Layout of the Central Area

The entire interaction between user and Workflow takes place in the Central Area. Depending on the situation, content can be presented in different ways.

In this article we cover,

  • Which types of UI Displays are used
  • Which specific areas within the UI display certain types of information.

The user is required to understand these mechanisms to navigate the User Interface: Overview Pages, various Action Dialogs for information acquisition, Setting areas, Step-by-Step instructions and Lists. Let's take a closer look at these five forms:

1. Overview Pages

A main UI page is available for each given main menu item, i.e., Articles, Orders and Production Jobs. Each page overview contains a central area for viewing, managing and editing the information contained within each page.

Overview pages consist of at least two areas:

For the Order and Production Job overview pages, detailed information areas are also supplemented with Order and Order Item information or Production Parameters - which are highlighted in gray.

1.1. General Information

The general information is displayed in the header area of the overview page. This information can only be edited using the menus in the action bar, with the exception of Tags and Collections.

1.1.1. General Information for Articles

If an Article is selected, the following item-related details are displayed in the General Information area:

  • NameName [1] of the item plus a unique internal id number and an external id number (for example used to identify the item in a ERP system).
  • Info – Displays additional information [2] about the item
  • Customer – Name of the company [3] assigned to this article (may also be empty)
  • Collections – Displays assigned collections [4] (can be empty)
  • Status – Displays the status [5] of the item

Figure 1: In the tabs below [6], the detailed information for the Article is grouped thematically.

General Information for Articles

1.1.2. General Information for Orders

If an Order is selected, the following Order-related details are displayed in the General Information area:

  • OrderName and Number [7] of the Job
  • Tags – Displays any Tags assigned to an Order
  • Order Item – The Name of the Order Item is displayed [8] with the possibility to switch between Order Items [9]
  • Delivery Date – Displays the due date for the selected Order Item [10].
  • Status – Represents the status [11] of the item

Figure 2: Detailled Order or Order Item information is grouped thematically in the tabs [12] below.

General Information for Orders

1.1.3. General Information for Production Jobs

If a Production Job is selected, the following production-related details are displayed in the General Information area:

  • Production JobName [13] of the Production Job plus a unique internal number as well as a external number used to identify the Production Job, i.e. with an ERP system.
  • Labels – Displays the Tags assigned to a Production Job
  • Production date – The Production Date [14] is displayed here
  • Delivery Date – The delivery date for the Production Job [15].
  • Status – Displays the Status [16] of the production order

Figure 3: Production parameters [17] for the Production Job are displayed below in separate tabs.

General Information for Production Jobs - 1.7.3

1.2. Details about Orders and Production Jobs

The general information area for Orders and Production Jobs is supplemented by an additional information area as well.

1.2.1. Order and Order Item information

Since an Order can consist of several Order Items, the amount of detailed information can become very extensive, the area for the Order and Order Item information is displayed below the general information area.

There are four different tabs:

  • Print Item [18] – Displays the number of Print Items [22] assigned to an Order. The ts below [23] display detailed information for this particular Print Item.
  • Report [19] – Contains all Reports that have been created for individual Order Items.
    These Reports are created within another area in the Workflow.
  • Additional Files [20] – Displays any additional documents that have been added to the Order Item. Additional documents can be uploaded under this t.
  • Order Information [21] – While general information about the Order is already displayed in the header area, detailed information about the Order – such as Company, Contacts, etc. – are displayed here. Additional documents can also be uploaded for the order.

Figure 4: Tabs are grouped together when an Order is opened as well.

Order and Order Item information

1.2.2. Production Job Parameters

In addition to general information about Production Jobs, a description of the Production Parameters of a Job and the resulting files is provided below. Accurate information pertaining to the Production Job is critical for quality print production. Production Parameters and statistical data are split between six different tabs [17]:

  • Print Item [24] – Displays all the Print Items [31] used for the Production Job. In the t below [31] detailed information for the selected Motif is displayed, the remaining ts will be described in detail within the manual.
  • Output Configuration [25] – Selects the Printer, Substrate, Substrate Dimensions and Printer Mode, i.e. High Quality, High Speed, etc. Assigning an Output Configuration is an essential step for print production.
  • Impose [26] – The Impose t opens the Impose Editor. Creating an Imposition is not mandatory for a Production Job, but in some cases using the Impose Editor will optimize the use of certain Substrates and at a minimum will reduce Substrate waste.
  • User-defined Fields [27]  Here you will find all User-defined Fields that were created under Administration > Settings > User-defined Fields for more information click here.
  • Files [28] – Provides access to all intermediate files: preview files, assembly specifications, variable data specifications, PDF-VT files, etc., which are necessary for production.
  • Protocol [29] – Here you can see all processes that have been applied to the Production Job.
  • Print Statistics [30] – This tab displays Ink Consumption and other helpful data such as how often the Production Job has been rendered or printed.

Figure 5: A detailed description of the functional scope of these tabs is provided later in this article.

Production Job Parameters - 1.7.3

1.3. Detailed information regarding the Production Job Parameter ts

Depending on the selected t in the Order and Order Item area [23] or from the Production Job Parameter area [32] the details of each area are different. The following description is limited to a short explanation of the individual tabs and what users can expect when processing an Order.

The analysis of this information must not only be carried out by Pre-press specialists, the sales team, office staff as well as operators can assess and process Orders and Motifs.

If the Print Item t of an Order [18] or a Production Job [24] is selected, you have access to six grouped tabs [32] and [37-42].

Data Preparation
Data Preparation

The Data Preparation tab [37] allows the user to select from over one hundred predefined corrections and processes which can be applied to the motif. This enables the user to correct files that contain errors and prepare them for printing without having to open the file in a desktop application.

Corrections can be defined and customised by the user either in Adobe Acrobats Preflight or in the desktop application Callas pdfToolbox and then transferred to the Workflow.

You can find out more detailed information in the Data Preparation chapter.

Variable Data

Under the Variable Data tab [38] the user has the possibility to upload and verify files, this can also be combined with the VDP editor to embed variable data objects (Barcodes, QR Codes, Strings, Images using CSV files, etc.) in the selected motif.

The Variable Data tab is only available if a license to create and render variable data has been purchased. The structuring and implementation of variable data can be accomplished in Adobe Illustrator or directly in the browser. You can find out more detailed information in the chapter Variable Data.

Before/After

In the Before/After tab [39] the user can compare the current version of the motif with the original unedited design in order to visually confirm changes that were made. You can also compare two previous versions and rever" to one of them at any point in time.

Note that the version comparison option is not available for every License. However, the function is highly recommended for Pre-press employees so that they can quickly recognize and evaluate the differences between motifs before and after processing.

For information on how to compare two versions, see the article Version Comparison.

Additional Data

In the Additional Data tab [40] the user has the possibility to upload additional documents which are relevant to the motif. These can be fonts, order forms, text files with color codes and the like.

In addition, the user can also view all intermediate documents such as preview files, current PDF files etc. which are created by the system. These documents can also be loaded or deleted if necessary.

For information on how to upload additional files for an article, order or order item see the article Additional Data.

Statistics

Under the Statistics tab [41] you have the possibility to calculate the Ink Consumption based on the available Color Setups. This enables you to find the most cost-effective production method for the selected motif.

The Statistics tab is only available for certain licenses. For information on how to calculate Ink Costs for available Color policies, see Calculating Ink Consumption.

Protocol

In the Protocol tab [42], the user can view each step in the production process. Everything from files that have been uploaded to current document status. This allows you to track who did what with the motif and when.

1.3.2. Output Configuration

Figure 10: Additional tabs offer a variety of important settings which make print production a fluid and frustration free process.

Output Configuration

Color Management and Print-Specific output parameters for Production Jobs are defined in the Output Configuration tab [25].

A unique Output Configuration is defined by selecting a Print Configuration, a Substrate Definition and a Color Policy and, if necessary, a Color Correction that matches the Production job. Further information on Output Configuration selection is available under the article Select Output Configuration.

1.3.3. Impose

In the Impose tab [26] a space-optimizing arrangement of individual Print Items for the available Substrate can be made. This Imposition can be rule based or manually created.

Custom Impositions can be saved in the form of Templates and can be reused as needed and applied to other motifs in print production as well. Additionally, these templates serve as a set of rules for automatically arranging designs that are executed via the menus in Automation.

While the Output Configuration must be defined for a Production Job, Imposing a Production Job can also be omitted. For more information on how to create an Imposition, creation of Imposition Templates, etc., can be found in the Imposition article.

1.3.4. Files

The Files tab [27] contains all files created during the processing of designs, creation of the Imposition, processing variable data and ripping a Production Job.

More information can be found in the article Production Job Files.

1.3.5. Protocol

The Protocol tab [28] lists all the activities that occur when a Production Job is created. This enables you to track and see all changes and edits made to a Production Job.

When the Job is printed, the Print Statistics tab [29] lists all costs including: ink and material – as well as printing times per print, first print or a reprint. This data can be transferred to MIS or ERP systems by using the communication server Concerto especially for post-calculations and corporate/financial documentation.

2. Setting areas

Some areas of the Workflow, in which the user has to make several, partially interdependent decisions, cannot be represented in a simple List or Overview page. These settings are implemented in the form of a Settings area within the user interface.

Figure 11: A typical example of these settings can be found under Substrate Overview, which you can display by choosing Administration > Substrate.

Setting areas

Selecting a Substrate Category [48] displays all associated Substrates [49] in the available Substrates field. Selecting the Substrate displays the available Substrate Definitions [50].

Each setting functions independently and has the following properties, among others:

  • Selecting an entry in the settings area can affect the number of entries displayed in the other setting areas.
  • The commands available for the settings area – New, Edit, Delete, Set as Default, etc. – are located in the footer [53] of the respective settings area. Not every setting range contains all available commands.
  • To search within a setting range, a Search Field [52] is available below the header of the setting range. You can determine how many entries from the filtered total quantity are visible and how many entries are available in total by selecting quantities such as 1/1, 5/5 and the like. [51].
  • Some of the lists contained in the settings areas offer the possibility to set the currently selected entry as default for the respective selection using the Set as Default button [54]. Selections set as Default are marked with a green Default Icon [55].
  • Some list entries are context-dependent and are equipped with Specific Icons [56], which can indicate possible problems or a warning status.

3. Call to Action Dialogs

In addition to Overview Pages, Lists and Setting Areas, there are also Call to Action dialogs in the User Interface.

A typical example is available under the menu item Force Print, with which you can quickly prepare Print Data for a specific Output Configuration and send it to the printer. You access the Force Print function via the menu item Automation > Force Print:

Call to Action dialogs essentially always consist of a Header area and an Input Area:

  • In the Header area [57] only the name with a short description is displayed.
  • Appearance and layout in the Input Area [58] are implemented differently depending on the context and the requirements of the process steps involved.
  • Commands that are executed in the form of Buttons [59] and at times are only activated after completing certain actions.

Figure 12: Using Force Print as an example we can see various options which leverage "call to actions".

Call to Action Dialogs - 1.7.6

4. Lists

In addition to Overview Pages, information in the Main View can also be displayed in the form of Lists. Typical examples of this are the Main View areas of the menu items such as Articles, Orders and Production Jobs. However, lists can also be found in virtually all menu items.

Figure 13: Take a look at the Order List, it is the easiest way to describe the structure of a List.

Lists

A list generally consists of Page Numbering, a List Header and the List Entries.

  • Pagination – Displays the page that is currently selected [61] within the list of entries from the complete list of entries. The amount of items [60] per page can be selected by the user.
  • List Header – Displays the header in columns [62]. Via the configuration menu on the right in the header list the user can select which columns are displayed, as well as in which order the columns are to be arranged and how the list entries should be sorted.
  • List Entries [63] – An entry in the list represents an Order that has been created by the user. Note the arrows at the end of an entry:
    • By clicking the downward pointing Arrow, the Order drop-down is shown and displays previews of the Order Items and some information.
    • By clicking the right facing Arrow, the Order will be opened and all Order Items and relevant information is available.

Almost all lists in the Workflow are equipped with functions for filtering displayed elements.
Information on how to handle lists and how to use the filter bar, can be found under Lists.

5. Step-by-step Instructions

Some Workflow functions require the user to follow linear procedures; this means that the necessary steps must be carried out in a specific sequence in the system to achieve the desired results.

For these situations, the Workflow presents Step-by-Step instructions.

Using the example of creating a Color Setup, we will guide you through the process. The creation of the Color Setup itself is only briefly described here, you can find detailed information about this topic under Color Setup.

Figure 14: You can access Color Setups via the menu Color > Color Setup. Select the +New button in the action bar to create a new Color Setup.

Step-by-step Instructions

Figure 15: After filling in the dialog and clicking on "Save", the actual step-by-step instructions for the Color Setup, Tau 330 STD | Tau STD Ink | HD HHR | Avery PE85 Top Clear | CMYK [64] appear starting with the Overview [70]:

Step-by-step Instructions

The parameters selected at the beginning are displayed in detail in the Overview. We can see the following settings:

  • The selected Printer [65]
  • The selected Print Configuration [66]
  • The Substrate [67]
  • The Substrate Definition [68]
  • The linked Color Policy [69]

The Step-by-Step bar [71] lists the process steps required for profiling. At the beginning of this task, the first (and only) step is to perform the Pre-Linearization; all other process steps cannot be started without first creating a Pre-Linearization and thus are greyed out/inactive.

5.1. Pre-Linearization

Click on Pre-Linearization to start profiling.

Figure 16: The Color Setup consists of various steps which will ultimately produce a usable set of Color Policies.

Pre-Linearization

Once you have selected Pre-Linearization [72], the main area of the window displays the necessary steps [73] + [74]:

  • Printing the Calibration Chart
  • Measuring the Calibration Chart
  • Analyze
  • Create Pre-Linearization Curves

Depending on which step was selected, substeps are either active [73] or inactive [74], an exception is the Pre-Linearization step, where you can only create a Pre-Linearization by specifying a percentage.

Once you have completed the first step, you can either select the Transition or Linearization steps, depending on the selected Color Setup. Since we've selected a Tau printer in our example, Linearization is activated as the next step.

5.2. Linearization

Our next step is to select Linearization. The four sub-steps are displayed again, all of which can now be selected.

Figure 17: After you have completed a substep, the next step will become available. Perform each available substep until the process is finished.

Color Setup - Linearization step

If all the necessary prerequisites are fulfilled, you can carry out the each step, starting from left to right (Print, Measure, Analyze). The Create Linearization Curves step is the last step of creating a profile.

Step-by-step instructions can be cancelled at any time (i.e., by logging out, closing the browser window or pulling up a completely different menu item). All entries created up to the point where you leave the Color Setup, all successful measurements and data are automatically saved and will not be lost. If necessary simply perform the missing process steps to complete the profile at a later time.