PrintPreview G8 User manual (Version 6.0.0)  

2 An introduction to HELIOS PrintPreview

PrintPreview is a versatile proofing and annotation solution. When used together with HELIOS WebShare, it enables local and remote ICC color-matched proofing on monitor or printer, via any web browser. All major image formats and PDF documents are easily viewed and proofed in WebShare. Annotations can be added to images, PDFs, and Office documents, and with HELIOS ImageServer, InDesign/XPress XPV documents as well.

PrintPreview also generates proofs of PostScript print jobs. Standard separated jobs, jobs with any number of spot color plates, composite and in-RIP separation jobs are supported. A PrintPreview queue is in essence a virtual printer, which saves a bitmap proof into a PDF file.

PrintPreview is ideal for preflighting, local and remote proofs, and annotations, throughout the design and production cycle, and serves as a final job check prior to printing.


HELIOS PrintPreview runs on top of the foundation provided by HELIOS Base. Please read the HELIOS Base manual for installation instructions and other important details.

2.1 New PrintPreview features

For new features in the PrintPreview software see the HELIOS website: Go to HELIOS Product Versions – New Features

For HELIOS Base, the foundation used by all HELIOS products, see the HELIOS Base product web page: Go to Products > Base

2.2 Product description

2.2.1 Proofing and annotations via WebShare

PrintPreview together with HELIOS WebShare enables local and remote ICC color-matched proofing on monitor or printer, via any web browser. This speeds the approval process and greatly reduces proof printing and shipping costs. Images and PDF files are first converted from the source color space into the output (proof simulation) color space, and then into the user's monitor color space. This allows highly accurate rendering of colors on properly calibrated proof quality monitors. The color-matched image or PDF document is then converted into a bitmap PNG file for viewing within WebShare.

Users can view composite or individual separation plates and/​or spot colors. The Color Inspector shows final print process separation and spot color values for specified points of the soft proof.

PrintPreview can also generate proofs for printing via WebShare, to mainstream inkjet or laser printers without the need for a local RIP solution.

The PrintPreview annotation system allows annotations to be added to images, PDFs, and Office documents, and with HELIOS ImageServer, InDesign/​XPress XPV documents as well.

PrintPreview offers highest rendering quality and compatibility, supporting transparency, in-RIP separation, overprint/​knockouts, DeviceN, spot colors, PDF ICC color spaces, ICC-4 profiles, DeviceLink profiles, and high-precision rendering and antialiasing for text.

2.2.2 Proofing PostScript print jobs

PrintPreview receives PostScript print jobs (separated or composite), via HELIOS print queues. It then converts the PostScript file into a bitmap file, and saves the bitmapped pages of the separations, and/or a color-matched composite preview, in a PDF “wrapper”, for easy viewing and printing, either locally or remotely. PrintPreview utilizes the final printer PPD to provide accurate previews of all job elements included in the PostScript: fonts, graphics, page geometry, trapping, imposition, colors, spot colors, etc. The composite preview can be color matched using the final printer ICC profile, along with your monitor or proof printer’s ICC profile, for easy soft proofing or printing to any laser or inkjet proof printer. Upon approval, the original job (i.e. the original PostScript) can be released for production into the final printer queue.

The built-in ICC based color management provides accurate color matched composite previews, using the Heidelberg CMM (Color Management Module), co-developed by Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG and HELIOS Software GmbH. Prior versions were licensed to Apple Computer for use in Mac OS 9 as the ColorSync 2.6 CMM.

Real printing of the jobs you have checked can be started automatically or manually. This gives you maximum control over your production and can help you save time and money.

Integration within HELIOS server products

PrintPreview is fully integrated with the other HELIOS server products. ImageServer and PDF HandShake are optional, and are tightly integrated to work smoothly with PrintPreview. WebShare, for instance, facilitates the remote viewing and transfer of proofs.

Technically speaking, PrintPreview is a special kind of printer queue – it adds another option to the Connection pull-down menu you use when setting up a new printer queue (Fig. 2.1).

<code>Print Preview</code>
printer connection

Fig. 2.1: The Print Preview printer connection

The “preview-then-print” workflow

Fig. 2.2 shows a simple “preview-then-print” workflow. The illustration compares a print-only environment to an environment, where PrintPreview is used.

Printing with and without PrintPreview

Fig. 2.2: Printing with and without PrintPreview

You have several possibilities of forwarding a print job from the preview queue to a printer queue: you can do it manually (by “drag-and-drop”) as illustrated in Fig. 2.2, or you can configure the program to do it automatically. This flexibility allows you to adapt PrintPreview to individual environments.

The preview you get

ICON If you print from your current application to a Print Preview queue, the software “prints” into a PDF file which can then be opened with Adobe Acrobat. You can check the fonts and colors, the composite preview and all separation plates of each page you have printed. The generated PDF file is meant to serve as a screen proof, but it can also be saved for future use, and it can even be printed from Acrobat if desired. Note that each page of the PDF file is one image and you will not be able to edit text or other elements on a page.

How a print preview differs from a standard PDF

Many sites print from an application to create a PDF for remote proofing purposes. These PDFs contain all content as separate bitmap and vector objects. However, it is quite possible that some of these elements (e.g. fonts or OPI images) may not be available on the print server. Or, certain PDF features may not be supported by the final RIP (e.g. CID fonts, TrueType fonts, DeviceN). Hence, a standard PDF will show only what is supposed to be printed, which may not be an accurate preview of what will actually be printed. In addition, a standard PDF usually uses the Acrobat Distiller or similar device-independent PPD. When the print job is printed to a real world printing device, with a different PPD, the results can be quite different.

PrintPreview, on the other hand, is a “virtual printer”, using the final output device PPD, so the rastered pages in the PrintPreview PDF will accurately preview the final device output.

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HELIOS Manuals September 10, 2020