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Tools for Variable Data Work

(November 2008) posted on Wed Nov 12, 2008

A list of valuable products to assist with variable data.

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Several manufacturers have recently introduced new tools and technologies to better accommodate variable data. What follows is just a sampling of what’s been newly released to the marketplace in recent months. Note that we have not included hardware/printers here:

* Compose Systems’ latest Harlequin RIP release, Express RIP v8.0, features a PDF retained raster designed to speed up variable-data processing. Express 8.0 is designed to increase performance through the use of multithreaded rendering technology, removing RIP bottlenecks by handling raster data and taking advantage of new Duo and Quad core technologies.

* Creo Print on Demand Solutions released earlier this year the newest version of its Darwin software. Darwin 3.0 includes new features for cross-media capability, such as personalized HTMLs for high-end VDP campaigns, as well as enhancements to existing capabilities like an expanded barcode library and personalized images on the Mac version.

* EFI’s EFI Fiery Central 1.5 is a modular PDF-based production workflow solution that now features enhanced VDP capabilities. This new version of Fiery Central, coupled with the company’s Fiery color digital print server, offers an open, flexible, and scalable VDP solution enabling easier development of customized marketing campaigns, regardless of their complexity. It supports multiple VDP formats, including PPML (Personalized Print Markup Language) and other legacy proprietary languages.

* Em Software has announced the release of InData for Adobe InDesign CS3. InData brings the layout, design, typographic, and picture-publishing power of Adobe InDesign to bear on data-driven repetitive publishing tasks. Users can control their design and layout by using InDesign’s typographic controls for each variable field and for any intervening text, to get just the right look for their data.

* The Esko Variable Data Printing module expands the company’s capabilities in digital printing for HP Indigo presses. The Variable Data feature is part of Esko Software Suite 7, and is also available as an Adobe Illustrator plug-in in the Esko DeskPack plug-in series, or as an extension of Esko PackEdge and Esko Plato.