Glossary of Printing Terms:
PCF

Packaging Control File

A step and repeat workflow file format used in editing programs to provide a more efficient process for automating the duplication of a single image two or more times on press plates.

Conventional step and repeat processes transfer high resolution data to a RIP by sending the same “one-up” image file 2 or 3 times depending on the “number up” to be printed on the sheet, resulting in large data files that are slow for the RIP to process.

The PCF file saves RIP processing time and memory storage space by storing only the repeat elements (fold marks, cut marks, images, etc.) in the PCF and linking them to single or multiple RIPed elements or high-resolution files.

As the RIPing output occurs, the links are translated on the fly and converted, thus conserving storage space and RIPing process time.

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