Callas releases pdfToolbox 9 with a focus on packaging and large format

Dietrich von Seggern.
Dietrich von Seggern.

Callas Software, a market leader in automated PDF quality control and archival solutions, has released pdfToolbox 9, a major update of its pdfToolbox product line. The new version enhances the power of variables and integrates new technologies for the large-format printing, label and packaging markets. It also has support for CxF colour data in PDF and integrates usability improvements for zooming and wireframe viewing.

“pdfToolbox has earned its credit in the most demanding preflight and correction phases of workflows,” said Dietrich von Seggern, Managing Director of Callas Software. “However, in the last years it’s used more and more as a job preparation tool – a full pre-press in-a-box. With pdfToolbox 9, it 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. Judging by the requests we received from customers who’ve seen these new features at drupa, people are thrilled with this direction.”

callastoolbox9-inWhile PDF files contain enough information about spot colours to show a good screen preview, more complex operations such as correct colour proofing or accurately converting spot colours to CMYK are more challenging. By storing CxF (colour exchange format, ISO 17972-4) data in the PDF file, much better results can be obtained. As well, pdfToolbox 9 includes a better zooming function and allows displaying of files in wireframe mode. For example, filtering out different object types is built-in and allows users to hide images and see if there are any objects behind them.

The updated software also features a dedicated large-format print section. White space and bleed can be added to the PDF file, additional finishing layers such as opaque white or varnish inks can be added across the whole file (or only in certain areas), grommet marks can be distributed around the trim box, and for very large jobs, tiling (the creation of a number of smaller, printable, pieces) is also supported. With pdfToolbox Server, all these tasks can be automated. Another new feature deals with the fact that PDF files that match the right output standard are not always ready for production. They might be missing an undercover white, a varnish or a die-line, for example. Often, these elements need to be manually added by a pre-press operator. In pdfToolbox 9, the New Shapes feature allows users to detect vector or bitmap elements and turn them into separate ‘shapes.’

callastoolbox9a-inIn pdfToolbox 9, any function in a Process Plan can now be controlled and made dynamic using variables. The technology also allows for building even more powerful workflows by integrating Javascript support into variables. And because variables can refer to other variables used in a profile, more intelligent profiles can be built. In large-format printing, for instance, 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 automatically.


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.