pdfToolbox 7

callas software has released version 7 of its pdfToolbox product line. This new version is a significant step forward in making PDF quality control and production workflows more accurate. The core PDF and font libraries in pdfToolbox have received a major update to improve speed and reliability of processing troublesome PDF files. The more compact and adjustable preflight report improves clear communication with customers, and the operator checkpoints allow manual intervention in automated workflows.

In automated workflows, pdfToolbox has become indispensable to provide PDF quality control and correction, conversion of PostScript, image and office formats to PDF, impositioning, splitting and merging of PDF files and much more. Out-of-the-box automation with hot folders and easy integration through the command-line version into any production workflow, MIS system or web-to-print environment has made pdfToolbox the tool of choice for such environments. pdfToolbox 7 builds on this foundation and takes the next leap forward.

Manual intervention in automated workflows

In any automated workflow, problem files and the fact that they must be investigated and or fixed manually, proves to be a difficult step to implement. While pdfToolbox can often correct as much the vast majority of the incoming PDF files, unavoidably some PDF files need manual intervention. With pdfToolbox 7, this manual intervention step is built right into the Server and Desktop applications.

Problem files can be kept in a “waiting room” within pdfToolbox Server instead of moving them immediately to the error folder. Operators using pdfToolbox Desktop see that list of problem files right inside their pdfToolbox interface; they can open those files on their desktop machine, inspect or modify them using the pdfToolbox tools and decide to reject them, overrule potential erros or approve a corrected version. pdfToolbox Server keeps track of who checked the PDF file out to avoid multiple operators losing time by looking at the same file, and moves the files to the success or error output folder based on the operator’s decision.

New generation PDF transparency flattening and font library

Transparency flattening is still unavoidable in many of today’s production workflows; while pdfToolbox has always provided top-notch transparency flattening, pdfToolbox 7 uses updated Adobe libraries that give smoother results and better overall performance. The same engine can also flatten overprint throughout a PDF file; avoiding overprint problems on RIPs that have issues in that regard.

A completely new font engine in pdfToolbox 7 tackles one of the other areas that cause the most problems in production workflows: inadequate or corrupt fonts. The new engine is much better at embedding and sub setting fonts and at handling broken fonts. On top of that it provides better stability and performance.

New preflight report

For your clients, the preflight report listing errors and warnings is often the only contact they have with your production workflow; that makes such reports essential in conveying the proper information. pdfToolbox 7 comes with a new preflight report layout that is much more visually attractive, provides the information in a more clear and concise way and is fully customizable so that you can add your company logo or brand colors when needed.

PDF file cleanup for print and mobile production workflows

One of the most common requests for pdfToolbox was to provide better fix-ups for a number of cleanup operations in PDF documents. Amongst other new features, pdfToolbox 7 now allows:

•           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 color.

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

Advanced preflight checks

To further increase the power of quality control workflows, pdfToolbox also includes a number of advanced new preflight checks. Some of these are based on the powerful PDF to image engine included in pdfToolbox: 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.

Specifically for packaging workflows, a new preflight check can accurately check the x-height of text. This is especially important in light of the new EU regulation for text size on packaging material that requires this particular check (as the regulation is expressed using x-height rather than point size). For regular production workflows pdfToolbox 7 also supports the GWG 2012 specifications for ads and commercial print.

Prices and availability

callas pdfToolbox 7 is available and comes in two versions:

•           pdfToolbox Desktop for manual processing as a plug-in within Adobe Acrobat or standalonetarts at 499 EUR. An upgrade from pdfToolbox 6 costs 199 EUR and an upgrade from pdfToolbox 5 costs 299 EUR.

•           pdfToolbox Server for fully automated, hands-off processing starts at 3999 EUR. Upgrades to pdfToolbox Server 7 are included in the maintenance agreement for pdfToolbox Server.

For further inquiries regarding availability, price, options or return on investment, please contact sales@fourpees.com. A fully functional time-limited trial version can be downloaded from http://www.callassoftware.com/callas/doku.php/en:download.

pdfToolbox 7 Webinar

callas software and Four Pees organize English, German and French webinars.

Register for free via the below links:

•           English webinar: October 9, 4-5 pm CEST: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6692262537852804865

•           German webinar: October 16, 10.30-11.30 am CEST: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6463402491530850305

•           French webinar: October 15, 4-5 pm CEST: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6609591358513042946

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