Montreal, Canada, May 14, 2008 Ultimate Technographics Inc, www.imposition.com, announces at drupa, 9/A61, imposition of the native XPS file format from Microsoft. Imposition of XPS files is for maintaining a native XPS workflow from page creation to an XPS enabled printing device.
XPS (XML Paper Specification) is a new Page Description Language introduced by Microsoft with Vista, and an available upgrade to XP. Many printer manufacturers are now releasing printing devices that image XPS directly without going through an intermediate format.
“20 years ago Ultimate invented digital imposition of PostScript pages, Ultimate was the first to impose PDF pages,” explains David Watson, President and CEO, “now we are the first to introduce XPS page imposition software to the market. For offset printing workflows the most common imposition will be to convert XPS pages to PDF pages for imposition and printing. But in office and document digital printing workflows there will be a growing demand to keep the pages in XPS format all the way through XPS driven printing devices.”
Maintaining XPS for workflows
Maintaining pages in XPS has certain advantages; it eliminates conversion delays and problems; XPS supports Windows Color System color management technology for better color conversion precision across devices and higher dynamic range; XPS supports the HD photo format for higher quality rendering of photos for photo albums and photo products; The XPS format used in the spool file represents advanced graphics effects such as 3D images, glow effects, and gradients as Windows Presentation Foundation primitives, which are processed by the printer drivers without rasterization, preventing rendering artifacts and reducing computational load.
XPS is an open XML based specification that is available for many potential editing and correction functions that will be much easier then the more closed PDF environment, while at the same time having most of the characteristics of PDF. All of these factors will favor in certain digital print workflows maintaining a native XPS workflow, which requires imposition of the XPS pages when producing booklets, brochures, catalogues, photo albums and other products that require precise imposition of pages and placement of cards, photos, labels, etc. in patterns not supported by single page XPS printing.
Ultimate XPS Imposition Engine SDK for OEMs
The Ultimate XPS Imposition Engine will be shown embedded in On Demand 6.0, to be launched at drupa. It will be embedded in all Ultimate products such as Impostrip, Book Stacker and Card Stacker, to achieve the greatest optimization and automation for producing digital print products based on the XPS format.
The Ultimate XPS Imposition Engine is itself driven by an XML interface SDK and will be available on OEM basis to companies that want to build XPS imposition directly into workflow or digital front-end (DFE) products. It is not based on any licensed library and was developed by Ultimate.
“The demand for XPS page production will only grow slowly. PDF will remain dominant in digital and commercial printing for some time,” adds Watson, “but XPS usage will grow because Microsoft dominates business desktops and XPS is built in the operating system at no additional cost. Printing devices will not necessarily have the additional cost of a RIP built in. This, combined with some of the advantages inherent in the XPS file format, means that XPS will become an increasing fact of life in digital printing.”