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callas software releases pdfToolbox 14

@callassoftware releases a major update to its flagship pdfToolbox product line.
About the author: Akash Choudhary, Product Manager at callas software GmbH considers himself as a lifelong student of PDF products and technologies. With a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering and a … Read more

Berlin. callas software, the market leader for automated PDF quality control and archival solutions, today releases a major update to its flagship pdfToolbox product line. The update adds support for faster processing of personalized documents (VDP), several improvements to the JavaScript and Process Plan engines in pdfToolbox to make advanced automation faster and more capable, and an easier custom report engine.

“pdfToolbox started out many years ago as a preflight tool to verify whether PDF files were suitable for their task,” remarks Dietrich von Seggern, Managing Director at callas software: “meanwhile it is used for making PDFs production ready, to create alternate versions where needed for production, proofing or communication with clients, and in many cases even to generate more administrative documents. pdfToolbox version 14 not only adds new functionality to address new market segments, but also makes the existing technology more accessible for novice and advanced users alike.”

The need for speed: personalized documents

callas has long known that processing speed is critical in some environments. Previous versions of pdfToolbox saw the addition of technologies such as Quick Check and Quick Fix, where a highly optimized engine handles PDF files much faster than any traditional preflight engine can for certain tasks. In pdfToolbox 14, features were added to handle personalized documents – typically documents with a lot of similar content on each page and a very high number of pages – much faster as well.

Creation of personalized documents from PDF templates in combination with structured data is another feature of the new version. This allows the insertion of textual content, bar codes or QR codes into template documents. More generically, pdfToolbox version 14 also contains a generic text search and replace fix up which is of course also useful outside of the VDP space (previous versions of pdfToolbox were limited to text search).

More powerful customizable reports

The preflight engine in pdfToolbox can generate reports in many different formats: PDF, XML, HTML, JSON… For communication internally or with clients, the PDF reports are ideally suited, especially because they can be completely personalized with HTML-based templates. Creating these templates, especially for more complex report layouts, isn’t easy though; pdfToolbox 14 includes updates to the report generation engine that make this task more straightforward for non-experts. This opens up the power of customized PDF reports for more workflows.

Process Plan and JavaScript improvements

Process Plans are the powerhouse of callas pdfToolbox. The visual editor allows building complex PDF processing workflows with ease; the integration of JavaScript support allows for unlimited flexibility.

For Process Plans, pdfToolbox 14 has better exit codes for immediate interpretation of processing results, allows saving Process Plans that are missing connections (often useful during the creation and testing phase), makes it easier to enable / disable Quick Check and Quick Fix steps, and more.

Customers using JavaScript will be very happy to see added auto-completion while typing in the built-in editor, the ability to easily edit JavaScripts in Visual Studio Code instead of the built-in editor, and the ability to edit different JavaScripts in a Process Plan simultaneously in Visual Studio Code.

Protected profiles

Profiles and Process Plans can be quite complex; as a result, they contain a lot of intellectual property. pdfToolbox 14 lets you protect such profiles or Process Plans. You can add copyright information such as a title and description, a URL where more information can be found and a major and minor version. And then pdfToolbox allows enabling these profiles for a limited amount of time after installation, and / or allows restricting their use to certain pdfToolbox installations.

This gives partners a way to make libraries with protected profiles and Process Plans and charge for them; essentially selling them as a service to clients.

Easier use of callas License Server

Together with pdfToolbox version 14, callas is also releasing a SaaS version of the License Server solution. License Server is an alternative licensing way for pdfToolbox where the software is not activated on a specific machine but gets its permission to run from a central License Server.

Where before this License Server had to be installed locally (which requires some technical know-how, especially when running a cluster of License Servers for redundancy), callas now offers the callas License Server in the Cloud service. This is a fully redundant cluster of License Servers maintained by callas, that can immediately be used (after purchase of the necessary process or credit cartridges).

Other improvements in pdfToolbox 14

Of course, these are not the only new features in pdfToolbox 14. Among the smaller new features are:

  • Native support for macOS on ARM (the Apple Silicon processors).
  • A much-extended JSON preflight report type that can either be more compact or contain substantially more information (such as ink coverage information).
  • pdfToolbox can now be configured to always generate an XML or JSON preflight report, even for corrupt PDF files or if PDF files are password protected.
  • When generating a JSON or XML preflight report from a Process Plan run, more information is now provided about the steps that were executed.
  • A new preflight check on the JPEG quality factor (representing the amount of compression of a JPEG image).
  • A new “duplicate” button when creating fixups with many different settings (using the “+” button in previous versions always created an empty setting).
  • When inserting new pages, it’s now possible to determine which objects are copied to the new page.
  • The “Map colors” fixup is now more flexible with regards to which colors are going to be modified by having a tolerance per color channel.
  • Actions that refer to imposition configuration files, allow these to be edited directly from within the action.
  • Run list and sheet configuration imposition files can now be deleted directly in the Switchboard (in the “Impose” panel).
  • Checks in Process Plans can now have a severity (previously they were always set to “Error”).
  •  The “Extract dieline” action which allows extracting a PDF, SVG or CF2 dieline, can now be used in a Process Plan.

Availability and price

callas pdfToolbox 14 is available today from the callas software web site.

  • pdfToolbox Desktop for manual processing as a plug-in within Adobe Acrobat or standalone, starts at 625 EUR. An upgrade from pdfToolbox 13 costs EUR 250, and an upgrade from pdfToolbox 12 costs €375
  • pdfToolbox Server, CLI, and SDK for fully automated, hands-off processing and integration in other solutions start at €5,000. Upgrades to pdfToolbox Server / CLI / SDK 14 are included in the maintenance agreement.
  • The callas License Server in the Cloud no longer requires the purchase of a pdfToolbox License Server license. Process cartridges are available as a subscription only at €120/month, €1,200/year, pricing for credit cartridges is as follows:
    Credit Cartridge - 50 000 credits: €625
    Credit Cartridge - 500 000 credits: €5,000

Customers without an active maintenance agreement or with further inquiries regarding availability, price, options or return on investment, please contact the callas software distribution partner, Four Pees at sales@fourpees.com. Download a fully functional time-limited trial version from www.callassoftware.com.

Press contact:
Four Pees
Anabel de Vetter
Phone: +32 9 237 10 00

callas software finds simple ways to handle complex PDF challenges. As a technology innovator, callas software develops and markets PDF technology for publishing, print production, document exchange and document archiving. callas software helps agencies, publishing companies and printers to meet the challenges they face by providing software to preflight, correct…

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