New PDF Layout Tool «Stepz»
for digital packaging and labels

Hybrid Software has announced a new PDF layout software for digital packaging and labels

As the name indicates, the main task of Stepz is the Step&Repeat function. Stepz is a slimmed-down version of Hybrid’s native PDF editor PACKZ.

The first version of Stepz is intended for users of HP Indigo digital presses with Global Graphics DFEs. (Finally, the Chairman of Hybrid Software has recently also become Chairman of Global Graphics…).

About the necessity
of «context aware» preflight

The Callas Blog has published an article about the necessity of «context aware” preflight. The new «Sifter» technology in Callas pdfToolbox 10 allows to analyze PDF objects in their context. See also my article A Quantum Leap in Preflight!.

Akash Choudhary describes some use cases in his post. The classic example is certainly small black text that is set to knockout:

If the black text is places over a colored background (left), overprinting is important to prevent white flashes in case of register inaccuracies in the printing machine. If the text has no background (right), it does not matter whether it is set to overprint or knockout.

Read more…About the necessity
of «context aware» preflight

CorelDraw 2019 with PDF/X-4 – or not!

More than 10 years after the introduction of PDF/X-4 finally CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2019 now adds support for PDF/X-4. At least that’s what the manufacturer claims.

I courageously installed the trial version and did some practice tests.

First I imported some PDF/X-4 files. CorelDraw tries to convert the PDF files (including text) into the Corel format. You can choose between Text and Curves. With the “Text” option, font substitution is often used and the text is completely torn. The conversion of the text into curves (vectors) is better, but is not exactly considered “state of the art”!

Read more…CorelDraw 2019 with PDF/X-4 – or not!

New webinar series
from the Ghent Workgroup

Following up on the success of last year’s webinar series, the Ghent Workgroup (GWG) is organizing seven new webinars. The series kicks off on April 11th, with an introduction to PDF and the PDF/X standards and will cover both introductory and more advanced topics. All webinars are presented by industry experts connected to the GWG with many years of experience in their respective fields. The full agenda is available on the Ghent Workgroup website.

First specification for digital printing
from Ghent Workgroup

The Ghent Workgroup (GWG) has published their first specification for digital print on cut sheet. The new  specification is based on the GWG specifications 2015 for offset printing. Some requirements have been relaxed (e.g. overprinting) or lowered (e.g. minimal image resolutions). There is only one variant available for PDF/X-4 CMYK+RGB (images with ICC profiles allowed). So far there are no preflight profiles officially available for this specification since they are still in beta testing.

UPDATE: In the mean time the new Preflight Profiles for Digital Printing have been released.

PDFX-ready has already released a preflight profile for toner based digital printing in 2015. This is mostly identical to the new GWG specification.