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Diversification of the Print Shop

At OnDemand Expo, print providers move toward a blended workflow.

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By Stephen Beals

* Debuted a re-engineered and re-designed version of its Web-to-print platform, EFI Digital StoreFront (DSF). Version 3.0 includes a completely redesigned and highly customizable user interface, easier and faster Web-based administration, new VDP choices, and new features across the entire system. With DSF, a shop's customers can easily navigate through a full suite of print products and services all in one place, including personalized print items and managed catalogs; print buyers can shop, specify, proof and buy print products. In addition, DSF acts as an 'on-ramp' to the digital production workflow and print-management systems.

It was announced earlier this year, but the sale of Artwork Systems' ( Neo product under the Enfocus ( name is news. A sophisticated stand-alone PDF editor, Neo bridges the gap between Enfocus’s very popular Adobe Acrobat plug-in PitStop and the high-end workflow tools sold under the Artwork Systems name. Neo was previously sold only under the Artwork Systems name and through their dealers. By using the much broader Enfocus distribution network, the company hopes to fill the gap between low-end and high-end users. It’s a niche that the $4500 ($7500 with trapping) Neo fits neatly into.

Neo certainly takes a much bigger bite out of a shop's pocketbook than does PitStop (about $699), but it is also a much more robust application. Among Neo’s capabilities are: viewing and measuring, separation handling, advanced text and paragraph editing, object transformations, image editing and re-linking, clip path handling and transparency handling, and more. Neo offers high-end tools in a stand-alone product for editing PDF in its native format, allowing a broad range of last minute changes to be made without going back to native applications.

VRS 4.1 Professional software (VRS stands for Virtual Rescan) from Kofax ( essentially does just about any correction or image compensation you would normally do by re-scanning a document without actually re-scanning it. The software combines automatic page orientation and color detection and compensation with image enhancement that increases OCR accuracy by nearly 35%, reports the company. VRS can suppress noisy backgrounds, apply handwriting recognition, and even detect and delete blank pages. The software has drivers for a variety of scanning devices, including desktop, production, and workgroup scanner models from companies such as Canon, Epson, Kodak, and Visioneer.