Good Reasons for ImageServer OPI

Modern day OPI (Open Prepress Interface) solutions, such as HELIOS ImageServer, incorporate much more than just OPI image replacement. For example, ImageServer acts as an integrated solution to make the entire image management and print workflow more versatile and efficient. Here are some general advantages of OPI, along with specific features of HELIOS ImageServer:

Speed improvement and output optimization

Every speed improvement that saves time saves money. OPI allows file transfer and printing times for designers to be greatly reduced, increasing staff productivity and morale. And it improves utilization of hardware resources. Output optimization improves the performance of your RIP by sending only required data. Additional ImageServer output options include downsampling, output compression, etc. Bottom line – OPI allows you to do more with less.

Remote workflow support

ImageServer OPI is ideal for remote workflow support and control of digital assets. The demand and expectation to support remote designers, offices, and customers is growing, yet very few people have Gigabit Internet access. For companies that want to expand their business, and who do not want to have to do everything in-house, in one facility, OPI can enable business and workflows that otherwise would be impractical. For example, using HELIOS PDF-native OPI, file transfer times (e.g. of 37 MB of high-res images) via DSL (1000 / 128 kbit, dedicated line) can be reduced from 18 minutes to 30 seconds by using OPI. Using ImageServer to provide low-res layout images allows efficient transfer of images and support of remote sites, while retaining possession of the original high-res images.

Color management

The ImageServer server-based ColorSync color management and ICC profile repository allows more consistent results with less administrative overhead. ICC profiles are applied on-the-fly to print output for high quality ColorSync color-matched separations and composite print jobs. Final press and proof printer profiles can both be specified to produce accurate color matched proofs. And RGB PDF files, simulating the final press, can easily be viewed remotely.

Composite PDF generation overcomes QuarkXPress limitations

When working in QuarkXPress on a document that contains layout images of different color spaces (e.g. “Standard RGB”, “Custom CMYK”), a common problem is that the image color spaces are not preserved when exporting the document to PDF. The output is matched either to CMYK or RGB. To overcome this limitation in QuarkXPress, the document can be printed to a “Create PDF” queue. In doing so, the color spaces of all layout images in the PDF file are preserved. For this to work, the “Default Printer Profile” for the “Create PDF” queue in the HELIOS Admin ICC settings must be set to “None”, which is the default setting.

Composite DeviceN printing support overcomes QuarkXPress limitations

ImageServer replaces images that have OPI comments and produces DeviceN PostScript output whenever needed to preserve spot color information. DCS-2, TIFF and Photoshop CMYK images with spot colors, as well as colorized grayscale images, can now be converted into composite high-res PostScript 3 / DeviceN images to be used for in-RIP separations or PDF generation. This enables users to overcome some limitations within QuarkXPress. E.g. QuarkXPress 3 through 5 cannot produce DeviceN output, and QuarkXPress 3 through 6 cannot produce in-RIP separations. But when you use QuarkXPress together with ImageServer, you can produce in-RIP separations with DeviceN output.

Script Server workflow automation

ImageServer Script Server allows easy workflow automation. It can work completely automatically, behind-the-scenes, or be used as needed via hot folders. This powerful service can be used to automate any HELIOS server process, including image conversion, PDF splitting / combining, printing, and much more. Script Server scripts are easily enabled via HELIOS Admin by adding just a few lines of script.

Image conversion

ImageServer is also a fast, high quality, server-based image conversion engine, used to convert images for use in printing, Web or any other purpose. ImageServer supports a wide range of image formats and color spaces including clipping paths and spot colors. It can convert file format, resolution, and compression, and incorporates ColorSync for fast, high quality ICC based color space transforms. Script Server allows fully automated or hot folder based image conversion.

Re-purpose the same print job

A single print job can be processed by multiples queues / workflows. e.g.

  • Generate a 72 dpi PDF
  • Generate a 300 dpi PostScript proof
  • Generate final PDF for the printing process, e.g.: film / plates
  • Generate a 300 dpi Lab PDF for long term archive
QuarkXPress and InDesign document previews

ImageServer creates preview files of QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign documents. Utilizing these previews, local and remote users can perform job status checks and content verification of InDesign and QuarkXPress documents from creation to final output, without needing access to the applications, documents, fonts, or images.

Imaging platform for digital asset management solutions

ImageServer serves as the center of image content repurposing and digital asset management (DAM). Using ImageServer image conversion and Script Server event notification, third-party DAM vendors (e.g., BrighTech, Canto, OPIX, OKS, etc.) can provide solutions tightly integrated with ImageServer. Users are free to select the DAM solution that incorporates the asset management and workflow features best suited for their operation.

Protects digital assets

Images are valuable intellectual property – hence they are referred to as digital assets. OPI protects these assets by sharing out only the low-resolution layout images, not the original high-resolution images.

Extend productive lifespan of workstations and network

OPI keeps resource intensive data off the network and client workstations, allowing them to be productive longer. Workstation upgrade cycles can be extended, reducing costs, and increasing ROI (Return On Investment).

Application compatibility

Create, receive, and archive images in the most appropriate format (e.g. PDF; or native Photoshop with layers, paths, and channels retained) and ImageServer OPI will generate TIFF or EPS images for your page layout applications, PNG or JPEG images for Web use, etc. Supports Mac, PC and UNIX clients.

Error checking

Intercept jobs with missing fonts, images, or ICC profiles to save time and reduce wasted material.


The reasons for using ImageServer are quite perse. Even in this age of fast local area networks, it allows faster workflows, remote workflows, color managed workflows, and automated workflows. The image conversion, DeviceN support and application compatibility features allow workflows that would not otherwise be possible or practical. The real reason people use ImageServer is quite simple – it helps them make money.

HELIOS ImageServer is part of the HELIOS family of network and prepress server solutions. HELIOS ImageServer, PDF HandShake and PrintPreview bring efficiency, and advanced capabilities to design, prepress and printing operations, while HELIOS EtherShare, PCShare, and WebShare provide integrated cross-platform networking for Mac, Windows, and Web clients. Together the HELIOS suite of network and prepress servers offers the industry’s most advanced file, image and print server services, with easy remote server administration.