Signature Settings

Signature & Imposition Setup Window

Output Mode / Machine / Paper 

Output Method :  Here, you set the type of imaging source for your printing device, such as a file, plate, rubber block, etc. ‘Digital Print’ indicates that this layout will be used either to print on a digital printer or to first create an image on a film using an imagesetter or digital film printer, followed by a transfer to make a plate, block, or silk screen stencil. The ‘CTP Output’ mode is used for directly creating printing plates using a CTP machine.

Printing Machine :  Here, you configure the printing machine to be used for printing the layout. You can choose from the built-in printing machine presets or create a custom preset by inputting your printing machine configurations if you cannot find a matching preset in the available list. It's essential to create new presets for each plate size. Easily generate a machine preset by entering the plate size, the starting margin of the imaging area from the bottom edge, and the minimum non-printable area required on the paper edge for the specific printing machine.

Plate Width / Height :  Specify the width/height of the printing plate used with this printing machine. This field is only necessary for CTP mode.

Leading Edge Margin :  Specify the distance from the bottom edge of the printing plate to the starting point of the printable area. This value is crucial for accurately positioning the final printing image on the plate. This field is only necessary in CTP mode.

Non Printable Area Height :  A small area along the leading edge of the paper where the printer cannot print, as this space is used for the machine to grip the paper and move it inside the printer. Sometimes referred to as the paper gripper margin, gripper margin, or simply the gripper.

Signature Position on the Plate :  Set the position of the signature on the plate. Choose 'On Gripper Side' for regular jobs and 'On Paper Centre' for work and tumble and perfecting jobs. You can also set a custom distance value from the bottom edge of the plate. Ensure that you select the same paper size in the layout and during printing.

Signature Align To :  Choose the method for aligning the signature on the gripper margin. In the default mode, the bottom trim mark of the signature is positioned just above the non-printing gripper margin, with all bottom marks being printable. In 'Trim Marks to Gripper Margin' mode, the bottom trim mark of the signature is precisely placed on the minimum printable gripper area. 'Trim Marks to Bottom Paper Edge' mode positions the trim mark of the signature exactly on the paper edge.

Note:  For creating a new printing machine, you need to setup plate gripper and non printable area height values. Check with your technical person for the correct specification of your printing machines.

Auto PDF Output Size :  This option adds a margin of a specified size around the crop area of a signature. This margin will be used for outputting the layout, regardless of the printing paper size selected in the layout. It is particularly useful for outputting to film image setters or printing through digital printers, providing flexibility to position the layout freely during printing.

Slug Area Margin :  This option adds a margin of a specified size around the crop area of a signature. This margin will be used for outputting the layout, regardless of the printing paper size selected in the layout. It is particularly useful for outputting to film image setters or printing through digital printers, providing flexibility to position the layout freely during printing.

Printing Paper Size :  This field specifies the printing paper used for the final printing. In CTP mode, it is utilized to position layouts on the printing plate, while in Digital mode, it determines the PDF size when the 'Auto PDF Output Size' option is not enabled. You can select presets for standard sizes or enter values manually. Additionally, auto-generated suitable sizes can be chosen using the popup menu on the right side of this control in the signature settings window.

Paper Size Options Menu :  Set paper sizes for the layout automatically. There are few auto size options also available in a popup arrow menu. They are self explanatory and named as ‘Suitable Paper Size’, ‘Trim Size’ and ‘Trim Size + Bleed’, ‘Trim Size + Slug Area’. There are few settings also available for the automatic selection named ‘Use Minimal Slug Area’ and ‘Search on Favourite Paper Sizes Only’.

Custom Total Crop Area (For Gang Run) :  Allows you to manually set the effective total crop area for a signature. When creating layouts using gang run mode with different-sized pages, it is often necessary to resize the signature. This option enables you to specify the final crop size and the required slug margin around the layout pages. The coordinate origin of the Crop area box is always defined as the bottom-left corner of the signature.

Crop Size Options Menu :  Set the custom crop size for the layout. There are few auto size options also available in a popup arrow menu. They are self explanatory and named as ‘Get Total Crop Sizes’, ‘Get Total Crop Sizes with Bleed’ and ‘Get Total Crop Sizes with Slug Area Margin’.

Clip Area Margin: :  This field enables you to specify the clipped slug margin around the custom crop area you entered in the 'manual crop area' field.

Front & Back Print Alignment :  Allows you to reposition the entire contents of a signature. This option can be used to align front and back signatures on a digital printing machine. 'Shift X' values move the signature horizontally, and 'Shift Y' values move it vertically from its default positions.

Reset to Defaults.. :  Discard all individual pagination settings including page numbers gaps and marks etc. and reset the layout to defaults. 

More tips on plate & signature elements..


Imposition 

Imposition Method :  Configure automatic pagination, binding, spine settings, etc., for a book. Auto Imposition is necessary for all types of books and magazines. Normal cut and stack jobs or single form impositions can be managed using Manual Imposition.

Automatic Book Imposition :  Allows Imposition Studio to do automatic pagination, binding, spine setting etc. for a book. Auto Imposition should be selected for all type of Books.

Manual Imposition :  All other types of the layouts like flyers, cards etc..

Job Type :  Select the job type options. Select ‘Books’ (auto) If you planning to make a book. Select ‘Folded Leaflet’ for any type brochure jobs which may require folding but no binding. Select ‘Plain Cut Sheet’ if your job is on a single sheet or the job from a single pdf page with or without folding, ex: business cards, coupons, leaflets, boxes etc.

• Books :  (Auto) If you planning to make a book.

• Folded Leaflet :  Select this option for any type brochure jobs which may require folding but no binding.

• Plain Cut Sheet :  Select this option if your job is on a single sheet or the job from a single PDF page with or without folding, ex: Business Cards, Coupons, leaflets, Boxes etc.

Single Cut:  Only one cut required to part each individual pages in the job. There is no gap and bleed applied between individual pages in the signature. Available only with  Plain Cut Sheet  option.

Job Style:  Choose 'N-Up' to print all imported PDF pages in sequence. Additional signatures will be added as needed. Use 'Step and Repeat' for jobs requiring automatic repetition to complete the signature. In 'Repeat All' mode, all page boxes are repeated with a single PDF link. In 'Column Wise Repeat' mode, all page boxes are repeated in each column with every PDF link. In 'Row Wise Repeat' mode, all page boxes are repeated in each row with every PDF link. Select 'Cut and Stack Set' for numbered page groups, allowing you to stack them later to obtain a sequenced job. PDF links are printed on each signature sequentially; for example, PDF link 2 will print on the next signature and 3 on the next... Refer to the User Guide for more information.

• N-Up :  Select option to print all imported PDF pages in a sequence. More signatures will be added when required.

• Step & Repeat :  Select option for jobs with auto repeat to complete the signature.

Three step & repeat modes are available on the ‘ Setup.. ’ button.  

• Repeat All :  This mode will repeat all page boxes with a single PDF link.

• Column Wise Repeat :  This mode will repeat all page boxes in each columns with every PDF link.

• Row Wise Repeat :  This mode will repeat all page boxes in each rows with every PDF link.

•  Cut & Stack Set  :  This is the option for numbered page groups, so you may stack later to get a sequenced job.

PDF links are printed on each signatures sequentially. For example, PDF link 2 will print on the next signature and 3 on the next... The next column will start with the page after the sheets in a stack count. More options are available on the ‘Setup..” button

Setup.. : Opens  Cut & Stack Set Setup  window

Note:  For front & back layouts, keep the back PDF pages after the front PDF pages.

Example: Use the front pages as 1,3,5,7... and back pages as 2,4,6,8..etc. So always keep all backside PDF pages in the second master signature page.

Signature Sides :  Set the number of signatures required to create a print form. Choose 'Two Sides' for front and back sheet-wise jobs, and 'One Side' for single-sided or single-set work and turn or work and tumble jobs.

1 Side :  Select for single sided or single set work & turn and work & tumble jobs.

2 Sides (Front && Back) :  Select for front & back sheet wise jobs.

Front & Back Paper Turning :  Choose the method for front and back printing using one or two signature sets. This option determines how to turn and position the paper for backside printing after completing the front side printing. This setting is essential for single-sided layouts that include both front and back pages, ensuring correct printing of respective pages in their designated positions on both sides.

• Work & Turn (Left-Right) :  This method turns the paper horizontally with the same signature - Left to Right.

• Work & Tumble (Up-Down) :  This method turns the paper vertically with the same signature - top to bottom. 

If the document contain 2 sides:

Work & Turn - Sheet wise (Left-Right) :  This method turns the paper horizontally with the backside signature - Left to Right.

Work & Tumble - Sheet wise (Up-Down) :  This method turns the paper horizontally with the backside signature - Left to Right.

Custom Number of Original PDF Links :  Specify the actual number of PDF pages in a master form, irrespective of the total pages present in the form. Utilize this option when you have employed repeated symbolic master pages in a master form. For instance, if you have used only 2 symbolic numbers in an 8-page master layout, enter '2' in the custom number field.

Total PDF Links Used In A Form :  Specify the custom number of PDF pages in a master form if you selected the option ‘Custom Number of Original PDF Links’.

Make Combo Half Form from Extra Pages :  In an auto book layout, if the number of pages is insufficient to create a complete form, the remaining pages will be printed using an extra signature with a different page layout than the original. This extra signature is generated using either a work and turn or a work and tumble turning mode. Click the  help button  to learn more about this option.

Options available for saddle stitch binding:

• Outer Pages as Extras :  Extra pages are counted from the outer most sheets in saddle stitch mode.

• Middle Pages as Extras :  Extra pages are counted from the inner most sheets in saddle stitch mode.

• Cover Pages as Extras :  Cover pages are counted as extra pages. 

• Pages After First Form as Extras :  Extra pages will be taken after the first form.

• Pages Before Last Form as Extras :  Extra pages will be taken before the last form.


Options available for perfect binding:

• End Pages as Extras :  Extra pages are counted from the last pages of the book. 

• Starting Pages as Extras :  Extra pages are counted from the starting pages of the book.

• Cover Pages as Extras :  Cover pages are counted as extra pages. 

• Pages After First Form as Extras :  Extra pages will be taken after the first form.

• Pages Before Last Form as Extras :  Extra pages will be taken before the last form.


More tips on ‘Make Combo Half Form from Extra Pages’..

Number of Page Columns :  The number of PDF pages placed horizontally in a single row within the signature.

Number of Page Rows :  The number of PDF pages placed vertically in a single column within the signature.

Number of Cloned Pages :  Specifies the number of automatically cloned pages for each page box in the layout. This is useful for creating smaller books, such as user manuals, where binding individually may be challenging. It is common to bind smaller books together (two or three) and then cut them into separate books after binding. The 'Clone' option automates the creation of multiple copies of the books together, which can be separated after binding.

Page Orientation on the Signature :  Specifies the orientation of PDF page boxes on the signature, either vertically or horizontally. This option is crucial in determining the spine orientation for the book's layout. This setting differs from PDF page rotation, as PDF pages can be rotated freely within all page boxes.

Note:  Above options will affect the page numbers of your signatures. 

Page / Box 

Single Page Box Size :  This field specifies the final crop size of the page box, indicating the width and height of the default page box for the layout. It only takes into account how the pages appear on the signature preview, irrespective of page orientation and rotation—whether portrait, landscape, or rotated. Custom sizes can also be set manually in the respective width and height fields. The bleed size should be set separately in its respective fields.

It is common for all pages in the layout. You may change size and other properties of individual pages by using ‘ Gang Run Transformations.. ’ or   PDF Link Transform  menu item.

Set From PDF Link 1 :  Set the page width and height based on the first linked page from the PDF you imported in the PDF link setup window.

Page Crop Width :  Width of the default page box. It only takes into account how the pages appear on the signature preview, irrespective of page orientation and rotation—whether portrait, landscape, or rotated.

Page Crop Height :  Height of the default page box. It only takes into account how the pages appear on the signature preview, irrespective of page orientation and rotation—whether portrait, landscape, or rotated.

Bleed :  Set the bleed value for the page box. It is necessary to print a slightly larger area than the actual page box on the paper, which is then finally trimmed down to the required finished size. This extended area is called the bleed. Ensure a minimum of 3mm bleed for all regular layouts to eliminate white areas in jobs where graphic elements touch the paper edges.

Horizontal Scale :  Specify the horizontal scale value in percentages for all PDF pages when placing them in this page box.

Vertical Scale :  Specify the vertical scale value in percentages for all PDF pages when placing them in this page box.

Book Reading Order :  This option is only required if you want to create a book in Arabic, Hebrew, or similar right-to-left reading languages. Otherwise, use the default left-to-right option. Symbolic page numbers will remain the same on all layouts. Use the right-to-left option only if the first page of the source PDF file is the first page of the final book, which reads in a right-to-left order.

Left to Right (Default) :  Regular mode for making books in all left to right reading languages.

Right to Left (Arabic) :  Option for making books in Arabic, Hebrew or similar right to left reading languages.

Note:  use only ‘Right to Left’ option when the first page of the PDF is the first page of the book in reading order (Last page of the normal reading books)

Binding / Folding 

Binding Method :  Select the binding method of the Job. 

• Saddle stitch / Stapling :  Select this option if you plan to use a thread stitch or a wire staple to bind the book. This option does not require a binding or routing margin on the spine, so keep the routing margin as '0'. 

• Perfect Binding :  Choose this option if you plan to bind pages in small folded groups combined and glued together on the spine to create the book. Some perfect binding methods may require a small binding margin on the spine area.

Section Sewing / Smyth Sewing :  Select this option if you are using the section-sewn process to create the book. After printing, fold the printed sheets into small sections or groups, and then each section is sewn together in series along the spine. The combined groups are then bound together with a cover to make the final book. In all aspects and purposes, a section-sewn book and a perfect-bound book seem to be the same, but section-sewn books tend to have more pages in a group than perfect-bound books.

• Pages In A Section :  Enter the required number of pages to make a single section for binding.

• Section Starting Number :  Specify the section number for the first section of this layout. Only change the default value if this layout does not contain all sections of the book, indicating that there are sections to be inserted in front of these sections to complete the book. This option is necessary only if you need the collating marks to be aligned with the earlier sections.

Creep / Shingling :  Set the creep value for the layout. When binding sets with a high page count, it is necessary to shift pages inward or outward to align them properly with the edges. Enter the paper GSM value in the  creep setup window  to obtain the auto-generated creep value, or you may enter the value manually. Check Creep Setup section for more details.

Creep Setup :  Opens Creep Setup window


Auto Gutters / Gaps :  Apply new values to all gutters in the layout

Keep Default / Current Values :  No change in gap settings (default). The values in the vertical and Horizontal folding gaps are the default values from the Global Layout Preferences. 

Auto Distribute to Print Run Paper Size :  Keep all gaps in same size by distributing the folding gaps evenly on the specified print run paper size. This will ensure easy folding & binding on some automatic machines.

Apply New Values to all Gutters / Gaps :  Apply changed values to all vertical & horizontal gaps.


Binding / Routing Margin :  Use 0 for saddle stitch / stapling jobs. For perfect binding jobs, use the routing margin required for your binding machine. Included perfect binding templates use 6mm as routing margin. Check with your technical person for the exact values.

Gutter / Folding Gap Settings :  The values in the vertical and horizontal folding gaps are the default preferences. Select 'Apply New Values to all Folding Gaps' to apply new values to all vertical and horizontal gaps in the layout. 'Auto Distribute to Print Run Paper Size' is an option to maintain consistent size for all folded pages by evenly distributing the folding gaps on the specified print run paper size. This ensures easy folding and binding on automatic machines.

Use main layout editor window to edit individual folding or routing gaps. Check the Edit Gaps section for more information.

Reset to Defaults :  Discard all individual pagination settings including page numbers gaps and marks etc. And reset the layout to defaults.



Note:  You can edit individual Binding Gap / Folding Gap / Routing Margin values. On the layout editor window, double click on the desired page gaps on layout preview to edit the ‘Vertical Folding Gap’ and ‘Horizontal Folding Gap’ between two adjacent pages. Select the ‘Change All’ check box to apply the new values to all corresponding folding gaps (Horizontal or Vertical) on the signature. Changes will apply to both sides if the layout contain two master signatures.