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Technology Guide for Printers

Digital Print Software

All digital presses will have some form of front-end software that the operator uses, called a Digital Front End (DFE). Sometimes people just refer to this software as the RIP because the DFE often includes its own RIP or a third-party RIP. These DFEs can be driven manually via the operator or driven by PDFs delivered from the Prepress software or connected MIS workflow. Laydowns for digital printing tend to be less complex than conventional printing, so typically there is some form of simple imposition control or built-in imposition technology on a digital press. This means that jobs don’t always have to be pre-imposed before being output to this type of digital print production software.

Digital Press software applications can also provide real-time feedback back to the MIS when connected, such as substrate usage and output quantity.

Some examples of digital print workflow applications are:

  • HP SmartStream (which includes a number of technologies for HP Indigo presses such as the DFE Production Pro)
  • Konica Minolta
  • EFI Fiery RIP
  • Xerox FreeFlow Core

Other terms used to describe these software apps:

  • Digital print workflow software
  • Digital press software
  • Digital printing workflow solutions
  • Digital press software
  • Digital press workflow software

How an MIS connects to Digital Print Software:

Your MIS partner will be able to connect to Digital Print Software applications using JDF. The term JDF stands for ‘Job Definition Format’ and is a language used to allow printing software applications to talk to and understand each other.