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callas pdfToolbox - New Key Features



 
 
callas software pdfToolbox - Logo

Solutions to preflight, correct and repurpose PDF files for
prepress, print production, and electronic publishing




Key Features - Details


    New features in callas pdfToolbox 10:

    The new version takes a significant new step in preflight technology by making it possible
    to detect more problems, while making detection more accurate.
    It also makes pdfToolbox ready for cloud deployment and introduces additional capabilities
    for process plans (for step-by-step conditional processing of PDF files), preflight reports and more.

    For the first time, pdfToolbox 10 introduces a preflight engine that has the capability to check
    the relationship between objects in a very flexible and broad fashion.
    Examples of where this technology can be used are the detection of bleed,
    checking whether objects are inside or outside an irregular die-line,
    determining whether black set on knock-out will really be a problem…

    One of the big challenges of preflight in automated workflows is avoiding false positives:
    files that are no problem in production, but are still flagged as problematic.
    Better detection possibilities in pdfToolbox 10 will dramatically reduce this problem
    and thus increase the productivity of automated workflows using it.

    Automation is crucial for companies to remain competitive,
    and pdfToolbox 10 enables better automation.
    pdfToolbox 10 provides deep analysis not just of single objects,
    but of objects in the context of all the other objects in the PDF.

    • Sifter & Processing Steps
    • The technology that makes this possible is called "Sifter".
      It uses mathematical algorithms to determine what the relationship between objects is.
      Whether they overlap, intersect, are in close proximity…
      That technology forms the basis of a lot of the new capabilities in pdfToolbox 10.

      One of the areas where Sifter is important,
      is in support for the new 'Processing Steps' ISO Standard.
      This standard around handling elements in files that are linked to
      non-printing steps in the workflow is important for the packaging,
      label and large format market segments.

      Interactive as well as profile driven evaluation, modification and preflight of
      PDF Processing Steps Metadata is fully supported in callas pdfToolbox.

    • Even better preflight reports
    • pdfToolbox supports fully customizable preflight reports where both
      design and content of the report can be modified to fit a client’s needs.
      In pdfToolbox 10, that customizable report can be extended with a copy of
      the original document where the preflight errors are highlighted
      using masks with comments or layers.

      In pdfToolbox 10, it also becomes possible to translate preflight results
      in languages not supported in the software to provide alternative wording
      for items used in standard reports (simplified problem descriptions for example)
      and to generate reports in multiple languages from one preflight.

    • Process Plan power
    • Process Plans provide step-by-step execution of
      Profiles, Checks, Fixups and Actions on a PDF document,
      and they allow conditional processing where preflight Checks or
      variables influence what the next step is going to be.
      As Process Plans are used more and more often, and in more challenging scenarios,
      pdfToolbox 10 increases their capabilities.

      It is now possible to call another Process Plan in a Process Plan,
      which makes it much easier to reuse processing logic.
      pdfToolbox 10 further allows to create a Process Plan which creates multiple output files:
      one could build a Process Plan that generates a production version and a proof version
      of an incoming PDF document for example.

    • Quick Check
    • While Sifter enables pdfToolbox to be used for more challenging analysis of PDF documents,
      sometimes customers really only want simple answers.
      “Quick Check” functionality in pdfToolbox 10 caters to that;
      it provides basic information about a PDF in an extremely fast way.

    • Test mode
    • pdfToolbox allows creating extremely flexible Profiles and Process Plans.
      Sometimes this makes it hard to fine-tune them until they do exactly what you want.
      With pdfToolbox 10’s test mode, this is now a breeze.
      Test mode works on a copy of a PDF file, so you don’t risk ruining your test PDF file
      and it can be used directly from the Profile or Process Plan editor.
      This significantly speeds up the test cycle.

    • And much more...
    • pdfToolbox 10 also includes advances in other areas.
      It readies pdfToolbox for true cloud deployment, so that one can take advantage
      of the rapid resource up and down scaling of modern cloud services and for
      environments where processing needs vary greatly even in non-cloud implementations.
      It also makes extensive logging of preflight operations available if customers want to
      track processed files, common preflight problems and more.
      The preflight engine was upgraded to allow more complex preflight checks using
      Boolean logic (‘and’ and ‘or’) and optional content (‘layers’) is now fully supported in
      HTML templates used by the Place Content technology.


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    New features in callas pdfToolbox 9.4:

    • Prepares support for the PDF 2.0 Standard
    • callas pdfToolbox 9.4 introduces a number of internal changes
      to prepare support for the PDF 2.0 standard.
      PDF2.0 was published as a standard by ISO,
      the International Organization for Standardization, in July 2017.

    • Insert Pages Mixup
    • A new “Insert pages” fixup allows inserting new empty pages or duplicating existing pages.
      A new preflight condition allows identifying objects with specific dimensions
      (for example to give an error only for objects exceeding a certain width or height).

    • Custom ID in Preflight Checks and Fixups
    • This makes it much easier to refer to them in XML reports or
      when using Javascript in for example process plans.

    • Compare Profiles
    • When working on different versions of preflight profiles,
      it’s often difficult to find out what exactly has changed.
      pdfToolbox 9.4 contains a “compare profiles” feature that
      can be used to easily highlight differences between profiles.

      callas software pdfToolbox - Compare Profiles - Picture


    • Explore PDF View Improved
    • The “Explore PDF” view has been improved to allow
      easier navigation through the internal code of a PDF document.




    New features in callas pdfToolbox 9.3:

    • Adobe PDF Library
    • pdfToolbox now uses the latest version of the Adobe PDF Library.
      It provides bug fixes in the areas of rendering and transparency flatting
      and improves stability and performance of the application.

    • Pre-separated pages
    • A new Switchboard action allows for converting pages containing CMYK
      (and optionally spot colors) into pre-separated pages (without rasterization).
      A one page CMYK PDF file is converted into a four-page pre-separated PDF file.
      Pre-separated pages have metadata to allow compatible equipment
      to recognize them as such.

      callas software pdfToolbox Switchboard - Pre-separated Pages - Picture


    • Size of a page box
    • The pdfToolbox check for the size of a page box such as
      the trim box has been extended.
      Now it is also possible to check that a page has either
      a given size or a multiple of that size.
      This allows for checking whether a page can be
      proportionally scaled to the required size.

    • Variable can be reloaded from the last run and exported/loaded to/from JSON file
    • A small convenience feature can make the development of profiles
      and process plans using variables much easier:
      when testing profiles or process plans in pdfToolbox Desktop,
      variables can now be reloaded from the last run.
      It is even possible to export variablerna into a
      JSON file or load such a JSON structure.
      The same JSON can also be used in pdfToolbox CLI or SDK.
      A real-time saver when it comes to testing profiles with large amounts of variables.




    New features in callas pdfToolbox 9.2:

    The main new feature in pdfToolbox 9.2 is the ability to
    search for fix-ups, checks, profiles … across multiple libraries,
    but a host of smaller features can be found throughout the product.

    • Cross-library search
    • Libraries have transformed the way people work with
      Checks, Fixups, Profiles and Process Plans:
      the ability to store those by product or client for example is a great time-saver.

      However, sometimes you just want to find an item you know you worked on,
      but you don’t remember where it was.
      In pdfToolbox 9.2, there is the ability to see all Checks, Fixups and so on
      with the Library they are in next to it, and there is a separate
      'Search Libraries' window to enable very detailed searches.

    • Using an external text editor for Javascript variables
    • The power of Variables in pdfToolbox is unlimited as of
      the introduction of Javascript variables in version 9.
      Up to now, you have no choice as to edit Variables inside the Variable window in pdfToolbox,
      but version 9.2 offers the ability to open a Variable in your standard text editor,
      so you can edit it in your preferred script editing environment.
      This gives you easier access to syntax coloring, code completion and tools,
      such as Javascript, checking (with lint for example) inside that editor.

    • Other additions to pdfToolbox 9.2
    • The new update release introduces the following smaller features:

      • Some Switchboard Actions now feature a help button at the bottom.
        This button leads to the callas software documentation website at:
        help.callassoftware.com.
        Not all Switchboard Actions have this yet, more will be added as time goes by.

      • The 'Ask at runtime' and 'Variable editor' windows
        feature better keyboard shortcut support.

      • More information is provided in the XML report
        for the output intent in a document, and there is a new
        Fixup (“Embed output intent with specified parameters”)
        that lets you embed an output intent without first having to
        create it in the pdfToolbox preferences.

      • The 'Place text' and 'Place page number' Fixups
        allow adding a white background behind the added text.

      • The 'Outline page geometry boxes' Fixup
        has the possibility to select which sides of the page box
        should be outlined (instead of always outline all of them).

      • The 'Rotate page' and 'Set page geometry boxes' Fixup
        supports using a check to define which pages should be changed.
        This makes it possible for example to only rotate pages 3, 7 and 10
        by using a proper preflight Check that uses the sequential page number.

      • The 'Enlarge page' Fixup can be performed on specific pages as well,
        and it has new options to select which side of the page should be enlarged.




    New features in callas pdfToolbox 9.1:

    pdfToolbox 9.1 focuses on improving usability and reliability even further.
    pdfToolbox 9.1 adds support for the Processing Steps standard,
    includes a new version of the Adobe PDF library and
    extends several main pdfToolbox features.

    • Improved shape technology
    • pdfToolbox 9.1 extends the shape technology to enable some of these use cases,
      such as better support for spreading or choking while adding irregular shapes.

    • Processing Steps
    • Processing Steps is a specification originally developed by the Ghent Workgroup
      to associate information about printing and finishing processes
      (such as cutting, embossing, varnish …) with a PDF document.
      This is done by grouping page objects in layers
      (technically: optional content groups, OCG), and adding metadata
      to those layers to identify them as processing steps.
      The specification is going through a standardization process at
      the ISO organization to become an official international standard.
      pdfToolbox 9.1 implements wide support for this specification:
      it is possible to view or add processing steps information,
      check for its availability or correctness during preflight and
      fix common problems with it.

    • Place content supports SVG
    • The place content functionality in pdfToolbox is a very flexible way
      to add content to PDF documents, from simple text or page numbers,
      over barcodes with the built-in barcode library,
      to more challenging tasks with place content templates.
      In pdfToolbox 9.1, it is now also possible to simply add
      a complete SVG file to a PDF document.

    • Process plan debugging
    • Process plans are a convenient and powerful way to run complete fixup sequences
      on PDF documents, optionally with conditional (if … then …) processing.
      Building complex process plans can be challenging and pdfToolbox 9.1
      helps by providing process plan debugging functionality.
      In debug mode, all information about processing
      (including intermediary PDF files and reports) of a process plan is stored.
      This allows running a process plan and then analyzing in detail what the
      result of each step was to further optimize what happens in the process plan.

    • New version of the Adobe PDF library
    • pdfToolbox internally uses the Adobe PDF library for transparency flattening or
      rendering of PDF documents. This library has been updated in this release,
      to be on par with Adobe’s flagship Acrobat DC product.
      This change improves reliability and quality of
      the transparency flattening process specifically.




    New features in callas pdfToolbox 9:

    callas pdfToolbox now extends its functionality towards the different finishing
    operations that are necessary to prepare a PDF before it heads off to the RIP.
    Many of the new features dramatically enhance the possibilities of pdfToolbox
    for the large format printing, label and packaging markets for example.

    • Extends the use of variables into PDF preflight and correction

      • callas software pdfToolbox - Variables Everywhere in Checks and Fixups - Picture

      • Extending this feature to cover wider areas and to allow for
        dynamically changing variable values during processing.
        This makes it possible to create extremely flexible and powerful
        profiles and process plans without sacrificing usability.
        Customers can build a profile that has the viewing distance
        of a job as input and then calculates all necessary limits for
        text sizes and resolution minima automatically.


    • Large Format Printing - New section with dedicated features:

      • callas software pdfToolbox Switchboard - Large Print - Picture

      • Add varnish, white, foil, stamp
      • New bleed creation capabilities (stack, repeat last pixel, mirror)
      • Add grommets marks (eyelets)
      • Tiling for very large jobs (creation of a number of smaller, printable, pieces)
      • Create shapes (enabling varnish, white, foil creation to specific objects).
        Allows detection of vector or bitmap elements to turn them into separate "shapes".
      • Advanced variables


    • Prepress innovations

      • callas software pdfToolbox Switchboard - Colors - Picture

      • Automatically creating background objects e.g. for printing on transparent material.
      • Better support for spot colors in PDF with CxF based workflows.
        While PDF files contain enough information about spot colors to show a good
        screen preview, more complex operations such as correct color proofing
        or accurately converting spot colors to CMYK are more challenging.
        By storing CxF (color exchange format, ISO 17972-4) data in the PDF file,
        much better results can be obtained for more accurate color visualization and output.


    • New Features in callas pdfToolbox Desktop / Viewer Improvements

      • Zoom functionality

      • callas software pdfToolbox - Object Inspector - Zoom - Picture


      • Object Inspector / Wireframe visualization

      • callas software pdfToolbox - Object Inspector - Wireframe - Picture

        Object inspector allows hovering over objects in the file.
        All relevant properties of those objects are shown instantly together with
        a preview of the object and the objects above and beneath it.
        Filtering out different object types is built in;
        the object inspector has the ability to hide certain types of objects
        (imagine turning off all images to see what they are covering)
        and to switch to a wireframe viewing mode.
        In that mode all objects are shown using outlined rectangles
        in different colors to give an X-Ray view of the document.


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    New features in callas pdfToolbox 8:

    • Full support for multi-channel workflows and PDF/X-5n,
      and soft proofing of color / PDF/X-5n
      • callas software pdfToolbox - pdf/X5n Soft Proofing n-Channel Rendering - Picture
      • pdfToolbox 8 makes it possible to convert any PDF document
        to a multi-channel color space using an appropriate ICC Profile.
        This means RGB or CMYK content can easily be converted into
        hexachrome, CMYK + Red or any other multi-channel scenario;
        this is of critical importance for packaging and - increasingly - all digital workflows.

        Also included is support for the creation and validation of PDF/X-5n files, an ISO standard
        that is designed to support such color spaces in prepress data exchange.

      • pdfToolbox 8.1 can also do PDF/X-5n soft proofing.
        Soft proofing of PDF/X-5n files enables color-accurate display of
        documents that use multi-channel ICC profiles.
        Multi-channel color is becoming increasingly important because more and
        more often printers use more than 4 colors on their digital presses.

        Another area where they are frequently used is packaging.
        Soft proofing capabilities let users control color in different environments,
        which until now was only possible with highly specialized products.

        The new feature is available in the standalone version of pdfToolbox 8.1 Desktop and
        in pdfToolbox 8.1 CLI, Server and SDK where soft proof images can be created.


    • pdfToolbox libraries
      • callas software pdfToolbox Manage Libraries - Picture
      • If custom preflight or correction profiles are created, pdfToolbox 8.1 can make
        one’s life much easier with pdfToolbox libraries.
        In pdfToolbox 8.1 different profile libraries can be managed; each library can contain
        a different set of profiles, checks, fixups and all other supporting settings
        (such as HTML templates, color conversion settings etc…).
        Libraries can be imported and exported to be shared between users, and it’s easy
        to switch between libraries in pdfToolbox to quickly work on different projects.


    • Integrated barcode library
      • In many workflows barcodes need to be added to documents at some point in the workflow.
        To enable this pdfToolbox 8 now includes a full, professional barcode library that can add
        over a hundred different types of barcodes to PDF documents.
        From 1D to 2D barcodes or QR codes, pdfToolbox 8 covers it all.


    • Adding dynamic text
      • Adding page numbers to a PDF document is a recurring request and with
        the new “Add dynamic text” fixup, pdfToolbox 8 makes this possible.
        The fixup allows adding a wealth of information, either static text or dynamic text on
        a PDF document using a number of different fonts, colors and placement options.


    • The power of callas pdfChip integrated
      • callas pdfChip is a very powerful HTML to high-quality PDF converter.
        pdfToolbox 8 now integrates the power of pdfChip to support scenarios where the content
        to be added to a PDF document is more complex than a barcode or dynamic text.
        With some knowledge of HTML, CSS and optionally JavaScript it is possible to
        decorate PDF files in any way necessary in a workflow.


    • Object Inspector – detailed examination of PDF documents

      • callas software pdfToolbox Object Inspector - Picture

      • Using preflight, pdfToolbox has always been capable of quickly detecting
        problems or potential problems. Using the visualizer many preflight problems
        (such as bleed errors or ink overruns) can quickly be diagnosed visually.

        The new Object Inspector adds to that the ability to see a comprehensive list
        of properties for all objects in your PDF documents.
        Users can click on a document to see which objects are used in that location,
        and examine all properties (font, color, transparency, resolution, …) of those objects.
        A great tool to pinpoint pesky problems detected by preflight or simply to pick
        apart a troublesome PDF document.


    • Quicker processing of big PDF documents and TIFF export with result files of any dimension.
      • In some workflows customers have to process very big documents;
        documents that are very complex or – while relatively simple – contain a huge amount of pages.
        pdfToolbox 8 is optimized to deal with such documents without delays or problems.

        pdfToolbox has been capable of saving each page of a PDF document as PNG, JPEG or TIFF image,
        but that output so far was limited to 32.000 pixels in any dimension.
        In pdfToolbox 8 that limit has been completely removed for TIFF files
        (with the exception of the 2GB file size limit imposed by the TIFF format itself).
        This makes it possible to generate high-resolution TIFFs of even the biggest files.


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    New features in callas pdfToolbox 7:

    • Fully customizable preflight reports

      • New highly customizable preflight report providing attractive overview and flexible adoption.

        The preflight report listing errors and warnings is often the only contact your clients have with
        your production workflow; that makes such reports essential in conveying the proper information.

        callas pdfToolbox 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.

        callas software pdfToolbox Preflight Report - Picture


    • Operator intervention in an automated workflow
      • Even in fully automated workflows human intervention is sometimes required.
        With callas pdfToolbox, this manual intervention step is built right into
        both the Server and Desktop applications.
        The new checkpoint feature of callas pdfToolbox Server allows you to define
        workflow steps that submit files to callas pdfToolbox Desktop instances over the network.
        Operators can then easily verify whether certain automatic corrections were made
        as intended or jump in to make manual changes.

        Problem files can be kept in a “waiting room” within callas pdfToolbox Server
        instead of moving them immediately to the error folder.
        Operators using callas pdfToolbox Desktop see that list of problem files
        right inside their callas pdfToolbox interface; they can open those files on their
        desktop machine, inspect or modify them using the callas pdfToolbox tools and
        decide to reject them, overrule potential errors or approve a corrected version.

        callas 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.

        callas software pdfToolbox Preflight Report - Picture


    • Radically improved transparency and font engines
      • Transparency is still an issue in many of today’s prepress workflows.
        callas pdfToolbox now has smoother results and better performance.

      • There are similar problems with overprinting objects.
        Some workflows have problems with rather complex objects.
        callas pdfToolbox can flatten overprinting objects in the same way
        as transparent objects.

      • One of the most error prone fields is with regards to fonts.
        callas pdfToolbox is based on a completely new font engine with enhanced
        conversion capabilities, better stability and higher performance.

    • Clean up of PDF files for print and mobile production workflows
      • 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.

      • Removal of arbitrary page objects.
        This for example allows easily removing a die line or all elements using
        a particular spot color; e.g. that should not show up on a printing plate.

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


    • Other new features
      • Calculate the total area coverage of each separation in a PDF file
        (for cost calculation for example).

      • Compare two PDF documents or a specific number of separations from two PDF documents,
        so that it is possible to only compare the non-black channels (non textual objects) or
        only the black channel (only the text) without modifying the PDF beforehand.

      • Count the number of separations generated by a PDF file.

      • Determine the x-height of text.
        This is based on the new EU regulation for text size on packaging material
        that requires this particular check. As the required text size is defined as x-height,
        which is different from the regular text size (point size), this new preflight check
        can accurately check the x-height of text.

        For regular production workflows callas pdfToolbox also supports
        Ghent Workgroup specifications (GWG 2012) for ads and commercial print.


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    Key features in callas pdfToolbox:

    • Process plans
      • Building logic into profile
      • Execution of processing steps in response to results of previous sequences
      • Combining profiles with actions

    • Color remapping improvements
      • Extensions to the conversion of color channels,
        so that any process color channels can be converted to spot colors and vice versa
      • Spot colors can be put anywhere on PDF layers

    • callas pdfToolbox supports
      • Networked-enabled setup and management
        • callas pdfToolbox Desktop connect directly to local callas pdfToolbox Server
          running on a different machine
        • Profiles and hot folder configurations done at callas pdfToolbox Desktop
          while actual processing runs on different server
      • Load-balancing
        • Via Dispatcher Mode

    • Numerous other enhancements
      • Many checks, fixes and profiles have been extended and the process stability is further increased
    callas pdfToolbox can:
    • Check and correct according to industry standards,
      including PDF/X-1, PDF/X-3, PDF/X-4, PDF/X-5, PDF/A and PDF/VT
    • Perform a quick visual inspection of the files that have not passed quality control
    • Convert native documents into print-ready PDFs
      • Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher, Visio and Project
      • OpenOffice
      • Pages (Mac OS X only)
      • PostScript and EPS
      • PNG, JPG and TIFF images
    • Perfectly convert color with smooth color, pure black text and
      enhanced gray balance for consistent print output
    • Fix PDFs that have correct printer marks but without a correct trim or bleed box set
    • Visually compare PDFs to accurately see what changes have been done or
      make sure no unintended changes were introduced
    • Execute a single fix or a profile full of fixes on a complete folder of
      a large amount of files using the batch processing feature
    For prepress professionals, there’s an updated PDF engine which supports:
    • The latest ISO standards
    • Advanced color management
    • Imposition of everything from business cards to full N-up impositions
      (N-up printing allows you to print two or four or more pages on single sheets of paper)
    • Splitting or joining of PDF content
    • controls to resize and reposition PDF content
    • the ability to embed, subset, replace and convert fonts to outlines
    • 64-bit systems


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