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General questions

If I buy software on line from your company, how long does it take to get it?

All our products can be downloaded immediately after you complete your purchase, with one exception: PrintShop Mail, which requires physical shipment that normally takes a few days.

Do you offer discounts to educational institutions, charities and non-profits?

Yes. These discounts are arranged on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us.

Do you offer free demo software?

Yes. Click here to get the free demo software you want.

Do you take orders by phone?

Yes. Please call us at 888-260-7316.

How can I get the lowest price on the product I want?

The pricing published here in our Web Store is heavily discounted, and we doubt you will find lower pricing elsewhere. However, if you do find a lower price on a particular product, we will beat the other price. Call us at 888-260-7316, or use our contact form to email us.

Do you offer volume pricing?

Yes. For some products, volume pricing is available when you buy on line here at our Web Store. If you don't see volume pricing for the product you want, please contact us.

Technical questions

What is PDF?

PDF stands for "Portable Document Format." Developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and introduced in 1993, PDF is a file format that provides an electronic image of text or text and graphics that looks like a printed document and can be viewed, printed, and electronically transmitted.

What is a plug-in?

A "plug-in" is a software product that enhances the functionality of a particular software application. In other words, a plug-in adds features to an application. A plug-in cannot function on its own; it is designed to work in conjunction with a particular application. There are plug-ins available for many software applications, including Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, and QuarkXPress. Our company offers many Adobe Acrobat plug-ins. One example is Quite Imposing Plus.

What is on-demand printing and publishing?

On-demand printing is a form of "just-in-time" inventory management. The term "on-demand printing" refers to the notion of printing documents only when they are needed, as opposed to printing large quantities of documents and storing them on a shelf until they are needed.

In recent years, the concept of creating documents on demand has been extended to include electronic documents. These are often in in PDF format but can be in other formats.

The term "on-demand printing and publishing" encompasses both paper documents and on-line documents.

What is variable-data printing and publishing?

Variable-data printing is a form of on-demand printing in which all the documents in a print run are similar but not identical. For example, if you are printing personalized letters to be mailed to your customers, each document probably has the same basic layout, but there is a different customer name and address on each letter.

When you use your word-processing software to do a mail merge, you are doing a simple form of variable-data printing.

These days, variable-data printing can go far beyond printing different names and addresses on a document. There are systems that let you insert different graphics into a document, change the layout and/or the number of pages, print a unique bar code on each document, use color extensively. . . and more.

The concept of creating variable-data documents has been extended to non-paper documents such as PDF documents and HTML documents. The term "variable-data printing and publishing" (or just "variable-data publishing") encompasses both paper documents and on-line documents.

Software for doing variable-data printing and publishing is sometimes referred to as "VDP software."

Variable-data printing and publishing is known by several other names. Some of them are:

  • personalized printing
  • personalized publishing
  • personalization
  • customized printing
  • customized publishing
  • database publishing
  • one-to-one (1:1) communication
  • one-to-one (1:1) publishing.

What is a RIP, and what is ripping?

RIP stands for "Raster Image Processor." A RIP is a device or a software program that converts page-description-language (PDL) code to the raster format required by the print engine in a printer or imagesetter. (The print engine is the machinery that actually makes marks on a page.)

Converting PDL to a raster format is called rasterization or ripping.

For some printing devices, the RIP is stored on a circuit board that is inside the printer. This is true of many if not most desktop printers.

For other printing devices, the RIP is a collection of software modules that runs on a computer that is attached to the printing device. This is the case with high-end digital printers and digital presses.

What is a Web-to-print system, and how does a Web-to-print system work?

A Web-to-print system is a computer-based system that allows people to go to a Web site and place orders for printed documents. Usually, but not always, the documents are printed on demand. Often, but not always, the documents can be customized in some way by the people that are placing the orders.

Web-to-print systems are also known as "Web2Print" systems, "W2P" systems, or "remote-publishing" systems.

In most cases, the people that use Web-to-print systems to place orders for documents do not have graphic-design skills and are not trained in printing technology. In contrast, the people that manage and maintain Web-to-print systems do have such training and knowledge. For example, some printing companies manage and maintain Web-to-print systems and offer them for use to their customers.

Most Web-to-print systems have an on-line catalog of documents from which to choose. The documents can be static, or they can be designed in a way that allows for customization.

Most Web-to-print systems have a built-in ordering process, often with e-commerce capabilities so that customers can pay for their orders with credit cards and debit cards.

Usually, but not always, the end product for an order is hard-copy output (printed documents).Usually, but not always, the hard-copy output is produced by digital printing equipment.

Sometimes the end product for an order is an electronic file for example, a PDF file.

What is personalization software?

Personalization software" is another term for "variable-data-printing/publishing software." This type of software allows you to create documents that are customized with information in a database.

What is a document-composition engine?

A document-composition engine is a set of software modules that interprets formatting instructions for a particular document and generates code that can be rendered on a computer screen or on a printer so that the document can be seen and understood by humans.

People in the printing & publishing industry sometimes refer to a document-composition engine simply as a " composition engine."

Many document-composition engines can generate a variety of output formats. An output format is a particular kind of code that is understood by a printer, a RIP, or a software program that displays documents on a computer monitor.

Here are few examples of common output formats that are generated by document-composition engines.

  • PostScript: Many printers and RIPs understand PostScript.
  • PCL. Many printers and RIPs understand PCL.
  • PDF. Some software applications that display documents on a computer monitor understand PDF. For example, the Adobe Acrobat software and the Adobe Reader software understand the PDF format.
  • JPEG, TIFF, BMP: Some software applications that display documents on a computer monitor understand these formats. For example, Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Windows Paint understand these formats.
See also What is a page-description language?

What is a PDL?

See What is a page-description language?

What is a page-description language?

A page-description language (PDL) is a computer language that describes the text and graphics in a document. Printers and RIPs understand page-description languages.

There are only a few page-description languages that are in widespread use today. Perhaps the best-known page-description languages are:

  • IPDS (invented by IBM)
  • PCL (invented by Hewlett-Packard Corporation)
  • PDF (invented by Adobe Systems Incorporated)
  • PostScript (also invented by Adobe Systems Incorporated)

What is PostScript?

It is a page-description language (PDL) invented by Adobe Systems Incorporated.

What is an Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) file?

EPS is a standard file format for importing and exporting graphics and formatted text. Many page-layout applications, word-processing applications, and illustration applications have features that allow you to create (export) EPS files and use (import) EPS files. The Adobe Acrobat software also allows you to create EPS files.

An EPS file usually has a filename extension of .eps or .epsf. (Depending upon how your computer is set up, you might or might not be able to see filename extensions for your files.)

An EPS file is a PostScript fie, but an EPS file has some special characteristics that a "regular" PostScript file does not have. Some of the most important special characteristics are:

  • An EPS file always describes the appearance of a single page — never more than one page.

  • The information in an EPS file is structured in a way that allows an importing application to discover the size and shape of the page described in the EPS file. An importing application needs to know the size and shape of the page in order to position the page properly and in order to use the proper aspect ratio when rendering the page.

  • There are some PostScript commands that would cause technical problems if used in an EPS file; therefore, these commands are considered "illegal" for EPS files.

  • Most EPS files contain a crude representation of their contents in bitmap format (i.e. raster format). This bitmap code is usually referred to as "preview" code. The bitmap-format preview code is included because some applications that import EPS files can't read and understand PostScript code; such applications use the bitmap-format preview code to display pictures of EPS files on the screen. (Computer programs can understand bitmap-format code more easily than PostScript code.)

    When an EPS file containing preview code is printed, the printer generally does not use the preview code at all. Instead, the printer uses only the PostScript code in the EPS file to create text and graphics on the page. The preview code is generally used only for screen display.

  • Some EPS files cannot be printed without first being imported into an application and included in another document. If you send such an EPS file to your PostScript printer, your printer will appear to process the file (that is, the printer will give an indication that it is "busy"), but it won't print anything on paper.

What is imposition?

Imposition (also known as "page imposition") is the process of modifying the position, orientation, and printing order of the individual pages in a document, and grouping collections of individual pages together on larger sheets of paper or film so the pages are arranged properly for printing on a particular printing press or digital printer and for binding with a particular binding system.

What is copyfitting?

Copyfitting is the process of ensuring that a line of text of block of text isn't too long or too short to fit the space allotted for it in a document. Another term for copyfitting is "text fitting."

How are oversets handled with a variable-data-publishing system?

What is whitespace management?

What does WYSIWYG mean?

What is PDF merging?

What is PDF splitting?

What is PDF form flattening?

What is PDF data mining?

What is XML, and how does it work?

What is the difference between a bitmap graphic format and a vector graphic format?

What is OCR?

What is rasterization?

What is a watermark?

What is data hygiene?

What is data enhancement?

What is metadata?