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Investigating Integrated Imposition

August 1998

When it comes to the task of imposition, prepress managers are looking for integrated solutions—tools that can allow the adoption of an all-digital CTP environment.

Why? The technological enhancement of digital imposition software, large-format computer-to-film devices and new launches in the CTP market have put greater emphasis on the role electronic imposition plays in moving to an all-digital domain.

Factors encouraging new launches of imposition software encompass movements from in-RIP trapping, to the utilization of Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) and Adobe PostScript 3, to full-scale automation the likes of CIP3.

In more detail, catalysts for imposition software tools include the following trends.

  • The move to a client server solution, requiring a more integrated prepress workflow, with imposition tools incorporating in-RIP trapping.

  • A rise in the need for more downstream automation, allowing imposition tools to assist in tasks such as color management—as in registering ink key settings in CIP3 workflows—as well as aiding in the automation of folding, cutting and binding tasks at the postpress stage.

    "Imposition is starting to look at more downstream controls; imposition is looking to simplify life at the press, not just at the prepress, stage," asserts Imation's Michael Reiher, marketing manager. "Imposition software is looking to pass information along the entire digital workflow, allowing for more automated steps at the press and postpress."

  • The need for customized imposition solutions allows for greater output flexibility and control of imposition on digital presses, on-demand printers, imagesetters and digital proofers.

  • The rise of PDF, which brings a nice, consistent file format for imposition, encourages further integration of trapping functions and OPI. Also, the integration of Adobe's PostScript 3 RIP technology ensures a consistent level of quality and stability.

Imation PressWise 3.0 software lets customers add PDF-based pages to any PressWise imposition process. Developed for the Mac operating system, Imation PressWise 3.0 software may decrease printing errors by taking advantage of the inherent benefits of PDF. These advancements include page independence, small file size and the ability to produce consistent and predictable output results.

"As PDF becomes the standard mechanism to deliver documents for print production, commercial printers will need to integrate PDF support into their production workflows," Imation's Reiher reports. "We've designed the PressWise 3.0 application to be advanced in its support for new technologies like PDF and the forthcoming PostScript 3 language, while maintaining the simplicity of PressWise software so that customers still using conventional prepress techniques can migrate to digital methods easily."

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