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Atlas Software BV finishes the job of adding PPML to PrintShop Mail for Mac

SEPTEMBER 13, 2000 — At the recently held Seybold Conference in San Francisco, Atlas Software BV ( announced that it has completed the job of adding Personalized Printing Markup Language (PPML) as a supported print technology in the Macintosh version of PrintShop Mail. A Beta version of this PrintShop Mail product was demonstrated at Seybold by Atlas Software BV and by Xeikon. Atlas demonstrated the PPML-producing capabilities, and Xeikon demonstrated the PPML-consuming (viewing) capabilities.

What is PPML?

PPML is a new XML-based software standard for variable-data printing. The PPML standard was developed by the The Digital Printing Initiative (PODi). PODi ( is a not-for-profit multi-vendor initiative that's working to develop the market for digital printing.

PODi developed the PPML standard to create commercial impact - to actually change the economics of personalized printing. PPML will allow personalized print to be more flexible, easier to use, and more affordable to produce. PPML supports a full range of on-demand printing ranging from the office environment to high-speed production environments.

Why is PPML Needed?

Since the advent of digital printing in 1993, it has been possible to print high-quality, full-color, personalized documents. However, the market potential of this technology has not been realized. One reason is that there has been no industry standard for printing color pages with high-quality, reusable content.

Absent an industry standard, different vendors developed proprietary methods and proprietary file formats for specifying reusable or variable page content. This situation made it difficult for interested developers to anticipate a broad market.

To address this problem, seven member organizations of PODi voted unanimously to develop a new standard print language for personalized printing. Since then, more companies have joined the initiative; currently fifteen companies participate. Some of these are: Adobe Systems Incorporated, Barco, EFI, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Indigo, and Xerox. Six additional companies participate as non-voting observers.

How Does PPML Work?

PPML lets a printer cache recently used images so that they can be reused without being downloaded repeatedly. This can result in a tenfold reduction in the amount of data generated for a print job, and a corresponding reduction in network traffic.

Additional information can be obtained at

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