callas software releases pdfToolbox 12

callas software has announced an  update for its automated PDF quality control and archival solution, pdf Toolbox 12.

Major new features include a “QuickFix” engine to modify very large PDFs, an engine to compare colour differences between PDFs, a generic way to create Fixups on the fly using JavaScript, more powerful Actions (now supporting editing and variables), an OCR engine, and more.

pdfToolbox 11 added a QuickCheck engine, the goal was to extract information from PDFs blazingly fast, even for huge files.

In pdfToolbox 12 a complimentary QuickFix engine is introduced, which accomplishes the same for PDF corrections. The QuickFix engine comes with lightning-quick solutions for spot colours, output intents, page boxes, adding and removing pages.

The QuickFix engine’s goal is to perform modifications in close to constant time, whether it’s on a PDF with a single page or half a million pages, important in time-critical environments, this is a game-changer.

pdfToolbox 12 introduces major new colour functionality. First up is adding a spot colour separation based on ink amounts of objects in the file. This is essential when printing on transparent media and adding a (expensive) white backing layer.

pdfToolbox 12 also introduces minimum and maximum ink checks for individual separations, crucial in flexo workflows, amongst others.

The Visualizer technology includes new sections for the minimum and maximum ink per separation checks, but also adds an out-of-gamut section and the ability to compare colour differences between PDFs. The latter provides a heat map of all areas on those files with a colour difference larger than a set DeltaE. pdfToolbox fully supports all of these novelties in its automated workflows as well.


The Tesseract OCR engine built into pdfToolbox 12 provides a way to automatically create fully searchable text for PDFs that don’t contain live text. This is important in the context of specific standards (such as PDF/A or PDF/UA) but can also be crucial for workflows in which you want to use the text search capabilities pdfToolbox has.By default, the OCR engine has support for English and German enabled in the product, but you can download other languages if needed.

Recently Apple released its new macOS Big Sur update. pdfToolbox 12 is fully compatible with this most recent update. callas software has extensively tested pdfToolbox 12 with regard to Apple’s new OS release, and upgrading to it should not give any issues for pdfToolbox 12.

Among the smaller new features are:

  • A new (stretching) bleed creation mode specifically for the Sign & Display market.
  • New Process Plan steps to compare files, run QuickFixes and merge PDF files.
  • Support for new ISO standards (PDF/X-6, PDF/A-4, PDF/VT-3)
  • Improved barcode detection for 1D and 2D barcodes.
  • A new “Export as previous version” for Profiles and Process Plans.
  • Improvements to the contextual preflight system (Sifter).
  • Extended “User Unit” (scaling factor) support throughout pdfToolbox.
  • Improved bleed creation that adds bleed only when necessary.
  • An easier fixup to convert elements to Rich Black.
  • DPart (Document Part) creation.
  • The introduction of free tools that can be used without product activation.
  • Improved visualization of page boxes and units in pdfToolbox Desktop.
  • Support for pdfToolbox Server in the License Server.
  • Better spot colour name display throughout the product.

pdfToolbox Desktop for manual processing is available as a plug-in within Adobe Acrobat or standalone, starts at 500 EUR. An upgrade from pdfToolbox 11 costs 200 EUR, and an upgrade from pdfToolbox 10 costs 300 EUR.

pdfToolbox Server, CLI, and SDK for fully automated, hands-off processing and integration in other solutions start at 4000 EUR. Upgrades to pdfToolbox Server / CLI / SDK 12 are included in the maintenance agreement. Customers without an active maintenance agreement should contact callas software.