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OPI

OPI, or Open Prepress Interface, is a set of PostScript commands that lets you design pages with low-resolution proxy, or FPO (for position only), images, and then swap in high-resolution versions when it's time to produce separations. Developed by Aldus before it was acquired by Adobe, the specification originally only supported TIFF images. However, the current version, OPI 2.0, supports EPS, PDF, and DCS images as well. Although OPI is an Adobe specification, many non-Adobe products support it, and some vendors have developed their own proprietary implementations, such as Scitex's APR, or automatic picture replacement.

The advantage of OPI workflows is fairly obvious: Until the high-resolution file is swapped in (either by the RIP or just before the file hits the RIP), the layout file and its distilled PDF file remain small and flexible. In addition, OPI facilitates a multi-processing workflow: A page designer can work with the placeholder image at the same time another designer is editing and refining the high-resolution equivalent. OPI can be particularly advantageous in magazine and catalog publishing where ads may not be ready until after the editorial page is final, and pages include lots of images, which would otherwise result in extremely large files.


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