callas software has released what the Germany company describes as an important update for pdfToolbox 7, which was first released a few months ago. The new update, version 7.2, includes the ability to create HTML-based customizable reports for both pdfToolbox Desktop and pdfToolbox Server.

“Releasing a major pdfToolbox version with completely novel concepts always stimulates our customers to come up with creative ways in which they want to use those features," stated Dietrich von Seggern, Business Development Manager at callas software. pdfToolbox 7 introduces a completely new preflight report format.

“It's not just about providing your own colours and company branding,” continued Dietrich von Seggern. “Because this new report is based on HTML and CSS, it's very easy to modify. But more importantly it also allows the use of JavaScript and has access to a lot of preflight information generated by pdfToolbox. So not only can you modify the look and feel of the report, you can really customize the content as well. Reducing complexity of the report if your audience needs that for example, or including specific information missing from the default report.”

The new report starts from a template consisting of an HTML file, CSS and JavaScript and can be adjusted using common HTML tools. That template is converted to a printable PDF file on the fly by callas pdfToolbox whenever a PDF document is preflighted and a preflight report is generated. Starting with this pdfToolbox update, the options of the new report format can now be used in pdfToolbox Desktop.

pdfToolbox 7.2  also introduces performance improvements for Process Plans, the preflight profile variant introduced in pdfToolbox 6 that allows multiple conditional steps to be executed on PDF files. There are also a number of optimization changes related to Mac OS X 10.9.

GMG has updated its breakthrough proofing technology with the release of GMG OpenColor version 1.1, which improves measurement data import and adjustments with profiles and dot gain.

Since its commercial release earlier this year, OpenColor software has received several accolades for its ability to predict print results for spot colours with less data, including an 2013 InterTech Award, the 2013 Flexographic Technical Association Technical Innovation Award and an Innovation Award from the European Rotogravure Association.

A key new feature in GMG OpenColor 1.1 includes the extended import of measurement data and the automatic averaging of data, which the company describes as especially helpful when importing data collected at different pres- run times. As a result, GMG states any possible deviation is included in the final profile calculation.

Version 1.1 of GMG OpenColor also provides tools to adjust colour intensity and dot gain. Users can define a target dot gain from a specific printing process or adjust dot gain measurements to compensate for possible faulty printing conditions, which can occur during reference print runs or colour standard productions.

GMG points out why flexography prepress companies, in particular, will profit from this colour and dot-gain adjustment, as such operations can define target dot gain for a spot colour or for a complete data set. Prepress operations will be able to adjust dot gain and ink density to suit optimal press conditions. Operators can adjust parameters and modify highlight, mid tone or shadows are per channel and colour as needed for production.

GMG continues to explain how OpenColor 1.1 also gives users the ability to correct the substrate white point and add dot correction to the profile – without the need to recalculate the profile – to simulate the correct substrate colours and produce contract-level proofs.

“This has been an exciting year for GMG and GMG OpenColor,” stated Victor Asseiceiro, Director, Business Unit Packaging at GMG. “It has received significant recognition by respected associations and, more importantly, has been adopted by a number of leading companies throughout the world. However, we are not complacent and will continue to build features that will make GMG OpenColor even more powerful and easy to use.”

Version 8 of the ColorGATE RIP software line, primarily applied in large-format printing, is now available with integration of the recently released Adobe PDF Print Engine 3.1. This includes new versions of ColorGATE Productionserver, Filmgate, Plategate and Proofgate.

Additionally, the Container+ function, the Linearization Assistant, the Profiler Module PFM and the CutServer have been updated with new functions, while the selection of the media size is now open to user defined changes.

With the new Container+, ColorGATE has enhanced nesting functions by adding centering containers and margins for containers without being limited to a certain size. Jobs can now be arranged according to preset or user-defined criteria with the ordered nesting option.
The Linearization Assistant and Profiler Module PFM support simultaneous linearization or profiling processes at the same time. The new presets for ink splitting curves are ranging from smoother print results up to the possibility to reduce the amount of ink used.
Improved control options for cut and perforation lines are now available through the added zoom function in the CutServer. It is available in the preview window, which has been enhanced with new illustrated cut and perforation lines. The cut directions are now displayed as vectors. The information overview of the file list, according to ColorGATE, is now more detailed.
In the job setting functions, it is now possible to set user-defined media sizes. The new dialogue saves these user defined sizes in the printer definition (COS file) automatically to be valid for the current printer queue. In addition, the complete list can be exported and re-imported to a different printer queue/RIP installation.

DALIM SOFTWARE GmbH, headquartered in Kehl, Germany, released its ES 4 platform, which is a customer-facing Web-based suite of tools for the creation, production and management of marketing media. The fourth version of ES (Enterprise Solution), according to the company, extends its support of images (with layers), video, Flash and animated GIF banner ads, as well as with Website content, documents and imposed forms for cross-media campaigns.

ES 4, in addition to its current ability to handle managed content within its own database, can now work with referenced content, which DALIM describes as useful for those who need to work with very large video files or external storage devices and other file system-based digital asset management (DAM) systems. ES 4 now also offers DAM features to automatically catalogue, enrich and share images and other assets, such as video or ePub or can be integrated with 3D augmented reality models.

For Web-based projects, print-ready PDFs are automatically or interactively enriched with active URLs, picture slide shows, videos, tables of content, and action buttons. These PDFs can be exported to HTML5 or ePUB3 content to be embedded in a Website or mobile e-readers, including customized iPad Apps, through Apple's iBookstore or Amazon Kindle Store. For print workflows, ES 4 features an imposition module that can import both CFF2 and JDF templates to automate step-and-repeats, as well as complex print and packaging impositions for PSPs.

DIALOGUE Engine 4 – a soft-proofing application – includes new HTML5 viewing, mark-up and validation. It relies solely on HTML5 for the most-common operations. New annotation management features allow users to comment and reply to notes someone else has written. Also, annotations can be turned into a checklist for participants to check as “done”, for better tracking of to-do items. When working in a colour-controlled environment, DIALOGUE Engine 4 now reads a spot colour’s spectral value in addition to Lab equivalents.

“DIALOGUE Engine 4 now with its important HTML5 implementation-and ES 4 are stronger and more versatile than ever,” stated Dr. Carol Werlé, CEO of DALIM SOFTWARE. “Individually or integrated through a powerful API, these products are capable of fulfilling the needs, equally, of printers, publishers, brands, corporations and retailers. With the help of intuitive Web services, finding, accessing, sharing, transforming or repurposing media assets becomes seamless and automatic; Whether for print, packaging or non-print content.”

Berlin-based callas software has launched a new version of its pdfToolbox software, a version which promises more accuracy in quality control and a more refined workflow.

pdfToolbox 7 uses updated Adobe libraries when dealing with transparency flattening which leads to better overall performance. The same engine can also flatten overprint throughout a PDF file, avoiding overprint problems on RIPs that have that issue. The software also includes an entirely new font engine that is better at embedding and sub setting fonts and handling broken fonts.

pdfToolbox has also revised its preflight reports so that they are more visually attractive for clients, as well as improving how problems are conveyed to users. The report is also completely customizable and can be branded with a printing company’s logo and brand colours. On the preflight front, the system also includes a number of new advanced preflight checks: now the software has the ability to calculate (and report in an automated workflow) the total area coverage for each separation in a file, the exact number of separations in a file and whether given separations are identical or different between two versions of a PDF file.

Other PDF cleanup features include:

- Cropping pages to what is visible on the page, disregarding invisible objects or objects that are partially masked out. This provides much better performance as only the actual visible page content is being used.

- Hard cropping of images. The non-visible parts of images are removed to make the overall file smaller (and avoid problems with content that is not visible but could be retrieved using PDF editing software). Images can be cropped to their mask and additionally to one of the page boxes.

- Removing arbitrary page elements. This for example allows easily removing a die line or all elements using a particular spot colour.

- Removing all metadata from PDF documents – the new fix up even allows removing object level metadata, which can bloat PDF files considerably.

pdfToolbox 7 is available immediately from calls software in two versions, one which is a manual processing plug-in for Adobe Acrobat, which starts at EUR 499; and a server system that has hands-off automated processing starting at EUR 3999.

Designers and photographers are adopting Adobe’s Creative Cloud at a brisker pace than anticipated, according to Adobe. The company announced, that as of the end of its third financial quarter, there are more than 1,031,000 paid Creative Cloud subscriptions.

Adobe grew Creative Cloud subscriptions by 331,000 in the quarter, some through aggressive pricing promotions. The latest version of its Creative Suite (now dubbed Creative Cloud) software is available via a subscription model only. Lightroom, its software offering aimed at photographers, is still available with a traditional perpetual license as an option.

“Our customers are overwhelmingly choosing subscriptions instead of perpetual model licenses which is accelerating our business model transition,” said Mark Garrett, EVP and CFO, Adobe. “During Q3, 41 percent of our revenue was recurring and we exited the quarter with record deferred revenue on our balance sheet. These results are building a stronger, more predictable revenue model for Adobe which will drive higher long-term growth.”

The company also reported its third quarter financials, which saw revenues fall within expectations at $995.1 million, with a net income of $83 million. Compared from the same quarter a year ago, however, revenues fell slightly, from $1.08 billion. Gross profit is also down from $961 million to $848 million.

Denver-based Quark announced today the latest version of its QuarkXPress application is now available. Version 10 of the page layout software features a substantial revision of the program code, according to the company, resulting in more performance and better on-screen fidelity on modern computer hardware.

Below are some of the new features of QuarkXPress 10:

Modern Architecture: QuarkXPress 10 is a native Cocoa app that leverages the latest OS X features, offers maximized performance and can rapidly support new OS X releases.

New Quark Xenon Graphics Engine: The state-of-the-art graphics engine renders rich PDFs, Photoshop and TIFF images and uses its Adaptive Resolution feature to deliver designers the most appropriate onscreen resolution in real-time.

HiDPI and Retina Display Support: Every element of QuarkXPress 10 has been optimized to take full advantage of high-resolution Retina displays like those found on the Mac Book Pro.

Advanced Digital Publishing Options: QuarkXPress 10 continues to support ePub and Kindle, as well as out-of-the-box HTML5 authoring for App StudioTM, the leading cloud-based solution for creating iOS, Android, and Web apps.

QR Code Creator: Generate, style, and color vector Quick Response (QR) codes directly within QuarkXPress.

East Asian Typography: Now every edition of QuarkXPress 10 supports East Asian typography, including vertical story text, phonetic text reading (rubi) font sets, character grids and more.

More than Fifty Feature Enhancements: PDF Pass-Through Transparency, Print Preview, Bezier Tool Enhancement, Layers Enhancements and much more.

QuarkXPress 10 is available for immediate download for US$849, or $349 for previous Quark owners.

Look forward to an interview with Quark's Gavin Drake about the latest release in the September issue of PrintAction.

The Harlequin RIP is celebrating 25 years at PRINT 13. Version 1 of the venerable raster image processor (RIP) shipped in 1988; Global Graphics introduced version 10 of its software, known as Software MultiRIP.

Global Graphics will be holding a celebration of this milestone today on the PRINT 13 show floor at 4pm until 6pm. 

Here are other milestones along the way for the Harlequin system:

1997: Native PDF processing with in-RIP trapping
2002: Version 6 features Live PDF transparency
2007: Font Emulation
2009: First RIP to be PDF/VT ready 

The latest version of the Harlequin RIP features more support for multi-threaded parallel processing, which, according to Global Graphics, leads to RIP times up to 1.3 times faster.

"Harlequin MultiRIP 10 brings the speed benefits that we introduced at drupa for high-volume production presses to allow smaller print shops to use personalized work efficiently to drive into higher margin markets," says Martin Bailey, CTO at Global Graphics.

Fujifilm launched its version 5.5 of its XMF workflow software with an emphasis on new variable data features, as well as productivity enhancements. Fujifilm’s new XMF version is the first such software system to be built around Adobe’s new PDF Print Engine, dubbed the Mercury RIP Architecture.

The Mercury RIP Architecture is designed to drive digital (inkjet and toner) presses, focusing on variable data printing in particular. Mercury’s parallel processing architecture features distributed multi-tier caching and dynamic load balancing. This ultimately allows the technology to support continuously streamed PDF and PDF/VT in High Volume workflows. Adobe claims that in its testing, the PDF Print Engine 3 is the fastest rendering technology in the industry today.

Fujifilm notes XMF v5.5 is optimized to drive its recently launched web-fed J Press 540W inkjet press, which inherently requires large amounts of data, potentially often large amounts of variable data, to be processed for high-speed runs.

“Digital web presses put huge demands on workflow systems, so our focus has been to develop an extremely efficient end-to-end print environment that allows companies to increase their productivity and competitiveness,” stated Shigenori Tsuji, Senior VP President, Fujifilm Global Graphic Systems, Workflow Division. “As well as being the first vendor to bring to market a workflow built from the ground up around JDF and the Adobe PDF Print Engine, Fujifilm is leading the way once more with the introduction of Adobe’s new Mercury RIP Architecture.”

Fujifilm describes leveraging the Mercury RIP within XMF v5.5 to create a very wide data path for driving graphically rich personalized content to the J Press 540W. “The J Press 540W powered by XMF v5.5 marks an impressive milestone in the evolution of continuous-feed digital printing,” stated Raman Nagpal, Senior Director of Print at Adobe.

XMF v5.5 also includes improved proofing capabilities through what the company describes as automated distribution of 3D proofs. The 3D proofing module, already embedded in previous versions of XMF, gives printers the ability to create a virtual printed product. XMF v5.5 also features improvements to support XMF ColorPath, Fuji’s cloud-based colour management system.

Adobe today unveiled the latest version of its PDF Print Engine, now on version 3. The new version features performance improvements through a new scalable architecture called the Mercury RIP Architecture.

The Mercury RIP Architecture is designed to drive modern digital presses, focusing on variable data printing in particular. It can support continuously streamed PDF and PDF/VT in High Volume workflows, (such as HVTO and Transpromo). Adobe claims that in its testing, the PDF Print Engine 3 is the fastest rendering technology in the industry today.

“With PDF Print Engine 3, Adobe continues to demonstrate our leadership in print – 30 years after launching PostScript and igniting the Desktop Publishing revolution. Faster processing and greater predictability translate directly into higher profits for our partners’ customers: the printers of the world,” says Naresh Gupta, senior vice president of Adobe’s Print and Publishing Business Unit.

Adobe says that in the coming weeks and months vendors such as Canon Production Systems, EFI, Kodak NexPress, Screen and Xeikon will be announcing products that support the new PDF Print Engine. Fujifilm has already announced support in its XMF 5.5 for the JetPress 540W.

Adobe highlights the following features as the top three new things about PDF Engine 3:

  • The Mercury RIP Architecture for the Adobe PDF Print Engine 3, manages multiple concurrent instances of the Print Engine for maximum throughput within a single system, or several systems on a network. It is able to dynamically load balance available work across multiple presses concurrently, ensuring full resource utilization.

  • Adobe PDF Print Engine 3 can support continuously streamed PDF and PDF/VT in High Volume workflows, (such as HVTO and Transpromo), fast-growing segments of the print industry.

  • Adobe PDF Print Engine 3 renders content which matches the display in Reader and Acrobat XI. Using the same core Adobe PDF technology at every stage of the print workflow ensures predictability and eliminates unwelcome surprises.

The first Adobe PDF Print Engine SDK launched in 2006 and the company says that there are currently 90,000 units in live production of it worldwide. The new version replaces PDF Print Engine versions 2.5 and 2.6.

Metrix Software, formerly LithoTechnics, has announced it will be demonstrating a new version of its imposition software, Metrix, at PRINT 13 next week.

"We look forward to heading out to Chicago again to meet with our customers, partners, and printers who are looking for solutions to the inefficiency and low profitability plaguing our industry,” says Rohan Holt, President of Metrix Software. “Engineering priorities at Metrix Software have always been determined by the needs of our users, reflecting the needs of our industry, and the feature set of Metrix 2013.0 is no exception. We are very proud of the partnership we have with our users, who process thousands and thousands of orders with Metrix every day - more efficiently and more profitably than they ever could before. Metrix 2013.0 will again move the bar higher, knocking down yet more barriers to efficient, sensible, and eventually, automated production.”

According to the company, Metrix 2013.0 includes the following enhancements:
    •    Improved Layout tools, including the ability to copy and paste marks between Layouts.
    •    Instant assignment and reassignment of Products to Layouts.
    •    Ability to select multiple Products/Layouts/Components and alter multiple properties at once.
    •    Addition of Product Tags, for sorting and selective submission to Auto Plan.    
    •    Enhanced intelligence built in to the Prepress Export functionality when error conditions are detected by Metrix.
    •    Project Reports can now be exported to PDF or a Printer. This works with Metrix Automation as well.
    •    A new PDF page re-ordering tool to fix improperly ordered content.
    •    Support for Windows 8 and Server 2012.

Kodak has launched the latest version of its Prinergy Workflow software worldwide, which brings “a new level of automation, accuracy and efficiency to print creation, while reducing costs.”

“Prinergy Workflow 6 focuses on integrating the production planning process and reducing the time spent by customer service representatives, production planners and prepress operators preparing optimized production plans,” says Jon Bracken, General Manager of Kodak Unified Workflow Solutions. “The result is tighter quality control, fewer manual touchpoints and lower production costs for both digitally and conventionally printed jobs.”

The core development in Prinergy Workflow 6 is its new interface, dubbed Workspace, which offers an at-a-glace overview of prepress. Plan, Manage and Track modules organize Prinergy’s information and tasks while also offering new automation capabilities: upstream to customer’s order and downstream to digital presses.

The software will serve as the hub of Kodak’s prepress workflow, which includes Preps, Colorflow, and Insite Prepress Portal.

German software vendor DALIM will be presenting major version updates of its software in Chicago next month at Print 13. This includes the company’s workflow automation software TWIST, customer-facing web software ES, and soft-proofing application DIALOGUE.

The new ES (version 4) features an imposition module that allows for the import of both CFF2 and JDF templates to automate imposition workflows for print service providers (PSP). For both print and marketing service providers (MSP) exploring new opportunities beyond print, the latest version of ES extends its support of images (with layers), video, Flash and animated GIF banner ads along with website content, to bring together all the elements required today to manage and produce cross media campaigns. ES 4, along with its current ability to handle managed content within its own database, will now be able to work with referenced content, particularly useful for those who need to work with very large video files or external storage devices and other file system-based Digital Asset Management systems.

TWIST (version 7), the production automation solution has been completely updated, and provides speed improvements of up to a factor of four, according to the company. It is able to monitor FTP servers and receive files via email, making it easier for printers and MSPs to receive customer files, along with the usual hot folder and WEBLINK support. It extends its metadata handling abilities and provides new tools for the creation and conversion of a multitude of image files including layer support and BigTIFF (>4GB), making it easier to handle large files for point of sale and sign applications. TWIST also has updated visual compare tools for more efficient quality control and greater support for adding printers’ marks on multi-page documents.

DIALOGUE Engine, the soft proofing application of ES is now available in HTML5. This lets user mark up, annotate, compare and approve high-resolution files much easer and faster than before, without the need of any other browser plugin technology — reducing compatibility and security concerns. Additional new features and performance enhancements are also available in the latest version of DIALOGUE Engine.

Quark has announced that its latest version of QuarkXPress will begin shipping in August. The software features numerous improvements, most notably it has had its code revised to run as a native Cocoa application on Mac OSX systems.

“This has been a monumental undertaking by the development team to thoroughly modernize QuarkXPress in terms of the application environment, architecture, user interface, and graphics engine,” said Dave White, Chief Technology Officer for Quark. “We’re excited not only for this release, but also the foundation that has been put in place for future QuarkXPress features.”

The updates have required the addition of 350,000 new lines of code, updating an additional 500,000 lines as well as building, from the ground up, a new Xenon graphics engine that renders both vector and raster graphics with more fidelity. These technologies take advantage of latest generation hardware on the marketplace, including multi-core and multi-threaded processing. On the Mac, the new version is designed to take advantage of those computers which are equipped with the latest-generation Retina displays.

QuarkXPress 10 also includes these new features:

Import Pictures and Hyperlinks from Microsoft Word
PDF Pass-Through Transparency
Layers Enhancements
Print Preview
Key Item Space/Align
Highlight Missing Fonts
Improved IME support
Bezier Tool Enhancement
Layout Tab Reordering
Quark says it expects to ship QuarkXPress 10 by mid or late August. It is offering a 20 percent discount on QuarkXPress 10 pre-orders for users of version 9.

Canon’s operation in the United States has released Version 6.1 of Océ PRISMAprepare, described as all-in-one document preparation software, which also allows users to create and compose Variable Data Printing (VDP) applications.

This device-independent software optimizes the productivity capabilities of Canon’s imagePRESS and imageRUNNER ADVANCE lineups, the Océ VarioPrint DP line and a variety of colour and black-and-white production cut-sheet devices.

“The document preparation process can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of production work,” stated Sam Yoshida, VP and GM, Marketing, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A. “When this process is not optimized, profitability and customer satisfaction is at risk. The improvements Canon made to the Océ PRISMAprepare software will support print providers and enhance their ability to meet increased and more complex customer needs.”

Océ PRISMAprepare 6.1 provides a simplified interface with a WYSIWYG preparation approach. From the position of staples to the location of fold lines, Canon explains that users can quickly preview the exact look and design of a document before it is sent to the printer.

The latest version of Océ PRISMAprepare now includes Variable Data Printing composition capabilities, such as adding specific content and graphics to each printed piece based on information in a linked database. This new software version is also based on open Adobe PDF standards, and supports multiple PDF plug-ins.

The colour-management features of Océ PRISMAprepare 6.1 allow users to produce consistent spot colour usage and modification of individual image tone and colour reproduction prior to printing. PRISMAprepare 6.1 is currently available for a free upgrade to PRISMAprepare v5 customers with existing software maintenance agreements.

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