A2Z PDF – a versatile workflow for offset and digital print

A2Z PDF – a versatile workflow for offset and digital print

We recently caught up with P Chellappan, partner and chief technologist, PM Digital Products, at his Chennai office to get an update on the company’s newly launched prepress software, A2Z PDF. Developed by Chellappan’s in-house software engineering team, A2Z PDF is a versatile prepress software designed from the ground up to meet the various workflow requirements of offset and digital printers. Claiming to reduce prepress time from hours to minutes and even seconds, we decided to take a demo of each feature of the software to understand how it works.

The software offers 12 categories, which further contain sections with several useful features— a range one can expect only with a combination of various software. The categories such as Impose pages for saddle stitch, Add numbers, text or variable data and Add blank pages anywhere you need are self-explanatory and once selected, they can perform a job in just a matter of minutes and a few clicks.

Talking about the need for developing software like A2Z, Chellappan said, “Being in the digital printing business for so long, we know the pain points that printers and clients suffer from. We understand the areas that take a lot of time in prepress. A customer brings a PDF file in different forms and it cannot be used as is for printing. One needs to do a lot of editing, resizing, cropping and, of course, imposing, deleting and reordering of pages. One needs a combination of software, such as Acrobat Pro, Illustrator and others to achieve the desired output before a file is finally sent for printing. A2Z is a standalone application that does away with the need of an assortment of software.”

P Chellappan, partner and chief technologist, PM Digital Products. Photo IPP

Saving time in prepress
Chellapan says that a 100-page center pinned book printing job for, say, a quantity of minimum 100 books would earlier take hours for an operator to process, resize and set up for final processing. With A2Z, the prepress workflow time is reduced to a mere 5 minutes, thanks to several options that it comes loaded with, including Create N-Ups for all pages; Impose pages for saddle stitch; Impose pages to print one copy; which is used for printers to print a sample copy, Impose folded and custom signatures; Tile pages larger than print size, Join many pages to form one page, Split a single page into two or more; Add numbers, text or variable data; Scale, rotate and resize pages; Extract, delete, reverse or duplicate pages; Add blank pages anywhere you need; and, Combine several PDF files into one.

The software has already been shared with several digital print service providers and is in the beta testing stage. According to Chellappan, “We have already sold the software to a few known names in the digital space and are awaiting their feedback so we can include some more features in A2Z. Currently, we are not in a position to offer hands-on training on the usage of the software but we have included a useful ‘Help’ file that provides a step-by-step guide.”

The software can be downloaded at www.A2Zbinary.com at a one-time fee of Rs. 25,000. Users can start with a 15-day free trial to get a better sense of the working of A2Z. Chellappan plans to add more features to the software at regular intervals, which users can upgrade to for a nominal additional cost.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here