Production Job > Impose Editor > Nesting Mode

Availability: Produce / Version 1.7

Learn more in this article,

  • What we mean by Nesting in the context of the Workflow
  • How the Impose Editor is composed when using Nesting Mode
  • Which internal modes are used?
  • Which options and settings are available

1. Basic Functions

With Nesting you can arrange a calculated number of Print Items in relation to the Substrate, Print Items and the amount of copies on a Sheet in columns and rows. Use this mode when:

  • The same or different Print Items should be arranged on the Artboard.
  • Rectangular shapes (motifs) of the same or different dimensions should be arranged on a specific Substrate.
  • The rectangular shapes (motifs) should be arranged to optimize the amount of space used on the Substrate.
  • The rectangular shapes (motifs) do not need to be arranged specifically in columns and rows.
  • The rectangular shapes (motifs) can be arranged in different directions (horizontally/vertically).
  • The pre-defined number of copies should be taken into account.
  • The defined number of copies can be ignored.

Depending on whether the Print Items are the same or different dimensions, different algorithms are used in the form of options, which can be selected by the user. You can read about the differences in the following articles: Nesting: Print Items with the same dimensions and Nesting: Print Items with the different dimensions.

The Nesting Impose process creates a single sided output.The optimized edition-related Imposition, which takes place with a multi-page Imposition, is in preparation.

2. Work Area

Nesting mode can be selected in the following ways:

  • Under the Jobs [1] menu, select the Impose tab [2]. If no Impose data exists you can start the Impose Editor by clicking on the Nesting button [3].
  • If Impose data already exists, open the Impose Editor and select Nesting [4] (Figure 2) from the Impose Mode drop-down menu in the Impose Editor header.

Figure 1: The Impose tab available under the Production Job menu.

The work area in the Impose Editor for the Nesting mode has the following areas:

  • Header [5] orange: Here the user can change the Impose Mode, change the size of the Sheet dimensions, save the Imposition and exit the Impose Editor. Detailed information pertaining to these options is available under Action Bar and Introduction.
  • Rulers [6] blue: Horizontal and Vertical Rulers. The coordinate origin is located in the upper left corner, the display is in the units of measurement defined under Administration -> Settings -> Display Options -> Unit. Lengths include (point, millimeters, centimeters or inches).
  • Workspace [7] green: Provides the toolbar, the Impose Sheet and a storage area.
  • Artboard [8]: Displays the size of the Artboard as a grey rectangle. The Artboard can also contain several Artboards. With Nesting, Artboard A is created by default. The Step & Repeat imposition is carried out within the artboard according to your settings.
  • Settings [9] magenta: Provides all options that are available for Nesting divided into tabs. The description of each tab can be found below.
  • Footer [10] red: Displays status information and is used to select various preview modes available.

Figure 2: The interface of the Impose Editor when Nesting mode is selected.

3. Parameters for Nesting

Nesting mode contains various settings which affect Print Items and their placement on the Artboard and are organized under a diverse selection of tabs.

3.1. Artboard Settings

The Artboard Settings tab is divided into three panels - Settings, Nesting Options and Bleed.


Artboard Settings panel

The following options are available in the Artboard Settings panel [11]:

  • Width & Height: This option displays the height and width of the Artboard. To change the size of the Artboard, the Auto Size option must be disabled.
  • Auto Size: By activating this option, the Artboard adapts to the dimensions of the Sheet. This option is enabled by default, as there is normally only one Artboard per Sheet. If you are creating an Imposition with multiple Artboards, you can change the size of the selected Artboard by deactivating the Auto Size option.
  • Margin: With these input fields you can specify the Margin for the Artboard based on your selected units of measurement.
  • Reference Point [12]: Select the reference point from which Nesting is located on the Artboard.

Figure 3: The Artboard Settings panel

Nesting - Arboard Settings - 1.7.3

Nesting Options

The following options are available in the Nesting Options [13] panel:

  • Allow Print Item Rotation: This option allows Print Items to be rotated automatically to optimize the maximum amount of surface area to be filled. Note that if you select this option, additional items will only be placed or rotated when adequate space exists. You can see the difference in Figure 4.
  • Add Additional Space for Rotated Items: When this option is checked, spacing is added to rotated Print Items which allows additional spacing for Marks. You can an example in Figure 5.
  • Repeat one Print Item per column: If this option is enabled, the same Print Item will be repeated per column. This function can only be activated when Nesting Print Items of the same size. You can see the difference in Figure 6.
  • Fill up Sheet (Allow overproduction): Activating this option attempts to fill the Artboard with selected Print Items without taking the production-relevant amount of copies into account. Print Items are arranged based on the ratio between the different Print Items (established by entering the number of copies for each item). You can see a comparison in Figure 7.


-> Print Item 1 should have 100 plates printed, Print Item 2 should have 50 plates printed and Print Item 3 should have 30 plates printed.

-> If 8 columns can be created on the Artboard, then only 17 plates of Print Item 1 are printed, 11 plates of Print Item 2 and 6 plates of Print Item 3.

-> The entire Imposition must be printed 6 times to fufill the desired quantity for all Print Items.

-> Thus Printed 1 is printed 102 times in total, Print Item 2 66 times in total and Print Item 3 36 times in total. An overproduction of 2 x Print Item 1, 16 x Print Item 2 and 6 times Print Item 3

Figure 4 illustrates this concept (on the right).

  • Horiz. & Vert. Distance: Specify the horizontal and vertical spacing between the individual Print Items.
  • Mode: This option is only available if Print Items with different dimensions are used. The following modes are available in the drop-down menu:
    • Fit Area
    • Fit Long side
    • Fit Short Side
    • Bottom Left Rule
    • Contact Point Rule

Figure 4: Below we can see how the Allow Print Item Rotation option affects the Imposition.

Left: not enabled; Right: enabled

Figure 5: Below we can see how the Allow Print Item Rotation and Add Additional Space for Rotated Items affects the Imposition.

Left: not enabled; Right: enabled

The difference between Figure 4 and 5 is the additional spacing added (see red arrow in Figure 5).

Figure 6: Below we can see how the Repeat one Print Item per column affects the Imposition.

Left: not enabled; Right: enabled

Activating this option produces similar results to Step & Repeat Mode.

Figure 7: Below we can see how the Fill up Sheet (allow overproduction) option affects the Imposition.

Left: not enabled; Right: enabled

A myriad of results are possible when selecting the various Nesting options. Below we can see the results if we deactivated all options or activated all options.

Figure 8: The result if all options are activated or deactivated.

Left: all options disabled; Right: all options enabled


The following options are available in the Bleed [14] panel (Figure 3):

  • Top, Bottom, Left, Right: Here you can determine the amount of Bleed to be used for individual Print Items.

Bleed will affect all Print Items

Please note that the Bleed will be uniform for all Print Items. Different Bleeds cannot be entered for individual Print Items.

Under the Print Items tab [15] all available Print Items from the Production Job are displayed. The following options are available:

  • Select/Deselect All [16]: With this option the user can select or deselect all Print Items. The text to the right of the select/deselect all icons shows whether or not the Print Items have the same size.
  • Print Item [17]: A preview thumbnail is displayed for every Print Item contained in the Production Job. Each listed Print Item contains the following information:
    • Preview Image: A graphic representation of the Print Item plus bleed
    • Print Item Name: Below the preview image, the name of the Print Item is followed by a unique internal ID generated by the Workflow.
    • Used/not used checkbox: The checkbox determines whether the Print Item has been applied to the Nesting by displaying a checkmark »√« in the checkbox.
    • Amount of placed Items [18]: Each Print Item is labeled with a unique number in the Impose Editor. This number replaces the Print Item graphic when the preview - symbol [P] in the footer - is deactivated (This will speed up the display in the browser).
    • TrimBox [19]: The TrimBox can be viewed by hovering over the TB icon.
    • BleedBox [20]: The BleedBox can be viewed by hovering over the BB icon.
    • Copies [21]: Specifies the amount of copies to be printed for each Print Item. The number of copies can be changed in the Impose Editor. Please note, that this change is saved in the Production Job.

Figure 9: The Print Items tab as seen when using Nesting Mode in the Impose Editor.

Nesting - Marks tab - 1.7.3

Need to quickly locate Print Items on the Artboard?

In some cases, the difference between Print Items is not clearly visible by just viewing the preview thumbnail. Sometimes when Nesting with many Print Items on a large Artboard, it is not always clear to the user where each Print Item is located. The Workflow offers two methods to quickly locate specific Print Items:

  1. Deactivating Preview: By deactivating the preview, only the numbers of the Print Items with different colored backgrounds are displayed.
  2. Print Item number [18]: You can click on the number with the yellow background to select all instances of the Print Item contained in the Artboard.

3.3. Marks

Under the Marks tab, a variety of Marks can be added in different configurations. Add Marks by clicking on the Add Mark drop-down menu [22] (Figure 11). The following Marks are available in Nesting mode:

  • Center Mark
  • Center Mark 2
  • Center Mark 3
  • Corner Mark
  • Corner Mark 2
  • Corner Mark 3
  • Crop Marks
  • dashed frame
  • rectangle
  • registration
  • sphere

Figure 10: A table listing available Marks for Nesting mode.

Depending on the specific type of Mark selected the user is presented with various options. A typical Mark used in Nesting is Corner Mark 3, which we will describe in more detail below.

  • Origin [23]: Here you can select different options defining how the Mark is aligned on the Artboard. The following options are available:
    • Per Print Item – Marks are aligned per Print Item.
    • Print Items – Marks are aligned to all Print Items as a group.
    • Artboard – Marks are aligned to the Artboard.
  • Set to [24]: Select the reference position – top left to bottom right. In the example below, Marks would be assigned to all four corners of the Print Item.
  • Repeat [25]: This option is only available in Step & Repeat.
  • Width & Height [26]: Here you can specify the size of the Mark by entering the width and height. To change the proportion of a Mark for example, click on the lock symbol and enter your desired values for width and height.
  • Thickness [27]: Line thickness can be entered in points.
  • X & Y Offset [28]: This option allows you to move the Mark from its default position. If you need the offset to be only horizontal or vertical, the lock symbol must be opened and the corresponding values for the X or Y offset entered.
  • Color [29]: The color of the Mark can be entered in CYMK values. Spot Colors cannot be select for Marks.
  • Add White Background [30]: A white background can be added to the Mark to increase visibility on darker Substrates for example. We generally recommend that this option is selected.

Figure 11: The Marks tab with Corner Mark 3 selected.

Nesting - Marks tab - 1.7.3

Detailed information about Marks

We have included a section that describes Marks and their prospective use in this article