DI-Plot: The Missing Link

With JDF enabled DI-Plot, we have designed outstanding proofing software for a wide range of digital offset printing machines, computer-to-plate systems and film imagesetters. Any color printer or plotter can be used for printout.

DI-Plot has finally closed the gap between prepress and printing in the digital workflow. For the first time, it is possible to achieve a reliable Okay-to-Print based on the original data after it's been ripped and separated. The proofs are inexpensive and yet of the highest possible precision. With DI-Plot, production reliability can be stepped up to an unprecedented degree.

The digital workflow won't always flow

It's every publisher's nightmare: the data has been ripped and production has been started, but on the final output, misprints are detected! Not only does this mean considerable financial loss in wasted time and material, but possibly a missed deadline as well! Such incidents can happen even with an experienced DTP team - and even when they check their work with proofs made on a conventional blueprint system.

A printout is no blueprint

In fact, such "proofs" are proof of nothing. They all use different Rip technologies, and process unseparated PostScript files. Numerous problems can arise: the installed fonts might not harmonize, RGB-images might not be processed, or the different software versions under PostScript level one, two or three might collide (to name but a few). In short: years of practical experience have shown that outputs rasterized by a Rip for digital blueprints - the so-called "form proofer" - cannot be matched to outputs from a production Rip. When compared to what finally comes off press, such blueprints are absolutely worthless as a reference.

The solution

When fitted between the PostScript interpreter and the imaging unit, DI-Plot is the only digital blueprint system that guarantees absolute conformity between proof and print. DI-Plot makes use of a simple but ingenious concept: the color proofs are made from the ripped, separated and screened original files. A fault-prone re-interpretation of PostScript and unnecessary second ripping of the data is thus avoided. When using DI-Plot, most configurations don't need a special form proof Rip at all!


The core of DI-Plot is its descreening algorithms: the original high-definition files (between 1200 and 4000 DPI) for imagesetters are descreened, reassembled and downsized at a resolution according to the color printer's settings (e.g. 300 or 600 DPI). DI-Plot's descreening process has been brought to an even higher standard: the color proofs are now reliable down to the finest detail.

The printer's concern

A proof only deserves to be called a proof if, in addition to all necessary cutting, folding and collating marks, it also shows format crosses and control strips. DI-Plot provides them all - with complete accuracy. The customer is presented with a definitive version of his job, which he can correct and certify before any films or printing plates are imaged. DI-Plot can even emulate up to ten spot colors, depending on the type of printing machine (e.g. five, six or more printing units). All the user has to do is define the CMYK values that will represent the spot colors on the printout.

Newspaper workflow

Originally, DI-Plot was designed to produce printouts from the internal bitmap files of a GTO DI or Quickmaster DI printing machine, giving a reliable representation of their content. This was the first time that the technique of proof printing high-resolution Rip data had been used. DI-Plot has since become a fully-fledged professional tool for making digital blueprints from any imaginable configuration. The software package supports all common Rip technologies. Even newspaper facilities where the Rip site (editing/production) is separated from the imaging site (printing operation) can now produce remote form proofs that are 100% representative of their content.

Color calibration

DI-Plot can be connected to many well-known color proofing processes whenever a color-reliable printout is needed. Color gamut calculation and output is then carried out by a system such as Bestcolor.

PDF output & remote proofing

A long-cherished dream for future PDF workflows has finally come true: DI-Plot produces PDF files from fully imposed and ripped sheets. The comparatively compact PDF data can be sent to any MAC or PC via network, ISDN or e-mail. These files keep their full integrity and can be checked on the monitor and printed out on any local printer. Easy and reliable, the remote form proof is a reality at last!

System environment

DI-Plot can be installed on the Windows platform. Any color printer or plotter can be connected, as long as its printer driver runs on Windows and its printing format matches the corresponding printing machine (nearly all do). Alternatively, DI-Plot can be used to generate TIFF, EPS or PDF files, which will then allow reprocessing in any other way. When running DI-Plot, the installation of an inexpensive PC is recommended. It receives the ripped data files from the network, converts them to the format required, and outputs them on the color output device.

JDF technology

DI-Plot is JDF-enabled. Based on the bitmap data and CIP-3 files transferred from the prepress workflow, the software writes CIP4/JDF files and passes them on either to the InkZone family of preset solutions, or direct to the printing machine console.

Return on investment

Due to vastly increased production reliability, an investment in DI-Plot will pay off within a few weeks.



InkZone Move Configuration


Software package for conversion and printout of bitmap files. Automatic reading and writing of CIP3 and InkZone files for presetting offset printing machines.

DI-Plot can read CIP3/4 files or proprietary bitmap files from which it calculates the percent dot area according to the printing machine used. In many cases, the reading of bitmap files (1 Bit Tiff, Delta lists, page buffer, etc.) can save the investment in expensive CIP3 extensions for the respective Rip/Workflow.

PC Hardware and Operating System

We recommend installing the DI-Plot software on a dedicated PC running Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Windows 7 Professional. The perfect hardware is an CPU Intel Core 2 Duo, 3.x GHz, 2 GB RAM, 80 GB hard disk, 10,000 RPM, 19-inch TFT monitor (touch screen recommended), USB. There are two important special hardware requirements: the PC should contain two Ethernet boards. One Ethernet line is connected to the customer's network (hub or switch), the other one is using a crossover cable and drives the InkZone Box/Card. This kind of installation ensures a clear separation between the box and the customer's network. And the PC should contain a free serial connetion (RS232) to drive the InkZone Tape and Strip solution.


According to your needs our solutions InkZone Box, InkZone Card, InkZone Strip, InkZone Tape, or InkZone Perfect are being used.

Our distribution partners will be pleased to help you configuring the appropriate system for you.

A detailed description of the supported presses and consoles can be obtained here as a PDF file.

Input Formats

Input Formats for DI-Plot

DI-Plot processes internal bitmap files of the following Rip and Workflow technologies:
  • Agfa Intellinet
  • Agfa PrintDrive PackBits
  • Agfa PS-Proofer (RLE)
  • Agfa Taipan, Apogee PDF RIP - LZW
  • Agfa Taipan, Apogee PDF RIP - CCITT4
  • Antares/Cymbolic Sciences
  • Artwork Nexus CCITT4
  • Autologic RIPtoLAN FileName (EPS)
  • Best Option for InkZone Box
  • CIP3/4
  • Creo InkPro
  • Creo Overture LZW
  • Creo Screen2go
  • Creo Virtual Proofing System
  • DI-Bitmap (Presstek)
  • EFI OneFlow
  • ElaplanNews
  • Epson 7600/9600
  • Esko-Graphics FlexRip LZW
  • Esko-Graphics FlowDrive
  • Fuji Celebra - Genstore, LZW, CCITT4
  • Harlequin CCITT4
  • Harlequin LZW Gray
  • Harlequin LZW Mono
  • Harlequin PackBits
  • Harlequin PageBuffer
  • Heidelberg Delta Directory
  • Heidelberg Delta Document
  • Heidelberg Metadimension
  • HP-RTL
  • Intergraph CRL
  • KPG EPS Group 4
  • KPG Fast TIFF
  • Krause Newspaper I
  • Krause Newspaper II
  • Krause Newspaper III
  • Krause Shetfeed I
  • Monotype Express CCITT4 (1)
  • Monotype Express CCITT4 (2)
  • PCC Artwork Systems
  • PPI Proman
  • Prinergy
  • Scitex Brisque CT-Handshake
  • Scitex Brisque separated nCT/nLW
  • Scitex CT/LW
  • Screen Trueflow
  • TIFF CMYK Uncompressed
  • TIFF RGB uncompressed
  • TIFF/IT-P1
This list does not claim to be complete. Please contact us or any of our distribution partners if you require more information. A detailed description of the input format can be obtained here as a PDF file.

Output Formats

Output Data of DI-Plot

The following output formats can be generated from the input data converted by DI-Plot:

Windows XP/Windows 7 Graphic Device Interface Data (GDI)

DI-Plot continually transmits the files that it has reduced in resolution (e.g. down to 300 DPI) to the Windows Graphic Device Interface. Any printer with a matching Windows driver can be connected! The range of possible printers, plotters, or proofers is practically unlimited. The parameters pertaining to each printer, such as paper format, portrait or landscape orientation, screening process etc., can be defined through the Windows printer driver. A list of the print-out devices that we have tested is included at the end of this page.

TIFF, EPS and PDF files

DI-Plot writes these file types in the desired output resolution (e.g. 300 DPI, 720 DPI, etc.). These files can then be used as required.

CIP3/4 Files

DI-Plot can, simultaneously with the form proof, generate CIP3/4 files for printing machine ink-zone control. These files can be processed by all familiar control systems (e.g. Heidelberg CPC32, MAN-Roland Pecom).

Color management with ICC profiles

DI-Plot is CMS-enabled. In this version, the integration of ICC profiles is also possible. Including the profile of the output-device used for actual printing (offset or newspaper press, digital printing system, etc.), a form proof can be shown to the customer which corresponds to the final printing process, also with regard to color reproduction.

Deimposing and splitting of panorama page

One innovation of interest to the commercial printing and newspaper sectors is the Deimposing function. Complete, assembled bitmap forms for sheet-fed offset can, either automatically or according to user parameters, be split into smaller formats (single or double pages, for example) and produced on small-format printing systems. De-imposing enables newspaper producers to split panorama pages automatically for running proofs off laser color printers.

InkZone Files (XML/JDF)

DI-Plot can - simultaneously with the form proof - generate InkZone files (XML/JDF) for offset printing machine ink-zone control with InkZone Pilot.

Some Printers, Plotters, & Proofers we have tested

We have succesfully tested a broad range of output devices with DI-Plot. E.g. printers and plotters from Epson, HP, Canon, Xerox, OKI, etc. If you have any questions regarding the compatibility of your output device with DI-Plot, do not hesitate to contact us or our distribution partners.

Success Stories

Heidelberg Quickmaster DI

Heidelberg Quickmaster DI

Harlequin Scriptworks

Harlequin Scriptworks

Agfa Taipan

Agfa Taipan

Heidelberg Delta

Heidelberg Delta

Newspaper Workflow

Newspaper Workflow

Delta to Harlequin

Delta to Harlequin