Highly Customizable PDF Prepress Workflow

Prepress • Workflow • Automation

PuzzleFlow Workflow is a PDF processing system for prepress. It comes with a bunch of processing modules which can be combined into workflow chains and create intelligent processing path. Its consistent architecture and high performance makes PuzzleFlow a great choice for jobs preparation at prepress production step. Open standards in use makes PuzzleFlow easy to integrate with software solutions from other vendors.

Solution for Prepress Automation

PuzzleFlow comes with a plenty of modules for everyday prepress tasks, such as preflight, normalization, optimization, advanced corrections, automated imposition, color management and proofing, color separation and recombination, trapping, CIP3 ink coverage profiles generation, rendering and others.

Modules can be combined into workflow chains and create a set of processes, that are applied sequentially to all input jobs spotted by workflow hotfolders. After processing, results are stored in specified output folders, with a great control over files naming convention and support for conditional processing of the jobs flow.

Business Benefits


Processing modules that covers a complete spectrum of modern prepress tasks. No need to buy any additional components or third party tools.

High Performance

Extremely high performance, even on low-cost hardware configuration. While processing power is relatively cheep we still fight for every second to make possible mass file processing.

Error Reduction

Minimal human work, maximal automation - enable to reduce mistakes and move human interaction to decision points instead of doing repetitive tasks.


User-friendly and intuitive interface for workflows configuration and execution. Even beginner may do things, that are amazingly efficient and improve work. The full power of the the system can be revealed with some coding.

Full Control

Full control over jobs flow via local or remote interfaces - the process execution can be controlled over web interface. Remote interface does not require any component to be installed just modern web browser.


Open standards in use and API for integrators enable to create custom extensions and build system interconnectivity to enrich automated tasks with business data and feedback from devices.

Input and Conversion Puzzles


The Normalizer module converts incoming Postscript documents, as well as bitmap images, into the PDF format. Normalizer uses a native PuzzleFlow engine for conversion, taking care about all necessary options and details of Adobe Acrobat compatibility.


The module performs a detailed document verification, inspecting global document properties (such as font inclusion or color space usage) as well as local page graphic details (minimal text size, image resolution, overprinting and more). Textual preflight reports can be stored in HTML, XML formants.

PDF/X Maker

This module transforms PDF documents into PDF/X compliant documents. The module adds PDF/X specific information to the input document and applies all necessary corrections.

Font Manager

The module provides a font management functionality for PDF files. It inserts or removes Postscript Type 1, TrueType and OpenType fonts, according to the specified rules.

Font To Curves

FontToCurves Module performs an advanced conversion of outline fonts to curves. The module supports Type1, TrueType and OpenType font formats. Apart from the conversion from font glyphs to generic curves, the module also provides conversion to Type3 fonts.


The module provides a set of advanced correction tools. Toolbox allows recombining shading objects, combining fragmented images, changing curves and colors parameters, and applying or removing overprint and rich black for specified type of objects.

Page Geometry Puzzles

Box Resizer

Provides a full control over PDF page areas: MediaBox, CropBox, BleedBox, TrimBox and ArtBox. Allows modifying page box coordinates and position, using absolute or relative values.

Page Orienter

Provides a full control over page orientation. Allows rotating pages to portrait or landscape, as well as reorienting document pages to the same orientation, as displayed by Adobe Acrobat.

Page Scaler

The module adjusts the final page size, proportions and medium. Page scaler can adjust size to the specific dimensions or keep proportions and fit the final page size.

Page Selector

Page Selector allows to change the order and range of pages, print sequence, and number of copies. The module also handles page copies sorting and ignoring empty pages. T


The module recognizes the real page content (the entire area of texts, images and graphics), regardless of defined page geometry. The module allows to rebuild a page geometry on the base of detected page content. It also recognizes cutting marks around the page and allows to reset the page net size according to their coordinates.

Layer Manager

The Layer Manager allows to remove, flatten or hide layers from PDF documents (PDF 1.5 Optional Content). Layer Manager is especially useful for multilingual productions.

Color Control Puzzles

Color Manager

Color Mapper

The module applies color space transformation on the base of ICC profiles. It provides various color correction strategies, the same or distinct for text objects, vector graphics, continuous tone and indexed images. Correction strategies include full ICC-based color correction, color space tagging, un-tagging or re-tagging with ICC profiles.

It utilizes direct or emulated (proofing) color correction using various rendering intents, defined globally or selectively for distinct objects. Specific spot colors can be excluded from the standard color correction and converted according to predefined color list. The module supports hexachromic conversions and device-link profiles.

The module remaps spot colors into process colors (or another spot colors), according to specified rules and conditions. As an extra feature, ColorMapper allows to move all spot color objects onto layers, for easier management of special content (cutting outlines, variable language contents etc.).


The module performs a color separation of composite documents. It allows defining the range and order of output colorants. The module also enables selective or global changes of spot colors into CMYK or aliasing spot color into another spot color.


The module is used for automated recombination of separated PDF files into a composite data. The separated spot colors can be selectively recombined as spot colors or merged to CMYK components.


The module generates CIP3 Ink Coverage Profiles directly from PDF files. As an addition to CIP3, InkExaminer can also output profiles in DIPS standard.

Imposition & Personalization Puzzles


The module uses prepared signature templates to perform automated imposition on PDF files. It accepts signature templates generated by SignatureDesigner, PuzzleFlow Organizer, or other industry standards such as Adobe PJTF and CIP-4 (JDF) signatures.

Box Imposer

The module marks page box areas, drawing rectangles around MediaBox, TrimBox, BleedBox, CropBox, and ArtBox. Extra content is placed on layers, which is particulary useful when generating an imposition proof, where the proof and the final result are actually the same imposition data.

Two Side Preview

The module merges two sides of double-sided imposition plates into one transparent preview that shows fitting and page assignment. Like BoxImposer, TwoSidePreview can be particulary useful for the proofing imposition effects.


The module dissects large PDF pages into smaller pieces, which is an everyday task in large format production. Output tiles can overlap, respecting demands of further technological process (eg. joining billboard tiles).


The module merges the main page content with an arbitrary personalization layer, represented as a separate PDF page. Personalization layers can be cropped, scaled, reoriented, and then placed as a background, or as a front of master pages. Each personalization layer can be conditionally turned off or displaced according to the list of specified conditions.


This module generates and puts barcodes on input pages. The module supports the most types of standards including EAN-8, EAN-13, UPC-A, UPC-E, ISBN, 2 of 5, Code 39, 128 B, 128 C and QR. Barcodes are treated as a layers and therefore can be placed according to specified list of conditions.

Image Processing Puzzles

Image Filter

The module provides batch processing of images, applying special visual effects such as bluring, sharpening, reducing or increasing noise.

Preview Generator

The module creates low-resolution bitmap previews in JPEG, TIFF or PDF format from every page of a PDF document

OPI Resolver

The module replaces low-res images with high-resolution data on the base of OPI comments embedded in PDF documents.


The module adjusts the resolution of bitmaps in PDF documents. Original high-resolution bitmaps can be optionally removed from the document, saved in the outside folder (to be placed back by the OPI resolving module after correction), or placed in the output document as alternate images - exclusively used only for printing purposes.


The module creates OPI proxy previews (low resolution images) out of high-resolution images provided as input data. The low-resolution preview data, saved as TIFF or EPSF can then be used in page layout software and swapped back with corresponding high-resolution data by the OPI resolving module

Image Compressor

The module modifies a compression method of images embedded in the PDF file. The selected compression scheme (JPEG, ZIP, or Automatic) can be applied for all images or just for uncompressed data, separately for color, grayscale, and black and white (bi-level) images.

High End Puzzles


The module performs proof quality rendering of PDF content, supporting many output bitmap formats. Renderer supports antialiasing, text hinting and other advanced techniques used to obtain a high quality result.


The module inserts or removes halftone information embedded in PDF documents. Different object types (text, images, vector graphics), can be associated with distinct halftoning parameters. The module supports both AM and FM screening, possibly mixed on the same page.


The module flattens all transparent and overprinted objects into a generic opaque graphic, safe and easy to interpret by all rendering engines. It also allows to customize the way of flattening by specifying reference resolution, color transition smoothness, base color space and spot colors.


The module provides provides fully automated, JDF and PJTF compatible vector trapping engine. The module works with composite data, supporting object-to-object, object-to-image and image-to-image trapping.

Trapper configuration allows to specify trap lines width and shape, trapping color thresholds, images processing policy, spot colors handling, and special dispositions for small objects, that should rather be overprinted then trapped

Comparison of PuzzleFlow Systems for Prepress

Workflow | Contour



Processing Workflow

Comes with a wide range of jobs processing modules, provides a comprehensive tool for automated jobs preparation. Contains predefined sets of tasks, allows designing own, specialized prepress workflows.

Orders Management

In PuzzleFlow systems with orders management, jobs from customers can be directly supplied via internet. A publication is not only a set of files. A database collects information about the customer, technological products specification, information about order statuses and their complete history. The system provides a mechanism for versioning supplied material, hierarchical approval, optional, advanced softproofing and an expanded layer of communication between the customer and the printhouse – automatical email notifications, on-line comments and annotiations for both the customer and the printhouse operators.


Extends orders management functionality with a specialized, integrated webshop (B2B and B2C), equipped with an automated preflight, approval, on-line payments and shipping. The system provides instant product price calculators, material and service costs registration, offering and invoicing subsystems as well as production tracking packaging support.