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Citation Software Inc.
 Specialists in variable-data publishing since 1986

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Citation Software News, JANUARY 2001

Welcome to the January 2001 issue of Citation Software News, which is an email newsletter that is published periodically by Citation Software Inc. This newsletter contains information about software, events, and technical developments that are important to print-on-demand technology, variable-data-publishing technology, and mailing-industry technology.

This issue of Citation Software New focuses on the following topics:
  • Who We Are and What We Do
  • Seybold Boston 2001 Happens April 8-13, 2001
  • Citation Software Inc. Adds "Support & Troubleshooting" Page to its Web Site
  • SVG: What Is It, and Why Should You Care?

Who We Are and What We Do

Citation Software Inc. is a provider of services and products related to electronic-publishing technology. Here are some of the services that we offer:
  • We write software that creates and modifies PostScript files & PDF files.
  • We can help you to develop a variable-data-printing/publishing system.
  • We do Web development.
  • We know how to exploit Extensible Markup Language (XML) technologies.
  • We understand how to work with Adobe Acrobat/PDF tools.
  • We can help you to develop a PDF-based workflow system.
  • We understand U.S. Postal Service bar codes and envelope-layout rules.
  • We create mailpiece-design software for the mailing industry.
You can learn more about our company at

Seybold Boston 2001 Happens April 8-13, 2001

The Seybold Boston 2001 Seminar will take place in April at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA.

As many readers of this newsletter are aware, Seybold is a twice-yearly electronic-publishing conference and expo which normally takes place in San Francisco in the autumn and in Boston in the spring. At Seybold, you can:
  • see and try out cutting-edge products from approximately 300 exhibitors
  • learn about the latest publishing technologies from industry pundits.
The conferences run from April 8th through-April 13th, and the exposition (trade show) runs from April 10th through April 12th.

Whether you are a software developer, a graphic designer, a pre-press expert, a marketing pro, or a printer, there is something for you at Seybold! At you can get all the details you'll need about this important event.

Here is our "in-a-nutshell" look at Seybold Boston 2001:


The exposition (or trade show) features exhibits and special events hosted by companies who are well known in the electronic-publishing industry and related industries. As we've said, the exposition runs from April 10th through April 12th. Here are just a few of the companies who will be exhibiting:
  • Adobe Systems Incorporated
  • Arbortext
  • BCL Computers
  • Cahners Publishing
  • Chrystal Software
  • Collabria, Inc.
  • Datalogics, Inc.
  • Dynagram Software
  • Everybook, Inc.
  • Harlequin, Inc.
  • Imation
  • Markzware Software
  • Noosh
  • OneVision GmbH
  • Pantone, Inc.
  • ScenicSoft, Inc.
  • Media Bank
  • Xerox


Attend one of the following all-day conferences to get up to speed on a particular topic:

The "Digital Rights Management Day" Conference, Monday, April 9th. This conference explores technical and business issues pertaining to digital rights management.

The "On-Demand Printing Day" Conference, Monday, April 9th. Here you can learn technical information about direct imaging, spray-on plates, digital color printers, imposition, digital proofing, digital workflow, and e-commerce links. You can also learn about particular digital-printing products, and in addition you'll hear about the business aspects of on-demand printing.

The "PDF Print Publishing Day" Conference, Monday, April 9th. Here you'll discover how to use the Adobe Acrobat PDF file format successfully in a print publishing workflow, and you'll find out about software tools that are available for PDF-based print publishing.

The "XML for Publishers Day" Conference, Monday, April 9th. This conference focuses on how XML has changed the business of publishing, what lies ahead, and what relevant products developers are working on.

The "E-Book Day" Conference, Tuesday, April 10th. At this conference, you'll learn about the tough questions facing professionals who are making or selling e-books.

The "PDF for Electronic Documents Day" Conference, Tuesday, April 10th. Attend this event to get a sense of where the Adobe Acrobat PDF format is today and where it's going. You'll also find out about the advantages of using this format for electronic documents. In addition, you'll learn about software tools for publishing, and you discover how some corporations and commercial publishers are using PDF.

The "Digital Asset Management Day" Conference, Wednesday, April 11th. At this event, you'll find out about various Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions that are available, you'll hear a discussion about return-on-investment analysis, and you'll discover how to optimize your DAM system for results.

The "Managing the Web-Enabled Company Day" Conference, Wednesday, April 11th. Here you'll learn about content requirements for Web-centered business models, you'll hear about the pros and cons of hosted services and applications vs. in- house services and applications, and you'll hear from innovators who are changing the way that companies deal with the Web.

The "Color Production Day" Conference, Thursday, April 12th. Learn about color spaces and color profiles (ICC), RGB workflows, color proofing, and more.

The "Corporate Portals Day" Conference, Thursday, April 12th. Find out about portal technologies, models, applications, and more.

The "Digital Imaging Day" Conference, Thursday, April 12th. Attend this conference to learn about photography for the Web, digital video devices and software, and other exciting topics.


49 tutorials are offered at Seybold Boston 2001. Here is a description of a few of the ones that (in our opinion) are the most interesting:
Effective and Usable Web Interface Design; XML in 180 Minutes; Search Engine Strategies; Web Color: Theory and Practice; Simplified Color Management; PDF for Prepress; PDF Workflow; XML and Print; Crash Course in Writing for the Web; Making the Transition from Print Design to Web Design
Remember, you can get details about all this and more at

Citation Software Inc. Adds "Support & Troubleshooting" Page to its Web Site

Citation Software Inc. has added a "Support & Troubleshooting" page to its Web site, To get to the "Support & Troubleshooting" page, click on the "Support & Troubleshooting" link from any page on the site.

The "Support & Troubleshooting" page contains tips, tricks, and troubleshooting strategies for users of our on-line mailpiece-design software, Mailpiece Creator (, and for users of our PC-based mailpiece-design software, Reply Mail Designer (

Go to the "Support & Troubleshooting" page for help if you're having trouble using the mailpiece file that you created on line, if you're having trouble getting your new printer to work with Reply Mail Designer, if you're not sure what to do with the EPS file that you created with Reply Mail Designer, or if you're having any other problems with our mailpiece-design software or with the mailpiece files that you create.

SVG: What Is It, and Why Should You Care?

SVG stands for "Scalable Vector Graphics." It is a graphics language that is based on Extensible Markup Language (XML).

You might be thinking, "Ho, hum. Another graphics language. What's the big deal?"

Well, Citation Software Inc. is here to tell you that SVG is a very big deal, for several reasons. The main reasons are:
  • SVG is easy to understand.
  • SVG can make Web pages load faster and look better.
SVG technology is fairly new, and it isn't yet in widespread use.

Before we go into detail about what we've just said, let's take a little side trip to see SVG in action.

What Does SVG Look Like?

Here is an SVG file that describes a blue rectangle and a red circle.
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<rect x="150" y="25" width="100" height="50" style="fill:blue" />
<circle cx="240" cy="175" r="50" style="fill:red" />
(To avoid any possible risk of confusion, we'll point out that the SVG code above is not actually a file - it's part of this email message. It illustrates what an SVG file might look like, so we are referring to it as an SVG file.)

The first line of the file functions as a clue to a computer system that might be processing the file. It tells the computer system that this file contains XML information that conforms to Version 1.0 of the XML specification. (Remember, we said that SVG is based on XML. In fact - technically - SVG is XML, but we won't take the time to explain that concept here.)

The second line of the file says that this file contains a particular XML language: SVG.

The third line of the file describes the blue rectangle. The "x" and "y" values give the position of the upper left corner of the rectangle, the "width" and "height" values give the width and height (duh!), and the "style" information says that the rectangle is blue. The units of measurement are officially 1/72 inch, but on a particular computer monitor, the actually dimensions might vary depending on the size of the monitor and its resolution.

The fourth line of the file describes the red circle. "cx" and "cy" specify where the center of the circle is located, and "r" specifies the circle's radius.

The last line of the file, which says
"matches" or "balances" the second line of the file, which says
This concept of "matching" or "balancing" is fundamental to all XML-based languages.

How Does SVG Work?

To see the objects described in an SVG file, your computer must have software that can understand the SVG code and render the objects described in the SVG code. Some day in the not-too-distant future, most Web browsers will probably have such software built into them. Today, however, only a few Web browsers are able to understand SVG code.

To find out if your Web browser is capable of displaying SVG files, click on this link, which is a link to an SVG file that contains the SVG code shown above. If your browser is capable of displaying SVG files, you'll see a blue rectangle with a red circle underneath it. If your browser doesn't display the rectangle and the circle, you might want to download the free Adobe? SVG Viewer, which is a plug-in that a Web browser uses to render SVG.

Now that you know a little bit about what SVG looks like and how it works, we'll get back to the task of explaining why SVG is so great!

The KISS Principle - Redefined

Everybody knows that the "KISS" in "KISS Principle" stands for "Keep It Simple, Stupid!"

In honor of SVG, let's assign a different meaning to the "KISS." We'll say that it means, "Keep It Simple and Small."

Because SVG - as you've already seen - is simple.

And you are about to see that SVG is small, too.

And then Ed McMahon asked, "How small is it, Johnny?"

SVG descriptions of objects are VERY small, compared to bitmap-format descriptions of those same objects. SVG is a vector format, not a bitmap format; and vector-format descriptions of objects are almost always a lot smaller than bitmap-format descriptions of those same objects. This is a very important concept to understand, and it's the reason why we said earlier that Web pages will load faster with SVG technology. This will (hopefully) become clearer as you read the paragraphs below.

The fact of the matter is that - on the Web today - almost all graphics are contained in bitmap-format files. The two most-often-used formats for graphics on the Web are .GIF and .JPG, which are both bitmap formats. Usually, .GIF files are used for geometric shapes such as lines, rectangles, and circles while .JPG files are used for photographs.

The reason that bitmap formats are used for Web graphics is simple: most Web browsers understand bitmap formats but they don't understand vector formats.

The fact that Web browsers don't understand vectors is a problem for Web designers today. Why? Because it takes a long time to download bitmap graphics from a Web site to a Web browser. If graphics could be described in a vector format, it would take less time to download graphic descriptions because the graphic descriptions would be much smaller. Web designers spend a lot of time and effort trying to minimize the sizes of the graphics in their Web pages so that their site visitors won't lose patience while waiting for the graphics to download and navigate to a different site.

It is for this reason that several high-tech companies have been hard at work developing a Web standard for vector graphics. That standard is SVG, and some of the companies that have been working on it are Adobe Systems, Quark, Corel, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM.

Now let's get back to the question of "How small is it?"

The SVG code above is contained in a file that has 157 bytes. If we used a .GIF file to represent the same blue rectangle and red circle, the .GIF file would probably have at least 1500 bytes. So you can see that the SVG file is dramatically smaller than the .GIF file.

Once Web browsers are improved so that we can rely on them to handle SVG files properly, Web designers will start using SVG files in their pages instead of bitmap files. Web pages in general will be much smaller than they are today (because the graphics files will be much smaller), and because the Web pages will be smaller they will load into our browsers quickly.

Pretty Pictures

SVG will also make it possible to improve the appearance of Web pages. That's because SVG graphics tend to look sharper and crisper on the screen than bitmap graphics.

For more information. . .

In this article, we've only touched upon some basic SVG concepts. To learn more about SVG, go to

If you'd like to learn more about XML, go to

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