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Thursday April 16, 1997


Crackerjack - Control Of Separations, Screening And More For Acrobat Pdf Documents

Lantana Research Corporation, an Adobe Ventures L.P. company, today announced Crackerjack, a plug-in facility to Adobe Acrobat Exchange 3.0. Crackerjack provides tools that give the graphic arts professionals control over their output for PDF documents. The initial release runs on Macintosh and Power Macintosh computers and compatibles. The dictionary defines "Crackerjack" as "expert". And Crackerjack is the first and only product to enable expert printing of PDF documents.

When installed, Crackerjack is accessed from the "File" pull down menu on the Exchange tool bar. It provides a series of "index cards" for user input and a window that shows the relationship between the PDF page and the output media for the current user selections. The controls allow for variations in scaling, orientation, fine positioning, negative and mirror printing. Crackerjack allows for the selection of any of the media sizes supported by the target device, and also custom page sizes. Additionally, Crackerjack provides user control over separations and screening for both process and spot colors. Crackerjack drives the selected output device or creates a PostScript or an Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) file. Menu parameters may be saved and reloaded as standard formats. Crackerjack output is compatible with any Adobe PostScript Level 2 or Level 3 raster image processor (RIP).

According to John Warnock, CEO of Adobe, "PDF is quickly becoming the distribution format of choice for high-end pre-press content. The Crackerjack plug-in for Acrobat Exchange now lets users seamlessly position, scale, screen, and separate PDF content. It will be an invaluable tool for pre-press activities."

"Crackerjack continues our tradition of providing quality solutions for high-end prepress work" said Gary Armstrong, Lantana's CEO. "The combination of Crackerjack and Adobe Acrobat 3.0 simplifies print production workflows, reduces costs, improves schedules, and enables a 'a deliver then print' distribution strategy. We are pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with Adobe and envision a number of other Acrobat enhancement products in the coming months."

Crackerjack demonstrates that Acrobat and PDF are not just for "the Web", but with the new features, they bring many benefits for professional print production. These features include support for separations, screening, overprint, additional color spaces, patterns/fills, OPI proxies, UCR/GCR, and double byte languages. This allows a PDF workflow to maintain all the fidelity of PostScript workflows even for the most complex combinations of typography, graphics, images, and color. In itself, Acrobat Exchange enables customers to digitally preview and preflight documents intended for production printing. Acrobat's cross-platform capabilities, sophisticated font handling, and display of embedded EPS files helps reduce the errors and frustration caused by multiple creator applications and different version levels. By providing expert control functions for output, Crackerjack is the catalyst to allow graphic arts professionals to realize these benefits for print production.

According to Frank Romano, Melbert Cary Distinguished Professor of Graphic Arts at Rochester Institute of Technology and a leading industry author and analyst, "Crackerjack is the most important part of Acrobat 3.0 and users are dying for it."

Crackerjack is particularly applicable for output to imagesetters and platesetters. But it also provides benefits when printing PDF documents on digital proofers, color printer/copiers, plotters, and digital presses. Crackerjack is a must for personnel in marketing communications departments, imaging service bureaux, color trade shops, quick printers and commercial printers. Because Crackerjack also supports composite color output, it is also useful as a preflight step upstream of existing prepress applications, such as trapping and imposition.

"By enabling customers to move toward more complete digital workflows, the combination of Acrobat software and Lantana's Crackerjack plug-in can help customers decrease some of the most costly and time-consuming aspects of production printing," said Kevin Wandryk, Director of Product Management, Adobe Systems. "We are very pleased to be working with Lantana to bring the high quality benefits of Acrobat software and PDF to the production printing market."

The Macintosh/Power Macintosh version is available now for $495 excluding taxes, duties, shipping and handling. A data sheet and a white paper further describing Crackerjack and PDF workflows may be found in PDF format at Lantana's web site at For more information on how to obtain Crackerjack contact Lantana by email at or phone 510-744-0282.




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