Dave Zwang

BY MARK SMITH Technology Editor Since the earliest days of the digital revolution in prepress, choosing a data format has brought trade-offs in file flexibility, portability and processing consistency. For almost as long, the unique requirements of the print advertising workflow have driven a quest to achieve a universal workflow. Now, more than 10 years after its introduction, Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format) is finally providing a foundation for realizing that goal in advertising applications and beyond. The effort to establish an open, yet predictable, workflow started with DDES (Digital Data Exchange Standard). It took a sustained effort by the DDAP (Digital Distribution

BY MARK SMITH Technology Editor Proofing has been one of the most contentious aspects of the printing process, especially in the digital era. The expectations of print buyers, of course, have been a big contributing factor. Debates have raged within the industry as well, typically with the issue boiling down to whether a given proofing solution is "good enough." Ironically, the question beginning to be asked now is whether a proof is needed at all. The current state of proofing was nicely laid out during two sessions at the recent VUE/Point 2004 conference. One session was set up to focus just on remote

BY MARK SMITH The only constant may be change, but things have gotten pretty quiet on most fronts of the digital revolution in printing. Even computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM), arguably, is more about a workflow evolution than revolution. One area that remains unsettled is proofing. Decades after the first digital systems were introduced, the industry is still debating what's the "right" solution. It's probably not reasonable to think one solution could meet the needs of every print shop and application. Nonetheless, the proliferation of systems is leading print execs to ask, "Why do I have so many proofers in my shop?" A related question is

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