated office became an imperative for us."
The company's operations will be managed by Peter Chalkley, Objectif Lune's Nordic Business Manager, who is actively seeking for a local account manager. Objectif Lune has undergone significant growth in the last few years, even acquiring New Zealand-based PrintSoft last summer. Earlier this year, it expanded its presence in Europe by opening offices in Italy and Russia. The company was founded in 1993 and today operates 23 sales offices and has partners in 52 countries.
"We know we have the solutions to serve the Nordics market and enable businesses to take the leap to variable data printing, workflow automation, and document-related business processes improvement. The strong partnerships we have developed and the activities surrounding this new office implementation confirms that this is the appropriate time for us to officially position the company in this region and we are confident this strategic move will prove successful," said Casey.
Ultimate Technographics of Montreal released version 8 of its Impostrip OnDemand software for imposition and finishing automation. The new version includes PDF/VT imposition, AutoFlow ganging optimization, and stacking automation.
Impostrip OnDemand, according to Ultimate, is the first imposition software capable of imposing PDF/VT-1 files, which allows a user to place PDF/VT files into their Impostrip OnDemand hot folder. Impostrip then takes into account the record boundaries to produce optimized PDF output compatible with any RIP on the market. In other words, the company describes how producing variable-data booklets and books, with all relevant markings and dynamic barcodes for quality control, can be initiated by dropping a file in the Impostrip OnDemand hot folder.
With new ganging algorithms, Impostrip OnDemand version 8 uses AutoFlow to optimize the placement of multiple jobs on a sheet, while also accounting for finishing requirements. “Our AutoFlow engine for ganging is a feature we are proud of because it is more than typical ganging as we further pushed the automation level to meet customer demand,” says Julie Watson, VP of Marketing with Ultimate.
The inclusion of Book Stacker into Impostrip OnDemand v.8 allows users to automatically batch and impose their book orders, cards and statements, based on quantities and page count. Impostrip OnDemand waits for files to logically redistribute and imposes them according to set rules, while applying the marks, barcodes and banner sheet requirements.
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