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MYTHS and facts about
variable-data printing
& publishing
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Citation Software Inc.
 Specialists in variable-data publishing since 1986

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QUESTION: What is a print stream?

ANSWER: A print stream is the code that's generated by software that composes documents when you instruct that software to print or to prepare a file that you intend to send to your printer/RIP.

In the printing & publishing industry, there are many different kinds of print streams. Here are just a few: The term "print stream" is sometimes used synonymously with these terms:
  • output format
  • printer language
  • page-description language
  • print-optimization technology
You need to make sure that your printer/RIP is capable of understanding the type of print stream that your document-composition software is generating; otherwise, your documents won't print.

Don't confuse the generic term "print stream" with the proprietary print-optimization technology called PrintStreamer, which was developed by Barco. PrintStreamer is a particular kind of print stream.

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