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Creo Launches New Variable Information Toolbox for Optimizing Personalized Job Production

Press release from the issuing company

VANCOUVER, British Columbia--Aug. 11, 2004-- Creo Inc. is launching a Windows-based software solution for creating entry-level variable-information (VI) jobs with Microsoft Word, Adobe PageMaker and other common desktop applications, eliminating the need to learn new applications and processes. VI Toolbox is a flexible, easy-to-use, and affordable package that streamlines the creation of direct communications such as direct mail, letters and customized collateral. The VI Toolbox suite of tools supports multiple VI market needs for creating color-rich VI jobs, an unlimited number of records, an efficient full-color digital printing workflow, and the ability to soft-proof personalized documents. This software is being used in the office environment, and in design and ad agencies to efficiently create graphic-rich VI documents using Microsoft Mail Merge. It is ideally used by printers and service bureaus for overprinting pre-printed bulk offset shells while facilitating a fully digital shell-printing workflow using a familiar workflow. A powerful soft-proofing tool, often used by offset printers for proofing on digital printers, expedites turnaround time and reduces costs. "We are pleased to provide the latest Creo On-Demand Application solution-this time for PC users with VI needs," said Yaron Mohaban, director, Creo On-Demand Applications. "We developed the Darwin(TM) VI authoring tool for graphic arts professionals by working with them to understand their needs and bottlenecks. Now we are expanding our suite of tools for PC users. Our solutions now scale from entry-level VI users to professionals." While the VI Toolbox is seamlessly integrated into the Creo Spire(TM) color server workflow, the solution supports multiple standard formats and integrates easily with many desktop applications and digital printers. Increased Productivity with VI Toolbox "This new Creo software has revolutionized our variable-data workflow," says Chris E. Illa, operations manager, Japs-Olson Company. This large commercial and direct mail printer in St. Louis Park, MN, USA offers digital prepress, sheet-fed and web printing, flexography, bindery, computerized service bureau, and mailing services. The VI Toolbox has shortened the Japs-Olson proofing process, accelerated VI data-merge processes, and eliminated production bottlenecks. "Our clients check the sign-offs or proofs of their variable-print jobs to check the data, layout, content, and accuracy. This sign-off process is done by merging high-resolution files from prepress with the black-and-white variable copy from our data-processing department," explained Mr. Illa. "This software has allowed us to substantially increase efficiency and throughput in our data-processing department. The VI Toolbox software has allowed us to reduce our operating costs and makes us more competitive in the marketplace," said Mr. Illa. Three Tools in VI Toolbox The VI Toolbox suite of tools includes: VI Merge, VI View, and Optimized Mail Merge. Each tool delivers distinct functionality for maximizing the VI production workflow. The first tool, VI Merge, creates variable-information documents by combining a master document, designed with any desktop publishing application, with a variable-information file to produce a single Variable Print Specification file. VI Merge brings color to a black-and-white VI workflow, accelerates VI production and enhances throughput by supporting multiple page masters and VI elements. VI Merge processes jobs at the rate of the printer, and allows the creation of a PDF proof from the Variable Print Specification file. This tool is ideal for data centers, as it enables shell-printing using familiar VI workflow processes as well as easy and reliable content proofing. VI View, the second tool, transforms Variable Print Specification files into PDF files for viewing, proofing, distributing, and archiving low-resolution files for reference. VI View expedites the customer approval process, cuts turnaround times, and reduces costs. The third tool of the VI Toolbox, Optimized Mail Merge, is an add-on to Microsoft Word Mail Merge. It enables Mail Merge users to create color VI jobs in a one-pass workflow with an unlimited number of variable-information records that are small in file size. Optimized Mail Merge enhances the entire digital-printing production by creating Creo Variable Print Specification output files and Optimized PostScript. These formats improve the efficiency of creating a variable-information job, and reduce job creation time, network traffic, and RIPing time. A free 30-day trial of the VI Toolbox is available at www.creo.com/vitoolbox.VI Toolbox is available for US$995 by calling Creo: 1.800.929.9209 (US and Canada), +32 2 352 3090 (Europe) or by contacting [email protected] VI Toolbox is also available through Xerox sales channels. Images available at www.creo.com/imagebank.