Price When Reviewed: 735
Pros: Professional quality proofing software to drive a wide range of colour printers, with accurate simulation of international print standards or individual presses.
Cons: Needs dealer installation, Windows-only server, expensive options list, especially for profile generator.
Colorproof XF is a professional networked proofing software for use with high-end inkjet or colour laser printers. It can very accurately predict the final printed appearance of a job before you send it to a repro or printing house. Alternatively, it accepts electronic proof files from the production site for output at your site, without waiting for bikes or post. The German proofing specialist Best, which EFI bought two years ago, developed the system.
Colorproof XF is available in three size ranges, for printers that output two pages, four pages, and eight pages. New features include an Adobe PostScript 3 RIP (replacing GhostScript) and a re-organized workflow-creation system.
It’s a modular system, and can be expanded with a whole bunch of options ranging from £235 to around £2,000. Most are aimed at high-end pre-press studios.
The basic £735 Colorproof XF Server is all that a design studio needs. It provides the server itself (for a Windows PC, though it can be a low-cost one), plus the Client Option and Printer Option M (with drivers for a wide range of two-page printers). There is also the Job Monitor – a simple printing utility for an unlimited number of networked Macs or PCs.
This base system accepts standard document formats such as PDF, TIFF or PostScript and applies media and target profiles (which simulate a printing standard or process).
The dongle-protected server runs in background. The Client runs on any networked Mac or PC to define multiple workflows (processes applied to a job file), and create access privileges and printer settings as well as choosing paper and target profiles. EFI recommends its own EFI.proof papers. Workflows appear as hot folders in the Job Monitor print utility. You can print directly from the client.
To print from the Job Monitor, you simply drag the document icon onto the appropriate workflow icon and it appears in a queue. The only other control the user has is to re-order or delete files from the queue.
A range of common output profiles is supplied. Designers might also consider the £315 spot colour conversion option. Colorproof XF’s Windows Client (but not Mac) includes the basic LinTool for visual linearization of printers, which can be supplemented by the pricey ColorManager (£1,120) which can create new output profiles.
Colorproof XF needs dealer installation – if you want a simpler, less flexible proofer with a Mac server option, take a look at the slightly older EFI Designer Edition.