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CGATS Drives Growth of Personalized Print Industry with Variable Data Exchange Standard

Press release from the issuing company

The American National Standards Institute-accredited Committee for Graphic Arts Technologies Standards (CGATS) has defined an open, variable data exchange standard, making it easier for designers to create and proof variable data jobs, and for commercial printers to produce them. CGATS.20 Graphic technology Variable printing data exchange using PPML and PDF (PPML/VDX), defines a standardized implementation of the PPML specification using PDF-based workflows for exchanging variable printing data. PPML/VDX builds upon the AdobeÆ Portable Document Format (PDF) and PODi's Personalized Print Mark-up Language (PPML) to create an open standard for variable data exchange. This enables documents that will combine both database information and variable content to be created through a "save as" command in new software products to create variable data print jobs. PPML/VDX creates a well-defined verifiable data format that allows designers and printers to exchange final form, variable documents electronically. A PPML/VDX compliant job includes creative content from current design applications and variable information from common database applications. The standard combines PPML's capabilities for encoding the layout of variable data with the PDF format's openness, reliability and soft-proofing benefits. The use of PPML/VDX will reduce the need for extensive communication between designers and printers. This open standard gives designers complete control over the final form, content and merged appearance of each piece ó even when every page or document is unique. Printers can focus on production, which relieves them of the burden of manipulating databases, performing merges and ensuring the final product contains the correct variable data. Adobe Systems Inc., Applied Printing Technologies, Atlas Software BV, Banta Integrated Media, Canopy LLC, Citation Software Inc, Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd., Datalogics Inc., Digital Printing Council/PIA, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, Harlequin Inc, Heidelberg, Hewlett-Packard, NexPress Solutions LLC, Rochester Institute of Technology, Think121, Xeikon America Inc., and Xerox have participated in the development of and have expressed support and interest in using PPML/VDX for upcoming products. As part of the final review, drafts of the open standard are available at http://www.npes.org/standards/workroom.htm#cgats. Interested parties are invited to participate in the task force development activity, review the drafts, and submit comments to the CGATS

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