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Callas Software has released an update for its Adobe Acrobat plug-in pdfToolbox, which it hopes could speed up the packaging industry’s transition to PDF/X-4.

Berlin-based Callas , which launched version 4.2 of the software at the start of March, said that new features enabling the generation and management of layers within pdfToolbox could have a significant impact on industry.

Callas said the support for layer views made the low-cost software the “first industry tool to generate layers in accordance with PDF/X-4”.

Chief executive Olaf Drümmer said: “I very much believe that this will help the adoption of PDF/X-4 in packaging pre-press.”

He added: “Previously [at this price level] there was no way to make a PDF/X-4 file that also had layers. You could make layers or a PDF/X-4 file, but not both together, and that is a gap that we’ve closed with this product.”

Callas said pdfToolbox offered a viable alternative to a dedicated packaging workflow system. It claimed the system  could cost anything up to $132,000.

Drümmer said: “What we have in the form of pdfToolbox is opening up certain steps in the workflow to people who do not necessarily own a packaging workflow but who have to do some packaging work anyway.

Drümmer claimed the upgraded product would also open up the market for commercial printers. “We contacted people who do packaging work and who do not use any other such solutions but who wanted to move forward to conform with the PDF/X-4 standard.”