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What's Extreme?

Any product or technology branded Extreme brings to my mind at least images of snowboarders, skateboarders, and motocross riders. Although managing PDF workflows isn't nearly as exhilarating as such x-sports, Extreme PDF workflows do have something in common with them: speed and fluidity. Rooted in PDF, Extreme workflow systems take advantage of the format's complete and compact nature as well as its page independence to modularize and streamline prepress tasks and rasterization. Such systems also provide process control, coordination, and automation features, such as job tracking and scheduling, error notification, and correction handling. Not surprisingly, the larger the print operation, the greater the benefit of an Extreme workflow.

Also not surprisingly, these systems have price tags to match their capabilities, starting at tens of thousands of dollars—a factor that puts them out of reach for many small and midsize shops. For these types of operations, homegrown systems such as those addressed in the previous chapter probably offer a better balance of affordability and capability.


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