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PressPerCent
Built to calculate color
Version 3.3.1 • July 17, 2014
About PressPerCent

PressPerCent started out more than 10 years ago as a simple ink key pre-setting software tool — a popular subject at the time when press manufacturers and printers were searching for less expensive, space-saving solutions to replace hardware plate scanners. Since then PressPerCent evolved to include more features the customers and OEM partners required such as support for the job format of virtually every press type and model, total ink calculations, spot color preview, automatic job processing and flexible press configurations.

Made for the graphic arts industry standard Apple Macintosh computers, PressPerCent evolved with the Mac OS operating systems. The application that once ran under classic Mac OS 8 and was closely integrated with the Adobe Acrobat package now takes advantage of Mac OS X built-in PostScript conversion and PDF rendering features. The current version of the application works with 10.6 (‘Snow Leopard’), 10.7 (‘Lion’), 10.8 (‘Mountain Lion’) and 10.9 (‘Mavericks’) system versions (a separate build for Mac OS X 10.4 (‘Tiger’) and Mac OS X 10.5 (‘Leopard’) is also available).

PressPerCent features

1. Ink key pre-setting

PressPerCent calculates area covered by the image on the plate for each ink zone of the printing press. The result is adjusted with user defined calibration curves for specific press models or ink/paper combinations and could be used as ink zone (ink duct) settings for the press. These settings could be displayed on screen, printed out on paper or exported to variety of file formats.

Press operators can use the settings to preset ink keys on the press console when the job changes. This can improve make-ready times and reduce paper and ink waste. The accuracy of pre-settings depends on press conditions and the zone curve's calibration quality.

2. Area coverage calculation

PressPerCent calculates not only individual zone coverage, but also the coverage for the entire area of the plate. Knowing this value helps estimate the amount of ink required to print the job. This feature would also be beneficial to packaging printers with flexographic equipment (to calculate amount of Pantone inks for the job) or even to digital printers (to quote the price based on a toner consumption).

If you only need to know the area coverage for a job without ink zone information just toggle the check boxes in PressPerCent preferences to switch off the zone calculation and display.

3. Maximum total ink check

Even if it is too late to re-separate photos or change vector graphics of the job when the plates are ready, the printer should pay attention to the maximum Total Ink warnings and take steps to avoid the problems: reducing the speed of the printing press, choosing different paper stocks or asking for another set of plates.

PressPerCent calculates maximum total ink value for each sheet of the job and shows the problematic areas based on user defined size settings (to ignore control bars and registration marks that may exceed maximum total ink without negative effects).

4. Export plug-ins

Almost every printing press made since the early 90's can either save printed job settings to a file (on network or removable media i.e. floppy disks) or load image area information from files prepared by plate scanners.

Proprietary job file formats can be quite different for each press manufacturer, press model or even press console version. Some presses use plain text files that are easily readable and understood by people. Others use binary data that requires more efforts to interpret it. Few press consoles may even show the press operator a preview images of the job prepared by the pre-setting software. This helps to identify and load jobs more quickly. Despite these differences, all press file formats convey the same common information: ink keys and ink feed (ink sweep) settings for each unit of the press or ink zone area calculations performed by a plate scanner.

PressPerCent uses this similarity of press file formats and supports different press models via the export plug-ins mechanism. The export plug-ins are small modules that save common information prepared by PressPerCent in a specific file format understood by this or that press console. This approach extends support for various presses without constantly modifying the application for each press or overloading it with code and features other users will not need. Just add to the application the plug-in for your press from optional plug-ins set. If you cannot find your press in the plug-ins set or you need a different plug-in version, please, contact us and we will try to create a new plug-in for you.

5. Incoming job formats support

PressPerCent supports the following file formats for incoming jobs: PostScript, PDF, TIFF and PPF.

If a job arrives as a PostScript file it will be converted to PDF with a built-in Mac OS X normalizer (or with Adobe Acrobat Distiller if Adobe Acrobat package is installed). TIFF files could be either 1-bit or 8-bit (low resolution previews) made by the RIP. For PostScript and PDF jobs with spot colors we suggest that you use pre-separated files to avoid possible problems with color separation.

However, the best choice of incoming job file format for PressPerCent is CIP3/CIP4 PPF (Print Production Format).

6. CIP3/CIP4 Print Production Format (PPF)

The new JDF/JMF formats for "seamless integration of CRM, MIS, prepress, press and postpress" being developed by CIP4 consortium looks promising for the future of the industry. The older PPF format well defined back in 90's already delivers certain benefits today.

Unlike JDF, the PPF format does not require sophisticated workflow software to be produced or interpreted. The PPF format is more simple and ‘hardware independent’ than JDF. The PPF file created by the prepress system does not contain actual ink key settings or press unit specific information (as JDF may have). It has only a low resolution image of the plate that will be processed into ink keys by some pre-setting tool or advanced press console. Due to the simplicity and fewer steps required to implement, the support for the PPF format was included into the products by almost every prepress RIP vendor and many printing press manufacturers.

PressPerCent can work with the PPF format in every way. It can import a PPF file made by your RIP or workflow, display the job on screen and calculate ink key settings for your press. It can also export a PPF file from a PDF or TIFF file of the job. You can send this PPF file to a different software tool that calculates ink key settings for your press or directly to the press console, if it supports that format.

   

7. Spot and paper color preview

It is always a demanding task to predict the exact results of printing with spot colors, especially with tricky inks like varnish or metallics where the order of printing units may have severe effects on the final output. Printing on colored, tinted or metallic paper presents a similar problem.

In PressPerCent a user can define the order of inks and their units assignment, specify if the ink is transparent or opaque and choose the paper color. If the job is printed in several runs (on a two color press, for example) the output of each run could be previewed or printed.

8. Hot folders automation

Every production site has its own workflow that is based either on a sophisticated prepress software system or just on a single, stand-alone RIP that completes the job from processing incoming PDF or PostScript impositions to controlling plate production on a CtP device. Whichever you use, if the workflow supports the automatic export of TIFF or PPF files to a folder on the network file server PressPerCent could be integrated onto it.

PressPerCent can periodically scan the user defined "Hot Folder", process incoming files and export the ink presets into another folder for the next step of your workflow. Any number of hot folders with different press and job options can be set up.

   

You can find more information about PressPerCent in application's User Guide in PDF-format.
This PDF file is also included on DMG image with the application.
Using PressPerCent Guide (PDF: 17.3 MB)



Download PressPerCent

To download PressPerCent use the link below:

presspercent331.dmg (Version 3.3.1, 34.4 MB, Disk Image)

System requirements: Apple Macintosh with Mac OS X version 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7, 10.8 or 10.9. Internet connection is required for software activation.

There are two application versions on this disk image:

  • ‘PressPerCent’ is the main application version for computers with Mac OS X 10.6 and above. This version contains 32/64-bit Intel code only.

  • ‘PressPerCent (for Mac OS X 10.4-10.5)’ is additional 32-bit Intel/PowerPC Universal Binary version for Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5. This version is mostly for those printers who still have PowerMacs G4/G5 with working motherboards and power supplies. We do not recommended to use it on computers running Mac OS X 10.6 and above.

Details: This is Mac OS X disk image created with Disk Utility application. If you are using non-Macintosh computer to access internet resources, download the file and transfer it to Macintosh with Mac OS X system.

This is full working version of PressPerCent application. However, until you purchase the license and enter correct serial number (that will be sent to you via e-mail after purchase), PressPerCent works in Demo mode. The difference from registered version is that you can not modify printing press sheet dimensions to match your press making it somewhat unusable for real production purposes. Demo mode allows you to test PressPerCent in your workflow environment.

Recent version changes:

  • 3.3.1 (July 17, 2014)
    • Minor user interface fixes.

  • 3.3 (July 3, 2014)
    • ‘Print’ and ‘PDF Export’ commands were replaced by configurable list of commands with more options.
    • New option to automatically combine 1-bit TIFF (and CIP3 PPF) separations in hot folders was added to ‘Processing Schemes’.
    • ‘SmartCard Writer’ application (that writes Job Cards for Manroland presses) was upgraded to version 2.0 with support for OmniKey CardMan readers and UI changes.
    • Other enhancements and bugs fixes.

  • 3.2 (March 4, 2014)
    • More flexible job processing with customizable ‘Processing Schemes’.
    • ‘Tone Curves’ for halftone/dot-percentage compensation in ‘Page Settings’.
    • Automatic mounting of network servers.
    • Other enhancements and bugs fixes.

  • 3.1.5 (September 23, 2013)
    • Minor fixes and changes as requested by users.
    • Some fixes for forthcoming Mac OS X 10.9 (‘Mavericks’) release.

  • 3.1.4 (July 22, 2013)
    • Minor fixes and changes in some plug-ins.

  • 3.1.3 (May 9, 2013)
    • Minor features upgrade as per users requests, interface fixes and performance improvements.

  • 3.1.2 (December 5, 2012)
    • Fixes issue with preview creation in BMP format (used by several plug-ins).

  • 3.1.1 (November 16, 2012)
    • Restores ability to read/open ‘resource-based’ jobs and settings created by old PressPerCent versions.
      (Note: It will be removed again and forever in some future version.)

  • 3.1 (November 8, 2012)
    • Some fixes for obscure bugs in application and plug-ins code.
    • Minor interface enhancements.
    • Internal changes that add better support for recent Mac OS X versions.

  • 3.0.8 (June 18, 2012)
    • New preferences options to define ‘Name Presets’ for export files.
    • All export plug-ins were updated to work with ‘Name Presets’ (older plug-ins are not compatible).
    • Some interface fixes and improvements.

  • 3.0.7 (April 12, 2012)
    • ‘Units List’ (in ‘General’ panel of ‘Press Settings’ dialog) was replaced by more compact graphical view with press configuration scheme. Units and Runs there can be rearranged by drag'n'drop now.
    • Individual ‘Unit Rules’ (in ‘General’ panel of ‘Press Settings’) and ‘Hot Folder Actions’ (in ‘Production’ panel of ‘PressPerCent Preferences’) can now be rearranged using drag'n'drop.
    • ‘Hot Folder Actions’ are now more compact (that makes possible to configure many actions for each hot folder on smaller screens).
    • Processing of CIP3 PPF files with ‘composite’ CMYK previews was fixed.

  • 3.0.6 (March 21, 2012)
    • New preferences options to manage ‘Spot Color Libraries’.
    • New options to define ‘Non-printable’ (proofing) spot color names.
    • More options to control disk space used by PressPetCent's jobs.
    • Internal changes to make settings and preferences data saves more reliable (to prevent accidental data loss).
    • Changes to several plug-ins code.

  • 3.0.5 (February 13, 2012)
    • Stability and interface fixes (a problem with application crash after user types new name for spot color or changes sheet name was fixed among other stuff).
    • Fixes for several plug-ins code ("Heidelberg CDK", "Mitsubishi REP").

  • 3.0.4 (December 1, 2011)
    • Stability and interface fixes.
    • Improved processing of subfolders with jobs within hot folders.
    • Visual changes to layouts of printouts.
    • New ‘Flood Coating’ option with fixed values of ink keys for press units.
    • Additional application version with Mac OS X 10.4 compatibility is included.

  • 3.0.3 (September 15, 2011)
    • Another bunch of fixes for 3.0.x versions. This version fine-tunes parts of Cocoa interface code. Recommended update for all PressPerCent users.

  • 3.0.2 (September 1, 2011)
    • More fixes for 3.0.x versions (processing of subfolders within hot folders, press and page settings selection in dialogs, etc.)

  • 3.0.1 (August 8, 2011)
    • The first bunch of fixes for 3.0 release (pop-up menu behaviour in spot library palette windows, resolution scaling during PDF processing, saving of documents with new file names, etc.)

  • 3.0 (August 3, 2011)
    • Adds 64-bit code version for both Intel and PowerPC based Macs.
    • Major internal and minor user interface changes that were required for 64-bit support.
    • Some fixes for Mac OS X 10.7 (‘Lion’).
    • Stability fixes for multi-cores and multi-processors systems.

Pricing and Online Purchase

PressPerCent has the following pricing:

PressPerCent 1 or more single user licenses (per user): $250

Excourse uses Kagi payment service to accept international payments. Use link below to purchase PressPerCent online with credit card:

PressPerCent Online Order Page at Kagi

Please, do not forget to provide your correct e-mail address. When Kagi will notify us about your payment we will send you valid serial number by e-mail (allow another three days for this procedure).

By entering serial number in Register dialog displayed at application start up you will turn Demo into licensed version.

Upgrade Policy

After more than 10 years of selling PressPerCent licenses online we decided to introduce some means that will allow us to estimate number of active PressPerCent users we actually have. So, we decided to introduce new ‘upgrade terms’ (these should also help us to collect some small funds for our future development efforts):

    1. Those users who purchased PressPerCent license less than 5 years ago may update their serial number to that works with the current application version for free without additional fee.
  • To get updated serial number send us e-mail to info@excourse.com.

  • 2. Those users who purchased PressPerCent license 5 years ago or earlier may renew their license and get updated serial number for the current application version for small additional fee of $50.
  • To renew PressPerCent license purchase ‘License Renewal for PressPerCent’ product from our order page at Kagi.

  • 3. License renewal is good for another 5 years term.

Of course, it does not make your existing PressPerCent license invalid after 5 years of usage, and it does not stop anyone from using existing PressPerCent installations for as many years as needed. It just limits the ability to receive free upgrades to current modern versions to 5 years term...

Bug Reports, Questions and Comments

We would like to hear feedback on the benefits and shortcomings of our software. Please include your suggestions and comments with information on what hardware and operating system you are using with PressPerCent.

Note: We do answer ALL e-mails with questions about Excourse software. If you did not get a reply within 2-3 business days, there is high chance that our reply (or your e-mail) fell a victim to some e-mail filters. Please, repeat your e-mail (if possible, use a different mail server with not so smart anti-spam system).

E-mail: info@excourse.com
Phone/Fax: +7 (495) 6176652 (This is a contact number of Kursiv Publishing House. Please, use e-mail for Excourse software specific questions.)
Address: 17, bldg. 6, Selskohozyaistvennaya st., Moscow 129226, Russia

Current version:
3.3.1
Release date:
July 17, 2014
Download:
PressPerCent (34.4 MB)
Online price:
$250
Buy online:
Order page at Kagi
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