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Creo Increases Value Of Prepress Workflow With Powerful Integrated Software Modules

Press release from the issuing company

GRAPH EXPO 2004 CHICAGO -- October 13, 2004 -- Creo Inc. is demonstrating how printers can enhance their existing prepress workflow by implementing the latest versions of Preps imposition software, the Synapse InSite Internet portal into prepress, Synapse Link business integration, and Synapse UpFront production planning software. These powerful value-add software modules integrate easily with the Prinergy and new Brisque-Synapse Director prepress workflows, and are enabling customers to achieve greater automation, collaboration and productivity than ever before. These software solutions support Networked Graphic Production(tm), the industry-wide initiative that is focused on using open file standards such as JDF to automate the print production process - from idea to delivery. These new solutions enable printers to boost revenue, reduce operating costs and streamline their production by integrating their prepress systems with other vendors' management information systems (MIS), production planning tools, press, and finishing tools. New! Preps 5.1... Creo is demonstrating version 5.1 of Preps imposition software, featuring groundbreaking JDF import functionality that is being shown for the first time at Graph Expo. With traditional imposition software, paper job tickets are printed from the MIS and sent to prepress, where impositions are created from scratch and marks are placed manually. This is an error-prone and time-consuming process. With Preps 5.1, a JDF file containing imposition instructions is sent from MIS to prepress, and then opened in Preps to automatically create a job with the correct imposition scheme. Preps 5.1 also features advanced SmartMarks technology that allows users to create and edit templates in a fraction of the time it took with previous releases. In one action, an operator can drag a group of SmartMarks onto a press sheet and any number of marks will automatically be replaced according to the 'smart' positioning rules. Once Preps imports a JDF file from MIS and creates a job, it augments this JDF file with layout details and SmartMarks, and exports it downstream to the prepress workflow to image plates. Together these new features transform digital imposition from an operator-intensive step in the workflow, to a connected, near automatic process in a highly integrated workflow that leverages Preps as a critical bridge between MIS and prepress workflows. Preps can impose any combination of PostScript, PDF, EPS, DCS, and TIFF source files into signatures, eliminating the need for manual stripping. These imposed signatures can be output to any PostScript-compatible device such as a computer-to-plate device, an imagesetter, on-demand printer, digital printer, wide-format imposition proofer, or laser printer. Preps is used in standalone PostScript or PDF environments, as well as in third-party workflow solutions. Agfa :ApogeeX(tm) version 3.0, for example, receives a JDF layout object from Preps, where imposition settings are determined within :ApogeeX. Version 5.1 of Preps will be launched early in 2005. For the first time, Preps will be available in Simplified Chinese, Japanese (for the first time since version 3.5), and Italian, in addition to existing English, French, German and Spanish-language versions. Preps is the world's most popular digital imposition tool with over 24,000 copies installed around the world. New! Powerful Synapse Software Tool Enhancements... These new versions of the powerful Synapse software family are Networked Graphic Production-enabled solutions that add value to a printer's workflow by integrating with Creo Prinergy and Brisque workflow solutions, and the Spire(tm) color server for digital printing. New! Synapse InSite 4.0... Being demonstrated for the first time in North America, Synapse InSite 4.0 is the web-enabled workflow portal that allows printers, print buyers and their clients to streamline job submission, collaborate, perform remote soft proofing, review and approve jobs online. Fully integrated with the Prinergy and Brisque prepress workflows, and the Spire color server for digital printing, Synapse InSite enables an efficient and secure prepress workflow. Synapse InSite version 4.0 features enhanced ease of use with a new Reader Order view, which allows users to see the order of pages in a page set, whether or not a given page position has had a page assigned or not, and whether the page has successfully processed or not. It provides a quick, easy visual reference for job status tracking. The new features of Synapse InSite please Dan Johnson, technology project manager, Banta Digital Group. "I am very impressed with the new applications - spreads, a visible schedule, customized e-mail messages, and all of the potential of a job on the job sheet. And, as always, your GUI is very intuitive. You've listened to your users and this is strong evidence of the partnership between Creo and its customers." Version 4.0 of the Synapse InSite Internet portal into prepress also has the ability to host independent or collaborative viewing sessions concurrently. User groups can be created to simplify the task of initiating reviews or granting job access. Other features improve communication and support productivity gains in the workflow, including a Job Information Sheet that allows printers to define and configure forms to capture and share information about a job. A new enterprise configuration allows the use of Synapse InSite across multiple locations. An Enterprise Portal provides a single point of access for customers together with centralized user authentication and a consolidated view of jobs in progress across multiple sites. This configuration allows multi-site printers to offer access to customers and at the same time, gain flexibility into where print production is performed. Technology Demo: Color Accurate Soft Proofing... Creo is demonstrating a new color accurate soft proofing solution featuring Synapse InSite, qualified EIZO color monitors, calibration equipment, and color management software. New process controls allow designers and their print buying customers to remotely view a print job and see an accurate representation of the color that matches a printed proof. Monitor proofs can be matched to printed proofs when viewed in a lighting booth. Color accurate soft proofing offers the ability to further streamline the proofing and approval processes. New! Synapse Link 2.0... The new version 2.0 of Synapse Link software, seen for the first time in North America at Graph Expo, now supports advanced process automation in Creo prepress workflow systems for tasks initiated by business systems, advanced status tracking, and expanded integration to MIS partners. JDF-based Synapse Link provides the ability to automatically access and track prepress production data in Prinergy or the Synapse Director/Brisque workflows, and share it with MIS systems or via stand-alone reports in real time. By automatically tracking live job status, material usage and prepress activities, Synapse Link allows for greater data flow, increased automation, and visibility into prepress for business-critical planning and decision-making. With enhanced support for process automation, Synapse Link 2.0 provides printers with a powerful new way for printers to reduce labor and job costs, eliminate manual errors and accelerate turn-around times. Using Synapse Link 2.0 results in greater control over production processes than ever before. Prepress events are now monitored by job part, such as page, surface or separation, allowing greater visibility into material and status tracking and enriching the quality and quantity of data exchanged with business systems. Several new MIS partner integrations are being demonstrated at Graph Expo, including Hiflex, Prism, DiMS!, Globe-Tek, and PPI, a company of the MAN Roland Group. New! Synapse UpFront 3.1... The latest version of Synapse UpFront software, the revolutionary job planning tool, features enhanced integration with other software tools, better JDF support, and new usability features that improve productivity. With Synapse UpFront, planners automatically produce accurate job layouts and digital templates ready for imposition. They can export cutting, folding, and binding data directly to the finishing department. Every job can be saved in the database so that future projects can be delivered even more quickly. Enhanced Preps Integration... Being seen for the first time at Graph Expo, version 3.1 of Synapse UpFront software features better integration with Preps imposition software. It virtually eliminates the need to edit Preps templates that were created in Synapse UpFront. While Preps is still needed to bring in content files to complete the final imposition, almost any Preps tasks performed with templates can now be done from Synapse UpFront. The newly added support for page rotation can save hours of template creation time by automatically generating correct templates for complex jobs (for example, calendars or other impositions with non-standard head direction requirements). Multiple Synapse UpFront pages can now be combined to create one Preps template page that can accommodate files provided to prepress operators as spreads. See all of these powerful new workflow solutions demonstrated by Creo at booth #4006 at Graph Expo 2004, North America's largest trade show for the printing and graphic arts industries in Chicago, IL, October 10-13, 2004.