21 Jul 2024

Hybrid announces new Mimaki FineCut 8.0 cutting software

The latest version of Mimaki’s powerful plugin cutting software is now available and is compatible with both Adobe Illustrator CS5 (on Mac and PC) and CorelDRAW! X5 on PC. The software adds sign-making functionality to popular industry standard software applications and fits seamlessly into standard workflows.

With significant performance upgrades over the previous version, it comes bundled free of charge with the full range of Mimaki’s cutters and integrated printer/cutters. For existing users of previous versions of Mimaki FineCut, a free upgrade is available via UK & Irish Mimaki distributor, Hybrid Services Ltd’s website and for those wishing to try it out, a 60 day licensed version can also be downloaded free of charge.

Mimaki FineCut enables contour cut paths to be created from both bitmap and vector images, automates the print and cut process when used in combination with the Mimaki RasterLink Pro RIP software and provides powerful cutting tools for both coloured vinyl cutting and print and cut workflows.

Hybrid’s marketing manager, Duncan Jefferies describes the update as “…a valuable revision to the software.”

“Mimaki FineCut is a powerful application,” he says, “and the latest version ensures cross platform and package compatibility alongside some feature rich development.”

To access the download or to try the software out for free, visit www.hybridservices.co.uk and click ‘News’ from where there are links to the appropriate pages.

Corel Introduces The Ultimate Photo Editing Package

Today Corel Corporation announced the release of Corel® PaintShop Photo® Pro X3 Ultimate, a new photo-editing software collection combining the power of Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 along with new creative tools that allows photo enthusiasts to easily produce professional-looking photos, custom websites, create amazing photo effects and inspiring digital paintings. This special-value package has a suggested retail price (SRP) of just £79.

The new Ultimate edition includes the recently updated PaintShop Photo Pro X3, featuring new performance enhancements, along with a selection of complementary software that broadens any photographer’s creative possibilities. These include: Incomedia™ WebSite X5® Special Edition, web creation software that makes it easy to design, create and publish your website in just 5 steps; Corel® KPT® Collection photo-effects filters; and Corel® Painter™ Essentials 4 for sketching, drawing and photo-painting. Customers who purchase the box version of Ultimate will also benefit from a comprehensive printed user guide*, empowering photographers to take maximum advantage of PaintShop Photo Pro.

The powerful tools and resources within Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 Ultimate allows photographers to edit and share their photos in more ways than ever. Photo enthusiasts can edit photos, turn them in to works of art and share using unique printed photo books and eye-catching web creations. For example, a food enthusiast can edit and mix photos along with text to make a personal recipe book of their favourite dishes. Then, choose from over 1,400 templates and options to create a unique website or blog to showcase and share their creations online in just 5 simple steps.

Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 Ultimate includes many value added extras:

  • Corel® PaintShop Photo® Pro X3: Built on performance and stability enhancements introduced in the recently updated version X3.2, Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 brings together professional quality organisation and photo editing tools along with photo projects, backup and high definition (HD) video slideshow capabilities to meet the evolving needs of today's photographer. New tools include the Organizer and Project Creator, along with the dynamic editing of the Smart Carver™, Camera RAW Lab, Object Extractor and more.
  • Incomedia™ WebSite X5® Special Edition: An outstanding tool that helps you to create your ideal website or blog including Podcasts and Videocasts. It’s packed with advanced tools and over 1,400 templates to help you create websites with all of the eye-catching features you see on the web’s best sites.
  • Corel® KPT® Collection: With 24 powerful Kai’s Power Tools plug-in filters, Corel KPT Collection gives photo enthusiasts a comprehensive set of creative tools for quickly producing fantastic effects.
  • Corel® Painter™ Essentials 4: Ideal for exploring digital art, the full Corel Painter Essentials 4 gives users realistic digital painting, drawing and sketching tools along with the unique Auto-Painting palette, making it easy to create a realistic work of art or automatically paint a photo in just three easy steps.
  • Comprehensive printed manual: Combined with the unique LearningCenter, the printed User Guide and colour Getting Started Guide gives PaintShop Photo Pro X3 users all the information they need to maximise their photo editing potential. *

All these additional renowned photography tools are designed to broaden the capabilities of the enthusiast photographer and allow  them to produce their most extraordinary photos yet at atruly exceptional value.


Enfocus announces Instant PDF 09

Enfocus launches Instant PDF 09, the latest version of its easy and reliable tool for producing press-ready Certified PDFs. By preflighting and automatically correcting PDF files after creation, Instant PDF 09 brings unprecedented simplicity and standard compliance to the desktops of designers. The latest release comes with support for Adobe CS 5 and QuarkXPress 8 applications, as well as the latest industry standards.

Enfocus Instant PDF 09 makes producing press-ready PDFs easy. The tool is intended for creative professionals who need to output PDFs that are preflighted to industry standards prior to submission for printing, either internally or to an external print service provider or publisher. Instant PDF 09 is easy to use, reliable, and accepts profiles for PDF creation and preflight verification supplied by printers or publishers, if required. Instant PDF 09 is now also compatible with Windows 7 and Mac version OS X 10.4.11 through to the latest 10.6; now including 64-bit compatibility.

The PDFs created with Instant PDF 09 comply with print or advertisement vendors' specifications, including ISO PDF/X-1a, PDF/X-3, PDF/X-4 and the latest Ghent PDF Workgroup (GWG) industry standards. The files are Certified PDFs, with embedded metadata that includes creator, verification and profile information that stays with the file throughout its lifetime.

"With Instant PDF 09, creative professionals can work within the latest design software and operating systems. Print providers will see a significant reduction in customer service calls and prepress workload, because Certified PDF files are always output correctly from the workstation," says Elli Cloots, Director of Product Management at Enfocus. "The Enfocus Certified PDF  technology allows graphic designers to deliver high quality Certified PDF files to their print providers, without having to worry about all the technical details."

Create PDFs according to the newest standards and specifications

Working from within any design application such as Adobe CS 5 or QuarkXPress 8, PDFs are easily output by simply selecting "Save as Certified PDF..." from the File menu. Instant PDF 09 then handles the process of creating a PDF to specifications, including preflight and automatic correction of most common errors, on-the-fly. It even sends the press-ready PDFs directly to the printer's inbox, FTP server or Enfocus PowerSwitch automated workflow - and all without leaving the application.

Prepress experts, such as print service providers, can create standard or custom PDF Queues that are easily imported into Instant PDF. PDF Queues contain all the PDF creation and preflight settings required for outputting quality PDFs. They can be distributed as files or published on the CertifiedPDF.net website, where designers can subscribe for free and automatically receive all of the latest PDF Queues. Instant PDF 09 also uses the latest checks and fixes introduced in PitStop Pro 09.


Enfocus PitStop Connect takes problems out of PDF transfers for Strandbygaard Grafisk

Smart tool builds communication bridge and enables Danish printer to receive print-ready, preflighted PDF files


Strandbygaard Grafisk A/S, a leading Danish print company, invested in Enfocus PitStop Connect to streamline PDF transfers from its clients. The software, just launched at Ipex 2010, enables the Danish printer to receive PDF files –already preflighted– directly from its clients. The new streamlined workflow reduces communication efforts by 25-40%, saving valuable time and resources and boosting production efficiency significantly.

Strandbygaard Grafisk A/S, a family-owned and operated print company, has been serving the Danish market for more than 100 years. Like many printers, the company has seen a gradual shift over recent years towards PDF for printing, with more than 95% of files received today in that format. Unfortunately, many of those PDF files fail preflight scrutiny. A series of communication loops between the printer and creative is then required to resolve the issues and make the file print-ready. To solve this problem and streamline the workflow, Strandbygaard Grafisk invested in PitStop Connect which eradicates errors in PDFs before they reach the printer.

“Before we installed PitStop Connect, 25% of PDFs received failed our preflight checks,” says Allan Bernhard, Prepress Manager at Strandbygaard Grafisk. “We spent a lot of time going back and forwards to the client to resolve the issues and this just soaked up valuable time. Now, when creatives attempt to send a file, the Connector first conducts a preflight check. In case of errors the creative receives a preflight report identifying the problems that need attention. In some cases we even allow our creatives to sign-off on certain errors and still allow a file that failed preflight to be delivered."

"Almost every file we receive now is print-ready, and we’ve reduced our communication efforts with customers by around 25-40%," Bernhard continues. "We’re extremely happy with the improved workflow and our customers see a real value-add as well.”

Integration with Switch workflow

The company works with a number of Enfocus solutions – including PitStop Pro, PitStop Server and Switch – for more than a decade. The ability to integrate PitStop Connect directly into the Switch workflow was one of the main drivers behind Strandbygaard Grafisk’s decision to invest in the new software.

“Enfocus Switch is the backbone of our automated prepress workflow for some years now,” explains Bernhard. “Because PitStop Connect integrates seamlessly with Switch, PDF files are imported directly into the automated workflow. And because metadata can be linked to the file, all key customer information such as company name, contact email address, number of copies required, etc. gets imported as well. With preflight now carried out at the creative side, we have a fully automated streamlined workflow: from creation to print – which boosts production efficiency with no end.” 

No charge for printer’s clients

Unlike the click-based pricing models used by competing products, the Enfocus PitStop Connect is available for a one-off fee of €3,999 – irrespective of the number of users.

“The pricing model was also what did it for us,” says Bernhard. “We could have equipped every customer with PitStop Pro, but that would have proved too complex and too expensive for most of them and on top they would be able to deliver files to other printers as well. With PitStop Connect, they simply download the software on to their desktop. When they have a PDF ready to send, they simply drag and drop it on to the 'Connector' and press 'go'. They pay absolutely nothing and from our end we know in advance exactly what the costs are.” 

Powerful marketing tool

PitStop Connect can also be branded for an individual print company. “We will definitely take advantage of the branding feature,” says Bernhard. “With PitStop Connect we offer clients simplicity and a hassle-free way to get their PDFs to us. It's a real added value for them and we want to ensure they associate that value with Strandbygaard Grafisk. It’s powerful marketing.”

Strandbygaard Grafisk purchased PitStop Connect through Peter Leth Kjær of InProduction ApS, Enfocus’ Danish Certified Expert. InProduction delivers first line of local support for all of Enfocus’ solutions in the Danish market and also provides workflow consultancy services to its clients.


ixPressia brings variable data and customisation to wide-format graphics

Cambridge software specialist ixPressia has introduced an easy-to-use stand-alone program designed to simplify the production of customised and variable data printing for display producers, designers and sign-makers. Designated ixPressionist, this innovative solution is a powerful, professional VDP package which enables individual and versioned elements, such as text, images and barcodes, to be incorporated automatically into wide-format applications as well as for a host of smaller jobs, such as labels, stickers and decals.

ixPressionist is designed to work off-line and is not reliant on a specific RIP or printer to generate data. This means that designers, print service providers and end customers can now produce variable output for signs, wide-format displays and posters, plus other applications where repeat graphics need to mix with individual elements.

As well as being ideal for today's wide-format display producers, ixPressionist is also of great value to designers and pre-press operatives who don't own a printing machine, but who want to send finished jobs, ready to RIP and output, to a third-party production house. Its easy-to-use handling of CSV test elements, combined with graphics, means that it is compliant with any printer or RIP that supports PDF input.

ixPressionist is a stand-alone Windows-based product, not a plug-in, and supports embedded RGB and CMYK colour profiles, plus industry-standard JPG, TIFF, PNG and GIF file formats. Users can design and edit high resolution graphics to contain variable data such as text, barcodes and graphics. Links can be made to external data sources, or the variable data can be generated internally, with the output being an optimised, multi-page PDF file, ready for RIPping or printing using standard drivers.

Early assessment from potential users has shown that this is the product that the industry has been waiting for in their drive to offer greater automated versatility with their digital printers. The sheer simplicity and effectiveness of ixPressionist software makes it an essential option for anyone who wants to handle VDP and customisation quickly and easily.

With extensive experience in specialist software development for print, Jim Taylor, Managing Director of ixPressia, explains: "This is a break away from our traditional industrial market. We have applied our proven high-speed variable data technology to create an easy-to-use VDP creation tool for the graphics printing market."

ixPressionist is making its international debut on stand 161 in Hall B1 at FESPA, Munich, where ixPressia will also be exhibiting its established industrial software range on the Xennia stand. The software will be available via selected distributors and resellers.

Xerox Software calculates ROI of direct-mail campaigns

Print service providers and marketers understand the power and profit that come from personalized marketing campaigns but estimating an expected return on investment (ROI) can be difficult.  New software from Xerox Corporation makes it easy to measure the effectiveness of transpromotional and direct-mail campaigns – before anything is printed.

ProfitQuick Direct Marketing ROI Planner, one of the latest additions to Xerox's ProfitAccelerator portfolio, predicts the effectiveness of a direct-mail campaign and provides an ROI assessment. Information such as the number of mail pieces, cost per piece, and revenue per item or service sold is put into an online calculator. In turn, print providers and marketers receive financial data that can drive new business or convert an existing customer's static campaign into a more targeted, personalized approach.

"I've seen a few ROI calculators, but never one this complete for customized campaigns, or one as easy to use," said Bob Pente, president, Wired Pente Inc., a Toronto-based marketing and advertising firm. "It takes the benefits that marketers have been touting for years and turns them into a quantifiable resource that makes it very easy to tell the story. It's a fantastic tool for marketers."

In addition to ProfitQuick Direct Marketing ROI Planner, two other new tools, the ProfitQuick ezBusiness Planner and the Wide Format Essentials Kit are now available.

ProfitQuick ezBusiness Planner

This software gives print service providers immediate access to a customized five-year business plan, estimated yearly profits and the exact month when profitability is expected. Users plug in basic production data such as average monthly page volume, area coverage and equipment costs, then the planning software generates a range of tailored financial data.

"Costs and revenue are scrutinized more than ever and ProfitQuick ezBusiness Planner asks the hard financial questions and then analyzes the answers," said Peter Muir, president, Bizucate Inc., an education and consulting organization. "The planner sheds light on what kind of profits could be attained with minor or major adjustments to the way print service providers approach their businesses."

Wide Format Essentials Kit

Wide format printing can complement a print service provider's traditional offerings, and this kit provides information to plan, build and implement a profitable large format business.

The kit helps users build a marketing plan, host an open house, identify revenue generating applications and provides high-quality, popular media samples that can be used to showcase new large format options.