Introducing Mako Core 7.3.0: new PDF capabilities and PDL simplicity

Product manager David Stevenson introduces the latest features in Mako Core™, the software development kit at the heart of smart print applications:

David Stevenson, product manager for Mako Core™

We’ve just released Mako Core™ 7.3.0, the latest version of our PDF SDK. We make these Mako releases quarterly, something our customers really appreciate. It means we can make updates that are relevant to their short-term needs, as we continue to develop with our long-term objectives for Mako in mind.

We’ve been able to add some new features in this release. For example, Mako can convert a PDF to make it conform to one of several ISO PDF standards, such as PDF/X. It’s been able to do that forever. A customer asked, “Since Mako can write a conforming PDF, there must be some internal logic that detects what doesn’t meet the spec. Can you make that information visible?” A sensible suggestion, and in Mako 7.3.0 we have a new API, IPDFValidator, that does exactly that. It only works with PDF/X-1a right now (that was what our customer needed) but it’s a great start and we will add support for PDF/X-4 and others in future releases.

We’ve also added some new APIs to allow a PDF to be “rolled back” to an earlier, incrementally saved version. The release notes include sample code that shows how to choose which version to roll back to. It also demonstrates the use of PDF metadata for embedding custom information, to help identify a particular version.

We have a lot of customers that rely on Mako’s ability to read documents in PDLs (page description languages) other than PDF – PCL5, PCL/XL and so on. Often these files are produced by a printer driver, and the PCL is wrapped in PJL (HP’s Printer Job Language). And not just PCL – PostScript is widely used, even PDF. In this release we have been able to simplify processing such files with a new API. Just throw the file at the new IPRNInput class and it will do the rest, populating one or more Mako documents that can be processed or converted to any of Mako’s supported PDLs.

This release also adds an API to draw a polygon, adding to existing APIs to draw rectangles, ellipses etc. These make it easy to add shapes to a page at the chosen size, angle, line thickness and/or fill color. Not an important feature I grant you. I mention this only because I wrote the code for it with some help from ChatGPT. More on that in a future blog. By the way, the handsome fellow in the accompanying image at the top of this post is also courtesy of ChatGPT too.

About the author

David Stevenson is product manager for Mako Core™ SDK and responsible for the performance component in Global Graphics Software’s SmartDFE™, the AI-accelerated Digital Front End for high-speed, single-pass, roll-to-roll inkjet presses.

Further reading

  1. Latest release of Mako Core unveils performance boosts and customer-driven enhancements 
  2. Mako helps to increase productivity and profitability for HP Site Flow users
  3. How to retain print quality with vector-based transparency flattening

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