In this article we'll learn:
- How we define the term imposition
- Which options there are when creating an imposition
- What the File Manager is and how it works
- How the user interface is structured in the Impose Editor
We can define the word impose as the possibility to either manually or automatically arrange print data, which have been combined in a Production Job, on a predefined sheet configuration which optimizes the amount of printed area on a specific substrate dimension.
Imposing is carried out in the Workflow using the Impose Editor, which can either be opened in a separate browser window or as a step when processing a Production Job. Once the Impose Editor has been started, the user must decide whether he or she wants to manually add Print Items to the sheet or whether he or she wants to automatically arrange Print Items on the sheet using a rule-based imposition mode. The user can make this decision by choosing an Impose Mode. The following Impose Modes are available in Workflow:
- Manual Mode – Allows the user to place Print Items on the sheet as needed, manually arranging items.
- Step & Repeat – Uses a rule-based arrangement which arranges Print Items in both columns and rows.
- Nesting – Uses a rule-based arrangement of Print Items which optimizes the arrangement of Print Items in order to save substrate waste.
- Tiling – Uses rule-based division of large Print Items into reproducible smaller units called Tiles.
Once an Impose Mode has been selected, the item arrangement and calculation depends on which parameters have been selected. When calculating, certain factors must take into account such as: the Print Items available in the Production Job, the size of the Print Items, Print Item rotation, the number of Print Items to be printed, as well as any additional objects such as: Marks, Captions, printing and technical lines and Grommets. If variable data should be added to the imposition, these objects must also be taken into account when imposing.
The finished imposition is stored in the Workflow as a PDF and transferred to the RIP for output.
2. File Manager
The File Manager is a stand-alone application that allows the user to quickly access Articles and Print Items from either Articles, Orders or Production Jobs. The File Manager allows the user to quickly search for Articles and Print Items, but also to upload print data under the Article tab into the Workflow.
2.1. User Interface
The File Manager is located on the left side of the Impose Editor and can be collapsed or expanded as needed. To access the File Manager, proceed as follows:
- Open the Impose Editor by selecting the menu item Automation > Impose Editor.
- If the File Manager is not immediately visible, click the arrow  on the left side of the Impose Editor.
The File Manager is divided into five areas:
- Menu item tabs  (orange area) – Allows you to switch between Articles, Orders, Production Jobs or Activities. Depending on the menu item selected, certain areas may appear slightly different.
- Search  (red area) – Here you can search for Articles, Collections or Print Items which are contained in Orders and Production Jobs.
- Navigation  (green area) – Provides tools to navigate through the listed Article sor Print Items which are listed below. The number of records displayed can also be changed here.
- Actions  (magenta area) – A variety of tools are available here where you can change the thumbnail list size, edit, delete or add selected Articles and Print Items to the sheet as well as to influence how lists are sorted.
- List  (blue area) – Displays current Articles or Print Items in the Workflow.
Figure 1: The File Manager with selected Article tab selected.
The File Manager has three main functions: uploading print data, searching for Articles, Collections or Print Items and preparing Print Items for imposing.
2.2.1. Uploading Print Data
Print data can be uploaded into the Workflow in different ways, such as: Force Print, Hotfolders or creating new Articles, Orders or Production jobs. Print data can also be uploaded into the Workflow using the File Manager. Items can only be uploaded via the Articles tab in the File Manager. Proceed as follows to upload a print file:
- Open the File Manager in the Impose Editor.
- Select the Article menu item tab . If the area for searching/selecting Articles is not displayed, you must first display the area by clicking on the arrow .
- If you want to assign the print data to a Collection, select your desired Collection  from the drop-down menu. If you want to create a new Collection, click on the + symbol , which opens the New Collection dialog. Enter a name for the Collection and confirm by saving the dialog. After creating a Collection, it is automatically selected.
- print data can now be uploaded by clicking on the + symbol , which opens the file management system native to your operating system. Select all necessary print files and start the upload process.
- After the print data is processed, it will be displayed as items in the list.
Figure 2: The upload and search area in the File Manager.
2.2.2. Searching for Print Data
Searching for print data is completed in slightly different ways when using the three different menu items: Articles, Orders and Production Jobs.
Searching in the Article menu item tab  – You can search for Collections  and/or for the specific names of Article . If you first search for a Collection and then for an Article name, the search criteria are narrowed only to that specific Collection in which you are searching.
Searching in the Order menu item tab  – Only the name of the Order  can be searched. In the Order list  Only the Order itself is initially displayed. By clicking the arrow  the second level opens, where all Print Items  contained in the Order are displayed.
Searching in the Production Job menu item tab  – You can only search Production Jobs by name . In the list, only the first level  displays Production Jobs initially and by expanding the Production Job, Print Items  contained in the Production Job are displayed.
Figure 3: The search areas of all three menu item tabs: Articles, Orders and Production Jobs.
2.2.3. Add Print Data to the Imposition
Once you have located specific Articles or Print Items, they can then be selected in the list of items. You can determine the way in which entries in the list are displayed by selecting either Large thumbnails  or Small Thumbnails . If you select Large thumbnails, more information about the Article will be displayed, but fewer entries can be displayed in the list of Articles.
The order in which Articles are arranged in the list can be determined by selecting the sorting by ID  or by Name . If no sorting was applied, the list is sorted by internal sequential IDs.
You can select single or multiple entries in the list. The amount of entries that are currently selected is shown using a number .
Figure 4: The action area and the Article list.
The following activities can be performed when an entry is selected:
- Assign Print Item(s) to the Production Job – This can be done by clicking on the + symbol  or by simply dragging and dropping the Articles onto the sheet of the Impose Editor. You can activate the eye icon  to display or hide Articles/Print Items that have been added to the sheet.
- Delete  – Deleting Articles will remove them completely from the Workflow and not just from the File Manager. Please note that this function is not available for both Order and Production Job menu items.
- Edit selected Articles  – With the Edit option, you can rename  or remove  an Article from a Collection. Please note that this function is not available for both Order and Production Job menu items.
Figure 5: The Edit Articles dialog of the File Manager.
3. Impose Editor
The Impose Editor is an independent application that can be opened either under the menu item Automation > Impose Editor or in a Production Job under the Impose tab. The difference between the two editors is simply the presence of the menu bar in the stand-alone version.
3.1. User Interface
The user interface of the Impose Editor is divided into six separate areas (including the File Manager).
- Menu Bar  (magenta area) – This area is only available when the Impose Editor is opened in a separate tab of your browser. It contains the commands + New to create a new imposition (Production Job), Open which opens an existing Production Job, Edit, used to edit the current imposition, Save and Save As to save an imposition or save an imposition in a new Production Job.
- Action Bar  (blue area) – Allows you to select the Impose Mode, an Impose Template (a template describes a set of rules applied to the imposition which can be saved and reused), Sheet Configuration, Artboards and Display Quality. Warnings and errors that occurred during the imposition are also displayed here.
- File Manager  (yellow area) – Here you can upload print data, search for Print Items/Articles in Articles, Orders and Production Jobs as well as add Print Items to a Production Job.
- Sheet and Tool bar  (green area) – Offers the tools needed to add and manipulate Print Items on the sheet and displays the actual sheet itself (grey area) where you can see the results of the imposition in real time.
- Information bar  (red area) – Provides up-to-date information about the number of items placed, the effective sheet size, the resulting total area and the Printed Area (degree of utilization) between printed and unprinted area. In the second area called Display, the user can toggle certain page geometry such as: ImageBox, ImageBox + Bleed, Margins, etc., and select the zoom factor for the display.
- Settings tabs  (orange area) – Grouped into four tabs: Artboard Settings, Print Items, Markers and Finishing, offers all the necessary settings and functions needed to perform a complete imposition.
Figure 6: The user interface of the Impose Editor.
While the menu bar is more or less self-explanatory, the action bar is described in more detail under the section Creating an imposition and the File Manager has been previously described in detail, we provide more detailed information for the other areas below.
3.1.1. Impose Area with tools
The impose sheet (grey area) consists of at least one Artboard. For special impositions, you can also create several Artboards consisting of different dimensions with different Impose Modes selected. Print Items that extend beyond the sheet are clipped accordingly in the output render.
The toolbar is displayed in all Impose Modes. Depending on the mode selected, the toolbar may have only specific tools available. The following tools are available in the Impose Editor:
Selection Tool  – Is used in Manual Mode to select individual Print Items placed on the sheet to reduce, enlarge, move, rotate or delete them. Simply click on an empty area of the sheet to deselect Print Items.
- Hand Tool  – Use this tool to shift/place the sheet as needed.
- Zoom In/Out Tools  – The typical tools used to zoom in or out when viewing the sheet.
- Crop Tool  – This tool is used for cropping selected Print Items on the sheet in Manual Mode.
- Guideline Tool  – The Guideline Tool is used to move, create or remove boundary lines which define the size of tiles. Only available in Tiling Mode.
- Grid Tool  – This tool is used to create a grid of placeholders in which Print Items can be placed, only available in Manual Mode.
- Measure Tool  – Can be used in all Impose Modes to measure distances between Print Items on the sheet.
- Object Creation Tools  – These tools can be used to create shapes such as: Lines, Squares/Rectangles, Elipses, Custom Shapes and Texts.
- Fit to Width and Fit to Height  – Use this tool to adjust the sheet view either using Height or Width as the adjustment criteria.
Figure 7: Impose Editor Toolbar.
3.1.2. Settings tabs
On the right side of the Impose Editor, depending on the Impose Mode selected, various settings tabs are available. This area is divided into four tabs: Artboard Settings, Print Items, Markers and Finishing.
»Artboard Settings« tab
The Artboard Settings tab contains the most important parameters used to calculate the imposition. The parameters are grouped into individual drop-downs thematically. The number of drop-downs in this area depends on the Impose Mode selected. A description of the parameters for each individual drop-down is therefore described in more detail for each Impose Mode here.
Drop-downs can be expanded or collapsed by clicking on the arrow  in the header of the drop-down.
Figure 8: Various drop-downs as seen in the Artboard Settings tab when Nesting Mode is selected.
»Print Items« tab
The Print Items tab displays all Print Items that are currently in the Production Job. The following functions are available in this tab:
- Change Ordering – By simply click and dragging a Print Item, you can change the ordering of Print Items in the list. Depending on the selected Impose Mode, this may have an effect on the final imposition result.
- Selecting Print Items – You can select single or multiple Print items, in exactly the same way as Print Items/Articles listed in the File Manager. You can select all Print Items with one click  or deselect any or all Print Items . The amount of currently selected Print Items in this tab is indicated by the number in the circle .
- Select Print Items outside sheet size  – This function is only available in Manual Mode.
- Edit selected Print Items  – Clicking on this icon opens the Edit selected Print Items dialog. You can change the number of copies, the scaling and the visibility of individual Print Items.
- Delete selected Print Items from Job  – This will delete the Print Item from the current Production Job. The Print Item will not be deleted from the Workflow. Print Items are still available in the Workflow either as an Article or a Print Item.
- Add selected Print Items to the imposition  – By clicking on the + symbol, the selected Print Item will be added to the imposition in Manual Mode according to the entered number of copies for that specific Print Item. You can also drag and drop Print Items onto the sheet. When using rule-based Impose Modes, all Print Items are automatically added to the imposition. However, if a Print Item should not be used in the imposition, it can be overridden by using the Do not use Print Item in imposition icon .
Figure 9: The Print Items tab as seen with Manual Mode selected.
- Rotate Print Items when placed  – This option is only available in Manual Mode. Selecting a rotation option will automatically rotate the Print Item when placed.
- Replace Print Item  – This option is only available in Manual Mode. This allows you to replace a selected Print Item in the imposition and replaced it with another Print Item from the list.
- Print Item Details  – Clicking on the arrow expands an additional tab where you can view detailed information for that specific Print Item.
- Technical Colors  – If the Print Item contains Technical Colors, they are visualized using color chips.
Figure 10: Print Item Details for the selected Print Item are displayed in an expandable tab.
The Markers tab contains a variety of printing Marks, Captions, etc., that may be required for a wide variety of situations. These Marks, Captions, etc., are available in all Impose Modes and include the following elements:
- Marks – Can be used to add various print Marks, which are used for cutting or detecting positions on the imposition.
- Captions – Textual references on the printed sheets make it easier to identify and organize Print Items on the final imposition output.
- Lines – Printing lines can be added to the margins of the sheet to demarcate where cutting lines belong in the finishing process.
- Grommets – Grommets can be added on selected edges using a specified size and distance from the edge.
For a more detailed description of each parameter in this tab, see the following article: Marks, Captions, Lines and Grommets.
Figure 11: The Markers tab without any Marks, Captions, etc. added.
The Finishing tab contains functions that affect post-print processes. These include: the automatic creation of Dielines and Cutting information, which are then transferred to the selected cutting device.
If you want to add Dielines for individual Print Items automatically, simply click on the Add Dieline drop-down . You can determine the position of the Dieline including the Position, Origin, Offset, Corner Type, Weight, Technical Color and the Overprint status.
If you want to transfer the created Dielines to a connected cutting device, select the appropriate cutting device  with the corresponding Parameter Set . You can also choose and control the Registration Marks  and Barcodes  for the cutting device, these settings can be changed at anytime.
Figure 12: The Finishing tab, showing the Create Dielines checkbox activated and a Zünd Cutter as well.
4. Carrying out the imposition
After you have familiarized yourself with the user interface of the File Manager and the Impose Editor, you can begin to create an imposition. Follow the instructions below. This description is based on creating a new imposition, which will be saved as a Production Job in the end.
- Open the Impose Editor by clicking on Automation > Impose Editor. An empty sheet is created and displayed for a Production Job that has not yet been created.
- Select the desired Impose Mode  and the desired Impose Template  if you have already created one.
- Enter the Width  and Height  of the sheet and select the option Trim  if the sheet should be automatically reduced to the minimum size in the output.
Figure 13: The action bar of the Impose Editor when using Nesting Mode.
- If you want to apply Marks or Lines for the imposition, you should click on the Sheet Configuration symbol . This opens the Sheet Configuration dialog where you can define the Sheet Size and Margins as well as printing Marks.
Figure 14: The Sheet Configuration dialog.
- Finish the Sheet Configuration dialog by clicking on Apply . You have now taken all the necessary precautions to ensure that the sheet size calculations for the imposition are correct.
- Open the File Manager on the left side of the Impose Editor. Upload the desired print data into the Workflow or search for specific Articles or Print Items.
- Select the Print Items in the File Manager and add them to the unsaved Production Job by dragging & dropping. When Print Items are added, they are automatically nested on the sheet according to the desired specifications.
- If you want to change the number of copies or the scale of Print Items, open the Print Items tab on the right side of the Impose Editor and select all Print Items. Then press the Edit icon and enter the desired number of copies and the scale.
- Confirming the dialog will recalculate the nesting according to the new parameters entered.
- Now that you know how many Print Items should be imposed, and in which quantity and size, select the Artboard Settings tab. Select the desired values in the Settings, Nesting Options and Bleed drop-down options. The nesting will be recalculated and adjusted according to the parameters entered. If errors occur during imposition, the number  (Figure 13) of errors and warnings is displayed in the action bar.
- Then add the desired Marks, Lines, Captions and Grommets in the Markers tab and create a Dieline under the Finishing tab.
- If the settings you have entered are used repeatedly in production, simply save these settings as an Impose Template by clicking on the √ icon  (Figure 13).
Figure 15: The finished imposition.
- Now create a Production Job with the applied Print Items and imposition by clicking Save  in the menu bar.
- In the Save Imposition dialog box you only need to enter a Job Name  for the Production Job and click Save.
Figure 16: The Save Imposition dialog.