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Esko-Graphics provides optimized normalization of Illustrator 9 and 10

Press release from the issuing company

Gent, Belgium – October 30, 2003 - Esko-Graphics, the market leader in CtP and workflow solutions for packaging, today announces the ability to bypass the typical flattening on the way to importing files from Adobe Illustrator 9 and 10 into its FastLane for Packaging. A free plug-in for Adobe Illustrator exports a new EskoPrepFile (EPF), which is subsequently imported into FastLane. Normalizing PDF 1.4 files always included a flattening component. Flattened objects lose their editability in the final file. Although Adobe Illustrator designs have always reproduced well in FastLane, changes in Adobe Illustrator 9 and subsequent versions caused flattening of some overprint and transparent objects when the files were imported via PostScript. This resulted in less editable files, if changes had to be made. Esko-Graphics has solved the problem by creating a free plug-in for FastLane users - a tool that creates an EskoPrepFile (EPF) avoiding most of the flattening occurring during translation and import of Illustrator files. Thus, full editability of Adobe Illustrator files is preserved, including: • Transparencies, including spot colors • Drop shadows and other Adobe Illustrator effects • Overprint types • Layers • Adobe PhotoShop image support, including transparency • Maintaining spot colors In addition, an EPF file will enable greater workflow optimization, such as preserving layers, CAD data and the ability to insert packaging ink settings. Working with the EPF file is simple. Users export their Adobe Illustrator designs along with EPF files using the free plug-in. In-house, the EPF file is written to a FastLane file server or directly on a BackStage hot folder. Or, EPF files can be sent to remote sites where the FastLane for Packaging workflow is operated. Within FastLane, the EPF file is imported as an EPF task automatically in BackStage, or imported with the help of a dialog menu in PackEdge or Plato. “Esko-Graphics is very familiar with packaging workflows, and knows designers are using Adobe Illustrator as their editor of choice. In their creative mind, they use the application features to their full extend. This is why it’s important to provide full editing capabilities of Adobe Illustrator files within FastLane for Packaging, as we continue to provide complete normalization of as many popular file formats as possible,” remarks Wim Delagrange, Esko-Graphics BackStage product manager. “The time-saving potential of the EPF concept is enormous since it avoids rebuilding pre-flattened files. This is also an important step in our roadmap to provide a full PDF native version of FastLane.” The free EPF export plug in for Adobe Illustrator, currently in beta, will be released for customers January, 2004, available through a download from the Esko-Graphics web site (www.esko-graphics.com). The EPF input task for BackStage 1.2, as well as the input dialogs for PackEdge 3.0 and Plato 2.0, are currently under alpha/beta testing, and will also be released for customers in January 2004.