Replacement Printing Knowledge

Image Replacement

Image replacement is a common practice utilized by graphic arts firms to provide their customers with image files that are smaller in size and more manageable for layout or display. High resolution images are replaced for final output for production of the published product. The images can be replaced with the use of the Open Prepress Interface (OPI) or Automatic Picture Replacement (APR) processes.

OPI improves the performance of prepress systems by reducing data. The prepress system is more efficient and is able to process information more quickly. Images are scanned as high-resolution TIFF graphics and saved until they are needed for output. A low-resolution TIFF version of the same graphic is created to be used during the page layout phase for position only (FPO). Using the TIFF version makes layout much more efficient because the low-resolution graphics require a smaller portion of the computer's resources, allowing it to operate more efficiently. When the layout is complete and ready for output, the low resolution TIFF images are automatically swapped with the high-resolution versions. The replacement of the images takes place on the print server just before the file is sent to the RIP (Raster Image Processor).

APR works much the same as OPI except it uses high-resolution Scitex CT (continous tone) files or TIFF and EPS files. A low-resolution EPS file is used as the replacement image during design and layout. When the layout is ready for output, the low-resolution images are replaced with the high-resolution versions. The image replacement takes place at the RIP rather than at the print server.

The following points should be considered when working with replacement images:

  • Any image corrections should be corrected on the original high-resolution image.
  • The file names and formats should never be changed or the link will be lost.
  • The original image should be sized and rotated before the low-resolution version is created and it should not be changed afterwards.
  • If minimal scaling is required, it can be accomplished in the page layout program, but if it is more than 20% either way, the image should be rescanned.


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