Native PostScript and PDF? Harlequin answers drupa question

Global Graphics has published a new White Paper to address the most commonly asked question by visitors to the Global Graphics’ stand at drupa “is it really the case that the Harlequin RIP® processes PostScript® and PDF natively?”

“We were asked the question so many times,” says Martin Bailey, Global Graphics’ CTO, “that one of the first things I did when I got back from drupa was to put together a White Paper to explain that the Harlequin RIP interprets PDF and PostScript natively in a single RIP.  In fact the latest version, the Harlequin PLUS Server RIP, interprets XPS natively as well.  Basically there are three interpreters in one RIP, one for each of PostScript, PDF and XPS.  The RIP automatically recognizes which file format has been submitted, interprets it and then all files use the same rendering pipeline. Any additional functions like trapping, color management or screening are performed before or during the rendering process.  

“Why does this matter in a production environment?” he smiles, “well, first of all you do not have to flatten transparent artwork because the RIP has processed live transparency since version 6 in 2002. Also, if you need to process PostScript files, have a PDF workflow, or are ahead of the curve on XPS and have already been sent files in this new format, you don’t even have to think about whether they will go through the RIP or not: if your production staff know how to use the Harlequin RIP they can process these jobs easily without having to train on separate applications. Finally, having three native interpreters in one RIP is the best way of ensuring consistent, high-quality output because the risk of unintended differences in the behavior of, say, color management between PostScript and PDF that might occur if they were supported in separate RIPs, is significantly reduced.”

Read the White Paper at:

Editors notes

Notes to editors:
Copies of the White Paper “Native Interpretation in the Harlequin RIP” are available from:
About Harlequin RIP technology
Global Graphics PostScript Language Level 3 compatible Harlequin RIP was first used in a commercial system in 1988 since when its core technology and associated modules has evolved through successive generations into the high-performance processor it is today.  For more information visit:

About Global Graphics
Global Graphics Software ( is a leading developer and supplier of sophisticated high performance RIPs, electronic document, workflow and color solutions mostly to a customer base of Independent Hardware Vendors, system integrators, software developers and resellers. These partners include the world’s leading vendors of digital pre-press systems, large-format color printers, color proofing systems, copiers and printers for the corporate and SOHO markets and software applications. Global Graphics Software is a subsidiary of Global Graphics S.A. (NYSE-Euronext:GLOG)

Global Graphics, the smarter alternative, Harlequin,  the Harlequin logo, the Harlequin RIP, are trademarks of Global Graphics Software Limited which may be registered in certain jurisdictions.  Global Graphics is a trademark of Global Graphics S.A. which may be registered in certain jurisdictions. PostScript is a trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated which may be registered in certain jurisdictions. All other brand and product names are the registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners. Global Graphics makes no warranty and accepts no liability for any loss or damage arising from the use of information or particulars in this document.


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