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DI-Plot: The Missing Link

With JDF enabled DI-Plot, we have designed outstanding proofing software for a wide range of digital offset printing machines, computer-to-plate systems and film imagesetters. Any color printer or plotter can be used for printout.

DI-Plot has finally closed the gap between prepress and printing in the digital workflow. For the first time, it is possible to achieve a reliable Okay-to-Print based on the original data after it's been ripped and separated. The proofs are inexpensive and yet of the highest possible precision. With DI-Plot, production reliability can be stepped up to an unprecedented degree.

The digital workflow won't always flow

It's every publisher's nightmare: the data has been ripped and production has been started, but on the final output, misprints are detected! Not only does this mean considerable financial loss in wasted time and material, but possibly a missed deadline as well! Such incidents can happen even with an experienced DTP team - and even when they check their work with proofs made on a conventional blueprint system.

A printout is no blueprint

In fact, such "proofs" are proof of nothing. They all use different Rip technologies, and process unseparated PostScript files. Numerous problems can arise: the installed fonts might not harmonize, RGB-images might not be processed, or the different software versions under PostScript level one, two or three might collide (to name but a few). In short: years of practical experience have shown that outputs rasterized by a Rip for digital blueprints - the so-called "form proofer" - cannot be matched to outputs from a production Rip. When compared to what finally comes off press, such blueprints are absolutely worthless as a reference.

The solution

When fitted between the PostScript interpreter and the imaging unit, DI-Plot is the only digital blueprint system that guarantees absolute conformity between proof and print. DI-Plot makes use of a simple but ingenious concept: the color proofs are made from the ripped, separated and screened original files. A fault-prone re-interpretation of PostScript and unnecessary second ripping of the data is thus avoided. When using DI-Plot, most configurations don't need a special form proof Rip at all!


The core of DI-Plot is its descreening algorithms: the original high-definition files (between 1200 and 4000 DPI) for imagesetters are descreened, reassembled and downsized at a resolution according to the color printer's settings (e.g. 300 or 600 DPI). DI-Plot's descreening process has been brought to an even higher standard: the color proofs are now reliable down to the finest detail.

The printer's concern

A proof only deserves to be called a proof if, in addition to all necessary cutting, folding and collating marks, it also shows format crosses and control strips. DI-Plot provides them all - with complete accuracy. The customer is presented with a definitive version of his job, which he can correct and certify before any films or printing plates are imaged. DI-Plot can even emulate up to ten spot colors, depending on the type of printing machine (e.g. five, six or more printing units). All the user has to do is define the CMYK values that will represent the spot colors on the printout.

Newspaper workflow

Originally, DI-Plot was designed to produce printouts from the internal bitmap files of a GTO DI or Quickmaster DI printing machine, giving a reliable representation of their content. This was the first time that the technique of proof printing high-resolution Rip data had been used. DI-Plot has since become a fully-fledged professional tool for making digital blueprints from any imaginable configuration. The software package supports all common Rip technologies. Even newspaper facilities where the Rip site (editing/production) is separated from the imaging site (printing operation) can now produce remote form proofs that are 100% representative of their content.

Color calibration

DI-Plot can be connected to many well-known color proofing processes whenever a color-reliable printout is needed. Color gamut calculation and output is then carried out by a system such as Bestcolor.

PDF output & remote proofing

A long-cherished dream for future PDF workflows has finally come true: DI-Plot produces PDF files from fully imposed and ripped sheets. The comparatively compact PDF data can be sent to any MAC or PC via network, ISDN or e-mail. These files keep their full integrity and can be checked on the monitor and printed out on any local printer. Easy and reliable, the remote form proof is a reality at last!

System environment

DI-Plot can be installed on the Windows platform. Any color printer or plotter can be connected, as long as its printer driver runs on Windows and its printing format matches the corresponding printing machine (nearly all do). Alternatively, DI-Plot can be used to generate TIFF, EPS or PDF files, which will then allow reprocessing in any other way. When running DI-Plot, the installation of an inexpensive PC is recommended. It receives the ripped data files from the network, converts them to the format required, and outputs them on the color output device.

JDF technology

DI-Plot is JDF-enabled. Based on the bitmap data and CIP-3 files transferred from the prepress workflow, the software writes CIP4/JDF files and passes them on either to the InkZone family of preset solutions, or direct to the printing machine console.

Return on investment

Due to vastly increased production reliability, an investment in DI-Plot will pay off within a few weeks.