EskoArtwork Neo editing software for multi-page PDFs. Print

Esko Artwork Neo (previously known as Enfocus Pitstop) is mainly used in the world of commercial printers. But today (2009-2010), this new version under Esko is being marketed to printshops that have wide-format inkjet and XY flatbed cutting devices.

First, you can't edit and improve a faulty PDF if you can't break into it in native format.

This software can be described as a very convenient PDF modification program that helps operators make last-minute modifications. Considering that the normal procedure to make changes to a PDF to be printed would involve big amounts of emails going back and forth from client – ad agency – sign shop, these small modifications can slow the entire print job for several hours.

FLAAR is offering personalized consulting at each trade show. You can walk-the-floor with the Senior Editor of FLAAR and get his comments on any and all printers, inks, RIP software, color management, substrates, applications, etc.

So if you wish to learn about the difference between combo, hybrid, and dedicated UV printers, how latex ink compares, about textile printers, etc. contact FLAAR to obtain consulting.

You can also get consulting before ISA or FESPA anywhere in the world: Dubai, India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, China, Korea, London and more.

Among the features of this software you find:

Errors: Esko Neo Identifies and lists PDF errors in a palette (independent window). Neo then can generate a document with a list of errors for you to send via email. Also, there is a command that lets you correct these errors in an external application, such as Photoshop.

Text: Neo lets you work with the PDF as if you were de-flattening the native document (the Illustrator file, for example), so you can add text and edit the properties like font, font size, kerning, tracking, create new text boxes, link text boxes so as to give your new text more room to flow, etc. But it also lets you work the other way around, in the sense that there is a tool for you to vectorize the text (what you would call “convert to outline” in Illustrator and InDesign or “convert to path” in FreeHand), if you need to modify a character, for example.

Images: “Crops” the areas of an image hidden by a mask. This is especially helpful when you mask an image or when you make “paste-insides” because you often have the problem that when you want to select an element behind your masked image, you end up selecting the image hidden. But the good thing about this option is that in reality, the original image remains untouched, because Neo does not crop the actual image file, but its visual representation. You can also make normal image changes such as rotation, scale, etc.

Neo is designed with the basic tools because it is not a design software, but a modification tool you can use just before printing. So it does not require the quantity of practice and patience that other complex design programs demand for its proper operation. This software is compatible both with PC and Mac platforms.

Site-Visit Case Study

In mid-November 2009 it was possible to visit a large and successful printing company in the UK (Data Image). The owner, Robert Farfort, kindly spent several hours providing his insights into the benefits of the suite of software products that have assisted his company to grow and prosper. He discussed Clarity Pro (price quotation software), Odystar, and Enfocus Pitstop (EskoArtwork).

The printshop owner's comments were “we saw a massive increase in reliability. Actually we saved the salary of one office worker (in other words, we needed one less employee. Previously PDFs were failing for every reason. Sometimes it would take three hours to RIP a single file (just because it was filled with errors from the client).

Neo is considered (Enfocus) Pitstop on steroids.

To learn more about PDFs as the format for printing

To learn more about PDFs as the format for printing, you can check the Ghent PDF Workgroup (GWG). They are headquartered in Ghent , Belgium . This is a lovely picturesque city and worth visiting, especially if you are interested in textile printing with wide-format inkjet printers: both the university and separately the Hochschule of Ghent have textile printing research programs.


First posted January 2010.